I have been homeschooling for 2 years, this is my 3rd. I am not sure I can really count Kindergarten because we mostly built relationships and got a feel for the homeschooling community around here. So this could be considered my 2nd year homeschooling and I have a 2nd grader and a Pre-K 4 year old.
We have been doing Math U See and The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading. We filled in where we could with other random subjects but it wasn't something I had plans or a curriculum for. I decided that my son was bored with Math U See. Working from home part time as a virtual assistant, taking care of the home, the kids activities, and painting doesn't leave me much time to create daily activities to help make math more fun. I decided to switch my curriculum. I went up to our local Homeschool store here, Moore's Expressions, and the lovely ladies up there showed me some options and we narrowed it down to Singapore. He took the placement test and there was a lot on it that we hadn't covered and he figured it out just with the different format. So I decided this was a winner. I haven't received it yet, but it is on its way here!
So this got me thinking....am I really making our homeschool all I can? I came up with a resounding NO. I am that person that plans for the worst. In this case, the worst would be the boys having to go to public school because of some unforeseen circumstance and needing to be able to fit in and understand what is going on.
I had an Ah Ha moment and realized I was holding us back from doing what we really could be doing. We are doing a fantastic nature study based on the Charlotte Mason way called Exploring Nature With Children . I really like it because it gives you an outline of topics by season and the option to expand on them if you want to. We have started nature journaling and I realized that this was the only day out of the week that went really well. We did it together, enjoyed each other's company (mostly), and had time to explore what we wanted without any outside stressers such as what chores we had to do, what was for dinner, etc. I know my problems don't melt away with a nature study, but just getting out and enjoying our time together changed the whole dynamic of our day.
I have a friend who follows Charlotte Mason and I talked to her about this. She recommended I check out Ambleside Online's free Charlotte Mason curriculum. I did and I am in love. I purchased A Charlotte Mason Education (affiliate link) and More Charlotte Mason Education (affiliate link) and I am still reading through them, but they are a great guide on how to get started with Charlotte Mason. If you love books, love nature, and trust that your kids don't need to read Twaddle to understand, this is for you
As I am just getting started, I have downloaded all of my books, reserved them at the library if I couldn't find a free copy, and created my schedule for this coming week. I am very excited and can't wait to try it all out! Do you use Charlotte Mason's ideas? What do you think?
There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience.