Tag Archives: education

Charlotte Mason eMagazine – Late February 2016

charlotte mason portrait (2)The following are excerpts from the latest issue of the Charlotte Mason eMagazine. Be sure to visit the magazine’s website and sign up for email notifications so you’ll never miss an issue! Subscribe here:

A Charlotte Mason Education in High School

“I ran across this wonderful quote recently while rereading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake: ‘Also, it would be wrong not to equip our children with ‘passports’ to our society. Th…”

A Field Trip ~ Exploring Nature With Children

“Firstly, I apologise for the misleading nature of the title of the post! If you are following along with Exploring Nature With Children, you will know that this week is field trip week. We are quit…”

Nature Study On Periscope With Leah Boden

 “I am really excited to let you know about a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Charlotte Mason method of nature study. My lovely friend Leah will be doing a live periscope event tomorrow…”

Keeping a Nature Journal

“Nature journaling is an immensely rewarding pursuit for both parent and child. In Charlotte Mason’s own words: Consider, too, what an unequaled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for …”

The Beauty Of Earth And Heavens

The Beauty Of Earth And Heavens – Posted on February 20, 2016 by raisinglittleshoots – “They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heave…”

University of Derby: Children in Touch With Nature Do Better on Tests

University of Derby: Children in Touch With Nature Do Better on Tests Derby Telegraph – February 26, 2016 | By Zena Hawley | In the News “CHILDREN who are in touch with nature achieve better results…”


Debi’s Weekly CM-inspired Schedule

NOTE: Click here to see an actual 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.


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 pdf of our schedule, click here: Weekly Schedule CM


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


  • 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.


NOTE:  Don’t forget you can see an actual pdf copy of the schedule at the following link.  Feel free to download and print your own copy if you’d like to try using it in your own homeschool:

51BlGAcUHnL(Excerpted and adapted with permission from A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s Timeless Educational Ideas.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Deborah Taylor-Hough is a long-time homeschooling mother of three (now adult) children as well as a freelance writer and the author of the bestselling Frozen Assets cookbook series and A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide to Saving Your Time, Money and Sanity.  Visit Debi on Facebook.

NOTE: Stop by and “Like” Charlotte Mason Home Education on Facebook:-)

Other Articles of Interest:

Teaching Elementary Science with Great Literature

by Sheila Carroll
Guest Contributor

How do you teach a fact-heavy subject like science with great literature? First, science is not fact-heavy, or, at least it ought not to be. British educator, Charlotte Mason called science the study of “the great scheme of the unity of life”.

Abstract concepts become easy to picture and understand when they are experienced in context. A picture-packed, glitzy book filled with facts cannot teach “the great scheme of unity of life” but literature and hands-on experimentation can. Continue reading

Twaddle-Free Education™ Workshops

Due to popular demand, I’ve been putting together a series of Charlotte Mason related workshops.  If your support group or local homeschooling convention is looking for a speaker, here are some of the topics I’m currently prepared to speak about (more in the works):

  • A Twaddle-Free Education™:  Charlotte Mason in a Nutshell
  • Homeschooling with a Rock Bottom Budget
  • Are All Homeschooling Methods Created Equal?
  • Habits: The Twaddle-Free Education™ Secret to Success
  • Coping Strategies to Avoid Home School Burnout
  • Nature Study:  Becoming a Homegrown Naturalist
  • Reading and Writing in a Charlotte Mason Home
  • Art Appreciation, Poetry, and Shakespeare
  • An Interdisciplinary Approach to Home Education
  • Twaddle-Free Education™ for Preschool and Kindergarten
  • Early Elementary Twaddle-Free Education™
  • College Prep for the Home School
  • To Schedule or Not to Schedule?
  • Writers Write, Right? (for any group, not just homeschoolers)

I can also put together an all-day Twaddle-Free Education™ seminar or retreat based on Charlotte Mason principles covering many of the topics above (or your choice of CM-related topics).  I’m located in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington State.  If you live outside of the Puget Sound region, travel expenses and lodging will be required, as well.  Contact me to discuss details at:

Looking forward to speaking with you about your groups’ needs.  I’m also available for one-on-one mentoring/consulting for home educators via phone, email, or in-person (if you live locally).


An Interview with Debi about Homeschooling

IMG_1152 (3)Over the years, I’ve been interviewed several times for various online and print publications about our homeschooling journey.  I recently pooled together my responses from several different interviews because people kept asking for “my story” about how we homeschooled and why.

So, for those of you who were curious, here you go.  🙂

Continue reading

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