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 pre-reading lesson

A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson

a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson
a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading 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 pre-reading lesson
a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson

A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson

WHAT

My son is five, almost six. According to Charlotte Mason’s methods of learning to read, he will be in the pre-reading category when we begin formal lessons. So, if your child is not yet reading proficiently, this post may be helpful to you! As my son progresses, I plan to compose an additional post with some ideas for A Charlotte Mason Reading Lesson (Reading by Sight and Sound).

“But the learning of the alphabet should be made a means of cultivating the child’s observation: he should be made to see what he looks at.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason recommended that a child be able to visualize the words, learning from sight, in addition to learning phonics.

“Accustom him from the first to shut his eyes and spell the word he has made.” (Mason, vol. 1)

WHAT WE ARE USING

  • Home Education by Charlotte Mason – there are about 30 pages devoted to the reading lesson. Its gentle, effective and delightful.
  • Discover Reading by Amy Tuttle – this book was also recommended by Ambleside online as a reading resource. Here is a description from her website: Discover Reading will help you and your child develop vital skills such as phonemic awareness, mental imaging, auditory blending and word building. It will serve as a guide for you as you lead your child through the stages of pre-reading, beginning reading, and fluency.
  • Also, here is another FREE resource using Ms. Mason’s methods for reading, written by Jennifer Spead.
  • A good alphabet book or four (I LOVE these: B is for Bear, A to Z Picture Book, In A Pumpkin Shell, An ABC Book).
  • Wooden Moveable Alphabet
  • Or, these wooden letters

FABULOUS ALPHABET BOOKS

WHEN

“When should he begin? Whenever his box of letters begins to interest him.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason describes the Pre-Reading Lesson as occurring five times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about ten minutes.

You can begin pre-reading activities when a child begins to be aware of letters. A typical age of a child may be anywhere from two to six years old when you begin pre-reading.

WHY

Reading is important. It is also required to teach reading in the state of Texas. I vividly remember books playing a vital role in my education. They shaped me to be the person I am today. Living Books Library defines characteristics of a Living Book as: full of ideas, virtuous, inspiring, narrative, generational and imaginative.

“It is better that children should receive a few vital ideas that their souls may grow…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Some of my happiest times with my children are sharing good books with them. Therefore, I look forward to the day when my children discover the joy of reading for themselves.

Pre-Reading Lesson
Pre-Reading Lesson

HOW

“A tray of sand is useful at this stage.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason says a child can first learn the sounds of letters and then recognize the upper case and lower case letters. Additionally, the child should practice “air writing” the letters or drawing them in a tray of sand.

“There is no occasion to hurry the child: let him learn one form at a time, and know it so well that he can pick out the d’s, say, big and little, in a page of large print.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Here are some suggested activities to introduce the concept of reading to children.

STEPS TO PRE-READING

  • First, playfully teach your child the sounds for each letter of the alphabet.
  • He should be familiar with upper case letters first, and then lower case letters.
  • Teach all consonant sounds and at least the short vowel sounds.
  • While your child is learning sounds, he should take a mental picture of the letter.
  • Then, your child can trace the letter in the air.
  • Finally, take any word and stretch out the sound of the first letter. Amy Tuttle from Discover Reading, writes to think of Dori’s whale language in Finding Nemo. One example here could be: “Can you find the /S/ for Sssssnake?” using your box of letters.
  • An alternate pre-reading learning game is to have him search for the letter sound /d/ on a magazine page. You could ask your child to point out the letters, or sometimes circle them.

IDEAS FOR A PRE-READING LESSON

PART 1

  1. Introduce the letters and sounds one per day or several per day if your child can master them. Review all letters until the child knows each letter/sound combination.
  2. When a child can recognize the letter by sight and sound, and can draw the letter in the air, the letter is learned, and he can put it in a letter box.
  3. This could happen in one week’s time, or last over several weeks, depending on your child. I love how Amy Tuttle reminds us to enjoy the process, because he only learns to read once.

PART 2

  • Once a child is confident with all letter sounds, begin with short words that are as interesting as possible. Use simple consonants and short vowel sounds to introduce blending. Pick letters that will make words he knows.
  • He should place a letter before “at” for example, to make b-at, c-at, h-at. Repeat the sounds slowly, and let him discover the word.
  • Ask him to see the letters in his mind, with his eyes closed. Then, trace the letters in the air.
  • When he can do all of these steps, Mama writes the word on a chalkboard (or the child can if he is writing already).
  • Next, ask him to dictate the words that you learned for the lesson, and write them down in a notebook.
  • Finally, the next day, review the words from his notebook, and begin with new word blends.
  • Repeat with all short sound vowels before moving onto long vowel sound word blends. Example: “ate” to make h-ate, l-ate, m-ate, and r-ate.

Ms. Mason says,

“This is not reading, but it is preapring the ground for reading; words will no longer (be) unfamiliar, perplexing objects, when the child meets them in a line of print.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Also,

“Require him to pronounce he words the makes with such finish and distinctness that he can himself hear and count the sounds in a give word.” (Mason, vol. 1)

One final quote:

“Accustom him from the first to shut his eyes and spell the word he has made.” (Mason, vol. 1)

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 Pre-Reading Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON PRE-READING 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.

Nature Study

A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson

Exploring Nature
Exploring Nature

Part 1 

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Nature 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 Nature Study  

WHAT

“We were all meant to be naturalists, each in its own degree, and its inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” (Mason, vol. 1)

When I think about Charlotte Mason, I think about Nature Study, because it was such a big part of her educational philosophy.

WHAT WE ARE USING 

MIX MEDIA JOURNAL

Since Charlotte Mason advocated keeping a Nature Journal, we are using this simple one to record our outdoor findings. This is a mix media journal, so it will accommodate our notes, drawings, and watercolors. It is also compact enough to pack in a backpack when we go to a natural park, or the playground, or simply outside in the yard.

This Nature Journal looks amazing too, and I have seen many people purchase it!

WATERCOLORS

Although Charlotte Mason said children are worthy the best, we are using these great, inexpensive watercolors. These do a nice job, and since we already have them, we use them until they are used up. Then, we will probably purchase a nicer quality set, per Ms. Mason’s suggestions, and purchase these: Stockmar Watercolors. Also, I have this beautiful Cherry Wood Paint Holder, which we love to use when we are drawing.

Nature Drawing
Nature Drawing

HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY

In Home Education, Charlotte Mason says, “The mother cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading, (Nature Study) not only that she may read tid-bits to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observation.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Although the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock is intimidatingly large, it holds a wealth of knowledge on Nature Study. This is meant as a resource for Mama to read, in order to prepare for Nature Study Lessons.

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Nature Study Lesson as occurring daily. The goal should be to spend two to three hours outside in tolerably fine weather. Therefore, we plan to spend two hours outdoors per day in the afternoons, after finishing morning lessons.

A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson

WHY

Charlotte Mason volumes say it best, so here are three AMAZING quotes pertaining to Nature Study.

“That the knowledge most valuable to the child is that which he gets with his own eyes and ears and fingers (under direction) in the open air.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Nature Study lays the groundwork for Science.

“…the children will adore her (Mama) for knowing what they want to know, and who knows but she may give its bent for life to some young mind destined to do great things for the world.” (Mason, vol. 1)

The ladies at A Delectable Education note that Nature Study is the foundation for all school work: Reading, Math, Writing, Art, Geography, Language Development, and finally, Science. Therefore, Nature Study is not to be missed.

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

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, Nature Study would occur daily, in the afternoons.

NATURE STUDY LESSON

  • First, go outside! This can take place in your own yard!
  • Next, the child observes nature. 
  • A very young child tells about the time they spend outdoors and his observations. This is narration. Or, the child can simply record observations in his Nature Journal.
  • Then, the child notes the month or date. Mama can write this in for the child if needed.
  • Sometimes, the child can include a drawing if they want to support their notes.
  • Keep a flower list and a bird list in columns in the Nature Journal.
  • Also, keep a list of anything interesting to the child (ex. mushrooms, trees, leaves, plants).

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT NATURE STUDY

  1. First, keep formal lessons short.
  2. Allow the child plenty of time to observe nature on their own.
  3. Also, Mama goes with the kiddos when possible! It is as nourishing for Mama as it is for the children.

NATURE JOURNAL

“As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child. ” (Mason, vol. 1)

Often, we see beautiful drawings and illustrations used for Nature Journals. In reality though, the drawings are used to support the field notes and observations. Its amazing if the child can create beautiful drawings, however, it is not necessary.

Therefore, the purpose of a Nature Journal is to support observations in nature.

In the beginning, the mother writes notes for the child, until the child is able to record his own notes in his Nature Journal. The child is encouraged to take notes, and draw in his journal anytime, because this is such a valuable part of their education.

Eventually, it is suggested to keep lists of flowers and birds, and of anything interesting to the child. Also, a child could also additionally include poetry in their Nature Journal.

Also, this Parent’s Union article suggests the schedule would have been:

  • Find and describe six wild fruits
  • Watch and describe, if possible:
    • Ten birds and
    • Five other animals

tree study
tree study

SOME HANDY RESOURCES TO SUPPORT NATURE 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 Nature Study Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON NATURE STUDY LESSON 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.

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Bible

A Charlotte Mason Bible Study Lesson

A CHARLOTTE MASON BIBLE STUDY LESSON

“But let the imaginations of children be stored with the pictures, their minds nourished upon the words, of the gradually unfolding stories of the scriptures, and they will come to look out upon a wide horizon within which persons and events take shape in their due place and in due proportion.” (Mason, vol 1)

Bible
Bible

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. I also include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be 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. This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

SPREADING THE FEAST IS GOOD

“As a matter of fact, it is the man who has read and thought on many subjects who is, with the necessary training, the most capable.” (Mason, vol. 6)

Ms. Mason suggests spreading a wide feast in education, in order to nourish a child’s mind. A Charlotte Mason curriculum aims to be wide and varied. This gives the child a chance to develop many interests and become well rounded. A Charlotte Mason education certainly intends to be rich, varied, and life giving, and this is partly why I choose to focus on her philosophy of education.

“He requires much knowledge, for the mind needs sufficient food as much as does the body.” (Mason, vol. 6)

I became interested in healthy eating almost 12 years ago as a yoga instructor. Once my children were born, I became more focused on nutrition. Thankfully, I was able to breastfeed both children, as babies, because it was a wonderful nutrition option for them.

When I became a Health Coach last year, I focused even more on nutrient dense foods to nourish my family. I aim to give them a great start in their little lives.

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

Presently, I continue to to give them a varied and nourishing feast. This carries over to their education.  I take it as my job to give a nourishing feast for their minds and body.

Ms. Charlotte Mason also says,

“But, believing that the normal child has powers of mind that fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, we must give him a full and generous curriculum…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Bible
Bible

A CHARLOTTE MASON BIBLE STUDY

WHAT

“Children between the ages of six and nine should get a considerable knowledge of the Bible text.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First, Charlotte Mason says a standard Bible should be used. The Bible lesson should not come from a children’s Bible or devotional. Instead, the child should hear the actual text of the Bible since the stories of the Bible are so rich. Therefore, children are worthy of the very best, and rise to the occupation of listening to the Bible in its whole form.

Personally, I choose a beautiful and journaling Bible because I thought I would really enjoy it. So, I’m using a King James Version. Its called Praise: A Creative Journaling Bible.

In Parents and Children, Ms. Mason says the child, “should not be able to recall a time before the sweet stories of old filled his imagination.” (Mason, vol. 2)

If you have preschoolers, this is my FAVORITE Children’s Bible…though the true Bible should also be read to them from a young age.

Finally, THIS is my dream Bible set! Look how beautiful! But, clearly, for a special occasion, because its a little expensive!

WHEN

Charlotte Mason called the Bible lesson, the “chief lesson.” Its upheld as the most important subject, since it teaches a child right from wrong. Therefore, she urges the Bible lesson to be the first lesson of the day. The lesson should be about 15 minutes long. A Charlotte Mason Plenary has linked to the Parent’s Union school Form 1 schedule, which shows “in all cases the Bible text must be read and narrated first.”

Finally, a Bible lesson should occur once a day, five days a week.

Additionally, Sunday readings were recommended from: Parables from Nature.

WHY

“And perhaps it is not too beautiful a thing in this redeemed world, that, as the babe turns to his mother though he has no power to say her name, as the flowers turn to the sun, so the hearts of the children turn to their Savior and God with unconscious delight and trust.” (Mason, vol. 1)

I love this quote because it shows we should model humility, and faith for our children so they may come to have a relationship with God. Perhaps most importantly, the child learns to have a heart for God, and to develop a personal relationship with God.

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven? And He called a little child, and set him in the mist. Here is the divine estimate of the child’s estate.” (Matthew 18: 1-2 King James Version, and Mason, vol. 1

Then, the Bible goes onto say that those who enter Heaven must be like the child. Since children are so precious to Jesus, we should respect them as persons and nurture them in this endeavor.

“…their Bible lessons should help them to realize in early days that the knowledge of God is the principle knowledge, and therefore, that heir Bible lessons are their chief lessons.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Also:

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name…” (Psalms 92: 1 King James Version)

The purpose of the Bible lessons is to lead the child to the knowledge of God.

HOW

“Read your Bible story to the child bit by bit; get him to tell you in his own words (keeping as close as he can to the Bible words) what you have read, and, then, if you like, talk about it; but not much.” (Mason, vol. 2)

For Form 1B, in other words, first grade, the Bible lesson encompasses most of Genesis from the Old Testament. Also, it is suggested to cover the appropriate portions of Matthew from the New Testament. A Delectable Education recommends to alternate Old Testament and New Testament daily for lessons because it may hold a child’s attention better. Each Bible lesson should cover about 10-20 verses per day.

Additionally, Charlotte Mason says the parent should continue to read aloud the Bible passage, even after a child can read it on his own.

NARRATION

  • First, read the Bible passage to the child once.
  • Then, ask the child to tell back what he heard, using as close to the words he heard as possible. This is narration.
  • Finally, Mama and child can discuss what was read.
  • As an option, Charlotte Mason Poetry notes suggest on how to begin the lesson: ‘Tell the story to the child, only giving the necessary explanations.’

RESOURCES FOR MAMA

Here are some suggested readings for Mothers to prep Bible lessons and discuss with their children following their narration.

“But it is well to let the pictures tell their own tale. The children should study a subject quietly for a few minutes; and then, the picture being removed, say what they have seen.” (Mason, vol. 1)

PICTURES

Moreover, you can choose to share pictures to compliment the Bible stories following the narration or Bible lesson.

RECITATION

“The learning by heart of Bible passages should begin while the children are quite young, six or seven.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Finally, you can have young children learn by heart parables and stories from the Bible. For recitation purposes, the Homeschool Mama should read aloud the passage a few times. Then, the child can narrate back only when they feel they know the words.

praise-bible
praise-bible

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. Also, some of these listed below are specific to a Charlotte Mason Bible lesson study.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON BIBLE LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Finally, 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. I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books since I have gained so much from them! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

flower press

A Charlotte Mason Summer

A CHARLOTTE MASON SUMMER

flower press
flower press

WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO …

A Charlotte Mason Summer

I’m preparing to teach my oldest son his first, formal year of school at home. In November, he will turn six.

Where did the time go?

I have been planning for this moment for many years and I’m beyond blessed to teach him his first year of school at home.

SUMMER TIME PLANS

In an attempt to ease into formal homeschool later this year, I’m going to begin to implement NOW some parts of his future formal education, yet in a fun and casual way.

Charlotte Mason calls this type of learning “by the way” (Home Education pg. 72).

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 HIGHLY 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.

Playing with Letters
Playing with Letters

ELEMENTS OF EDUCATION

SUMMER MORNING SCHEDULE

+ Work on Morning Habits  (Brush teeth, Make bed)

+ Review Letter Sounds and Letter Recognition … We gently use the Peaceful Preschool to learn letters … Also, here are some of our favorite wooden letters and sandpaper letters

+ Read Bible Stories at Breakfast … My favorite Bible for Preschool Age Children

+ Free playtime

SUMMER AFTERNOON SCHEDULE

+ Nature Play and Free Time

+ Poetry Reading with Snack … Suggested poetry here and here and here

+ Learn a few French and Spanish words each day … We use this audio French CD in the car

+ Free playtime

+ Clean up Toys Before Bed

+ Read Aloud at Bedtime … My favorite stories for preschoolers 

Raising Butterflies
Raising Butterflies

OUTDOOR TIME BASICS

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason.

“…the chief function of the child-his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life-is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses; that he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge got in this way; and that, therefore, the endeavor of his parents should be to put him in the way of making acquaintance freely with Nature and natural objects…” (pg. 96).

I love this quote because it takes the pressure off us Mamas to “entertain” the little ones. It is perfectly
fine NOT to keep up with the pressures of society that implore the youngest of children must be shuffled
around from activity to activity, as if they are adults! I believe it is more important to protect this sweet, innocent time for our littles…and allow them the freedom to explore, move, and be in nature as much as possible.

“…Never be within doors when you can rightly be without” (pg. 42).

Before I had heard of Charlotte Mason, we were already spending copious amounts of time outdoors. We
are fortunate to live on acreage, and we live in the country outside of Austin, Texas. There are so
many lovely nature opportunities that surround us – many that we have visited, and so many more that we
haven’t explored.

It is so calming and encouraging to spend time outdoors. We aim to spend time in Nature daily!

“As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child” (pg. 54) and “While he is quite young (five or six), he should begin to illustrate his notes freely with brush-drawings” (pg. 55).

My children are only four and five, and we have begun to keep a nature diary. However, I have not been
consistent with it, and I plan to work on more consistency throughout the summer. I was recently gifted the Diary of an Edwardian Lady and its a stunning example that I believe Charlotte Mason would have approved of! The book includes mostly notes from the author’s time in nature with beautiful watercolor illustrations. I look forward to keeping a diary of my own alongside my children!

“…I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them” (pg. 44).

This quote is in response to the fact that children and mothers should spend four to six hours outdoors on
a tolerably fine day. We are currently not spending that much time in this Texas heat, but I do attempt for
us to get outdoors in the morning and we always take a walk in the evening after dinner. When the
weather is more mild, we spend much longer outdoors and its a blessing for ALL of us.

“…she will point to some lovely flower or gracious tree, not only as a beautiful work, but a beautiful thought of God, in which we may believe He finds continual pleasure, and which He is pleased to see his human children rejoice in” (pg. 80).

I delight in seeing how excited my children are when they discover a new flower outdoors! Occasionally,
it is nice to remark how beautiful God made the world. Its so amazing to hear my children talk about God
as if he is an old friend sometimes.

Flower Sorting
Flower Sorting

OUR FAMILY OUTDOOR TIME

(During our Charlotte Mason Summer)

1. Allow children one or two hours of free time to play and explore in nature daily. This is a great opportunity for ME to sit outdoors with them to read more on the teaching philosophies I will be implementing, prepare for lessons, write out meal plans, list of house chores, or simply read for pleasure.
2. Send them off to a sight seeing game to paint a mental picture of what they see…so they can hold the
image in their minds forever (about 15 minutes).
3. Observe the flowers, birds, trees, or insects. Watch the creatures’ habits and learn something new simply by paying attention for a few minutes.
4. Jot down any notes in our Nature Journals to remember.
5. Note the weather and date in the Journal.

Observing Flowers
Observing Flowers

FAVORITE NATURE JOURNAL AND SUPPLIES

A Charlotte Mason Summer

Finally, here are my favorite Preschool Supplies all in one, comprehensive list.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

Planning Homeschool
Planning Homeschool

OUR PICKS

Letter I Sprinkles

Letter I Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter I. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Letter I Sprinkles
Letter I Sprinkles

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. Feel free to explore all of our letter units!

Letter I Sprinkles
Letter I Sprinkles

LETTER I REVIEW

We began the letter I unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter I are Ice Cream Summer, Inch by Inch, and a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Also, we read The Little Island, and listened to the audio version of this one before we purchased it.

the little island
the little island

Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

Ice Cream Summer
Ice Cream Summer

We used some spare loose parts to create ice cream cones and also read through Ice Cream Summer.

ice cream summer
ice cream summer

Inch by Inch
Inch by Inch

Jesus Storybook Bible
Jesus Storybook Bible

I IS FOR ICE CREAM

I love gaining inspiration for our homeschool on Pinterest. This simple idea came from Pinterest to cut out ice cream templates using colorful construction paper we already had on hand. The boys took turn adding scoops to correspond with the number on the ice cream cone.

Ice Cream Counting
Ice Cream Counting

SENSORY WRITING PRACTICE

Next, we added old sprinkles to a tray so the boys could practice writing the letter I.

sprinkles letters
sprinkles letters

I love providing these tactile, sensory experiences for them. Of course, the boys take the opportunity to sneak a few sprinkles into their mouths!

Sprinkles Writing
Sprinkles Writing

ICE CREAM PLAY

The boys worked together to “earn” this special Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Shop about six months ago. We brought it out to go along with our ice cream theme since it worked perfectly!

Ice Cream Play
Ice Cream Play

We also played with these felt ice cream shapes and glitter. I wouldn’t recommend it however, because it was time consuming for Mama to make and one of those activities that the boys were not engaged in for very long.

felt ice cream
felt ice cream

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

Last summer, we purchased our first homemade ice cream maker and made our own strawberry mint sorbet. I counted this as “ice cream.” The boys loved helping me make this recipe and it was super simple. Feel free to read the post which includes this recipe here.

strawberry mint sorbet recipe
strawberry mint sorbet recipe

ICE CREAM – LICK HONEST ICE CREAM VISIT

Finally, we visited our favorite ice cream spot: Lick Honest Ice Cream. I love going here for an occasional treat because they offer delicious vegan ice cream made with coconut milk.

Then, for their dairy versions, they source milk from local dairy farms who feed their cows primarily grass. We try for whole milk, grass fed dairy options we can! Another sneaky trick about this place is they offer a hot pink ice cream which my boys love and the flavor is Beet Mint! I love how adventurous my little eaters are.

Ice Cream
Ice Cream

COUNTING PRACTICE

We reviewed our numbers with these beautiful wooden trays from Jennifer. One side is a great fine motor and counting activity using these little wooden beads.

Wooden Counter
Wooden Counter

And the other side has numbers for tracing and writing practice.

Wooden Numbers
Wooden Numbers

We reviewed numbers 0-10 with these fun tactile sandpaper numbers that come with a really nice storage box.

Tactile Numbers
Tactile Numbers

Finally, we created more glitter glue numbers and reviewed them. These are such sweet cards that come with the curriculum.

Numbers Practice
Numbers Practice

 

BALANCE BEAM – LARGE MOTOR SKILLS

Then, we found an old board lying around and some left over brick when our house was built. The boys helped me create a balance beam and then took turns using it!

Balance Beam
Balance Beam

We took out our measuring tape to measure how long and wide the board was.

Balance Beam
Balance Beam

I IS FOR INCH WORM

Have you read Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni before? It is a quick read and I love the illustrations and focus on nature. It is a sweet story of a clever inch worm who is requested to measure different birds. After reading the story, we collected some of the boys toys and measured how long they were.

inch by inch
inch by inch

ALPHABET PRACTICE

I love these beautiful sandpaper alphabet cards and they are pretty inexpensive. Its really nice to have the boys trace these with their fingers to practice pre writing skills. My youngest especially loves to practice writing this way! We also used play dough to form letters. I think my oldest made A, B,  and C before moving onto another activity.

Alphabet and Clay
Alphabet and Clay

I IS FOR ICING

Finally, during this time of letter I study, we celebrated my oldest’s fifth birthday. I made homemade sweets for his little party. We made a healthy cocoa sweet potato icing since it was delicious, nutritious and easy! If you are interested in learning more about clean eating, check out my wellness mamas post here.

Birthday Icing
Finally, Birthday Icing

SUPPLIES

Montessori Moveable Alphabet
Sandpaper Alphabet Cards
Ice Cream Summer
Inch by Inch
Jesus Storybook Bible
Construction Paper
Sprinkles
Cusinart Ice Cream Maker
Montessori Sandpaper Numbers
Glitter Glue
Natural Play Dough
Melissa and Doug Wooden Ice Cream Shop

OUR PICKS

 

Finally, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!