Do you ever feel like you'll never be able to do it all!

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  • Becca

    I’m currently planning for Fall, when my son will be 7 and in first grade (form 1? I don’t ever know…). Last year we did All About Reading. We switched to Richele’s math in the middle of the year when he started HATING the Horizons math book we were doing. We did All About Spelling, but he wasn’t really into it at all, and honestly, neither was I.

    Apart from those three things, and morning reading, nothing was consistent. We did sporadic art “studies” (if you can call them that), rarely listened to classical music, and nature journaled on a whim. I couldn’t seem to figure out fitting EVERYTHING in! I wasn’t too worried about it, since it was his Kindergarten year, but this year I’m trying to stick to a better routine and add in maybe a new consistent element (or two). But when I go back and revisit all there is to do in the CM method, I get SO overwhelmed! How in the world can I fit it all in, plus give him the free time he needs to explore? Not to mention, help my 4-year-old feel like he’s involved with what we’re doing, without inadvertently “doing school” with him when he’s a little young to start anything too structured? I’m just feeling a bit of anxiety around planning next year…will I ever get into the swing of things and feel like I’m covering the ground we need to, while giving him the time and space to play and learn on his own?!?!?


    First accept you will not be able to do it all 🙂

    We just finished year 6 (or 7, if you include kindergarten) and some years we have done better with adding in enrichments, others years we have not. I have learned to let it go and stop stressing it 🙂

    I had to remind myself that Charlotte Mason was not a homeschooling mom she was a teacher with assistants, she was not caring for a household of kids, husband, extra carriculars, family members… She had wonderful ideas but I had to take those ideas and be realistic for what I could do with my family. Why I love SCM resources, they make CM methods doable with out pressure to overdo it 🙂

    For us I found focusing by quarter to work better. Instead of spreading the entire feast the entire year focusing on art study for a quarter, music study the next quarter, and so on. I wanted to “do it all, all the time” but it was not working. Since relaxing, and my kids becoming more independent learners, spreading the feast is getting easier.

    So pick a few things to add in next year, but remember the goal is a life long learner, you don’t have to fit it all in in 12 years of formal education 🙂 Your kidos are still quite young, keep school enjoyable and don’t stress a “perfect” education, do what works for you and your family 🙂


    Also keep in mind lesson time, dont let the lessons get long. In 1st grade my kids still did only about an hour of seat work spread over the morning. Learning still allowed a lot of wiggle time included. Learning through games and outdoor play is still a big part of school.

    I also found that if I sat with my youngest first he was more willing and ready for me to do school with the big kids later. By giving that attention first it helped a lot! I also included him by allowing him to play quietly while I read and would get his input too. I was amazed at what he retained just playing cars or playddugh as I read a science book.


    The short answer – yes! My oldest will be graduating our homeschool next summer. I don’t know how that is possible and I don’t feel ready even though we have homeschooled all the way through. We have never done it ‘all’ at one time. And to be completely transparent, I have 10 children, so I doubt I will ever feel like we have time to do it all. The kids are now in grades: 12, 8, 7, 5, 4, 2, 1, K, with a preK toddler and a 4 month old baby bringing up the rear.

    We have done different things depending on the year. Some years we choose a term for artist/art, a term for music/composer, and a term for poetry. Handicrafts tend to be winter projects for us. Nature study is short and when things present themselves (season changes, for example). Shakespeare just hasn’t happened consistently ever.

    Other years we do a loop schedule for those ‘riches’. So I make a short list: artist, art, composer, music, poetry, handicraft, nature study for example. On Monday we may do the first two things. Then Tuesday we learn about a composer a bit. Wednesday we get to nothing. Thursday we might do music, poetry, and handicraft. Friday nothing. When the next week rolls around we pick up where we left off, with Nature study. That week we may get through the whole list or we may not. The loop schedule just keeps sprinkling all the possibilities through your days and months.

    Remember, when your children are older, middle or high school, they can really do studies in some of these areas independently. For example, my 12th grader will study art history this year. She’s had a large exposure to artists and their art over the years a bit at a time. She has done a lot of art creation. We’ve visited museums occasionally. This year she will really go through art history from ancient to now as her final exposure during her homeschool years. Then she has the rest of her life to keep learning if she is interested.

    There are times and seasons for everything. The early grades (through 3rd grade) I really focus on solidifying basics like learning to read, learning to notice things, basic math, basic handwriting. We do a lot of fun day to day life, school is short at that age, and we don’t worry about getting to every possible topic Charlotte Mason would have planned.

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