Last week we talked about determining which subjects you plan to teach in each grade. Did you outline them? That information will make the next step much easier: planning your year.
When you begin to plan for a year, look at your 12-year overview and see which subjects you have planned to teach your children. For example, if you will have a child in Grade 3, Grade 5, and Grade 8, look at the subjects you have decided to teach in those grades.
I like to combine all my children together for as many subjects as possible. It saves me a lot of time, and the children gain the benefit of learning from each other. As you plan, you’ll probably want to organize your subjects into several lists: one for subjects you’ll do all together as a Family and one for each child’s individual work.
Next, on those lists, add the topics you want to cover in each subject. Let’s say you have History on your Family list for this year. That’s great. Which time period are you going to study? That’s your topic. Or maybe you have Picture Study on your Family list. Which artists will you cover? Those are your topics. So add your topics to your subjects.
Then comes the fun part: resources! After you know which topics you want to cover this year, you can select the resources you want to use to teach those topics. If you are going to focus on, say, the Middle Ages for History, make a list of books, CDs, and other resources that you want to use. (Tip: You may want to put some Middle Ages books on your Family list and other Middle Ages books on your older children’s lists for them to read independently in addition to the Family books.)
As you look for resources, keep in mind the goals that you determined during the Big Picture step. How important a topic is to you will affect which resources you choose to use. If you simply want to introduce a topic, you will select a resource that doesn’t go into a lot of depth; but if you want to dig deeply into a certain topic, you’ll pick the resource that gives all the details and might take a little more time to cover. (See, your Big Picture affects your planning in this area too!)
There are lots of great Web sites that carry Charlotte Mason-friendly resources and living books. Some of our favorite suppliers are
- Beautiful Feet
- Greenleaf Press
- Lifetime Books and Gifts
- Queen Homeschool Supply
- and, at the risk of sounding self-promoting, Simply Charlotte Mason
Where do you like to find good CM resources? Leave a comment and share your favorites.