Home homeschooling Homeschooling With Charlotte Mason: Part 7–Daily Plans

Homeschooling With Charlotte Mason: Part 7–Daily Plans

by Kelly Crawford

“The mother is qualified,” says Pestalozzi, “and qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; … and what is demanded of her is––a thinking love ….Maternal love is the first agent in education.”

We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession––that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours.”

I have found that many, many homeschooling moms want one thing:  “Just tell me what to do!”  I’ve heard new homeschooling moms tell of their frustration because a veteran mom wouldn’t give her a detailed plan to follow.

I understand both sides.  If you are one of those new homeschooling moms, it can be downright scary to suddenly find yourself solely responsible for the education of your children.  Especially with so many people waiting to see how you do 😉  It’s natural to want a fool-proof plan!

But those who have homeschooled for a while know the danger in submitting a one-size-fits-all prescription.  Homeschooling is not the same as a school program where everything does look similar, and all the students are squeezed into one mold.  But we consider this an advantage and we want you to capitalize on that freedom too, not “hindering” you by offering a plan that may work for us but stifle you!

Still, we all really do need to have a guideline, at best, and sometimes it’s helpful to see another schedule or see how someone else fits a certain style into a workable daily plan.

If you would like to try to implement the Charlotte Mason method, you may consider looking at the following general guideline, but be sure to make it work with your family, your style and your time demands.  Don’t forget…this is your freedom and there are many, many ways to properly educate a child!

Note: We aim to center most of our reading around a certain time period and study that time period for a while.  Finding a good history book in a narrative form is a great place to start in pulling together your daily plan.  You can also coordinate your artist and composer studies within that historical period.

Sample daily plan for the Charlotte Mason method:

Monday-Thursday:

Breakfast-30 minutes

Morning reading (gauge time to fit your ages…we let little ones color/play blocks, and older ones draw during this time):

  • Bible
  • Book #1 read aloud–Could be a selected history book or missionary biography (this is what we are using for geography), or any other read aloud.
  • Poetry reading (some find it helpful to read from an anthology, but poetry could be gleaned from any source)

Morning Chores-1 hour

Having a simple chart for each child to check off helps alleviate repeating and thinking about who needs to do what.  Revisit chore responsibilities every few months if needed.

Seat Work

In our home, this means the three older ones do math, English, copy work and silent reading.  Right now this silent reading covers science, and the two below my oldest are reading from Christian Liberty Press’ Nature Readers.  (They will narrate after lunch.)  The 6-year-old practices writing letters (general writing book) and reads aloud to me from her readers (CLP readers)

Little ones can color, be read to, play, etc. during this time.

Lunch

Sometimes I read to them from a poem or another selected book during lunch; sometimes I just try to keep the peanut butter out of hair 😉

Naps/Reading/Narration

Any seat work not finished gets done during this time, along with narration from science readers.

Book #2 read aloud–I usually choose a book for this time that is a bit more advanced since the little ones are napping.

Silent reading.  This book is one each reading child has picked, with my help, to read on his own.

(Also my blogging time if time permits.)

Play time/projects.

This time may include one of the girls making bread for supper or helping the oldest with a sewing project. I try to encourage something productive. Legos count as productive. And on a rainy day, productive might be an educational video 😉

Afternoon pick up before supper.

Friday

Nature Study

Picture Study

Composer Study

“Composer study” is not planned in; we simply listen to different composer, randomly throughout the week.  But it is helpful on Friday to discuss a selected composer, his background, his era and geographical details.

This is a guide to us.  It doesn’t mean we follow it strictly.  From my personal experience, if we feel the need to strictly follow anything, it squelches spontaneous learning opportunities which are sometimes the best ones.  If we get “off track” while studying one thing to study another, I don’t think of it as “off track” at all.

It helped me to construct our daily plan by writing down a list of everything I wanted to get done, and then find a place to fit it in.  We change our schedule fairly often, as well, adjusting to family changes.

I will officially end the CM series here.  But we’ve only scratched the surface!!!  I would urge you to get your hands on the “Charlotte Mason Original Homeschool Series” (I think you can find the entire manuscript on line) and dig in.  She has a wealth of information about all things parenting and children and I have found it an invaluable resource!


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11 comments

Lucy T October 27, 2009 - 10:55 pm

Kelly thank you for taking the time to share this.

Reply
Julie October 28, 2009 - 6:33 am

Have you heard of or seen the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival? Any one of your latest posts would be great to submit to that. Here’s a link: http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_2378.html

Reply
Diane October 28, 2009 - 9:32 am

I’d be interested to know if you have ever used a more formal type of scheduling such as MOTH? We have used that with great success in the past, but now I am thinking of transitioning out of that type of schedule-based day, and into more of a routine-based plan such as you have outlined here. Don’t get me wrong, I loved our schedule, but now that I am only schooling 2 children and am able to be home fulltime, I am thinking we could ease up a bit….

No real point to this comment… just letting myself ramble a bit! Hope ya don’t mind;)

Reply
Lynn October 28, 2009 - 10:26 am

We homeschool our daughters using a tradional method..sit down and do your work:)

Bible/ journal

Spelling

Math

Science

History

Grammer/Literature

Reading

We do this everyday…and yes it does get boring but they do their work and it gets done:)

I have read many blogs lately and I have eased up alot…I would like to have the girls start sewing and baking as part of their day but I am not sure how to do this should we just have certain days to do this or place it instead of another subject?

What does your older daughter do now? My daughters are 15 and 12..they don’t plan on going to college but I want them to have a good education.

Love to hear your thoughts!!!:)

Lynn

Reply
Heather October 28, 2009 - 1:40 pm

I really do not know how to thank you! My husband and I have been “changing” the way we do things at our house because the old way is not working anymore and you have helped so much! Keep going! God is using you!
In Christ,
Heather

Reply
Word Warrior October 28, 2009 - 2:05 pm

Lynn,

For me personally, I think I would designate days for those activities. One thing that really hit home to me a long time ago was that practical skills are every bit as important as academic subjects. In some situations, a person would fare better to have been more skilled than more educated 😉 BOTH are important, don’t get me wrong, but I think we make a huge mistake not taking as much time to implement practical skills. I would consider it like a subject, but utilize as much of a “normal daily setting” to implement those skills.

Kitchen time could fit in the normal flow of the day by assigning them to help with supper a night or two a week. Also, plan to let them prepare special dishes for church functions, etc…it gives them a little more incentive to experiment.

Any project seems to be better inspired by some reason. For example, you could suggest a ministry-type project where the girls could make something to give to a charity, an elderly person/widow, etc. Or you could inspire them by seeing how much money they could help save at Christmas by making gifts. Just some thoughts…

My oldest daughter is taking a history class this year (taught by a friend from our church) and it is so intense she only does math and copy work (and more reading) besides her class requirement. But from the class, she has a grammar course, they are covering politics, literature/essay, critical thinking, world religion, biblical history and worldviews. They are using George Grant’s Antiquity, and it keeps her very busy! We just felt like she needed a good challenge this year 😉

Reply
Shay @ Wonderfully Chaotic October 28, 2009 - 3:57 pm

This series has been wonderful for me (an aspiring homeschooling mom) to read! It’s very encouraging & helpful!

Reply
Andrea Maddiex October 29, 2009 - 3:13 pm

Hello,
I really enjoyed seeing you do this series on CM. You can find the whole series online:

http://home.comcast.net/~leslienoelani/toc.html

And, there is a modern english paraphrase of the whole series available online here:

http://home.comcast.net/~leslienoelani/ModernEnglish.html

Hope this is a help!
Andrea 🙂

Reply
Gina July 30, 2010 - 5:24 pm

Thanks for posting this! I just found it today and it was such reassurance. I’m beginning my first “real” homeschool year with my six year old. When thinking through my schedule/routine – I came up with almost exactly what you shared – though, of course, not hours of school at her age. I’m so glad to know I’m on the right direction- according to someone with experience!

Gina

Reply
Tami September 2, 2013 - 12:23 am

Thank you so much for this, very, very helpful to me 🙂

Reply
Word Warrior September 2, 2013 - 10:05 am

So glad it’s helpful, Tami!

Reply

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