Sunday, July 19, 2015

Simple School Planning (Charlotte Mason-style)

Our school year (Finn in third grade, Annie in kindergarten) starts a week from tomorrow, and my planning is done.  The evolution of planning amuses me: when Finn began kindergarten I created elaborate weekly plans with an equally elaborate filing system. 

Each year I simplify more.  Keeping the end goal in mind is helpful.  So this year after overthinking our schedule to the point of feeling confused this summer, I boiled it all down!  Our daily work is to read the Bible and pray together, sing a hymn, read a poem or read some Shakespeare, narrate from two of four books (2 books on Monday/Wednesday, and 2 different books on Tuesday/Thursday, alternating between history, history tales, literature and nature studies), have Finn read one chapter aloud to me from a biographical book, do copywork, and do math.  I created a booklist for Finn and we just work our way through it.  Annie's 'booklist' is actually just a series, the My Book House set that belonged to my grandmother!

Our daily work also includes chores, piano practice and nighttime read-alouds--Wilder's series for Finn, and Beatrix Potter for Annie.

In addition we'll do gardening, art lessons, swim lessons, nature studies, geography, composer studies, picture studies, poetry, Shakespeare, but not at the same time!  These will be woven into our year as we progress.  I find that I'm a better teacher when I keep my schedule simple and focused, and I don't try to cram in too much at once.  Nancy Kelly wrote that you should "keep cutting back until there is peace in your home," and that's the advice I'm following!  

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