Although I didn’t respond to the “True Confessions” post ( Mine would have been more of the same!) , I thought it would be encouraging to share ideas for taking baby steps toward our goals. We’ve established the fact that nobody’s perfect, and it would be impossible to “fix” everything over night, but share if there is an area or two that you really want to improve in the next school year. Let’s encourage one another with our (realistic!) goals and plans for reaching those goals!
I’ll start. In an effort to do better at spreading the feast, I’m going to try loop scheduling the enrichment studies: artist and composer studies, hymn study, poetry and Shakespeare… am I missing anything? I figure that just doing some of all of them would be an accomplishment even if it isn’t every week.
As far as Shakespeare, I’m just going to spend this year reading Shakespeare Stories to my children and worry about covering a whole play some other year.
For nature study I’m going to use the getting started ebook from Barb at The Handbook of Nature Study and see where that takes me. I’m also planning to ask a friend of mine, who loves hiking, if she and her children would like to go on a nature walk with my kids and I a couple of times this summer. If we plan it, it will get done! For me, it has to be simple and small steps or it won’t happen!heathermaParticipant
We plan on taking our field guides and notebooks camping this summer, making lists of mushrooms , flowers, or butterflies seen. It’s worked out well other years…
Being faithful to keep trucking with SW, should help my struggling speller, plus I can do the same lesson with both D’s 9 and 11.
Looking at allowing them to use my computer for a math game like Math Blasters just for working on math facts in a different way this summer.
Having them read aloud to their baby sister a few times a week to work on that skill.
Made a summer dreams list as a family of places/projects/activities we all might like to do as opportunity and finances allow. (Fishing, camping, fire pit, bug musuem etc…)
And a list of around the house needs for fixing, organizing or cleaning. Disciplining myself to tackle at least one thing a day off that one.MissusLeataParticipant
Ha! I took that thread as permission to be this way. 🙂
I went to a meeting with a CM guru and came home both inspired and discouraged a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been looking at some Sally/Clay Clarkston stuff and have decided that for us, spreading the feast needs to be more relaxed. I am not running a Christian school, I’m running a home.
So, I think we’ll read a history book every day until it’s done and then do a literature book. Trying to read multiple books at a time is just overwhelming for me.
I’m trying to declutter the house before school starts so that maybe school will go more smoothly. 🙂
And I’m working on some habits with the kids that will hopefully help things go more smoothly.
I still have no plans for Shakespeare. 🙂MichelleParticipant
MissusLeata…Yes! I finally accepted this year I could NOT give my kids a Charlotte Mason education AND run my home. I’m still figuring out what this means, but it has been so freeing. We’re enjoying our read alouds more.
My new favorite homeschooling book is Teaching From Rest. I plan to adopt a Sabbath approach and plan 6 weeks at a time, one week off… (I will still use SCM Planning Your CM education for a year outlook, but being able to reassess every six weeks sounds refreshing.)Melanie32Participant
Well at this point, I’m pretty comfortable with what we are doing and even with what we are not doing. After nearly 14 years of homeschooling, we have settled into a rhythm that works for us and I am content.
I am more thinking about how I can pursue “mother culture” for myself. I think I’m going to get some books on nature study and start my own nature journal. If this inspires my daughter to keep a nature journal, all the better. 🙂Melanie32Participant
I think I would have been so overwhelmed had I tried to implement a full CM education when my kids were little. I still find myself overwhelmed at times and “spreading the feast” feels more like just lengthening the to do list instead! I pare back at those times and focus on the basics until I am ready to add more things in again.
I also find that when a curriculum tells me how many books to read and how much of them to read each day or week, I get stressed out. However when I choose the books and determine how much we will read and when, it becomes a pleasure again.
I highly recommend Ruth Beechick’s books for those who are feeling overwhelmed. She really lays things out and brings us back to the basics. I read her book, A Biblical Home Education, every 6 months or so and it brings me peace.RainesParticipant
Starting tomorrow through the end of the week we are going to do a geography camp to talk about some of the topics we just haven’t gotten to cover.
Next fall, I am going to use the lesson plans for Enrichment Studies, volume 1 and Individual studies for grade 4 (and possibly 3) with only a little tweaking. When things are laid out for me, we are so much more successful. Hopefully, this will cut back on my overplanning and worrying that we’re not doing enough.
Ever since the true confessions post, I have been thinking about how I can educate my children with simplicity, striving for excellence and peace. I have plans for mother culture too, but I’m off to decorate a Lego birthday cake for ds5 today!AimeeParticipant
Great thoughts, Ladies! You certainly do have permission to be how you are! ? I had no intentions of making anyone think they HAD to change. I just know that I’ve continued to learn and grow over the years (I’ve been homeschooling for 13 years.) and as I do, I implement changes.
I’m in full agreement with all of you on simplifying things until there’s peace. I’m also a big fan of Ruth Beechick, Sally Clarkson and Sarah McKenzie’s new book. I highly recommend the Carol Joy Seid DVDs from Compass Classroom called Homeschooling Made Simple. She says all you need is a Bible, a math program and a library card. Well, unless you need something to teach reading. I realize that’s not freeing to everyone. Some people are less stressed if they have the plan already made for them. I used to be one of those people but now I’m more relaxed if I do my own planning. Yay for SCMs Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education!
Next book on my list is Durenda Wilson’s The Unhurried Homeschooler. Check her out at simplenourishinghome.com she’s so encouraging!
Yes, only make the changes you feel the Lord is leading you to make.KMHStoreParticipant
Ok well I went back and looked at my “true confession”. Basically my kids are 4 and 6 and we’re doing Bible and the 3Rs daily with lots of arts and crafts. But no nature study, no poetry, no artist study, no music, no hymns and no composer study.
We have lots of tools and resources but nothing gets done or planned. So here are my baby steps:
(1) Last week I cleaned out all the homeschool stuff and separated resources by type – music CDs, art books, art cards, poetry books, nature study, etc. as well as all the other subjects. – DONE
(2) Make a list of all these wonderful resources. – NEED TO DO
(3) Make the decision that we are not going to do any formal CM art or music or poetry study or nature study. Instead decide that we are going to take the next year for exposure and pleasure. For example – just to listen to music. To get me in the habit of at least playing the music in the CD player. And just to read Mother Goose rhymes. And just to enjoy the art cards displayed somewhere – a few at a time. And maybe to do a nature hike once or twice a month, or a nature scavenger hunt in the yard. – DECISION MADE
(4) Make a list of nearby places to take a hike and collect in once place all the nature scavenger hunt printables that I’ve printed off the internet. – NEEDS TO BE DONE
(5) And now the hard part. Figure out how to do it. And for this I’ll probably try do one thing at a time. For example, to pick a music CD, any CD, and start playing it. And figure out what times of day are good for playing music. And which activities are good for also listening to music. Then when I figure that out, start adding something else. – NEEDS TO BE DONE
(6) Print this post I’ve written so that I don’t walk off and forget it all. – NEEDS TO BE DONE
I want to be more consistent with getting outside and doing nature study.
I need to de-clutter and finish organizing our homeschool space.
I want to set aside some daily reading/story-time with my younger kids who are not schooling yet.
I need to work on having an organized and consistent morning routine for all of us.
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