Tuesday, October 6, 2015

{Charlotte Mason-inspired} Homeschooling without Lesson Plans

This summer I did a lot of pondering, planning, thinking, revising and revisiting regarding the upcoming school year.  Eventually I decided to just start with math and language arts, and then see what happened.  

Math is math and doesn't require 'plans'; language arts is a program I purchased this year, so no planning there.  But what about the other subjects I want to do, but just do not want to sit down once a week and plan out?  

A couple of weeks ago I came up with my genius approach: index cards.  I took a dozen or so index cards and wrote a different subject on each one...things like science, history, composer, art, geography, history tales, biography, poetry, et cetera.  After Finn finishes his math and language arts each day, he can pick 2-3 cards (Annie usually chooses one, too--she's only 4, so she's just along for the ride).  We do the subjects on the chosen cards, then set those cards aside and continue working through the stack the next day. In this way we basically hit all these 'extra' subjects each week, and definitely every two weeks, but I don't have to puzzle out when to do each one. I don't really enjoy puzzling out when to do each one, and am very happy to skip that! There are several "literature (current read-aloud)" cards in a stack--because I like to do that more frequently than once a week-ish. When Finn chose history the other day, we just read the next chapter in the history book, he narrated it, and we were done.  (I approach all subjects in this straightforward way--remembering that the thing is the thing, as Nancy Kelly once wrote.) I keep our current resources in a bin on our school table so they are readily accessible.

I require narrations for several subjects.  We like to do picture narrations from the history reading, oral narrations for fairy tales, history tales, and often for science, and acting narrations for Aesop.

Here's a photo of my index cards...it is supremely simple.  

Less time planning means more time on my other pursuits...less is actually more in this case!

1 comment:

  1. I like this approach, it keeps things a little spontaneous but still ensures that the 'necessary' is covered. Maybe when doing two items Finn could also look to finding what (apparently) disparate subjects have in common?