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I need some wisdom you all regarding our schedule. My daughter is in 4th grade and has always been homeschooled with a *mostly* Charlotte Mason style – I say that because although I’ve always embraced CM in my head it has taken me longer than it should to trust the method completely, partly because my daughter has dyslexia and struggles with much of this.
Anyway, we are doing all CM now, but I’m still feeling that something is missing: namely, creativity. I find that after short morning lessons she’s not “inspired” to go through her day with any creativity the way she is when we are doing more creative, hands-on learning. When we are doing that style of learning I can tell that her neurons are firing and she’s creating on her own – but not when we do a whole morning of CM. Also, because her reading level is far below her comprehension level, I’m still reading aloud A LOT, which is fine, but not teaching her to learn on her own.
Advice? Areas that I’m very happy with in our schedule are:
- Copywork (mainly Bible passages)
- Literature/Spelling/etc (using All About Spelling for her needs)
- History – SOTW as a spine with living books throughout (such as The Golden Goblet) combined with Draw Your Way Through History and Draw the World because she’s a multi-sensory learner and it works very well for us.
- Nature Study – mostly. We’ve always been heavy into nature and it comes naturally to us, but it feels a little tired now.
- Science – I know it’s supposed to be nature study, but like I said it just feels bleh right now. Here’s where I think we should be inquisitive and she should be thinking and exploring on her own, but it’s not a natural area for me and I don’t want to spend a lot on pricey science kits, etc. I bought Jay Wile’s book at the beginning of the year and it has short science experiments at the beginning of every lesson, but it’s still mostly me reading aloud and not really getting into the child’s mind to stretch and problem solve and create.
- Handicrafts – we’ve always been ok in this area. Still feels kinda dry right now though.
While I love most things about CM, what’s bothering me right now in our homeschool that I’m praying about is that it seems very “consumer” oriented; meaning, the child is always consuming knowledge that someone else is passing down in the form of books, or whatever. The child is not really tapping into that inner creative potential to learn how things work by doing them . . . that’s the essence of my post, as I just realized. My daughter learns by doing, and other than handicrafts and studying nature to draw (which we do a lot), she’s not doing much other than listening, narrating, and struggling with LA because of her dyslexia. Learning doesn’t feel alive.
Wisdom? Thank you!Melanie32Participant
There are always ups and downs and different seasons in homeschooling. I love Charlotte Mason methods and they have been a great blessing in my homeschool but I’ve also done different things at different times to liven things up or just for something different. We always come back to living books as the mainstay in our home but some of the things we’ve used to shake things up a bit over the years are lapbooks, unit studies, science kits, art kits, hands on history kits, games, movies, field trips, etc.
This is a good time of year to take a break from the regular and do something different for the holidays. We usually do things a bit different from Thanksgiving to New Years. We do more crafts and read more Christmas books. We bake more and study less. My advice is to take a holiday break from most of the regular things and enjoy a bit of freedom to pursue bunny trails and just have fun learning together. We usually continue as usual with math but everything else is optional.
This year my daughter is a junior and it’s just her and I in our homeschool. We plan on making some Victorian Christmas ornaments, baking and continuing the tradition of reading A Christmas Carol and The Best Worst Christmas Pageant Ever together.
You may be ready to continue school as usual after New Years or you may discover some new things you want to continue with. Either way is fine! You are not bound to any one method. Do what works for your family! 🙂
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