26 July 2010

The Charlotte Mason Subjects

I already wrote about the curriculum we'll be using for the 2010-11 school year, but there's a lot of subjects we cover without exactly using a set curriculum.  These are the subjects that are at the heart of a Charlotte Mason education.  These subjects include Nature Study, Artist/Picture Study, Composer Study, Hymn Study, Poetry Study, Shakespeare, and Handicrafts. 

I've come to realize that without a set plan, these subjects often get neglected and go by the wayside, so this year I'm being very deliberate about them.  I've divided ths school year into 6 six-week terms during which we'll have a focus topic in each subject.  I only plan on covering each subject once every two weeks, so it's really not a lot of time in each area.  Here's what this part of our school year will look like (The numbers indicate the term.)

Nature Study:
1.  Clouds
2.  Apple trees
3.  Rocks
4.  Ladybugs
5.  California Poppy
6.  Constellations
Resources:  Handbook of Nature Study, Southern California Nature Guide

1.  Vincent Van Gogh
2.  Winslow Homer
3.  Georgia O'Keefe
4.  Michelangelo
5.  Ansel Adams
6.  Leonardo da Vinci
Resources:  Discovering Great Artists (Kohl), Art Projects for Kids,  Deep Space Sparkle

1.  Mendelssohn
2.  Rossini
3.  Beethoven
4.  Handel
5.  Dvorak
6.  Copland
Resources:  Classics for Kids, CDs from the library

1.  My Father's World
2.  Amazing Grace
3.  O Little Town of Bethlehem
4.  The Lord is My Shepherd
5.  America the Beautiful
6.  A Mighty Fortress
Resources:  Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Vol. 1, Christmas Carols for Kid's Heart (Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Vol. 3)

1 & 2.  Emily Dickinson
3 & 4.  Robert Frost
5 & 6.  Christina Rossetti
Resources:  Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson, Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost

1-6.  Romeo & Juliet
Resources:  Beautiful Stories From Shakespeare

Handicrafts/ Life Skills:
1.  Latch Hook
2.  Setting the table
3.  Embroidery
4.  Loading the dishwasher
5.  Photography
6.  Weeding

So how do I choose the topics?  It's pretty random.  Some of our nature study topics (clouds, rocks, and constellations) will align with our earth science curriculum this year.  Some of the artist (Michelangelo, da Vinci) are from the time periods we'll be studying in history.  Other than that, I simply choose topics that  I have resources for, or they sound fun and interesting.  I think the key is just having a plan.  Choosing something is better than choosing nothing! 

So how's your planning going?


  1. I LOVE this plan for its simplicity. You are so right: these things get left behind when not planned for. I am concentrating a lot on our schedule in my planning right now, so I have plugged in a time slot for art and music. You have inspired me to take it one step further and decide the 'what' to go with the 'when'!

  2. Everything looks great! I love the planning stagges for schooling at home. We also use Charlotte Mason methods and have alot of the same subjects planned. If anything falls by the wayside with us it is Nature Study. But I am really going to concentrate on it this year.

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