Topic | Help…new homeschooling mom…

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  • Karli

    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Karli. We live in the Western Cape, South Africa. We have not officially started homeschooling (meaning we are not registered as a homeschooling family or bought a curriculum anywhere). My eldest is only supposed to start “school” next year when he turns 7, but I have done some preschool activities with them. I have two boys aged 4 & 6 years old. So far, the only thing I have done in preperation for their homeschooling, was to read parts of “Better late than Early” by Raymond Moore and had thus had my children lead the way in their learning capabilities, interests and styles.

    I have to start working from home next year doing some photography and admin work to earn extra money specifically for our homeschooling outings, projects, material, educational tours etc., since our finances are VERY tight and limited with my husband working full time in a non-profit ministry.

    My boys are both exceptionally eager learners. They love books and any opportunity to learn something wheather it be biblical, scientific or in nature. They have wonderful imaginations, especially after studying an animal on one of their educational dvd’s. After watching it, they go into the garden with their animal toys and reenact the nature scenes and habitat of the animal they just learnt about. I never have to ask them to watch and learn about the animals, they do it themselfs. Some days we even have a clash of will’s as my husband and I are not fond of the children watching dvd’s everyday, but they want to learn the whole time. It is exactly the same with their biblical dvd’s. They watch and go and reenact the bible story. Like I said, we are not pro children of their age watching too much dvd’s, so we have strict rules on that. We don’t own animations (Disney / Pixar or whatever) and we don’t have TV / Cable. We can only watch dvd’s, and they only have either bible or educational dvd’s.

    What bothers me the most is that we have no structure in our days / weeks / months. At this stage I take one day at a time. Some days are consumed with helping my husband with admin / taxes, other days I (we) just do house chores and sort the washing out (the boys do help me with some chores, but they have no set routines or chores). Some days we do a little school work, some days they just want to play / swim.

    I would like some input / suggestions / guidance on a few things:

    1. How should I structure my days / weeks to balance work. school, house chores and social outings?
    2. When, how and what do I need to start / implement the CM way of homeschooling?
    3. What should it involve daily for boys their age regarding schooling?
    4. Do I need to buy a curriculum?
    5. Must i register with SCM to follow her homeschooling principles?

    Any help, advice, guidance or suggestions will be very appreciated. If you think there is anything I might have left out / forgotten to add, please feel free to give me your opinion / suggestions. I need all the help I can get!

    Blessings to you all!


    It sounds as if you are giving your children a wonderful education already!!  They are young, they have lots of time with you and lots of time for free play.  They have time for imagination and they are working with you.

    The Moore book, “Better Late Than Early” was one of the first homeschooling books that I read as well and I loved it.  It would probably help you to do some further reading on Charlotte Mason’s ideas if you want to implement more of her methods.  Of course, it is great to read her actual books, but there are others that are shorter and easier to read that could help you get started.  One of my favorites was “For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer McCauley.  Karen Andreola’s book, “A Charlotte Mason Companion” is also excellent and Catherine Levinson has written several small books that are quick reads and very helpful.  

    You do NOT have to register anywhere and you do NOT have to buy a curriculum.  In fact, since money is tight for you, maybe we can give you some ideas for free curriculum to use.  There was recently a thread about copywork where several sites were listed for free copywork.  Some of my personal favorites are vintage books from Google books.  

    I think that copywork and narration would be the first CM methods to implement if I were you.  Sonya (the ‘owner’ of this site) has written several blog posts on both and the easiest way for you to start would be to read her posts.  


    You know, I reread the original poster’s comments, and I was thinking that maybe you do have to register somewhere. I don’t know the legal aspects of homeschooling in South Africa, so I would say you should check with a local homeschool organization to see what you are required to do in order to legally homeschool where you live.

    The Home School Legal Defense Association has an international branch on its website with links to a lot of helpful information. Here is a link to their page for South Africa:

    As far as SCM is concerned, you may utilize any of the recommendations from the free curriculum guide at no cost to you, and we have found a lot of the books we need at our local public library or online through various sites. There are some books and other materials that can be purchased through the SCM bookstore, but you are not obligated to purchase those in order to use any of the free resources here, such as the curriculum guide. The SCM blog also has a lot of articles with helpful information about how to teach certain subjects or how to apply Charlotte Mason’s ideas on education.



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