Tag Archives: Goals

Thinking Out Loud…Halfway Through 2016-2017

How are we doing this year? On track to finish at the end of May. We took a week off for my unexpected surgery and then spent 3 lovely weeks in Florida on vacation.

 

I’m glad we started in August last year; it gave me a mental buffer even though we weren’t expecting a baby this year…and recovering from abdominal surgery has been harder than recovering from a birth. On paper, our schedules are very balanced and doable. In reality, I am struggling with very long days for myself, generally 8:30 am to 9:30 pm without much/any margin. Kid Seis is Super Destructo Toddler–she can destroy our entire house in 3 minutes.  And send us all into hysterics watching her because she is so FUNNY!

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But she is very hard to keep up with, and it seems like someone else is always getting the short end of the stick. My elegant solution is to hand the stick to a different person every day 🙂 We are doing well covering the skill subjects and readings. It has worked well combining Kids Dos and Tres for several readings. They have a sweet relationship with each other, without the competitive element between Kid Uno and Kid Dos. We are doing great at spending 1+ hours outdoors daily, even though it’s been a COLD winter. img_20170119_123554738

DH takes the kids on an outing most Saturdays, which is fun for the kids and gives me some very appreciated. I’m starting to get into planning mode for next year; I always enjoy planning.

It’s all the “extras” that feel very rushed to me; I assign something to a kid, and then nag and say “hurry up and finish, we have so much other stuff to get done”. But really, I want them to dive into their art projects or handicrafts or outdoor exploration, and really spend some time enjoying it.  So that is something for me to improve over the next 18 weeks. I’ll have the 3 older kids doing the same thing every day, to see if it streamlines things a bit. So everyone does picture study one day, nature journals another day, sports another day, art project another day, handicraft another day…

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Also–the little kids. I want to grab a bunch of picture books, Five In A Row Style, and read them a couple times, and do a few activities that we are inspired to do. Kid Cuatro is a little academic. She spends hours drawing, and now writing, as long as she has a willing parent or sibling around to spell it for her. She doesn’t even listen anymore when we read her stories because she is too busy sounding out words on the page. She’s begging for reading lessons. And she’s not quite five yet! I think I’ll start reading lessons with her when Kid Tres finishes 100 EZ Lessons, probably in March. SONY DSCKid Cinco needs more cuddling, more stories, more playtime WITH me, and lots of music. He loves music! I bought a CD player to replace our broken one, and showed him how to use it so he can put on CDs by himself. SONY DSCThe little kids also need more art, and more board and card games through the rest of winter. Kid Dos has been dying for horseback riding lessons, so she and Kid Tres will start weekly lessons in March. Then we’ll have one day with music lessons, one day with horseback riding lessons, and three days with ballet classes. Plus house church, Sunday church, fitting in visits with friends, family outings,travel and hosting people, etc. It feels like so much. img_20161109_110652916

How can I streamline? Maybe clustering kid chores in 3-4 days per week, instead of every day. Maybe cutting out Bible with each individual older child, and just reading Egermeir’s as a group (DH has been reading the Bible with all of them at night). What about not scheduling drawing on nature journal days, and not scheduling handwriting on days when Kid Uno has lots of written narrations? Perhaps making math lessons a bit shorter. Maybe scheduling a few things which seem less “schoolish” for the weekends (music appreciation, handicrafts, longer readings like Robin Hood). Sometimes I could save a bit of work with older kids for after DH gets home in the evening and can watch the noisy little ones. Maybe having older kids help with the baby during the day while I take a turn with another one. And next year, I may try scheduling a 4 day week or an 11 week term, and see if that helps. Or maybe just drop all of my very detailed plans and unschool instead 😉img_20161230_111011926

Goals of Education

When Kid Uno was about five years old, DH and I brainstormed some pretty rough educational goals for our children. Four years later, I have more specific goals for our kids. Everything beyond Year 3 is very much a work in process, and the years we have completed (so far, Years 1-3) will continue to be modified for each child. These goals will be modified and updated at least once a year 😉 I picture each of our children receiving an education somewhat tailored to their interests and gifts, while also exposing them to common cultural knowledge and developing necessary skills. I like the idea of starting broad, and narrowing/deepening as they grow up, and grow into themselves. At this point, I am only considering ages 6-14; after that, I expect them to have a fair amount of input as to the direction they want to take with their lives. Maybe an Associates Degree at age 18? Maybe some shadowing or technical training for a chosen field of work? Maybe college, grad school, internships? Maybe studying at home with me? Who knows!

So here are my very-much-in-process goals and curricula for the next few years (the first part is goals, and the second part is subjects broken down by year):

Goals for Years 1-8 (age 6-14)

a ? or blank space means I’m undecided or playing with ideas or haven’t researched enough yet

special studies means something tailored to the student or designed with his input

AO is Ambleside Online and MA is Mater Amabilis

 

Reading

  • to learn to read fluently through phonics and plenty of practice reading aloud
  • to enjoy reading and be competent in various types of reading
  • to pronounce words correctly, have pleasant elocution, and be comfortable with public speaking
  • to separate personal opinion from that of the author
  • to be able to comprehend the main point of a text upon a single, careful reading
  • to have a long attention span and an ability to concentrate on and understand difficult text

Writing

  • to learn to print and to write and read cursive
  • to be precise and neat
  • to be exposed to lots of good writing
  • to learn to summarize through oral narration
  • to learn to compare/contrast, notice setting and character, order events chronologically, assign motive, etc. through oral narration
  • to learn to type
  • to master English grammar and spelling
  • to be able to write effectively in any format

Arithmetic

  • to master addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction, percents, ratio, English and metric weights and measure, time, money, algebra, geometry
  • to enjoy math competency and see how it is used in daily life
  • to understand statistics
  • to manage personal finances
  • to be aware of higher math which might be required in or enhance various fields

Drawing

  • to observe carefully
  • to replicate what is seen by using perspective, line, shading, etc.
  • to achieve a level of proficiency which makes drawing an easy and enjoyable way to communicate

Computers

  • To have very minimal use of screens at young ages
  • To learn word processing and programming at appropriate ages (when needed for efficiency)
  • To know her way around a computer (able to create, save, and organize files; navigate the Internet; make purchases; send emails; etc.)
  • To use reliable sources for research
  • To use common sense in communication

Literature

  • to be exposed to all forms of lit (rhymes, fables, folk tales, fairy tales, myths, novels, plays, sci fi, utopian, dystopian, humor, essays, speeches, satire, allegory…)
  • to have deep and broad cultural literacy of western civ
  • to have broad literacy of non-western cultures and non-dominant viewpoints (ie, Anansi and other trickster stories, creation myths, Sherman Alexi…)
  • to learn empathy and to look at life from various points of view
  • to enjoy Shakespeare and appreciate his role in shaping culture

Poetry

  • to enjoy the beauty, power, and humor of reading poetry
  • to strengthen memory by regularly memorizing portions of poetry
  • to have deep and broad cultural literacy of western civ
  • to have insight into and enjoy flavor of other cultures
  • to appreciate the role of oral traditions of the past (epic poetry)

Science

  • to spend many hours outside daily to build connection to local nature
  • to spend time traveling and exploring to be exposed to diverse nature
  • to have many real experiences with things and events so science remains tangible
  • to enjoy the world and be amazed at natural phenomena and human technology
  • to see patterns and organization in the chaos of life
  • to have resources and time to create and experiment
  • to read at least one living book on every topic imaginable, including topics usually left for specialists (ie, architecture, anthropology, coding, cartography, time travel, medicine…)
  • to regularly go deeper with topics of personal interest
  • to learn to separate science from pseudo-science
  • to thoughtfully consider origins
  • to identify hidden agendas in the sciences

History

  • To have a bird’s eye view of human history from creation to present
  • To understand integration of Bible and church history with world history
  • To view church history from different denominational and cultural angles
  • To know when events happened worldwide in same time periods (ie, American and French Revolutions)
  • To read many biographies of key people
  • To read several narratives of time and events
  • To understand difference between primary and secondary sources
  • To approach several controversial events (ie Civil War, Trail of Tears, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam War) from at least two opposing viewpoints
  • To become familiar with family history and learn about the past through older relatives
  • To visit local areas of historic interest
  • To spend time traveling and exploring to be exposed to diverse historic interest
  • To give more attention to world rather than American history
  • To study history through various lenses (ie, art, horses, explorers, inventions)

Civics

  • To understand different types of government and how American government works
  • To appreciate the role of individuals within societies (Plutarch?)
  • To have a working knowledge of societal systems (economics, law, taxes, community resources)
  • To learn to serve others and live in communities

Geography/Cultures

  • To be able to locate and identify everything on the globe
  • To understand how physical features influence political events
  • To appreciate our neighbors’ cultures (Samoan, Tongan, Mexican, Salvadoran, Burmese, Cambodian, Sudanese)
  • To be familiar with Canadian and Mexican history and culture
  • To be able to read road and topo maps and orient oneself

Languages

  • To begin studying Latin around age 10 for logic and deeper knowledge of English language
  • To study Greek and Hebrew [maybe][this might be good for Bible study, but I don’t know how useful otherwise]
  • To speak, read, and understand a living language of her choice (or ASL or Braille) to communicate with many other people and to appreciate more cultures
  • To be at least somewhat familiar with Spanish if it is not her language choice

Music

  • To be exposed to diverse musical styles
  • To learn to listen carefully
  • To understand basic music theory (rhythm, melody, harmony, tones)
  • To identify diverse instruments and musical forms
  • To study an instrument to the level of enjoyment
  • To learn common hymns and worship songs
  • To learn folksongs for fun
  • To be comfortable singing and be able to carry a tune to some degree

Art

  • To be exposed to great global works of art
  • To learn to observe carefully
  • To understand basic art theory (color, line, perspective, shading)
  • To identify diverse works of art and schools of art
  • To experiment and create with various media
  • To become proficient in some art form of personal interest
  • To be able to critique current art—film, photography, architecture

Bible/Spiritual Reading

  • To read the entire Bible at least once
  • To memorize books of the Bible, passages of scripture, a creed, several prayers
  • To learn how to read and study the Bible critically
  • To read bios of saints and influential Christians from all three streams (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox)
  • To be familiar with basic doctrine and why it is important

Practical Skills/Handicraft

  • To learn enjoyable hobbies
  • To become proficient in skills necessary for competent adult life

Sports/Physical Activity

  • To enjoy using bodies
  • To use energy and competitiveness in a healthy way
  • To learn teamwork
  • To understand the rules and basic play of several major sports (basketball, baseball, soccer, football, tennis)
  • To enjoy some form of personal physical fitness

 

Reading

 

YR 1: complete phonics, practice McGuffey primers and 1st reader

YR 2: practice McGuffey 2nd, read aloud poetry, practice other readings

YR 3: practice McGuffey 3rd, read aloud poetry, practice other readings

YR 4: Practice McGuffey 4th, read aloud poetry, read aloud one reading per week

YR 5:

YR 6:

YR 7:

YR 8:

 

Writing

 

YR 1:  complete printing, begin cursive, oral narrations (summaries)

YR 2: continue cursive, oral narrations (mostly summaries, sometimes other questions)

YR 3: continue cursive, oral narrations (summaries and other prompts), begin dictation (words), one uncritiqued written narration per week

YR 4: finish cursive, oral and written narrations, dictation weekly, begin critiquing written narrations, begin daily grammar

YR 5: oral and written narrations, perfect essays, dictation weekly, continue daily grammar

YR 6: oral and written narrations, perfect essays, dictation weekly, continue daily grammar

YR 7:

YR 8:

 

Arithmetic

 

YR 1: work through Ray’s Primary at least add/subtract, work through Miquon, read I Love Math books

YR 2: work through Ray’s Primary multiply/divide, begin Intellectual and Practical, work through Miquon, read I love Math books

YR 3: continue Ray’s Intellectual and Practical up to fractions, work through Miquon, SU half of red, read a few non-fiction math books

YR 4: continue Ray’s Intellectual and Practical through common and decimal fractions, finish Miquon, SU half of red, read a few non-fiction math books, Number Stories From Long Ago

YR 5: finish Ray’s Intellectual and continue Practical through percent and ratio, SU half of yellow, use some fun supplements

YR 6: finish Ray’s Practical, SU half of yellow, SCM business math?, AOPS?, begin Jacob’s algebra?

YR 7: Jacob’s algebra?, SU half of blue

YR 8: Jacob’s geometry?, SU half of blue

 

Drawing

 

YR 1: start yellow book

YR 2: finish yellow book

YR 3: work through drawing book options (Colored Pencil, Human Figure, Drawing Lessons)

YR 4: Private Eye and drawing options, (Colored Pencil, Human Figure, Drawing Lessons)

YR 5:Private Eye, Prang?, anime?

YR 6:

YR 7:

YR 8:

 

Computers

 

YR 1: informal

YR 2: informal

YR 3: informal

YR 4: learn typing?

YR 5: learn word processing?

YR 6: learn spreadsheets?

YR 7: learn graphic design/video/photo?

YR 8: learn coding?

 

Literature

 

YR 1: fables (Aesop)(Just So Stories), fairy tales (Blue Fairy), animal stories (Herriot), Shakespeare (Lamb’s)

YR 2: Understood Betsy, Wind in the Willows, myths (Robin Hood), Shakespeare (Lamb’s), Pilgrim’s Progress

YR 3: fairy tales (Princess and Goblin), myths (Heroes)(American Tall Tales)(People Could Fly), Tom Sawyer, Jungle Book, Shakespeare (Lamb’s), Pilgrim’s Progress

YR 4: Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island or Kidnapped, myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), short stories (Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, Isaac Asimov), long poems (Paul Revere, Hiawatha, Evangeline), Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays

YR 5: myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), King Arthur and His Knights, Oliver Twist, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea?, Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays

YR 6: Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays, Oscar Wilde play?, myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), The Hobbit, Animal Farm, The Illiad, Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes/Agatha Christie

YR 7: Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays, Don Quixote play?,  myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), Spanish lit? CS Lewis Space Trilogy?

YR 8: Shakespeare (audio) 2-3 plays, myths (Bulfinch or Hamilton), Russian lit?, Jane Austen? Willa Cather?

 

Poetry

 

YR 1: A. A. Milne, R. L. Stevenson, anthology, memorize 3

YR 2: Walter de la Mare, James Whitcombe Riley, Christina Rossetti, memorize 3

YR 3: William Blake, Vikram Seth, Marilyn Singer, Sarah Teasdale, memorize 3

YR 4: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Aussie Poets (Lawson, Paterson, James), Emily Dickinson, memorize 3

YR 5: Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Naomi Shihab Nye, Canadian poets?, memorize 3

YR 6: Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, memorize 3

YR 7: Shakespeare’s Sonnets, ?, memorize 3

YR 8: John Donne, Pablo Neruda, John Milton, memorize 3

 

Science

 

YR1: four One Small Square books, Among the People, non-fiction organized by BFSU

YR 2: four One Small Square books, Among the People, non-fiction organized by BFSU

YR 3: four One Small Square books, Among the People, non-fiction organized by BFSU, oceans (Pagoo), food chain (Wild Season)

YR 4: non-fiction organized by BFSU, human body (Golden Book), architecture (Building Book)

YR 5: non-fiction organized by BFSU, astronomy, oceanography (Cousteu? And Kon Tiki?), inventions

YR 6: non-fiction organized by BFSU, periodic table, weather, geology

YR 7: non-fiction organized by BFSU, history of science, origins, psychology

YR 8: non-fiction organized by BFSU, original writings (Faraday, Darwin, Mendel, Newton, etc.),  naturalists (Abbey, Muir, Carson, Thoreau…)

 

History

 

YR 1: stories (50 Famous, Viking), American bios (Pocahontas, Franklin, Washington, Buffalo Bill)

YR 2: half of world history read aloud (CHOW), British/French history (Little Duke), Signature bios

YR 3: half of world history read aloud (CHOW), British history read independently (OIS), Signature bios

YR 4: world history read independently, age of exploration through Landmark bios

YR 5: state history leading into US history, special studies through Landmark bios,

YR 6: sideways history through Genevieve Foster, special studies

YR 7: sideways history through Genevieve Foster, special studies, Daughter of Time

YR 8: opposing viewpoints through primary sources

 

Civics

 

YR 1: informal

YR 2: informal

YR 3: informal

YR 4: Bill of Rights, Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner

YR 5: Plutarch, government (Courts of Law), economics (Penny Candy?)

YR 6: Plutarch,  Constitution

YR 7: Plutarch, religions

YR 8: Plutarch, Utopia by More?, essays by Francis Bacon?, statistics

 

Geography/Cultures

 

YR 1: US/Canada (Paddle)

YR 2: US (Seabird, Tree in Trail)

YR 3: US (Minn), Asia focus (MA Russia, China), India (Mother Theresa bio)

YR 4: World (explorers bios), Americas focus (MA)

YR 5: State and US, Africa focus (MA)

YR 6: World E and W (Halliburton)

YR 7: physical? Horse? Food? Guns, Germs, Steel?

YR 8:

 

Language

 

YR 1: Spanish exposure

YR 2: Spanish exposure

YR 3: Spanish exposure

YR 4: chosen language

YR 5: chosen language, Latin

YR 6: chosen language, Latin

YR 7: chosen language, Latin

YR 8: chosen language, Latin

 

Music

 

YR 1: Great Composers, instrument

YR 2: variety, instrument

YR 3: variety, instrument

YR 4: Young Person’s Guide to Orchestra, instrument

YR 5: history through music?, Story of the Opera?, instrument

YR 6: instrument

YR 7: instrument

YR 8: instrument

 

Art

 

YR 1: picture study, begin Usborne,

YR 2: picture study, finish Usborne, begin Foresman

YR 3: picture study, finish Foresman

YR 4: picture study, Private Eye, Draw 50 Buildings

YR 5: picture study, Mapping World Through Art or Geography Through Art

YR 6: picture study

YR 7: picture study, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages?

YR 8: picture study, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages?

 

Bible/Spiritual Reading

 

YR 1: AO Bible, Saints I, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 2: AO Bible, Saints II, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 3: AO Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 4: Special Studies, Screwtape?, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 5: Special Studies, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 6: Special Studies Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 7: Special Studies Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

YR 8: Special Studies Bible, memorize 3-6 passages

 

Practical Skills/Handicraft

 

YR 1: individual

YR 2: individual

YR 3: individual

YR 4: individual

YR 5: individual

YR 6: individual

YR 7: CPR

YR 8: self-defense

 

Sports/Physical Activity

 

YR 1: individual

YR 2: individual

YR 3: individual

YR 4: individual

YR 5: individual

YR 6: individual

YR 7: individual

YR 8: individual

The Purpose of Education

What’s the point of all this planning and the long process of educating our children? I thought you might enjoy seeing how DH and I brainstormed our goals. We were driving home from southern Utah on an anniversary trip, and it was right before Kid Uno started school. So here are our very rough, unedited, and ungrammatical thoughts on what we are trying to accomplish by the time the kids are 16ish. Looks like we have our work cut out for us! 🙂

Purpose of Education: To raise children who are rooted in the knowledge and love of God, prepared to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, and equipped to persevere by the grace of God.

Rooted

Spiritual formation

  • We’ve brought them to the feet of Jesus
  • Love God
  • Love each other and love their parents
  • Know the Word
  • Know how to pray
  • They’ve grown up around people who model the love of God
  • Willing to act on it
  • They know church history
  • Solid grounding in biblical theology

Character

  • Honest
  • Others-centered
  • Tough – mentally and physically
  • Able and willing to serve
  • Not afraid to take responsibility for mistakes
  • Good leaders
  • Good listeners
  • Diligent
  • Willing to work hard
  • Responsible
  • Self-starters
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Humble
  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Generous
  • Compassionate

Prepared to Bear Fruit

Knowledge

  • Basic knowledge of
    • economics
    • politics
    • human sexuality
    • American history
    • law and the legal system
    • philosophy
    • church history
    • Logic
    • Science
    • Latin
  • Appreciate music
  • They’re not afraid of math

Skills

  • They have discovered and developed their God-given talents
  • The are effective at communicating through writing and speaking and art
  • They can type fast and accurately
  • They can read cursive
  • Excellent writers
  • Comfortable with public speaking
  • Able to research

Personality

  • Funny
  • Look people in the eye
  • Good conversationalists
  • Good etiquette for proper situation
  • Able to let loose and have fun
  • Confident in trying new things
  • Have areas of interest that are uniquely theirs
  • Able to form deep friendships
  • Have at least one good friend each

Physical

  • Fit
  • Comfortable with their bodies
  • Enjoy being active
  • Tough
  • Enjoy the outdoors

Equipped to Persevere

Life Preparation

  • Critical thinking
  • They are aware of and knowledgeable about competing worldviews
  • They love learning
  • They love reading
  • They’re thirsty for new knowledge
  • Able to understand other people’s motivations (marketing, surveys) – not gullible
  • Shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves
  • Able to sniff out logical fallacies and poor reasoning

So there it is…nothing fancy. But for me, at least, when I am immersed in the daily round of multiplication, cursive, science, and lit, it helps to remember the bigger picture. So the ten minutes of copywork every day isn’t just about writing pretty cursive sentences, it’s also about learning consistency, paying attention to detail, completing a whole book by breaking it into tiny chunks, developing mental and physical discipline, and practicing something to perfection (or practically perfect). Having a big picture gives me the freedom to drop a book because it does not convey church history in a way that is appropriate in our view, or the freedom to take a day (or week) off from school because it will give them an opportunity to spend time with grandparents. And it helps me mentally validate things like selling lemonade (entrepreneurship), buying an entire series of fairytales (love reading), washing dishes (willing to work hard), helping with the baby (willing to serve), or tearing apart the living room to build a fort (able to let loose and have fun).

Education seems like just an extension of parenting to me…and it’s nice to know what we are aiming for at the end of the day!

What Charlotte Mason Means to Me

Have you read Charlotte Mason’s original writings? I haven’t — I have read a fair amount of the paraphrases done by Ambleside Online, and most of the books published about a CM education. I’m not one of the WWCMD [What Would Charlotte Mason Do] type of people.

Some things just won’t work for us. Picture her ideal of a mother sitting outdoors on a blanket for 4 hours, while her children cheerfully bring back natural objects for her to see and talk about. That’s where I start laughing (or crying, depending on the day). Hahahaha….what happens when the very-pregnant mother is desperately searching for a restroom 30 minutes later? Or the 2 year old falls in the creek and is turning purple and we forgot to bring a change of clothes? Or the three older kids are fighting and someone needs some discipline and someone else needs a snack and someone else needs some alone time…and we are supposed to do this every day?!

But what I take away from that ideal is that outdoor time is beneficial, and so the way I accomplish that is by sending my kids outside to play…while I nurse the baby in a comfortable chair and get stuff done around the house. Or we spend a weekend camping. Or go for a hike on a Saturday when DH is here to wrangle kids with me. Or meet a friend at a park or the zoo. And we encourage cups and jars full of bugs and worms and spiders, and bouquets from the yard or the mountains, and getting dirty and playing in the treehouse with friends. All of that helps accomplish nature study, in a way that is practical for us. Anyway, here are the main ideas that add up to a CM education for our family:

 

  • Literature-based learning. This means we use very few (if any) textbooks, read lots of real books, and supplement with DVDs, excursions, classes, concerts etc.
  • Living books. The books we read differ from textbooks in that they are written by a single author with a passion for and knowledge of the topic, and are written in an engaging style. Living books are not necessarily old! There are old “dead” books, and new living books.
  • Slow readings. Reading lots of books spread out over a long time (a term, or 1-2 school years) allow time to chew and digest the material.
  • Short lessons and lots of subjects. We cover lots of topics, but spend a short time daily or weekly on each. We want to expose the kids to as much of the wide world as possible. Alternating subjects allows the brain to rest. Short “school” sessions equals more time for childhood.
  • Narration. At this stage (age 7 and under), I read aloud, and then the child tells me back in her own words everything she remembers. This trains the child to listen carefully the first time around, helps her assimilate the information, and lays a foundation for future written compositions and public speaking skills.
  • Emphasis on nature and outdoor time. This is great for children’s development and health. They also gain familiarity with and ownership of nature, and get first-hand experience with concepts they might otherwise just read or hear about.
  • Beauty, truth, and challenge. We aim to give our kids material that is beautiful and true, and that challenges their ability to understand, think, and express.
  • Good habits. Obedience, diligence, persistence, helpfulness, neatness…these are all things we work on while the kids are little. They are essential qualities for (relatively) smooth school days, and are characteristic of the kind of adults we hope they become.
  • Delayed academics. Our kids do nothing academic before age 5, and very little before age 6 or 6.5. More on that in another post.

It seems most useful to me to figure out the “whys” of what CM did what she did, and then decide how to incorporate those principles today, rather than to try to re-create what she did. Around here, practicality trumps mostly everything else! 🙂