Help! I just began using the SCM curriculum with my new first grade daughter, who also happens to have moderate-high functioning autism. She struggles SO MUCH to focus, especially when listening to any kind of read aloud. Our first day using a truly CM method called for reading 75 verses from Luke as well as a narration. (Matthew-Acts, lesson 1) We barely got through about 12 verses before I wanted to explode. I could tell by looking at her eyes that she was only “with me” for maybe 5-10% of it. She was looking around, playing with anything she could find, sometimes not even aware that I was speaking. I also have 3 younger children (ages 4, 2, and 7mos) who only increase the distraction. The 6yo had no idea what I had read, even though I was asking for a narration after only 1-3 verses. This seems way too intense for first grade. Am I doing something wrong? I can’t spend my entire day just trying to get through one “day” of first grade and I definitely don’t want the majority of our school time to be me saying “Focus!” “Pay attention!” “You’re not listening!” and just generally looking/feeling/sounding like I’m irritated with her. She was better last year with our old curriculum but it wasn’t a true CM curriculum and it also required very little listening/narration.MelissaParticipant
While I adore SCM materials and recommended readings, I have found that for the main/spine readings that they are too much for a 6yo to handle. I am not including my recently-turned 7yo in the Bible/History/Geography lessons with my 14, 11 and 8yo kids this year. The 8yo does ok with them. There was another post on here recently where people gave some great recommendations for that age. I’ll look for it.
Keep your readings SHORT. Don’t worry about getting through everything.
In fact, for history, I prefer to start (in the elementary years) to start with children’s biographies (D’Aulaires bios, or similar) and use no spine. Read the bio over the course of a week or two – a couple of pages a day. Linger with the story, follow the rabbit trails, learn about the person.
One of my favorite questions to open narration for the little ones (and history, in particular) is “In what ways are you like [particular person]?” I had the most interesting answers when I asked my kids in what ways they were like daVinci last year.MonicaParticipant
For Bible, we have a memory verse every week. Otherwise, though, I find that reading through a children’s bible engages them more – involves them in the story, helps them remember important figures, etc.
Thank you all so much! I feel very relieved to know that it’s not just us who find this to be too much for a 6yo. My gut instinct was to skip the history/bible curriculum until 3rd or 4th grade and just do a devotional time instead, so after your responses, I think I might go ahead and do that. Does anyone have any suggestions for historical figures that a crew of young girls might find especially interesting?Wings2flyParticipant
“Does anyone have any suggestions for historical figures that a crew of young girls might find especially interesting?”
Little House on the Prairie series! Little Laura Ingalls and her family…and their bulldog, Jack.
If you want unit studies to go with them, use the Prairie Primer, grades k – 6. Choose whichever extra studies and activities you want to go with them. Bible is included as an option too.
Beautiful Feet Early American History is a nice choice for k – 3 with chronological history. They use the d’Aulaire biographies. We enjoyed it years ago.
Thanks Wings2fly! I love the Little House series. Do you think kids 6 and under can really grasp and appreciate it yet? My 1st grader is my oldest and is on the autism spectrum. She is struggling to understand anything even remotely close to “old English.” We’re reading through Stuart Little now and even that kind of English seems to be a struggle for her.Wings2flyParticipant
The grades k – 6 was from the Rainbow Resource listing. The Prairie Primer book I have is 2nd edition from 2000 and says grades 3 – 6. Sorry for the misinformation. Some reviewers used it for grade 2. You might wait a few more years before doing something more formal like this.
I checked my records and we used it for grades 1 & 4. We did only the first two books, but enjoyed it. We did not do all the suggestions. We used mostly the discussion questions, Bible (character), and music. We did some hands-on projects and pretended to ride in a conastoga wagon. Some books are oop or outdated, so we used what we had or could find at the library. It was fun. We visited a pioneer village and one room schoolhouse. Several years, we just listened to the next book on audio in the van, without the unit study. This year, we will cover The Long Winter with audio and Prairie Primer unit in December for a 6th grader. We have also used Five in a Row and other unit studies (with CM methods). Have you checked about using those? What did you use last year? What worked about it and what didn’t? What do you like about Charlotte Mason methods?
The audiobook of the Little House series has lively, engaging narration with snippets of fiddle music. We listened to the first half of the books a few years before we used the unit studies. You could do something less formal like that. There are also a coloring book and picture book series of My First Little House.
We also listened to music from that time period. We still enjoy listening to them on occasion. It is funny now because my dc thought the lyrics to Old Dan Tucker was “you’re too late for your sucker” (instead of supper). Only a kid would think of candy, right? Here is the music we enjoyed from three CDs:
Scroll way down to the bottom of this list to chapter books and you will see titles for Little House on the Prairie series:
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