Book Lists and Scheduling
I have a question. I have read all three of your books and I think they are great! Your books are the reason I was introduced to CM and decided to stick with CM. The [3rd book] A Literary Education is a great list of books and info about them but I was wondering if you have ever compiled a schedule and booklist of what books you used for certain subjects and what age or grade you used them? My children are young, what books should I use for science and history? Thanks again for the website and all the books!
Yes I have lists of what books I used for what subjects and at specific ages. But that is all written in my planners that I’ve kept over the years.
One reason I didn’t write out an “age list” is because I had five children so we grouped together and covered the same topic. Meaning the six year old was learning and reading the same book as the eight year old, the thirteen year old, etc.
If you think of skills and topics as separate it helps you to make things practical. Skills are learning to how to read, write and progress in math, to name a few. Different children at different ages will naturally be at different levels. Spelling is another good example because it is an area where you need to direct the assignment according to the skill level of the child.
With knowledge based topics we would all cover the same thing from the same book regardless of my children’s varying ages. If my family is going to cover volcanoes then we will obtain some interesting books on that topic and cover it as a subject all together.
With skills we would have to cover the subject according to age level. Like math for example. My eight year old would have a math book for an eight year old. There is little doubt that he would need a book geared for his age group and unless he is gifted he would not be covering the same kind of math his sixteen year old sister is learning how to do.
I tried to help parents with age appropriate books by including the IRL, independent reading level in A Literary Education while knowing that read alouds would occur with younger children. In other words, little children are able to learn about George Washington from a book written to an older child or even an adult if it is read out loud to them. Sure, they might not catch everything in the book but they will understand the majority of the content and their vocabulary will be improved too. I also tried to help parents know what topics to cover at what age level with the national scope and sequence in the back of that book.
Charlotte Mason destroyed her curriculum yearly and if I wrote the kind of thing you are asking about I would be writing a curriculum rather than a book list. Mason didn’t think her methods revolved around a curriculum and she did not want teachers or parents becoming bored by the sameness. I’m not saying that writing a curriculum is bad, not at all. I write mine for my personal use, but like Charlotte I ignore it the next year and start fresh.
With children as young as yours, the sky is the limit. There are so many “living” books in the area of history and science designed for the young child you almost cannot go wrong. Just keep a couple of things in mind:
Is the book interesting? Will it promote the “love for learning?”
Should you happen to get a book that is too advanced for your children you can always hang onto it until they get a little older. Even if your family is not covering volcanoes, for example, you will still need plenty of reading material for them to practice their reading skills as they mature so it would not go to waste. I believe that armed with the book lists you have and being connected with other Charlotte Mason mothers online you will have more than enough resources to use with your children.
Thanks for the questions,
Catherine…I love the way you described that….topics and skills…I’m going to have to reread that one and make it stick! THANKS for that perspective!