January 25, 2010

Year in Review 2009-10: A Charlotte Mason Curriculum (and a thank you!)

Charlotte Mason
This year has been an adventure for us. I say "this year" because our school year is coming to an end (ours runs April 1-March 31 of each year). When the year started, we were relaxed eclectic homeschoolers and now we've been a Charlotte Mason family for almost 12 months! The journey has been challenging yet fun; confusing and enlightening.

Learning and Discovery
I started at AmblesideOnline. This gave me a wonderful start!  Eventually, I found that the many forms of history running side-by-side was "too much". I wanted my children to learn history chronologically. I also had to tweak the books a bit to find more secular reading. For the most part, I follow their book list. 

I also found LivingBooksCurriculum.com which offered a lot of good books although, again, some where too religious.  (I am a Christian but would rather leave the religious teachings to my own religion.) Then there was Tanglewood School Curriculum from which I also gleaned ideas and books as well. 

Simply Charlotte Mason helped to clarify a great deal of things for me!  I have borrowed from all of these sites. There are book lists on all of those sites and schedules on some of them.  In addition, I found useful information and book lists at MacBeth's Opinion

Support and Information
I joined a Charlotte Mason Friends group and a secular CM group where I also found great book lists!

I have also learned & gathered from many wonderful blog writers!
I could go on and on. But that's why I have links and blog rolls. You can plainly see with whom I visit each day. From all that I've gathered and tossed, treasured and put on a back burner.. I have slowly developed a curriculum. My first year has been a year of learning. The next, I may actually have my act together!

I just want to say that all of these sites and all of these women have helped me along this journey. You didn't know it and perhaps you won't even see this... but you were in my classroom helping me each and every day this school year.

How about everyone else? Do you use a curriculum developed by one of these? Did you design your own? What does it look like? Share a link if you'd like.


Happy Homeschooling!
Michelle

7 comments:

  1. I am glad to hear things are going well in your CM HS journey!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  2. I am thinking of making the leap to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. We are mostly ecclectic with a bit of classical, in that we like learning history chronologically and don't want to leave it behind.Your post was very helpful, thank you.

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  3. Thank you for making a post of your journey. I have also been creating my own curriculum. I started out sticking to a classical style because I liked the rigor, and the great books. So my main site for books and how to get going was The Classical Christian Education compiled by Christine Miller. Her book lists had meaty books, with great pictures. Not kiddy pictures but real good art works in them. But it was when I read Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns that I realized that for the grammar stage of learning CM was ideal. SO I poured over many of the sites you mentioned. The book I most was encouraged by was Karen Adreolas and When Children Love to Learn. Keeping a Nature journal solidified for me the concept of nature study and the deep desire to do it.
    I am by nature ecclectic and artsy so I have gravitated towards structured type curriculums which give me a path I can veer from but not lose my kidos as I trundle down interesting bunny trails.
    I also liked what you said about not having too many religious books. I like to chose those myself as well. I like to share with my kids the truth we know and have gleaned.I don't like preachy books or mainstream Christian books. George MacDonald is one of our Favorites.
    I began this journey when my kids were under 4 so I have had many years of freedom to follow bunny trails. These past two years where we have begun lessons on a regular schedule have solidfied my trust in CM. Each year I find I am adding in more and more of her methods and ideas and finding they work and make senese. I love Simply Charlotte Mason because Sonya balances me out. I use her planner and regularly put on the all day teaching seminar DVD and glean. Yearly I go through laying down the rails. Jimmie at Jimmie's Collage has graceously answered questions about creating my own notebook pages and posting on the internet. Barb is a voice of wisdom and order I always an bless by. I have been given a whole new freedom in teaching art skills via her poats. and the blog carnival, a new outlet, is a fun way to meet others like you who are putting ito practice CM methods.
    Sorry for the long comment...but I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Wonder House: I'm glad my post helped!

    Sarah: Thank you for sharing your journey with me! I agree, CM works wonders and gives us so much freedom!

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  5. I am thinking of making the leap to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. We are mostly ecclectic with a bit of classical, in that we like learning history chronologically and don't want to leave it behind.Your post was very helpful, thank you.

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  6. We have been using Ambleside for 5 years now and love it. My children ask for reading books for birthday presents. Each family has to modify it for their family. We love the classical education

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  7.  Candy,
    I'm glad it worked out for you. In time, I realized I didn't care for that particular curriculum. Still, it helped me to understand the CM method. After many trial and error experiences along the way, I found that writing my own curriculum was the best for our family.

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Thank you for joining the conversation!