Yesterday I began researching homeschooling curriculum so I can begin preschool with Chloe this fall. I am finding myself quite interested in the Charlotte Mason method and have been doing some internet reading to familiarize myself with the details of her philosophies. I really like many of the ideas I am finding. Living books, nature studies, scripture memory. It all fits right up my alley. Today I plan to get a hold of her series so I can better understand her method and philosophies.
While Chloe won't start anything formal until next year (kindergarten, which is required in my state at 5 years old) I do plan on trying the Family Work together this year for some preschool time. I think I will begin with scripture memory, music, nature study, and some art. We live in a very rich area for art and history so it should be fairly easy to find things on a 4 year old's level.
One thing that struck me about her method was the idea that young children should have as much time out of doors as possible. I have been remiss in this area. I am going to begin taking Chloe to the park, beach, woods and many other places outside as much as I can and am able. Today we went on a walk through our neighborhood to look for animals. I allowed Chloe to use the camera to photograph a few of them herself. She wasn't used to this sort of thing, but I noticed that after a few minutes of letting her run around freely, she really opened up and I could see her just soaking in the world around her. She chased butterflies and bees, picked flowers and watched the birds flying overhead. I am beginning to see that this form of learning really is best for her age.
I look forward to learning more about the Charlotte Mason method and seeing if its a correct fit for our family. If anyone has tried this method or is currently using it, I would love to hear how its working for you and some benefits you have seen in your children. I would also love to hear about different things you do and some of the schedules you keep for the subjects.
Some websites I have been reading the past couple of days are...
Simply Charlotte Mason
The next thing on my to do list is to get my hands on the Charlotte Mason series and read up on that. Then I plan on creating an area in my home for "school". Of course, there will be loads of play areas in my "school" but I would love to have a more formal area too. Like a bookshelf with,(like this list of books for Early Years Read Alouds. I have already ordered most of the books on the 4 year old list from Half Ebay.) an art center, a dress up area, a blocks area. All the sorts of things you would expect in an actual preschool.
I can't forget, though, that the Charlotte Mason method implements spending a majority of the time out of doors. That is key.
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