Back to Basics

I don't have any great "cheap finds" to report this week as I wasn't out purposely hunting them down. The only things that might qualify are a few books I got for trade at our local second-hand bookstore. I took in a bag of books yesterday and came out with a Star Wars book that Blakester picked out, a Ted Dekker book for me and Julie of the Wolves for our home library.

Today was blueberry pancakes for breakfast, sheet changing, grocery shopping and a great amount of time spent purging some unnecessary curriculum and workbooks to sell. Now it's homemade chili and cornbread for dinner.

If you noticed my sidebar, you'll see I'm on to a couple of new reads. I'm revisiting A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola and The Original Home Schooling Series written by Ms. Charlotte Mason herself. I've been drawn to the CM method since I started researching homeschooling. As I went back through my other homeschooling books, I noticed one of the first pages I had bookmarked was on her method. I've tried to implement it here and there, but never fully. After talking with my oldest kids today, I think I'm prepared to ease into it full-time.

When we started back to school a few weeks ago, I was excited with the extra group time we were going to do. Now after trying it out, the consensus is that it is too much time! Our goal has always been to try and do our work completely before lunch and leave afternoons open for free time. But extending group time and adding in extra stuff, like the dictionary skills, makes our day drag out. We decided to nix a few things that added up to just busy work. Why do I need a workbook to teach dictionary skills? Why don't I just send them to the dictionary and have them look up some words? Because I'm a curriculum junkie and always on the lookout for something "extra" to add in.

Back to Charlotte Mason. She believed in short lessons; not a lot of busywork, afternoons spent out of doors and in handicrafts (that are useful) and instilling "habits" in the children. Right up my alley. If I can give up the checklist syndrome!

Right now I'm doing some more research and planning to get my ducks in a row. I'm pretty sure I'm going to follow the plan, especially for history, that is laid out by Sonya at Simply Charlotte Mason. The one thing we're going to change right away is Blakester's handwriting. He's almost done with his Rod and Staff penmanship, so we ordered Pictures in Cursive Book A for him from Queen's Homeschool. This will enable him to do a picture study along with copywork for his cursive writing.

You can read more about Charlotte Mason and her methods at these websites:

There are also a lot of blogs out there about Charlotte Mason methods. You can see a list of some here:

I will post my changes as I go. Please pray for my endeavor to get "back to basics".

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