We’re starting a new series today, one that we hope will be very practical and beneficial to you. We will be going through the school subjects and discussing how to teach each one in a Charlotte Mason way.
The first place to begin is to give you the list of subjects that we will be covering. You see, in a Charlotte Mason-style homeschool the children are given a wide variety of subjects.
“Give children a wide range of subjects” (Vol. 3, p. 162).
Charlotte did not believe in only preparing children to hold down a job one day. She believed in feeding the children’s minds and shaping their characters, as well as equipping them with skills.
So you won’t find a skimpy curriculum that focuses on the three R’s. Instead you will find a wide and generous curriculum that attempts to spread a feast of ideas before the children.
“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum” (Vol. 6, p. 111).
With that in mind, here is the list of subjects we will be covering—subjects Charlotte included in a generous curriculum.
- Foreign Language
- Beginning reading
Now, the challenge of a generous curriculum is trying not to swing to either extreme when you look at that list of subjects. On one extreme is a tendency to panic and think, “There is no way we can cover all of those subjects every day!” The answer to that extreme is to keep in mind that Charlotte did not do every subject every day. She was a firm believer in keeping variety in the schedule. These subjects were all presented some time during the term, but not every one every day.
On the other extreme is the mind-set, “That’s a nice list, but I don’t really want to mess with some of those subjects; they look a bit inconvenient. Besides, I have my children for only a few years, so I’m going to focus on just the required stuff.” Charlotte would encourage you to consider a wide variety of subjects as a necessity.
“In the nature of things then the unspoken demand of children is for a wide and very varied curriculum; it is necessary that they should have some knowledge of the wide range of interests proper to them as human beings, and for no reasons of convenience or time limitations may we curtail their proper curriculum” (Vol. 6, p. 14).
So as we get started in this series, try to keep your mind open to giving your child a generous curriculum with a wide range of subjects. Next week we will look at three basic principles that will lay the foundation for teaching every subject.
CM Workshops in Long Beach, California
I’m so excited to be teaming up with Catherine Levison at the California Homeschool Convention this weekend, May 24–26, to present Charlotte Mason workshops! Catherine is a veteran CMer; in fact, I got started by reading her book, A Charlotte Mason Education, seventeen years ago. So it is a special privilege to be speaking alongside her at this convention.
Here is the full line-up of CM workshops that will be available this weekend.
- Charlotte Mason and Her Methods, Thursday, 3:30 pm (Sonya)
- An Overview of the Charlotte Mason Method, Thursday, 5:00 pm (Catherine)
- Laying Down the Rails: The Power of Habits in Your Home School, Friday, 8:30 am (Sonya)
- History and Science in the Charlotte Mason Method, Friday 11:30 am (Catherine)
- Language Arts for (Almost) Free, Friday, 5:30 pm (Catherine)
- The Early Years: Homeschooling Your Preschooler, Saturday, 11:30 am (Sonya)
- Balancing Act: To Structure or Not to Structure, Saturday, 2:30 pm (Catherine)
- Learning with Living Books, Saturday, 4:00 pm (Sonya)
Don’t miss this great opportunity to be refreshed and encouraged in the Charlotte Mason Method! And be sure to stop by the SCM booth #705 to say hello. We would love to see you there!
This is part of the series: Subject by Subject
How to teach each school subject in a Charlotte Mason way.
- A Generous Curriculum: Subject By Subject,
- Three Basic CM Principles: Subject by Subject, Part 2
- Teaching History: Subject by Subject, Part 3
- Teaching Geography: Subject by Subject, Part 4
- Teaching Spelling: Subject by Subject, Part 5
- Teaching Bible: Subject by Subject, Part 6
- Teaching Handicrafts: Subject by Subject, Part 7
- Teaching Science: Subject by Subject, Part 8
- Teaching Foreign Language: Subject by Subject, Part 9
- Teaching Music: Subject by Subject, Part 10
- Teaching Writing: Subject by Subject, Part 11
- Teaching Literature: Subject by Subject, Part 12
- Teaching Grammar: Subject by Subject, Part 13
- Teaching Beginning Reading: Subject by Subject, Part 14
- Teaching Art: Subject by Subject, Part 15
- Teaching Poetry: Subject by Subject, Part 16
- Teaching Math: Subject by Subject, Part 17