Chronological History & Schedules
I am having a little trouble trying to comprehend what to do with my children and how to schedule them. They are in 1st and 3rd grades. I would really like to know, do I have to follow History in chronological order, do you recommend that geography always compliment and go along side History and does Bible and History have to go together or can I do CM anyway it fits, and it will all still work out?? And about science and Nature studies, how to go about it besides reading the Living books. And can I get most of what I need at the library? I know that I am asking a lot, but my children love when I read to them and when we talk together and I thought the CM approach and using Living books was for us. We tried the “DRY” curriculum with my daughter for the first couple of years and all she did was cry when we would do school, so we are changing. I was going to use Five in a Row, and did start, but it still is not the way I would like to school. And I would like to school both children at the same time as much as I can.
I would like to know which of your books would help me the most with these things. Thanks for your time and God Bless you for helping so many others like myself!!!
I have schedules in both A Charlotte Mason Education (the 1st book) and in the 2nd book, More Charlotte Mason Education. My third book is a book-list book that guides CM moms toward the titles that Charlotte Mason used in her schools and many more books the we current CM followers have found. That book gives clear indication as to age appropriate books and “why” any given book is a good choice for a well read child. Also, that 3rd book has a scope and sequence in the back that is very clear and accurate as to “what” children in the USA cover in each grade level. It’s called A Literary Education; An Annotated Book List.
The answers to your questions are in all 3 of my books and I don’t want to sound like I’m giving you the hard sell but with the age of your children I think you need them all. You can get them at the library if buying 3 books is more than you were wanting to do. Even if your library doesn’t have my books on the shelf they can inter-library-loan them for you. Just ask them to do that.
I am a real home school mom and I still home school so as I attempt to answer some of your questions please remember that I’m using my experience along with Charlotte Mason’s written works, a combination, so to speak.
No, I do not study history in chronological order. If you do then you have to start way, way, way back in time when the children are far too young, in my opinion, to be exposed to such ancient history. PLUS, the nice, living books intended for the younger children are mostly about Pioneer times for America and/or the Explorers, or Colonial America. Now, CM did mention to study topics in chronological order but I take her to mean that when you cover a country or a certain war or a life (biography) by all means do that study in chronological order. I don’t think we have to start at the beginning of time with our little 1st graders. Not everybody agrees with me on this, but you know, home schooler are individuals not clones and it is okay to think for oneself.
And no, the daily Bible reading does not have to coincide with anything else you’re covering. Life does overlap and connective topics do come up, on their own, you don’t have to force the connections. Both Charlotte Mason and I think that.
I won’t go into a lengthy answer to your science questions here but there is a chapter on that in the first book. Do go outside a lot, do try a voluntary nature notebook, (aka nature diary) and always teach the practical before the abstract. And yes, use lots of living books.
To teach two children at the same time divide everything into two groups, skills and knowledge. Skills are aged based and need to be taught at that child’s level. Learning how to read, spell, write, and do math are some skills. You will probably have to teach that side of education at separate levels, if you don’t then good for you!! You have an advantage that most of us don’t have. All other topics, subjects, classes, etc can be learned all together. For example, cover elephants and volcanoes, and biology and history together, with both children, using the same books and field trips. The younger one will respond and narrate at a different level than the older one will but that’s okay, the two of them do that on everything they experience in your house. One of them is older than the other one and they are probably used to that.
Please avoid anything dry and boring. The very second you see that something is causing tears and boredom drop it like a bad habit. There will always be a more interesting way to learn something and there will always be a more boring way to learn something. Keep yourself to the interesting and the children will love to learn. That is the whole key to CM. The love of learning.
Thank you and I hope I’ve been of some help,
Catherine, Thank you so much for all your expert advice!!! I will definitely get all three of your books to read and have as a reference. God Bless