Scheduling a Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Day

by Deborah Taylor-Hough


Click here to print out a copy of my Weekly Schedule CM


smithMany years ago, due to frequent requests from my regular web-page visitors, I wrote out a general outline and description of our family’s daily homeschooling schedule.

I had our weekly schedule printed out as a chart for each child which I hung on the refrigerator at the beginning of each week (they each had their own printed copy with their name and the date at the top).  We marked off the subjects as we finish them and added notations of any specifics we needed to remember (page numbers, art viewed, poem titles, etc.) on the lines next to the topic on the chart.

We used these charts to keep track of what we’d actually accomplished and not as a pre-planner.  It was essentially a record and not a plan.  “Planning” consisted mainly of gathering a big pile of books on a variety of topics that we kept on the bookshelf next to the couch.

Because it was difficult to tell in advance how much ground we’d cover with each subject each day, we had our weekly stack of books that we were working through next to the couch.  We would put the bookmark in at the end of each lesson time period and then start up again the next day where ever we left off.  Some books would stay in our pile to be read for several weeks, others would be there for only a day or two.

 

When reading through this day-by-day schedule, some people have commented this is a lot to accomplish in any given day.  But keep in mind, we were using Charlotte Mason’s idea about short lessons (only ten to twenty minutes for each topic) so our academic part of the day only came out to around 3 1/2 hours per day.  We tried to always have academics finished by lunchtime.  I’d often save our poetry reading and read it during lunch.  It was just something we enjoyed doing while we ate.  Your mileage may vary.  :)

I discovered after implementing this schedule, my children enjoyed having a set task to accomplish in a set period of time. Since I’m not a particularly rigid person (I tend to “go with the flow”), I thought this type of schedule would crimp my style — but I actually found it to be incredibly freeing. What a surprise!

With many school subjects, I found I could teach all of my children at the same time by reading aloud to them together.  The older kiddos were doing a great deal of independent work, so they often did additional reading on the various topics we covered together as a group. Any independent reading time was followed by oral narrations for each subject (and occasionally written narrations after they’d been doing oral narrations successfully for several years).  Most narrations were always oral, by the way.  The written ones really were just an occasional thing.

THE GENERAL SCHEDULE

I was inspired to put together my own daily schedule after reading the books, A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison. The author had printed out samples of her own weekly schedules and also included examples of the actual schedules used in Charlotte Mason’s schools back in the early 1900′s (the schedules appeared in a December 1908 article in the Parent’s Review).

While my schedule was inspired by Levison and Charlotte Mason, it by no means is representative of their actual schedules. This is simply how our family adapted the idea to our own situation at the time.   If this all seems too overwhelming or you’re just starting out, be sure to read Where to Begin?  It’s okay to take baby steps when just starting out.

For an easy-to-print version of our schedule, click here: Weekly Schedule CM

MONDAY – THURSDAY

  • Literature
  • Geography
  • History
  • Math
  • Copywork/Dictation
  • Nature Study
  • Daily Walk
  • Art Appreciation
  • Music
  • Poetry
  • Handicrafts
  • Life Skills
  • Misc.

FRIDAY

  • Daily Walk
  • Literature
  • Activities
  • Groups
  • Field Trips
  • Misc.

And then every night at bedtime, I would read to my children from their “just for fun” books — no official narration with these books except for a question when we first sat down such as, “So, what was happening in Old Yeller last night?”

There was space on the schedule for any educational weekend activities we did as a family, and space for random notes about the week.  If I discovered that one of the kids needed extra work on a particular subject, I’d make a note of it.  At the end of the week, each child’s schedule chart would be put into their yearly binder.  It was not only an excellent way to stay on task each day, it also gave us something to look back on at the end of the year to see how much ground we’d covered.  It was also handy to show to the teacher who did our annual homeschool evaluations.

I hope this brief overview of how we scheduled our homeschooling day when our kids were younger proves helpful to someone.

~Debi

Don’t forget to download and print your own copy: Weekly Schedule CM


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deborah Taylor-Hough (long-time homeschooling mother of three) is the author of several bestselling books including Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month, Frugal Living for Dummies, and A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide for Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity. Visit Debi online at: http://www.theSimpleMom.com


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One response to “Scheduling a Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Day

  1. Oh I like this idea. I’m also a ‘go with the flow’ almost ‘unschooler’ person, but our days are actually fairly chaotic and we don’t get a lot of very much done at all.

    We’ve had times of being more structured, which have worked well, but the structure/framework has always been inside my head, but the older the kids get, the harder it is to get them to read my mind :)

    I do like lists, and this looks like a good method.

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