Poetry Teatime

Why You Need the Nourished Children Early Years Guide

A Charlotte Mason Preschool Guide

Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime

A Sweet Moment


A few afternoons ago, my oldest son was quietly bringing books and stacking them on the table. Then, he went and grabbed a plate and began filling it with snacks. He asked for me to cut a red pepper, and then said, “Mama, let’s read some poems.” Oh my heart! It was one of my goals this term, to include a daily habit of poetry in the afternoons. It’s so lovely to see that habit making an impression on these little people.

In the Nourished Children Early Years Guide, we talk about good habit suggestions to begin with, how to set up poetry teatime and also SO MUCH more.

Keep reading below to find out WHY you need this Charlotte Mason preschool guide for your family!

Purchase the Guide

Testimonials

“I really loved the guide! A lot of good info and suggestions- plus you can see the love and dedication you poured into it! Thanks so much for writing it!” – Amy

“I appreciate the real-life suggestions, all of the links and book suggestions. They were extremely helpful. There were even a few tips in there that I never thought of doing! So even for a mother who prides herself in this type of lifestyle, I was still able to learn from it.” – Keri

“Thank you so much for making such a wonderful resource. I’m so blessed to have found you.” – Kristina

preschool with charlotte mason
Preschool with Charlotte Mason

Who 

This preschool guide is inspired by Charlotte Mason.

Who was she?

Charlotte Mason was a British educator, turned principal of her schools. She housed teacher trainings and offered support to home educators and public schools through a Parents National Education Union School. She deeply cared about educating the child as a whole, and her education philosophy is second to none, in my opinion. You can read more about her here or here.

The Nourished Children Early Years Guide is based off of Charlotte Mason because the more I found out about her, the more she COMPLETELY made sense. She aimed to present an inviting, life-giving, and beautiful education. She wanted to nourish the mind of each child with living ideas.


Healthy Snacks
Healthy Snacks

What

This guide encourages you (dear mama) by providing lifestyle tips on how to implement a Charlotte Mason education during the early years. The Nourished Children Early Years Guide is a wonderful starting point. The elements included in this guide will not only provide you with a strong foundation but also carry over into the time of formally educating your child. This Charlotte Mason Preschool guide is different from a standard school curriculum, because it is focuses on the whole child. It meets the child, and the family, right where you are. It takes into account, “education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.”

What’s Included

Encouragement

Lifestyle Tips

Connection with your Family

Real Life Examples

Preschool Booklist

Plus So Much More!

NCEYGtableofcontents
NCEYGtableofcontents
Play with Natural Materials
Play with Natural Materials
Purchase the Guide

When

Preschool is a perfect time to begin a gentle education with your little ones. Since the guide introduces concepts that are geared towards a lifestyle, you could begin as early as you want. Personally, I want to preserve my children’s childhood, so I don’t want to pressure them, or force them into something they aren’t ready for. The Nourished Children Early Years Guide is the PERFECT method for a gentle introduction into learning. Also, it provides a wonderful foundation to set them up for success once formal learning takes place (around age six).


Children's Bible
Children’s Bible

Why

While I knew I wanted to keep my preschoolers at home with me, I wasn’t quite sure how to begin education with them. I needed to come up with a plan for the precious preschool years. I valued family connection, quality time, and preservation of childhood. At the same time, I sought to provide them with a wholesome educational foundation to develop their character. I searched the internet for a curriculum to use, and while I found one that was nice, it felt like too much, and yet not enough of the right kinds of lessons I wanted.

Often, we want to begin educating our children in the preschool years, yet an immense or intense education is not necessary. The Nourished Children Early Years Guide offers a gentle beginning to a Charlotte Mason education.


Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime

Where

You can find a sample of the Nourished Children Early Years Guide here, by clicking “Preview“. When you are ready to purchase, simply click on the green ‘Purchase the Guide’ button. You can also find us at our Etsy shop.

Purchase the Guide

Outdoor Time
Outdoor Time

How

Many of you already have children you are already home educating. This guide is not meant to burden you with another to-do list. It is meant to encourage you to slowly add in your preschool children where appropriate.

Since my children are just entering into their time of formal education, they have been home with me their whole lives. So in that sense, I’m bringing six years of experience of using the methods suggested in this guide. Eventually, I plan to add seasonal specific guides, with more concrete ideas, as a compliment to the Nourished Children Early Years Guide.  

The elements included in this guide will not only provide you with a strong foundation but also carry over into the time of formally educating your child. Therefore, many of the ideas laid out in this guide will seamlessly blend into your formal homeschool years. If you already have school-age children doing a Charlotte Mason style homeschool with you, some of these points may encourage you to simply add in your preschoolers where it is appropriate.

Beautiful Art for Children
Beautiful Art for Children
Purchase the Guide

I hope this introduces you and peeks your curiosity about the Nourished Children Early Years Guide. Have any questions? Please comment away below or send me an email!

As always, I like to conclude with my favorite Charlotte Mason resources. I hope these are inspiring and as helpful to you as they are to me!

Charlotte Mason Resources for the Early Years

Nourished Children Early Years Guide
Nourished Children Early Years Guide
A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be awe inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

 

A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson 

WHAT

“The child should speak beautiful thoughts so beautifully.” (Mason, vol. 1)

The Meriram-Webster Dictionary defines recitation as: the act of reading or repeating aloud in public. According to a podcast by A Delectable Education (ADE), recitation is beautiful thoughts, spoken beautifully.

“All children have it in them to recite…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason observed children could easily pick up recitation. Therefore, it is a wonderful subject to include, especially from a young age.

“Let the child lie fallow till he is six, and then, in this matter of memorizing, as in others, attempt only a little, and let the poems the child learns be simple and within the range of his own thought and imagination.” (Mason, vol. 1)

WHAT WE ARE USING

A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson pulls selections from: poems, parables, Bible passages, Psalms, and hymns. With this in mind, we are using:

 

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Recitation Lesson as occurring three times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about ten minutes. Additionally, the recitation lesson should follow the mid-morning play break. This was a great way to ease back into lessons.

WHY

According to this Parent’s Review article, as children begin reading, they loose their expression. Recitation helps restore their expression. Charlotte Mason says:

“…in the coming days, more even then in our own, will it beehove every educated man and woman to be able to speak effectively in public; and, in learning to recite you learn to speak.” (Mason, vol. 1)

We are particularly looking forward to recitation because my oldest son doesn’t always speak carefully. Sometimes, it is difficult for others to understand him. His tone of voice is low. Therefore, I believe this “children’s art” of recitation is going to serve a practical purpose in his life. Recitation forms the basis for public speaking.

Perhaps most importantly, recitation helps provide a service to the listeners. It can bring understanding, arouse emotions, and demonstrate the heart of the piece’s author. Finally, recitation helps others understand what is read.

“The gains of such a method of learning are, that the edge of the child’s enjoyment is not taken off by weariful verse by verse repetitions, and, also, that the habit of making mental images is unconsciously formed.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Even as adults, it can be challenging to learn something we are not excited about. Allowing the child to choose poems, staying within the child’s range of imagination, and keeping a positive tone about the lesson, can help the child stay engaged in the Recitation Lesson.

Finally, recitation can also be fostered in the reading lessons. During a reading lesson, especially as the lessons progress slowly at first, the emphasis should be from the beginning on clear and perfect enunciation.

A Charlotte Mason Recitation LessonA Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson

HOW

“Recitation and committing to memory are not necessarily the same thing, and it is well to store a child’s memory with a good deal of poetry, learnt without labor.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First, memory and recitation are not the same. Memory comes incidentally from the art of recitation. Often, memory happens by the way, however, it is not the end goal of recitation.

“Half a dozen repetitions should give children possession of such poems.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Memory may naturally occur, because the child has heard and repeated the piece six or so times.

RECITATION GOALS PER TERM (ABOUT 12 WEEKS)

Alternate each lesson below, each week, in order to gain familiarity with the readings.

FOR EXAMPLE- WEEK ONE: read a poem for the first lesson, a hymn for the second lesson, and a passage from the Old Testament, for the third lesson that week.

ONE TERM

  • One poem (child chooses the poem)
  • Two hymns (learn the words, without singing)
    • It is recommended to choose Christmas hymns when appropriate.
  • One Psalms (Psalms 150 is recommended)
  • One Passage of six verses from the Bible (Old Testament plus one from the New Testament)
    • One passage from Joshua Chapter 1 and St. Mark Chapter 6 are recomended

STEPS TO A RECITATION LESSON

“The teacher reads with the intention that the children shall know, and therefore, with distinctness, force, and careful enunciation; it is a mere matter of sympathy, though of course it is the author and not himself, whom the teacher is careful to produce.” (Mason, vol. 6)

For this example, we are discussing a poem.

  • First, give a short explanation of the poem. Introduce new words the child may be unfamiliar with. Also, show a picture if one is included.
  • Next, read the poem. Remember, you will read this about once a week. Other types of pieces should be read for recitation (such as a hymn and a parable).
  • Read the poem again the following week.
  • Then, a couple of weeks later, read the poem line by line.
  • Ask the child to repeat back the first line of the poem with you.
  • Also, if a child can read the poem, they can read the poem one line at a time.
  • Finally, try to work on clear pronunciation, understanding, and intonation. The teacher should model these while reading to the child as well.

The following Do and Don’t List come from a Parent’s Review Article on Recitation: the Children’s Art which is recommended by ADE.

NOTES ABOUT RECITATION A “DON’T LIST.”

  1. Don’t imitate the stage or exaggerate in voice and gesture.
  2. Avoid tragic or sentimental pieces.
  3. Don’t give lessons in the presence of a third person.
  4. Try not to praise your child excessively.

Now, for the “DO LIST.”

NOTES ABOUT RECITATION A “DO LIST”

  1. Do have your child be careful about pronunciation.
  2. Let pieces be learned, bit by bit, after a careful explanation is given.
  3. Ask the child to stand while he reads.
  4. A piece once learned should be occasionally repeated.

Finally, one of my favorite references regarding recitation: “In tone, not in noise, good recitation consists.” (Recitation: the Children’s Art)

It is also suggested one hour per month, to “sit around a fire” and read or recite some pieces learned.

A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Recitation Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON RECITATION LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

 

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson 

Charlotte Mason Drawing Resources
Charlotte Mason Drawing Resources

WHAT

Here is one of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes about Art:

“This is what we wish to do for children in teaching them to draw-to cause the eye to rest, not unconsciously, but consciously, on some object of beauty which will leave in their minds an image of delight for all their lives to come.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First and foremost, drawing provides a child with valuable skills, such as: observation, memory, and fine motor skills. Perhaps more importantly, however, learning how to draw gives a sense of beauty and expression. This allure can last throughout a child’s whole life.

Occasionally, in order to inspire this artistry, Mama can point out beauty in nature to the child, By observing things like sunlight, shadows, colors, and forms of all things lovely of earth and sky, the child can use these as inspiration for appreciation of art.

“Children have art in them.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Since my oldest son already enjoys painting, I decided to get him a few basic art supplies. My aim is to foster his natural love and ability of art. I’m hoping to watch it blossom, as we learn more about brush drawing as an educational subject.

WHAT WE ARE USING

“Children are worth of the best, and some half-dozen tubes of really good colors will last a long time, and will satisfy the eye of the little artists.” (Mason, vol. 1)

While you do not have to purchase the most expensive supplies, choosing good quality supplies that will last over the years, and across many children, is sensible.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

The resources listed below come recommended, so they are the drawing supplies we will use:

  • WATERCOLOR COURSE.

Brushdrawing: A Basic Course by Emily Kiser and Richele Baburina. Here is the description about this course: This watercolor course in brush drawing features carefully prepared lessons that take students step-by-step from the most basic brush exercises to beginning painting from nature.

  • DRAWING BOOK.

What to Draw and How to Draw It by E.G. Lutz

Or, HERE it is FREE on archive.org

  • WATERCOLOR TUBES.

Daniel Smith 6 Tubes of Essentials Introductory Watercolors or 30 Economical Professional Watercolor Tubes

  • NOTEBOOK.

Canson Mixed Media Notepad

  • WATERCOLOR ROUND BRUSHES.

Watercolor Wooden Brush Set

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Drawing Lesson as occurring two times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about twenty minutes. Additionally, it is recommended to have one afternoon drawing lesson per week, lasting about twenty minutes.

WHY

A Parent’s Review article written by Miss K. Loveday says: “And yet Art, when rightly directed, is educational…for it trains the hand and the eye, and it trains the head and the heart; it teaches us to see and to see truly…it disciplines the emotions.”

Drawing is useful because it trains exactness and decision. So many useful skills are learned by honing art skills, yet it is also such a rich subject to study. Therefore, we are looking forward to this subject immensley.

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

HOW

Ms. Mason says that a child may not produce a beautiful work of art at the beginning, however, the study of drawing is beautiful in itself.

“Children of six or seven draw budding twigs of oak and ash, beech and lark, with such tender fidelity to color, tone, and gesture, that the crude little drawings are in themselves things of beauty.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Children have a natural desire towards observing beauty in nature, therefore, it seems fitting to focus in the beginning, on drawing objects observed in nature.

Charlotte Mason also observed that children should start out with easy materials in drawing, such as chalk and watercolors. She believed by avoiding pencil and pen, it would allow the child to more easily produce well-observed drawings, which could allow their interest in art to continue. She says:

“…also, he should work in the easiest medium, that is, with paint brush or with charcoal, and not with a black-led pencil.” (Mason, vol. 1)

One more note about brush drawing indicates the brush should be held with the tip facing the child. This ensures that the child can view the brush more carefully, as he is adding color to the paper. Also, the child can move his arm from the wrist more freely, in order to have better control over his drawing.

“We must show the children how to hold their brushes and how to use them; they must see the whole, not only the tip.” (A Parent’s Review Article)

Drawing GoalS Per Term (about 12 weeks)

  1. Six brush drawings from nature

    • (Six wild fruits in fall, Six twigs in winter, and finally six wildflowers in spring)
  2. Six drawings from memory of animals they have observed

    • (Examples: dog, cat, birds, insects, squirrel, rabbit etc.)
  3. Original brush or chalk drawings of characters from their tales readings

  4. Drawings in nature notebook entries

NOTES ABOUT DRAWING

  •  A typical lesson could be: First, spend a few minutes on a drawing lesson. Perhaps, show your child how to hold the brush, and make a few simple strokes. Next, attempt to draw a natural object they can see before them. (A Parent’s Review Article(Examples: simple leaves, birds)
  • Another idea is to take a walk in nature. Then, bring home objects from nature, copy them in brushwork in a Nature Journal, record the date, weather, and location.
  • One article also points out to lay objects on a white piece of paper, in order that the child can more easily see true depth of colors and shadows, and the main shapes.
  • It is also suggested to keep the object you want to draw, at a distance to avoid over focusing on details.
  • Also, I plan to update this post with more ideas once we receive the Brushdrawing: Basic Course.

MORE NOTES ABOUT A DRAWING LESSON

A Parent’s Review article written by Juliet Williams, mentions a process for drawing:

  • OBSERVE. First, ask the child to see the object in nature. Ask your child to look carefully at the shape and colors of the object. Then, ask them to notice the shadow, and where they come from.
  • DIGEST. Second, is a lesson in memory and reflection.
  • EXPRESS. Finally, a child can express himself using the brush drawing to depict a careful observation of the object. One article mentions above all, we should encourage imagination and originality of expression.

Also, the act of observing is mentioned many times because of its importance.

“We must be sure that the children paint what they really see and not what they imagine they see; a great deal depends on making them look properly and carefully before beginning to paint, especially when it comes to considering light and shades in colors.”

Finally, Mr. Ruskin, whom Charlotte Mason references frequently in her Home Education volumes, says:

“It is only by the habit of representing faithfully all things, that we can truly learn what is beautiful and what is not.”

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON DRAWING LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson

Poetry with Preschoolers
Poetry with Preschoolers

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson 

WHAT

Poetry can be intimidating, because its almost like a foreign language. We don’t often hear poetry included in our daily culture. Also, more than likely, we did not grow up hearing or being exposed to it. Charlotte Mason says that children: “must grow up upon the best.” (Mason, vol. 2)

She goes onto say:

“There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal of worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told. Let Blake’s ‘songs of innocence’ represent their standard in poetry; De Foe and Stevenson, in prose; and we shall train a race of readers who will demand literature – that is, the fit and beautiful expressions of inspiring ideas and pictures of life.” (Mason, vol. 2)

Poems are wide and varied, just as stories are. Some poems are written about seasons, nature, help answer questions, or are merely enjoyed because they are delightful. Therefore, there is poetry for everyone.

Miss Mason urges:

“…it is the part of parents to bring the minds of their children under the influence of the highest, purest poetic thought we have.” (Mason, vol. 5)

A variety of poems from a good anthology like A Child’s Book of Poems may be a great way to begin if you are unsure of which books to pick. Since I’m unfamiliar with poetry, I’m choosing many books that are highly recommend to begin with. Eventually, it would be great to highlight maybe a poet per term.

WHAT WE ARE USING

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson is recommended many times as a introduction into Poetry. Also, since Tasha Tudor is the illustrator, I’m delighted to share this book with my children. Two other must-have books by Tasha Tudor are: A Time to Keep (a beautiful introduction to holidays and the calendar) and 1 is One (a gentle introduction to numbers great for preschoolers). Once you see her illustrations, you notice how beautiful and special they are.

A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa is another well recommended first book of poems. The illustrations are also lovely, and I believe this will add to the appeal to my young boys.

Finally, the two books by A.A. Milne were also recommended: Now We are Six and When We were Very Young. Since poetry can be shared at anytime (not just during formal education), I have begun reading a couple of poems per day to my children. To my amazement, my boys beg for more! This shows just how appropriate these poetry selections seem to be for the young child.

Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime

Below, I share samples of some poetry I feel would be appropriate for beginners. Included are poems by Robert Louis Stevenson and William Blake, who are mentioned by Charlotte Mason as good poetry standards.

EXAMPLES OF GENTLE POEMS TO INTRODUCE TO YOUR CHILDREN:

MISS MUFFET
by Mother Goose

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating of curds and whey;
There came a big spider,
And sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
FOREIGN LANDS
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad on foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people that tramping into town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up rivers slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the roads on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive. 
LAUGHING SONG
by William Blake

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene;
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing ‘Ha ha he!’

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of ‘Ha ha he!’

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Poetry Lesson as occurring daily. Also, each lesson lasts about five to ten minutes.

WHY

“Poetry, too, supplies with tools for the modeling of our lives, and the use of these we must get at for ourselves.” (Mason, vol. 4)

Also, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, author of For the Children’s Sake, says: “All children should have an excellent diet of mind-food to be nurtured on, so that their true education can begin.” She includes poetry as one of the essentials to nourish a child’s mind.

Perhaps my most favorite quote about why to include poetry in the educational feast:

“All our aspirations for the young are likely to be defeated unless we hand on to them a certain moral stability, a belief in beauty, truth, and goodness for their own sake; whereas if we give them these – … poetry will surely be included – we have at least the assurance that we have done our best to equip them adequately for the certain difficulties of this uncertain world.” (Parent’s Review Article)

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson

HOW

Poems should be enjoyed regularly from a very young age.

  • First, read a few poems aloud to your children.
  • No narration required, just enjoy the feast!

Notes about poetry

As the children grow, poems are often added to a Nature Journal to support their Nature findings.

Poems can eventually be written down as copywork (writing).

A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Poetry Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON POETRY LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

French with Preschoolers
French with Preschoolers

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason French Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson 

WHAT

“The initial ideas, that we must acquire a new language as a child acquires his mother tongue, is absolutely right….” (Mason, vol. 1)

In the beginning of a CM edcuation, children typically learned French as a second language. Furthermore, they continued French lessons for the remainder of their education. Additionally, three more foreign languages were added over the course of their 12 years of education. Therefore, by the end of their formal education, the children will have been introduced to four different languages in total.

After our first year, I plan to introduce Spanish as a foreign language. Since we are in Texas, this seems particularly practical for us to learn next.

WHAT WE ARE USING

While you do not have to use all of these resources, this is a great list to get started with. Also, be sure to note the ones marked (FREE).

FRENCH BOOKS

These books replace a French Text book, because they cover the basis for the young French lesson, using Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophies.

VOCABULARY LESSON

POEMS/RHYMES

SONGS

SHORT STORIES

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson
A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the French Lesson as occurring three times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about 10 minutes.

Ms. Mason writes you could begin teaching French words, and in general speaking French to your children, from a very young age; perhaps before formal lessons. In general, it seems easier for a younger child to pick up a foreign language, so introducing it early has its advantages.

WHY

“To train the ear to distinguish and the lips to produce the French vocables is a valuable part of the education of the senses, and one which can hardly be undertaken to soon.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Delectable Education (ADE) mentions the English language is most influenced by French. This is because when William the Conqueror was King of England, French influenced language and culture for approximately 300 years.

According to the Linguist.com, 60% of English words come from the French language, or from Latin, which originated from French. Emily Kiser from ADE, mentions learning French allows greater ease for learning subsequent languages. Finally, according to some, French is an easy language to learn.

However, I find it to be intimidating to teach a new language, that I don’t know anything about! So, I’m seeking out resources to help me teach French to my children.

HOW

“The child should never see French words in print until he has learned to say them with as much ease and readiness as if they were English.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A child should hear the language spoken first, before seeing the words in print. So, just as a baby learns to speak his first language, by listening to words spoken, the same holds true for learning a second language.

“Again, the child’s vocabulary should increase steadily, say, at the rate of half a dozen words a day.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Learning new vocabulary is a wonderful means of learning a new language.

“A notebook in which she (Mama) enters the child’s new words and sentences will enable the teacher to (ensure new words are put into sentences, and are kept in use daily).” (Mason, vol. 1)

Therefore, I plan to record new words the boys learn in a notebook, so that we can revisit the words often.

“The organ of language – ask the child – is not the eye; it is the ear.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Language acquisition is first acquired through the ear. Children learn a new language by first hearing it spoken in conversation. This step is necessary to occur before the child sees the written words with their eyes. This method is more natural, and effective for the child to learn the new language.

A CHARLOTTE MASON FRENCH LESSON

VOCABULARY LESSON

Attempt to learn two to six new vocabulary words at each lesson, in order to gain understanding of French.

  • First, prepare audio files with a few new French words. Also, find pictures to go along with the vocabulary words.
  • Then, show the child one picture. Listen to the audio of the word three times. Next, ask the child to repeat the word after hearing it.
  • If applicable, gesture to show meaning of a verb or noun.
  • Finally, put the new word into a sentence. Speak the sentence three times. Ask the child to speak back the phrase. Also, if they don’t get it perfectly, its okay!

POEMS/RHYMES

A goal of memorizing two French poems per term can be attempted in order to teach the child French. One term lasts about three months.

  • First, prepare a picture and an audio file of a French poem.
  • Then, listen to the poem, one phrase at a time, and have the child simultaneously look at the picture.
  • Point to the picture as you hear the vocabulary words in the poem.
  • Then, listen to the poem two more times.
  • Finally, ask the child to repeat the poem along with the audio.

SONGS

Hearing, and memorizing one French song per term is also a great means of learning French as a second language.

  • First, prepare one picture and one audio of a French song.
  • Then, listen to the song, one phrase at a time, and gesture to the picture when applicable to point out new vocabulary.
  • If time allows, listen to the song three times.
  • Also, invite the child to sing along and gesture as well.

SHORT STORIES

Listening to one short story per term is another wonderful tool to learn French.

  • First, begin with one sentence at at time. Move forward reading longer passages as the child becomes more familiar with the language.
  • When possible, use pictures or gestures to introduce new words, while simultaneously saying it orally.
  • Next, ask the child to repeat the new word.
  • Continue reading the story, stopping after each sentence at first.
  • Then, ask the child to narrate back the story. Its okay if they can’t recite much back to you at first.
  • Read through the passage one final time.

NOTES FOR MAMA

One podcast I listened to, mentions if you can stay ahead of the child by one term, than you will be well prepared to teach the French lesson.

Also, Ms. Mason asked her teachers to read Hachettes Illustrated French Primer by Henri Bue in preparation to teach French. Or, you can find it online for free instead.

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson
A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason French Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON FRENCH LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study
A Charlotte Mason Picture Study

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Picture Study Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly First Grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study Lesson 

WHAT

“The six-year-old child should begin both to express himself and to appreciate, and his appreciation (of art) should be well in advance of his power to express what he sees or imagines.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First of all, while a young child may not be able to create a masterpiece of art, he is capable of appreciating the beauty found in art and picture study.

WHAT WE ARE USING

We are using art print sets from Riverbend Press because they are beautiful, a complete set, and affordable. I choose one artist per term, so I have three artists for the whole year.

ARTISTS

  • Winslow Homer
  • John Constable
  • Sandro Botticelli

BIOGRAPHIES

Picture Study
Picture Study

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Picture Study Lesson as occurring one time a week. Also, each lesson lasts about 10 minutes.

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study
A Charlotte Mason Picture Study

WHY

“We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First, the A Delectable Education ladies mention art is beautiful. Since Charlotte Mason believed education should provide beauty, art helps fit in as an important piece of the puzzle.

“There are always those present with us whom God whispers in the ear, through whom He sends a direct message to the rest. Among these messengers are the great painters who interpret to us some of the meanings of life. To read their messages aright is a thing due from us.” (Mason, vol. 4)

Also, art focuses attention and allows observation of details. These two skills help serve all of the other subjects. Therefore, art study is essential.

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study
A Charlotte Mason Picture Study

HOW

“When children have begun regular lessons (that is, as soon as they are six), this sort of study of pictures should not be left to chance, but they should take one artist after another, term by term, and study quietly some half-dozen reproductions of his work in the course of a term.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Six pictures, done by one artist, are studied per term. Therefore, there are three artists studied per year.

A Charlotte Mason Picture Studies Lesson

  1. First, the child looks at the picture for a few minutes. If this is the first picture observed by this author, a brief biography can be given by the artist as a means of introduction.
  2. Second, the child should try to see the picture in their mind fully and in detail.
  3. Then, Mama flips the picture over.
  4. Next, ask the child what he saw. This is essentially narration for Picture Study.
  5. Then, as an option, Charlotte Mason Poetry notes of Lessons suggest: ask the children questions concerning the season, time of day, river and chief features.
  6. Finally, ask them what they think is the story of the picture. Show that every artist has an idea which he wishes to be interpreted.

“As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it.” (Mason, vol. 6)

It is enough, more than enough really, for the child to do the work. It is not necessary for Mama to do a big lecture. When the child observes the beautiful art print, and tries to see it fully, it becomes his own.

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study
A Charlotte Mason Picture Study

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Picture Study Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON PICTURE STUDY LESSON RESOURCES

A Charlotte Mason Picture Study
A Charlotte Mason Picture Study

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! Above all, they are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

PART 3

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

 

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly First Grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson 

WHAT

“In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Above all, Charlotte Mason advocated time in nature as essential. The child who spends ample outdoor time gains much, such as: physical growth, observational skills, sense of beauty, reverence for life, classification skills, and a basic foundation for science. Therefore, daily outdoor time is beneficial.

She goes onto say:

“…here is the mother’s opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit, without further help, or knowledge of hers.” (Mason, vol. 1)

This takes some pressure off of the mother, or teacher, since it is best if the child observes, attends, questions, and consequently learns for himself. Besides that, the goal eventually, is for the child to provide a self-education.

PRACTICALITY OF SPECIAL STUDIES

Next, Charlotte Mason discusses the educational practicality of sight-seeing in nature:

“This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing valuable work; she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses of an object at the right moment–when they ask, ‘What is it?’ and ‘What is it for?’” (Mason, vol. 1)

While experiencing Special Studies, a child will learn how to investigate, question, and explore, as a result. They will also increase their vocabulary skills, plus gain valuable ideas exploring nature.

 

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

WHAT WE ARE USING

 

SPECIAL STUDIES

Next up, the book list!

First, since we plan to use these for many early elementary years, I made sure to include a nice variety! Charlotte Mason refers to a wide feast, so I sought out many good authors to include over the next few years for Special Studies books.

Hopefully, you find some of these books at your local library, since tons of books can be expensive.

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) I have a love affair with good books. Therefore, I have been collecting books since my boys were babies. Many of these we have already enjoyed in our preschool years. However, since they will be great for Special Studies, I’m pulling them out again!

Consequently, because we will use these books for many years, they are a great investment.

Since it is recommended to pay attention to the seasons, I have broken up the books we are reading by term.

FALL SPECIAL STUDIES BOOKS

(Wildflowers, Fruit, Spiders, Birds)

WINTER SPECIAL STUDIES BOOKS

(Evergreen Trees, Birds in Winter)

 

SPRING SPECIAL STUDIES BOOKS 

(Wildflowers, Trees, Insects)

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

OBJECT LESSON

Additionally, I’m using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock, because this is such a valuable tool for Nature Study. A Delectable Education, Ambleside Online, and Exploring Nature with Children all recommend this book. Mamas read the relevant parts of the book to prepare for a Special Studies or Object Lesson. Therefore, its going to be a staple for the years to come!

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Special Studies Lesson as occurring one time a week. Each lesson lasts about 10 minutes. Typically, you could read about 30-40 pages per term. Therefore, you would read about 4 pages out of your book per lesson.

Additionally, Charlotte Mason describes the Object Studies Lesson as occurring one time a week. Each lesson lasts about 10 minutes and should occur outdoors, if possible.

WHY

“Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun–the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for?” (Mason, vol. 1)

Nature Study is so valuable for children; perhaps it is the most valuable lesson. A child gains so much by studying nature because the acquired skills easily assist him into adulthood. Since Natural History (Nature Study) serves as a foundation for all Sciences, we will be spending time in nature daily.

“It would be well if all we persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in.” (Mason, vol. 1)

BENEFITS OF SPECIAL STUDIES

There are many benefits of spending time in Nature, so Special Studies is a vital lesson.

  • First, according to this article, nature supports mental health.
  • Second, physical activity outdoors helps improve academic performance.
  • Third, nature helps one manage stress.
  • Fourth, spending time outdoors is good for physical health, because it lowers blood pressure and supports longevity.

“Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight for life.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Perhaps most important, as children observe Nature, it allows them to begin to build a relationship with God. When a child observes nature, he observes the magnificence of God’s creation. I wish to provide my boys a full, rich, and interesting life, therefore, observing nature daily is one way to do this.

Finally, Ms. Mason states:

“And, pari passu with his knowledge of things, his vocabulary grows; for it is a law of the mind that what we know, we struggle to express. This fact accounts for many of the apparently aimless questions of children; they are in quest, not of knowledge, but of words to express the knowledge they have.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

HOW

 

SPECIAL STUDIES LESSON READINGS

  • First, the parent reads to the child. For a six year old, many parents can expect to read the school books to the children. Once the child is able to read the materials on their own, they can begin reading their own school books.
  • Second, the parent asks the child to tell back what he heard. This is called narration.
  • Finally, through this process, the child knows the materials.

This process of reading, narrating, and knowing was the typical method of a lesson in a Charlotte Mason education.

Also, a sample of a Charlotte Mason Lesson Notes from a 1B Class is shown on Charlotte Mason Poetry.

OBJECT STUDIES LESSONS

“Children should be encouraged to watch, patiently and quietly, until they learn something of the habits and history of bee, ant, wasp, spider, hairy caterpillar, dragon-fly, and whatever of larger growth comes in their way.” (Mason, vol. 1)

  • First, go outside. This could be a park, a field, or even, your own backyard.
  • Then, observe an object from your Special Studies. Depending on what season you are in, this could be wildflowers in bloom during Spring, or evergreen trees in winter. Since these are just examples, you would choose what makes sense for where you live.
  • Next, Mama could say something like, “Wow, look at the interesting flowers!”
  • Then, let the child observe the flowers.
  • Finally, Mama could then say, “What shape are the petals?”

NOTES ABOUT OBJECT STUDIES LESSONS

  • First, try to allow the child observe as much as he can on his own.
  • Then, let the child have time to ask questions from what he is noticing.
  • It is okay for Mama to not know the answers. For example, I’m prepared to say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out together.”

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON SPECIAL STUDIES LESSON RESOURCES

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly First Grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

WHAT

First, Charlotte Mason discusses the educative and practical purposes of geography:

“for educative purposes, the child must learn such geography, and in such a way, that his mind shall thereby be stored with ideas, his imagination with images…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Geography supplies the child with an education, yet it also gives beautiful ideas and pictures for the mind.

Then, Charlotte Mason goes onto say, “…for practical purposes he must learn such geography only as, the nature of his mind considered, he will able to remember; in other words, he must learn what interests him.” (Mason, vol. 1)

It is not necessary to simply have children recite facts and names of places, since a child may not remember dry facts. Instead, we can seek to make geography interesting, so that the child retains more knowledge.

“The first ideas of geography, the lessons on place, which should make a child observant of local geography, of the features of his own neighborhood, its heights and hollows, and level lands, its streams and ponds, should be gained, as we have seen, out of doors..” (Mason, vol. 1)

Finally, the geography lesson can be very simple to accomplish, since you can simply use whatever outdoor situation you have in your own yard. It is not necessary to travel daily to a beautiful natural park, though that is always nice to work in when you can!

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson Pack

WHAT WE ARE READING FOR GEOGRAPHY

Since I trust these two resources immensely, we are following A Delectable Education and Ambleside’s recommendations for geography.

ELEMENTARY GEOGRAPHY

For the first year of formal education, Form 1B (First Grade), we will read 40 pages of Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Geography. This includes Lessons 1-13. Examples of lesson topics include: Our World, The Star, The Sunshine, Day and Night, and Poles and Axis.

  • Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason – I prefer to have an actual hardcopy of the book to hold, and read, therefore, I choose to purchase this book. It is only $9, and will serve us for a few years as a geography resource.
  • Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason – Also, if you prefer, this is a free version of the book.

BOOK OF CHILDREN LIVING AROUND THE WORLD

Additionally, it is recommended to read a book about children living around the world. Since we live in Texas, I choose books written about places close to home. Therefore, we will be reading:

  • Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling – I’m so excited for this book, because the illustrations are lovely! The story begins with an Indian boy and the tree. Here is the description from Beautiful Feet Books: The history of the Great Plains and the Santa Fe Trail is told in text and pictures by focusing on a cottonwood tree and the events that happen around it. The 200 year pageant of history on the Santa Fe Trail will acquaint readers with the story of the earliest American Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, French Voyageurs, buffalo stampedes, and finally the Conestoga wagons moving west.
  • Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski – This book tells the story of Birdie, a young girl, who has moved with her family to the backwoods of Florida. She is excited to begin their strawberry fields. This tale shows the life of living on a farm. I was born in Tampa, FL, and we have been growing small strawberry plants, so I’m eager to share this story with my children!
  • Children of Foreign Lands by Elizabeth McCrady – A classic collection of stories about the everyday lives of children from around the world, lavishly illustrated in full color and black and white. The stories include stories about Norway, China, Holland, Mexico, Hawai’i, Siam, Spain, and Arabia.
  • Little Folks of Many Lands by Lulu Maude Chance. Since my boys have loved Children of Foreign Lands so much, we will read this one next!

 



Here are all of the wonderful Holling C. Holling books. I’m slowly acquiring them all because we will eventually read through them.

    

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes a Geography Lesson as occurring twice a week. Each lesson should last about 15 minutes.

WHY

“But the peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas, and to furnish the imagination with pictures. Herein lies the educational value of geography.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason education seeks to supply rich ideas for the child, to carry him through life. She says, “the question is, not how many things does he know, but how much does he know about each thing.”(Mason, vol. 1)

Next, here is a beautiful CM quote that I just adore.

“But let him be at home in any single region; let him see, with the mind’s eye, the people at their work and at their play, the flowers and fruits in their seasons, the beasts, each in its habitat; and let him see all sympathetically, that is, let him follow the adventures of a traveller; and he knows more, is better furnished with ideas, than if he had learnt all the names on all the maps” (Mason, vol. 1)

This quote above is perhaps one of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes because it shows clearly and visually what the child can gain in the geography lesson.

HOW

“In the first place, the child gets his rudimentary notions of geography as he gets his first notions of natural science, in those long hours out of doors of which we have already seen the importance.” (Mason, vol. 1)

After morning lessons, Charlotte Mason advocated ample time spent out of doors on a daily basis. Thus, geography study would continue in the afternoons.

FORMAL GEOGRAPHY LESSONS

Formal Geography lessons for a young student can be very simple since they can occur outdoors, in whatever environment you have on hand. In addition to reading the above books for our morning geography lesson, we will continue to explore the ideas gained from our lessons, outside in the yard.

  • First, the child gains a “pictorial geography” (Mason, vol. 1). The child can easily imagine a forest by observing the trees outside, a lake from a small creek, and the mountains from the hills. Since the child has access to trees, creeks, and hills, (or whatever your particular landscape outdoors looks like) the child can use these to understand larger concepts such as a forest, lake, or mountains.
  • Then, have the child make islands, isthmuses, mountains, straights, and lakes in a tray of sand. This was taken from A Charlotte Mason Plenary’s resources, therefore, I believe it be essential.
  • The child can next draw maps in the sand with sticks, or a simple rough sketch of a map with pencil and paper. Ms. Mason suggests to “always give a rough sketch-map of the route you took in a given journey” (Mason, vol. 1)
  • Then, read books of travelers or “give him next intimate knowledge, with the fullest details, of … any county or district of his own country” (Mason, vol. 1).

Geography Pack
Geography Pack

INFORMAL AFTERNOON GEOGRAPHY LESSONS

Afternoon lessons can cover a multitude of geography learning because the child is encouraged to be outdoors as much as possible. These lessons make up Physical Geography.

These are great topics to touch on throughout the year…not necessarily on a daily basis.

It is easier for a child to think about concrete ideas, and then advance to more abstract thinking. Therefore, the steps Ms. Mason lays out, follow this sequence:

  • First, learn to observe the position of the sun, in order to tell the time of day. (Mason, vol. 1
  • Next, observe the weather (ex. clouds, rain, snow, hail).
  • Third, learn about distance by measuring the child’s steps or the steps of a sibling.
  • A child can also learn about directions – north, east, south, and west. Teach your child the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • Then, a child can learn to use a compass.
  • Once the child understands directions, you can move onto learning about boundaries, such as the boundaries of this field, the boundaries of my front yard, etc.
  • Finally, they can learn to draw rough sketches of maps of what they see. The plan is “done with chalk on a rock, or with walking-stick in the gravel.” (Mason, vol. 1)

 

MAPS

First, Ms. Mason says:

“…geography should be learned chiefly from maps” (Mason, vol. 1).

We can, therefore, include maps to compliment living books, because they allow the child another means to explore geography. Maps provide such useful tools for a child, therefore, a child must learn to use a map well.

Ms. Mason states: “Maps must be carefully used in this kind of work,–a sketch-map following the traveller’s progress, to be compared finally with a complete map of the region” (Mason, vol. 1).

Since we have Maps and The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. , we may pull these out from time to time! I was lucky to find these at Half Price Books, since the price is so good!

“At the same time, he gets his first notions of a map from a rude sketch, a mere few lines and dots, done with pencil and paper, or, better still, with a stick in the sand or gravel” (Mason, vol. 1)

A child should learn:

…the meaning of a map and how to use it” (Mason, vol. 1).

Also, I have this LOVELY map, and this magnetic chalkboard. I love the magnetic chalkboard because we can display our children’s artwork on it, as well as use it for a chalkboard.

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON GEOGRAPHY RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Additionally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information,

check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

9 Great Literature Books for Elementary Student

A Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson

9 Great Literature Books for Elementary Student
9 Great Literature Books for Elementary Student

 

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama. Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly First Grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson

WHAT

FAIRY TALES

Albert Einstein said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read more fairy tales.”

Since I’m homeschooling my son for the first time this Fall, I focus first on a Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson for a very young Elementary student. It is recommended to cover three Fairy Tales per term. Since there are three terms per year in a Charlotte Mason education, you should cover about nine Fairy Tales per year. In addition, you should read three Fables per term. This also adds up to nine Fables per year.

“But let them have tales of the imagination, scenes laid in other lands and other times, heroic adventures, hairbreadth escapes, delicious fairy tales in which they are never roughly pulled up by the impossible–even where all is impossible, and they know it, and yet believe.” (Mason, vol. 1)

WHAT WE ARE USING

I’m choosing to use the Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. We also have Grimm’s Fairy Tales since this and Anderson’s Fairy Tales were recommended on the official schedule for a beginning student. Additionally, I’m using this BEAUTIFULLY illustrated book of Aesop’s Fables. Because I continue to hear how much young elementary students loves these two books, I’m very excited for this subject!

“Fables…should form the basis of moral instruction.” (Mason, vol. 2)

POETRY

Poetry is also included in Literature. A poem, from a good anthology, should be read daily to students. We are using A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, and I’m so happy because Tasha Tudor illustrated this version! Also, since we love Winnie the Pooh, we are reading A.A. Milne’s When We Were Young and Now We Are Six for poetry options.

Ms. Mason says in Home Education, that all children’s lesson-books “should be written with literary power.” 

 

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes a Literature Lesson occurring twice a week, and should last about 20 minutes per lesson.  I’m choosing to alternate a Fairy Tale and a Fable each week, because there are only two Literature Lessons per week.

Also, a great goal is to read poetry to your children each afternoon. I plan to implement this after Nature Study (future post coming on this subject!). Since we already typically share an afternoon snack, I plan to read aloud a poem or two during this time.

Finally, we plan to continue with our afternoon read aloud and bedtime readings, as we do now. The books for these read alouds are carefully chosen for their authors, ideas, and great stories. I look forward to diving into these with my kiddos because we have already begun a few since they just couldn’t wait!

SUGGESTED GREAT READ ALOUDS

 

While this list does NOT include all of the great options for read aloud choices for the very young student, here is what we are planning to read for our First Grade year!

9 Great Literature Books for Elementary Student
9 Great Literature Books for Elementary Student

HOW

“It is the very nature of an idea to grow: as the vegetable germ secretes that it lives by, so, fairly implant an idea in the child’s mind, and it will secrete its own food, grow, and bear fruit in the form of a succession of kindred ideas.” (Mason, vol. 1)

STEPS

  • First, read a Fairy Tale or Fable for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Then, ask the child to narrate back what they heard.
  • Most importantly, this method of narration, where the child puts what he heard into his own words, allows the child to know the material.

According to Charlotte Mason, a Literature Lesson could be: read a Fairy Tale for about ten minutes, then ask your student to narrate back what they heard for about the next ten minutes.

For the afternoon Poetry reading, you simply read aloud a poem or two to your child. You do not have to ask for a Narration at this time from your child.

Finally, for the afternoon/evening read alouds, the goal IS to ask for a narration by the student.

WHY

One of Charlotte Mason’s mentors said, “…much of the selfishness of the world is due, not to actual hard-heartedness, but to a lack of imaginative power.” (Mason, vol. 2). 

It is necessary to explore Literature with our children because we are exposing them to the books and thoughts that develop character. J.H. Newman said, “literature stands related to man as science stands to nature.”

Also, in Home Education, Charlotte Mason says, “…for it is only as we have it in us to let a person or a cause fill the whole stage of the mind, to the exclusion of self-occupation, that we are capable of large-hearted action on behalf of that person or cause.” (vol. 1)

Children are deserving of the very best materials, and access to the very best thinkers, ideas, and stories through Literature. Emily Kiser, from A Delectable Education, says that literature is knowledge touched with emotion, and therefore, helps children find their place in the world. 

In conclusion, Ms. Mason states, “Therefore, the selection of their first lesson-books is a matter of grave importance, because it rests with these to give children the idea that knowledge is supremely attractive and that reading is delightful.” (vol. 1)

FAVORITE RESOURCES

 

Books about Books for Literature Lesson
Books about Books for Literature Lesson

 

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON WRITING LITERATURE RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Additionally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information, feel free to check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! Since they are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

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cursive writing practice

A Charlotte Mason Writing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Writing Lesson

cursive writing practice
cursive writing practice

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama. Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly First Grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

The New Handwriting
The New Handwriting

A CHARLOTTE MASON WRITING LESSON

WHAT

Since I’m homeschooling my son for the first time in the Fall, I choose to focus first on completing a Charlotte Mason Writing Lesson for a very young elementary student.

First, Charlotte Mason recommends The New Handwriting as a wonderful example and model of handwriting. The creator of The New Handwriting says, “…variety and beauty of form are attractive, even to little children, and that the attempt to create something that interests them, cheers and crowns their stupendous efforts with a pleasure that cannot be looked for in the task of creating monotonous shapes.” (Mason, vol. 1)

When a child (or adult!) is engaging in something interesting, they are more likely to focus, concentrate, take pride, and do good work. In my experience, I do well at something I’m most interested in, because it matters to me. Therefore, if the handwriting is beautiful to the child, they will delight in their achievements, and want to continue to produce neat writing.

GOALS

The goal of writing will be to accomplish “…a single line which is as exactly as possible a copy of the characters set.” (Mason, vol. 1)

The child will eventually begin to do copywork carefully and perfectly.

“It is sometimes objected that this elaborate and beautiful handwriting will interfere with a characteristic ‘hand,’ but it seems to me that to have a beautiful, instead of a commonplace, basis for handwriting is a great gain.” (Mason, vol. 1)

I’m choosing to follow a Charlotte Mason philosophy, partly because she attempts to find beauty in education. Albert Einstein said, “The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” Also, throughout the Bible, there are several references to seek truth, beauty, and goodness. Since Charlotte Mason valued the Bible so greatly, I believe she aimed to educate children in a beautiful manner.

cursive writing
cursive writing

 

WHEN

“Let the writing lesson be short; it should not last more than five or ten minutes.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason says writing lessons should take place daily and last about five or ten minutes.

“First, let the child accomplish something perfectly in every lesson–a stroke, a pothook, a letter.” (Mason, vol. 1)

The child is expected to perfectly form the letter or words daily, as this would be an ideal lesson.

“Secure that the child begins by making perfect letters and is never allowed to make faulty ones, and the rest he will do for himself; as for ‘a good hand,’ do not hurry him; his ‘handwriting’ will come by-and-by…” (Mason, vol. 1)

A great beginning point would be to perfectly form one letter each day.

wooden letters
wooden letters

HOW

“But the child should have practice in printing before he begins to write. First, let him print the simplest of the capital letters with single curves and straight lines. When he can make the capitals and large letters, with some firmness and decision, he might go on to the small letters…” (Mason, vol. 1)

In the beginning, a very young child should practice writing letters in sand. Then, he can write letters in the air using his fingers. This air wiring is done because it is beneficial for the child to picture the letter in their mind.

“At this stage the chalk and blackboard are better than pen and paper, as it is well that the child should rub out and rub out until his own eye is satisfied with the word or letter he has written.” (Mason, vol. 1)

After these steps are mastered, they can write with chalk, and finally a pencil and paper.

clay letters and writing
clay letters and writing

STEPS

A natural order of handwriting progression, according to Charlotte Mason, could be:

  1. Write strokes
  2. Write Uppercase Letters (one at a time)
  3. Write Lowercase Letters (one at a time)
  4. Write one word
  5. Write small phrase or sentence

DICTATION

The goal is to hear spoken words from Mama, and write them down, or dictate them. Also, the children are expected to see words on a page, and copy them. There is no need to have a special book for this; simply dictating or copying from their school books is enough. Since living books are used in a Charlotte Mason, the words already in their school books are an excellent choice to copy from.

Language develops through the ear, eye, and hand. Therefore, hearing the spoken words and writing them down, as well as visually seeing the words and writing them down, are useful skills for a child.

Copywork
Copywork

WHY

Laura Ingalls Wilder said, “The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”

As a child grows, he will find some need to write because it is practical. Writing is a way of thinking and processing your thoughts. It is also effective because its serves as a form of communication with others. Also, you can use it to remember important details or to make lists of items that you need.

Finally, writing is another way to see beauty, in a perfectly, carefully formed letter or word. A child delights in his carefully mastered handwriting because he has done well.

FAVORITE RESOURCES

Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Writing Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON WRITING LESSON RESOURCES

  • A Delectable Education podcast on Writing for Form 1B (First Grade)
  • Another A Delectable Education podcast on Language Acquisition
  • New Handwriting Resource for Teachers
  • Set of inexpensive wooden letters to play with and form words
  • These wooden letters are also BEAUTIFUL!
  • Beautiful Waldorf Inspired Chalk
  • Magnetic Wall Chalkboard (We love this one because we can display our artwork on it also)
  • Uppercase and Lowercase Cursive ABC Trace-n-Erase Chalkboard
  • Small Travel and Trace Chalkboard Set (We have this for the car and we all LOVE it)
  • LOVE this small, chalkboard because it reminds me of a vintage style
  • Or, this pack of 12 lap chalkboards (since it is perfect for ALL of your children and you can keep some in the car!)
  • Beginning pencils
  • Kindergarten/First Grade Composition Notebook
  • Not necessary, but BEAUTIFUL Wooden Alphabet Tracing Board
  • Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education (pg. 233-240)
  • Exploring Nature with Children Curriculum – Occasionally, I may pull in some copywork from here because this resource provides samples of excellent writing that can be copied by the child. (TIP: If you click on this link, make sure you click Preview to check out the journal! Also, be sure to scroll all the way down to view a sample of November.)

OUR PICKS

Additionally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information, feel free to check out these previous blog posts:

Thank you so much for checking in! Please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

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