outdoor time

Thoughts Going Into Our Second Term and Booklist

chalkboard side
going into our second term

First, I share what thoughts I had as we finished up our first term in a Charlotte Mason education. Next, I write a list of living books we will use during the second termFinally, I include Charlotte Mason exam resources.

Thoughts About our First Term

When we finished our first term exam week, I sat down and reflected on both how my son narrated what he knew, and I also thought about how I would like to personally push myself farther in educating him well. Here are the notes I came up with:

Subjects and Takeaways

Daily Lessons

Bible: In the beginning, I was most reserved about our Bible lessons. My fear came from within, because growing up, I did not read the Bible much. However, as we moved into our third week, I relaxed and found a groove. We looked forward to this lesson more and more.

  • Takeaway: In the beginning, I was consistent in finding beautiful art pictures to go along with our Bible readings. However, I slipped in the last couple of weeks and didn’t present those beautiful images to him. So, I would like to bring that practice back.

Writing: We first focused on forming the letters – first the capital letters, and then the lower case letters. By the end of the term, my son was writing a few words and small phrases.

  • Takeaway: I would like to continue to find encouraging and beautiful words from his school books for him to practice writing, and also begin dictation.

Nature Study: We had a good start to nature study. By the end of the term, we certainly were in a regular rhythm of stepping outdoors and taking a walk in nature daily.

  • Takeaway: I would like us to develop a regular practice of nature journaling at least two times per week. Additionally, I plan to ask my son to specifically draw twigs, birds, and bugs he observes. Even thought we loved one of our nature study books, and didn’t quite get into another one, I felt like I may change to a different book for the change in season. Also, personally, I would like to read in the Handbook of Nature Study for ten minutes per day to help with the nature study lessons.

Math: I loved the math curriculum we choose. It is very open and go, which is nice to have as a busy mama.

  • Takeaway: I feel like I may need to move slower and require full attention a bit more with this subject. I’m also moving the math lesson to earlier in the morning, so his mind is more fresh, and he is likely to pay attention a bit more. When we resume lessons, I plan to review math symbols with him and the concept of subtraction, until I feel he has a solid understanding of it.

Reading: We began by simply learning the sounds for letters – first the capital letters, and then the lower case letters. By the end of the term, we had moved onto making words together, and reading them. While this seems challenging for my son, we are enjoying it and he is recognizing more words in print.

  • Takeaway: I plan to continue alternating learning sight words, and then word building, using words from previous lessons. I found this took a few minutes of planning the day before, but was fun for my son, for the most part, in his reading lessons.

Delightful Lessons

French: French was fun to learn! I have to admit I don’t have any experience learning French, so I was rather intimidated in the beginning. However, we really enjoyed looking at pictures together, learning vocabulary, singing French songs, and listening to Little Red Riding Hood in French.

  • Takeaway: Since we enjoyed the short story, I plan to continue using the same story until we finish it. Also, we will learn two new french poems and two new french songs this term, as well as new vocabulary.

Drawing: Drawing is a delight for my son and I to do together. However, that was no surprise to me!

  • Takeaway: As mentioned before, I would like my son to draw twigs, birds, and bugs specifically during the winter months. Also, in general, I would like to encourage him to use charcoal and his watercolors more frequently.

Recitation: My son enjoyed reciting a poem last term, as well as a Christmas hymn and part of a Bible verse.

  • Takeaway: We didn’t cover quite as much scripture recitation as I would like. So, I plan to make sure to focus a bit more on reciting Bible passages beautifully and carefully.

Literature: Anything that involves a good read aloud story is typically enjoyed by my family. My son really learned narration well with Aesop’s Fables and often asked for more and more of them.

  • Takeaway: I would also like to instill a daily reading of poetry in the afternoon for fun. It is a delightful respite in our day, and I simply need to focus on making it happen daily. We will also add in new free read aloud books for afternoon time.

History: History was easily one of my son’s favorite lessons this term. The D’Aulaire Biography books were a favorite of his!

  • Takeaway: While I did show him maps on occasion, I would like to be consistently show him a map/globe of what we will be reading through before the daily lesson. We will be also continuing with our History spine, Native American book, and add in a new Native American book to read.

Geography: Geography was another subject I was apprehensive about teaching in the beginning. I’m still a little nervous about it. However, my son seemed to really enjoy the books we read about other children living in far off lands, and we did look at the globe quite a bit in geography lessons.

  • Takeaway: I plan to continue with a bit more focus on the afternoon lessons in Geography. First, beginning with observing the position of the sun, observing the weather, measuring our footsteps, talking about directions and beginning to use a compass. We did some of this last term, but it wasn’t as consistent as I would like.

Some Subjects We Are Simply Changing Materials

Music Appreciation: We enjoyed listening to Peter Tchaikovsky immensely last term! We will simply continue with a new composer this term.

Picture Study: We are studying a new artist in the second term. I also thought we could perhaps visit our first museum.

Singing: Singing was such a delight in our days. We plan to continue in the same manner, just singing new songs for the new term.

The Riches

Music/piano: My husband is a musician and a Recording Engineer. Since he is an expert in music, I asked him to teach my son piano lessons once a week. My intention was also to work with him at home most afternoons.

  • Takeaway: Since my husband is extremely busy working, he didn’t give him lessons regularly. Therefore, I’m hoping we can keep our goal of piano lessons once a week, with me working with him in the afternoons at home.

Handicrafts: The handicrafts lesson was a joy for all of us. We really enjoyed having this break in the midst of harder lessons.

  • Takeaway: We will continue some from the first term (origami, finger knitting, chores such as making bed, brushing teeth, putting away laundry), and add in new ones like folding laundry, wood working, and knitting or weaving.
outdoor time
outdoor time

New Books for our Second Term

Quick Note: this is not even close to a comprehensive list of books we are using this term. This is simply the new books we are adding in this term. Also, booklists are so subjective! Finding the right books for your child is so enjoyable and can make lessons joyous as well.

Nature Study: Burgess Bird Book for Children and Among the Meadow People

Read Alouds: Peter Pan, Pinnochio and Peter Rabbit (we are re-reading Pinnochio and Peter Rabbit!)

History: Children of the Earth and Sky

Geography: Carmen of the Golden Coast and Little Folks of Many Lands

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

favorite living books
favorite living books

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.

One stop shop for all of our favorite resources:https://www.amazon.com/shop/nourishedchildren

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.

favorite living books

Ten Favorite Living Books for First Grade

Ten Favorite Living Books for First Grade

favorite living books
favorite living books

 

First, we discuss the definition of living books. Then, we explore the significance of why we choose living books for educating our children. Next, read on for our favorite living books, so far, by subject. Finally, I list resources. Also, if you are interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason education in general, I list more information about her educational philosophy at the bottom.

Living books definition

In Parents and Children, Charlotte Mason says:

“They must grow up upon the best. 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 to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told.” (Mason, Vol. 2)

Living books are becoming more of a known idea. According to Living Books Library, living books contain “literary power, ideas, virtuosity, inspiration, narrative, imagination, and span generations.”

  • This is a great podcast describing more about living books.
  • Ambleside online also describes living books in this article here.

Why choose living books?

Charlotte 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.” (Mason, Vol. 1)

Our favorite living books are the kind that make my son request chapter after chapter, or section after section, after we have read our portion for school time. They are the type of books that allow him to retain the facts, details, and storyline, often many days, or even a week, after we have read it. I can ask him to tell what he heard me read, and although sometimes he doesn’t feel like giving me a narration, he often surprises me to the extent of what he remembers. A living book allows learning to take place; not just learning is happening though, a lifelong love of learning is also fostered.

NOW FOR THE RECOMMENDED BOOKS…

LIVING BOOKS

I have always had a love affair with books. Books introduced me to various lands and lives that I otherwise would have not encountered. Books offered me refuge and respite when I needed it as I was growing up. It was easy to get lost in a good story. I’m so thankful to share this love of great literature with my children too.

TEN FAVORITE LIVING BOOKS FOR FIRST GRADE

Geography

Children of Foreign Lands – This book is a collection of stories written about children living in foreign lands. There are eight different countries included, and the illustrations are amazing. Both of my children are captivated by the stories, therefore, this book comes highly recommended.

favorite living books
favorite living books

History

D’Aulaire Biography Book Set – We have read Leif the Lucky and Columbus so far. My oldest son really pays attention to these stories (even when I think he may not be listening). Beautiful Feet Books sells the biography pack, and they are a better price when they are on sale.

Natural history

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children – This may be my oldest son’s all time favorite collection of stories. If I had allowed it, I’m sure we would have read through the entire chapter book in one sitting. Each story is written about a different animal, and told from the perspective of the town veterinarian. The illustrations that go with the stories capture my son’s interest. Also, my youngest son is sure to cuddle us with us while we are reading this book.

Tommy Smith’s Animals – Another book in this series was used in Charlotte Mason’s day. After reading a bit about recommended ages, I decided to begin with Tommy Smith’s Animals. This book hit the nail on the head, and my son is captivated. The story is about a young boy who is not kind to animals. After having a meeting to discuss what should be done about Tommy Smith, the animals settle on encountering with him one by one. They teach them about themselves, and encourage Tommy to respect the animals.

favorite living books
favorite living books

Literature

Aesop’s Fables for Children – I have to really slow down reading these to my son, because he wants to read ALL of the fables! I have two versions of this book since we love it so much. We also love this one for the illustrations.

Read alouds

Heidi – First, we watched Heidi on netflix during one weekend where we had been very physically active. My son was super interested when I then told him we had the chapter book of Heidi. My husband’s mother had a collection of classic books, which my husband inherited. I’m so grateful to share these rich stories with my children in our free time.

Boxcar Children – My oldest son especially is fond of trains. From the time he was two, he was building wooden train sets and configuring them in different ways.  He loves taking train rides, and hearing train stories. So, naturally, reading the Boxcar Children was a good fit for my family. I have great memories of reading the Boxcar Children series when I was growing up, and its fun to re-read them with my boys.

Billy and Blaze – I first saw these books at a Christian bookstore in Homestead Heritage Farms. After browsing through a few books, I knew my horse-loving son would love these books. So, I purchased this series, and my youngest son just loves them too!

Charlotte’s Web – Growing up, I loved the book and movie Charlotte’s Web. My son has seen the movies on netflix, and we have read the chapter book many times through together. The first time we read it aloud, he was four. I clearly remember him almost in tears when after reading one chapter, when I wanted to end the reading until the next day. He loves it so much!

favorite living books
favorite living books

Poetry

When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six – We began afternoon poetry readings before we started our official first year of school. I can remember being shocked at how both of my boys asked for more poetry after reading a couple of poems from this book. The illustrations are delightful. We have also enjoyed Winnie the Pooh together, and this collection of poems by the same author, A. A. Milne, is a great book to add to your rich read aloud collection.

favorite living books
favorite living books

Drawing

Brush Drawing Course – While this is not a living book, I wanted to include it here because my son loves art. This has been a great practice in learning basic brush drawing, or watercolor, technique. We thoroughly enjoy this time together, because we are completing the lessons side by side and are learning together.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

LIVING BOOKS RESOURCES

favorite living books
favorite living books

OUR PICKS

I’m sharing these here because these are my son’s FAVORITES. He always asks for more when we pick these books up!

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 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.

History Lesson Biography Pack

A Charlotte Mason History Lesson

A Charlotte Mason History Lesson

History Lesson Biography Pack
History Lesson Biography Pack

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason History 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 History Lesson

WHAT

“The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times–a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story-books.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First, Charlotte Mason reiterates we should begin with the child. Then, we work outward from there. Since we live in America, this is where we will begin for a Charlotte Mason History lesson.

The first year student should hear Heroic Age tales from his own country. Therefore, the time explored in History spans 1000-1600 AD. So, this period covers tales during the time of Discovery of America, which is before colonization.

 

WHAT WE ARE READING FOR HISTORY

While there are many good quality Living Books, this is what we are reading:

These seem like appropriate selections for a six year old. Also, I’m including picture books, and inspiring tales to hold their interest.

HISTORY SPINE

Charlotte Mason used a History spine. In other words, one book was used to cover a large period of time. Therefore, a spine is often used for several years. I choose America First: One Hundred Stories From Our Own History since it was recommended and was affordable.

While there will be only a few stories covered in our first formal year of education, the remainder of the book will be used for the upcoming early elementary years as our History spine.

OTHER HISTORY SPINE RECOMMENDATIONS

Also, you can find And There Was America for free here: archive.org.

 

America First History Lesson

BIBLIOGRAPHIES

 

“Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Next, Charlotte Mason advocated to read Biographies, in addition to the History spine. I choose Leif the Lucky and Columbus by Ingri D’Aulaire to start with, since they fit in the time period.

Also, I choose to order from Beautiful Feet Books. Right now, they are offering a D’Aulaire Biography pack 40% off! These books are such a great resource because they will be read for several years to support the History spine.

A Charlotte Mason History Lesson
A Charlotte Mason History Lesson

Also, one more recommended History Biography: The Book of Indians.

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes a History Lesson as occurring twice a week. Each lesson should last about 20 minutes.

WHY

Charlotte Mason placed the History Lesson second in importance behind the Bible Lesson. Therefore, it was very important to her.

“Their lessons, too, history and geography, should cultivate their conceptive powers” (Mason, vol. 1)

History lessons should inspire the child with wonderful concepts and ideas.

“Here, too, is a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas…” (Mason, vol. 1)

According to Living Books Library, “The best books reveal the living ideas of another mind that was very much alive when the potent ideas were put into words. We read and our living mind grabs hold of and runs with those ideas, feeds on them, is nourished by them.”

“Moral teaching falls, no doubt, within the providence of history…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Another article written by Living Books Library defines Living Books, “exemplify virtuous living.”

HOW

  • 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.

Charlotte Mason used a child’s natural “narration” skills as a starting place. She observed even very small preschool age children want to narrate their life, their play, their stories, and their experiences. So, Ms. Mason builds on this inherent capability in children.

Though I have not yet read this, I have heard Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass is a great resource. It shows a deeper understanding for the process of narration as a valuable tool for education. So, it may be worth a look.

MAPS

Additionally, we can include maps so our children can visually see America. This could occur before reading the lesson. Then, the lesson continues with the reading and narration.

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!

Also, I have these LOVELY maps, and I can’t wait to decorate our Homeschool space with them!

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 History Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON HISTORY RESOURCES

  • A Delectable Education podcast on Why Study History
  • Another A Delectable Education podcast on History Chronology
  • Suggestion of History Books podcast from A Delectable Education
  • Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education (pg. 279-295)

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! Also, 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.

Preschool Living Books

29 Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool Books

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Preschool Living Books
Preschool Living Books

 

First, I list our favorite preschool, or early years, read alouds! Next, I explain my journey of how I began homeschooling my children. Next, I discuss my favorite method and philosophy of Education.

  • Please keep reading to the bottom for some great homeschooling resources!

FAVORITE BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS

A big part of Charlotte Mason was her belief in God. However, I also come across another secular early years CM resource and it can be found here if that suits you better: Wildwood Curriculum.

BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

  1. The Jesus Storybook Bible – ABSOLUTELY our favorite Bible for the younger years!!!
  2. The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – gorgeous illustrations and more in line with a traditional King James version of the Bible…a nice transition before the real deal for little ones!
  3. The Random House Book of Bible Stories– gorgeous illustrations and more in line with a traditional King James version of the Bible…a nice transition before the real deal for little ones!
  4. The Wonder Book of Bible Stories – recommended by Ambleside online

FAVORITE GENTLE LEARNING BOARD BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

GENTLE LEARNING
GENTLE LEARNING

  1. 1 is One – Beautiful, timeless illustrations and gentle introduction to counting numbers 1 through 20
  2. Counting with Barefoot Critters – you can’t beat these sweet illustrations and carefully created stories for each number 1 through 12
  3. Adventures with Barefoot Critters: An ABC Book – the illustrations are incredible and I love how this story includes both ABC’s and the calendar months
  4. B is for Bear: A Natural Alphabet – a nature inspired alphabet book
  5. In a Pumpkin Shell – a beautifully illustrated alphabet book based on mother goose nursery rhymes
  6. A to Z Picture Book – wonderfully illustrated alphabet book by Gyo Fujikawa

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOKS TO PREPARE FOR HOME EDUCATION

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

Although I’m no Charlotte Mason expert, I believe these books in the list below, represent Living Books. These books:

  •      create imaginative play in my children
  •      contain beautiful stories that my children ask for over and over
  •      are comprised of beautiful literature and pictures
  •      inspire good values and
  •      are passed down from generation to generation

Preschool Living Books
Preschool Living Books

Charlotte Mason Preschool Books
Charlotte Mason Preschool Books

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

  1. Albert – a sweet story about a man overcoming his fears and how nature helped him learn how
  2. Blueberries for Sal – a sweet story, we just love almost everything from this author
  3. Corduroy – a sweet story of hope, adventure and an adorable bear
  4. Make Way for Ducklings – both kiddos (ages JUST now 4 and 5) LOVE this book
  5. Miss Rumphius – what a lovely story…I may have shed a tear or two… We have read this one MANY TIMES by request of my kiddos
  6. One Morning in Maine – I just love everything by this author
  7. Roxaboxen – what a lovely story about the freedom of childhood and playing in nature
  8. Story of Ferdinand – a lovely, classic story about self-control and kindness
  9. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit – my oldest REALLY loves these stories
  10. The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter – if you can swing the whole set, this is wonderful and my children love these stories! (The literature is rich, so its a nice preparatory for their future formal school readings)
  11. The Little Engine that Could – I love this version because of the lovely illustrations
  12. The Little House – a sweet tale of patience and kindness
  13. The Little Red Hen – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  14. The Three Bears – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  15. The Three Bill Goats Gruff – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  16. The Velveteen Rabbit – love this original version and illustrations
  17. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree – this one has made me cry happy tears each time I have read it aloud to my children
  18. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh – I can’t recommend this one enough! My boys love these stories
  19. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes – this version by Tomie DePaola looks fabulous!

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN/FIRST GRADE READERS

Finally, here are some suggested wonderful First Readers if you are Preschoolers are beginning to read on their own!

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

First Readers
First Readers

  1. Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury – my children BOTH love the stories in this Treasury. Its going to be a great stepping stone to reading on their own!
  2. Little Bear – My children LOVE these stories and I’m excited for them to learn read them aloud to me one day!
  3. Treadwell Primer – these contain the classic stories hopefully your kiddos will grow up with and be inspired to learn how to read
  4. Treadwell First Reader– these contain the classic stories hopefully your kiddos will grow up with and be inspired to learn how to read

PRESCHOOL YEARS

My greatest joy is spending as much time with my children as possible. Have you read The Five Love Languages? It was recommended to me by a friend to strengthen my marriage, and I highly recommend it! The most important thing, to me, is building a relationship with my family.

CHARLOTTE MASON

Charlotte WHO???

When I first heard about Charlotte Mason, I had NO CLUE who she was. I searched homeschooling styles, and took this quiz  and was surprised I scored the highest in a Charlotte Mason education style. Since I had no idea who she was, I did some research! WAY TOO MUCH RESEARCH.

Then, I reached out to the Peaceful Preschool Facebook group I was a part of, and the creator of the group, (and a very experienced homeschool mama) along with other mamas, steered me in the direction of some of my favorite and first Charlotte Mason resources: A Charlotte Mason Companion and For the Children’s Sake.

 

LOVE AT FIRST READ

From the first few pages into A Charlotte Mason Companion, I was IN DEEP! It was like the author, and Charlotte Mason herself, were speaking directly to my heart. Since what I was reading made so since much sense to me, I wanted to begin educating my children using the Charlotte Mason method immediately!

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOKS

The BEST WAY to learn about a Charlotte Mason Education is to read her volumes. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you begin with Volume 1 Home Education. Really, I recommend the whole set of Charlotte Mason’s volumes since they have SUCH great value to parents, mamas, home educators or anyone caring for children.

Home Education lays the foundation for children ages 0-9 years old therefore it is a perfect starting point for your preschoolers. Charlotte Mason (CM) stresses the importance of forming good habits, points out the value of spending long hours outdoors daily, reading good quality literature through read alouds, and introduces the concept of the early lessons. She recommended formal education began at age six for the child.

Some of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes:

  • “Never be within doors, when you can rightly be without.” CM Home Education pg. 42
  • “In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part in fresh air.” CM Home Education pg. 43
  • “An Observant child should be put in the way of Things worth observing.” CM Home Education pg. 69

 

 

EARLY YEARS (PRESCHOOL) CURRICULUM RESOURCES 

These are MY FAVORITE PRESCHOOL CM RESOURCES and I’m happy to share them with YOU!

  1. Ambleside Online – Year 0 Explanation and Book List (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  2. Charlotte Mason Help –  Preschool and Kindergarten Book List and Schedule (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  3. A Delectable Education – Episode 79 Podcast : The Early Years (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  4. A Charlotte Mason Soiree – Free Charlotte Mason Courses and a wonderful Facebook Community!
  5. Exploring Nature with Children – A Beautiful and Gentle Introduction to Nature Study that we LOVE! Make sure to click on “Preview” if you click on this link to see a sample of the curriculum!

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL BOOKS

Favorite-Books
Favorite-Books

Reading has always been a big part of my family culture. My mom would scour countless garage sales for me and bring home boxes of books, much to my delight! I was an early reader and an avid reader and I know this is because my parents and Grammie made it a priority to read aloud to me daily. As I entered into middle school, my parent’s built their dream home and created a room dedicated to books…so we had our very own library!!!

Finally, I have used the Early Years Curriculum Resources above, as well as suggested books from the Peaceful Preschool, to hone and curate my very favorite Preschool books. I hope you enjoy this list as much as we do!!! Since we have ALL OF THESE BOOKS, I highly recommend them to you! If you have any questions about a particular book, please let me know because I would love to help!

LIVING BOOKS

Part of Charlotte Mason’s education philosophy was utilizing Living Books. Listen to this wonderful podcast which describes what Living Books are and why you might want to use these. According to Livingbookslibrary.com, Living Books contain, “literary power, rich ideas, are virtuous, inspiring, told in narrative form, span generations, and inspire imagination.”

Why Living Books

 

 

 

GENTLE LETTER LEARNING

Read about our gentle letter introduction. We are currently slowly and carefully are moving through the Peaceful Preschool and Exploring Nature with Children in order to provide a gentle introduction to learning.

Finally, here are our favorite Preschool Supplies!

In conclusion, I hope this helps provide a resource to you in your preschool and early homeschooling years. If you are taking on a Charlotte Mason education, what are your favorite resources? I would love to hear from you!

 

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