Topic | Where to start?

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  • amyjane

    I have an almost 5 year old and I have decided to homeschool. In researching my options, I have fallen in love with the ideas and concepts of Charlotte Mason. Most of all that I have learned has been from this site. My question is how to get started. I have purchased Laying down the Rails and it is great. I looked at Planning your CM education. Would it be relevant for a child my age or is that book more geared to a year or so down the road?


    I just wanted to welcome you to this site. I have been here for a year now and LOVE (with all capitals) this site. You will find so much information here and this board is great.

    I started very simple on this CM style of learning with the 15min per subject idea (forming attention), practicing printing as a key idea, and adding literature and nature study. Just some thoughts to get you going epecially with only a 5yr old!



    I guess it would help to mention that I also have an almost 3 year old and ask what if anything I should start with him. Thanks Misty



    Oh, your children are so young! What good and sweet times you have ahead of you!

    Read about CM and methods. I don’t think you need Planning Your CM Education yet. I’d instead consider furthering your own education by reading more on CM’s methods. You don’t need to do much with a 2-3 year old and a 4-5 year old. They really just need a very few things from you at this age. You need to:

    1. Involve them in your daily life–cooking, shopping, etc.

    2. Read. Read. Read.

    3. Spend as much time outdoors as you possibly can.

    I know that sounds simple and against the “trend” of beginning formal academics earlier and earlier, but I honestly believe there is no better use of time for children under six than those three things. In fact, I feel sad for children I’ve seen whose parents decide it would be better to do lots of academics, and then they lose the great benefits of unhurried joy in picture books and hours and hours soaked up in the out-of-doors. I believe children will be the better–even learn the better–for this time.

    Michelle D

    Sonya Shafer

    I heartily agree with Michelle’s counsel! Habits, time outdoors, and reading together are most important. This is also a great time to start the habit of Scripture memory.

    If you want some optional add-on ideas, you might take a look at our Early Years Guide. Keep in mind that the ideas suggested there are only if you want to add more than the top priorities mentioned above. (I remember when I had only preschoolers, and sometimes that last half hour before Daddy got home from work sent me scrambling to find something to do with them! 🙂 )

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