New to CM this fall and In need of encouragement

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  • Amy

    Hi everyone.

    I am brand new to dipping my toes in the CM way of teaching.  My heart is palpating.  I have an 11 yo daughter and 8 year old twins that I school at home.  I purchased the living and learning CD set after hearing Sonya speak in Michigan and b/c last school year was complete stress and quite frankly boring and redundant (probably adding to the stress).  My wake up call was my 11 yo asking to “do” history by reading books.  One of my 8 year olds is a total out of doors girl and I’ve always wanted to do the nature journals.

    I feel like I am behind (mostly with regards to history) and don’t know where to begin. I’m torn between wanting to do the American history guide by Beautiful Feet and doing the Truthquest Beginnings guide.  Beautiful Feet recommends starting with American history and Truthquest suggests starting at creation as does SCM.  I don’t want to miss so many excellent books on American history while my kids are young.  Any suggestion or thoughts?

    I feel like my 3rd graders and 6th grader would love American History but that  I would be “behind the 8 ball” if I go that route and not do TQ Beginnings.

    I was also thinking of ordering the SCM DVD/Book – Planning your Charlotte Mason Education.  Did anyone use this and if so was it worth the cost.  I am the type of person who needs step by step directions.

    I did order the Nothing New Press book called The Story of the Ancient World (its a book by Guerber and was revised by Christine Miller) as a Spine for TQ.  Would this be considered a living book?

    Lots of questions I know.  Thanks in advance.



    Have you joined the Truthquest yahoo group? They are really great at giving guidance on where to start.


    Planning Your CM Education is a great resource!  I use it every year while planning for the upcoming year.   It is especially helpful if you want to choose your own books and materials.

    I started my DC with American history and don’t have any regrets about it.  There are wonderful American history books for those ages.  They will get quite a bit of ancient history just from reading through the Bible or stories from a children’s Bible.   I haven’t used either of those particular history programs, so I can’t help you any further there.  I know with SCM’s history, you can jump in whichever program you choose.  I imagine you can with most other programs as well.

    The Story of the Ancient World would be considered a living book.




    Thank you so much.  I appreciate your responses.  Please continue to chime in b/c I’m definitely listening!


    Another option: Do American History for history and TQ Beginnings for Bible time. That way you can do both : ).
    TQ Beginnings is quite a lot. If you use it as Bible, you could stretch it out over a few years and not feel as rushed.

    I found Planning Your CM Education very valuable.


    Also, Truthquest has the American history guides for younger children too if you’re leaning that way.


    We have The Story of the Ancient World from doing Heart of Dakota. It was a good history spine. I intend to collect the set for out own library. Starting history from creation is really fun, but I think having an ongoing Book of Centuries really is key to pulling together each year of history you do. It is fun for them to make connections to times and places no matter what order you learn history in. They can make an entry after reading a book and note the person or event, collect connections. We did the History of Science from Beautiful Feet and it is cool to see names come up again and add new names and discoveries to our previous findings.

    I am looking forward to our first go at the SCM history guides and learning as a family. I am excited for the new Keep It Simple guides SCM has just put out! Homeschooling is a wonderful adventure of preparing the feast to spread out for your children!



    I, too, am brand new to CM this fall but we’ve done lit-based history for four years now. I did two years of American history with ds (second and third grades) using the TruthQuest American History for Younger Students guides. I compressed the II and III guides into one year. Ds and I both *loved* it! It was a lot of work on my part (though I downloaded a great schedule from the TQ Yahoo group files, which helped tremendously). But it was absolutely wonderful!

    After that, I decided to do a four-year rotation b/c ds is dyslexic and I knew he needed the repetition or he was never going to remember Ancients by high school. So we jumped to using Mystery of History with loads of added in books and started with ancient history. He seemed to make the switch just fine from working up until modern American history and then going way back to ancients. Not that I think the way we did things is *the* way–just that it can work to do American and then go back to the ancient stuff and work your way forward.

    I have to say that Beautiful Feet is calling to me, though we have enjoyed MOH. If MOH vols. 2 and 3 lined up with Beautiful Feet, I would probably have gone with a BF guide for the fall. Love their books! And I think we may end up switching to BF for the next four years.

    Don’t know if I answered your questions but hopefully some of this was helpful, from one newbie to another!



    Thank you everyone for taking time to write.  My husband is inclined to see me do the American History b/c of the age split and start w/ Begginings next year when the 8 yo’s can grasp it better.

    i do think I will get the Planning the Chalotte Mason way DVD right away based on your comments.

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