2021 Schedule, Plans, and Book List

Each year, I keep our updated schedule and details about what we are using on the Our Delightful Feast page. However, since we start our school years in January, and many other mothers start new school years in the Summer or Fall, the information about our next school year is most relevant and helpful for many mothers during those seasons. In order to provide inspiration for your planning process for your upcoming school year, I am sharing our schedule and resources for our 2021 school year. We won't be using this schedule or these resources until January, and at that point, I will move this information over to the Our Delightful Feast page, where it will stay for the duration of 2021. 
In 2021, I will have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader (Form 1a and Form 2a)

A Typical Week in Our Life:
House Cleaning, Grocery Shopping, Teacher Development (studying, planning, etc)
Tuesday- Morning Lessons, Occupations
Wednesday- Morning Lessons, Occupations
Thursday- Family Studies Day/ School With Friends/ Forest School
Friday Morning- Free Time
Friday Afternoon-
Coding, Housecraft, Sporting, etc

Days 1 and 2
(usually Tuesday and Wednesday) 

Mom Awake
5:00- Bible Study, Prayer, Daily Readings
6:00- Workout and Podcast
7:00- Make my Breakfast and Begin Work/Ministry Tasks, Etc
8:00- Start Boys on Independent Morning Baskets/ Mom Finishing SCHOLE
(read more about Mother Culture/SCHOLE here.)
8:30: Start Boys on Daily Tasks and Drill/  Mom Doing Daily Cleaning and Laundry
*During this time, I also make the boys an easy breakfast. 

Boys Awake.
If the boys are not awake by this time, an alarm goes off to remind me to wake them up. If they wake before they have to be up, they can engage in quiet activities until it is time to begin their tasks. 

Independent Morning Baskets
The boys officially start their morning with their Independent Morning Baskets. These baskets are filled with word searches, logic puzzles, drawing books, riddles, and a variety of other activities that can be done without my help. These are things that wouldn't be a part of our official Lessons, but that the boys enjoy and provide a gentle start to the day. During this time, I remain nearby either wrapping up work/ministry tasks or reading a book. I can help as needed, but I am engaged in my own activities and we are all starting the morning together, but quiet and at peace. 

Daily Tasks
The boys go to their chore list for the day and work through their chores together. They each have a cleaning bucket filled with all of the supplies that they need, so there is no arguing over or spending time locating supplies. They have 3 tasks to do each day, in a different room depending on the day. They then have a checklist of every day tasks to complete. This usually takes about 10 minutes. 

 During this time, I do my daily tasks as well. This includes getting some essential oils diffusing, taking out meat for dinner, starting a load of laundry, etc

The boys do dance, Yoga Cards, or Swedish Drill, depending on the day. 
During this time, I either join them (for Swedish Drill, I instruct) or I wrap up any tasks that I needed to do for the morning, so that I can set everything aside and focus on our school day.

Treasure Time
When drill is wrapping up, I play Little Boy Heart Alive in the central area of our home. When the song begins, the boys know that they have approximately 4 minutes to arrive at the Treasure Time table. They gather a snack and beverage, a sweater if they're cold, etc. We then gather at our Treasure Time table by the end of the song. At this table, we have our daily books, and our Daily Binders. These binders are laid out in front of each person's spot at the table.

Our Treasure Time consists of the following: 

Day 1
1. Holy, Holy, Holy
3.Bible: Old Testament Reading (Joshua) 
4.Literature 1 (Term1: King of the Wind, Term 2: Black Beauty, Term 3: White Stallion of Lipizza)
5.Poetry (using the Poets of Nature, Revelry and Rhyme lessons from Under the Home) 
6.Church History (using Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church)
7.Biography 1: Pirates (using Pirateology, Pirate Diary, and Pirates: Dead Men's Tales)
8.Special Studies A: (Term 1: Endangered Animals, Term 2: Medicinal Plants, Term 3: Foraging)
**Using Delightfully Feasting Special Studies Units (see Book List Below)

9.Picture Study (Term 1: Whistler, Term 2: Monet, Term 3:Homer) 
11. Latin and Greek Roots (English From the Roots Up Cards
12. Memory Work (Shakespeare and Scripture)
13.Life Poem and Benediction

Day 2
1. Holy, Holy, Holy
3.Bible: New Testament Reading (Acts) 
4.Literature 2 (Term1: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Term 2: The Silver Chair, Term 3: The Last Battle- all by C.S. Lewis)
5.Poetry (using Poetry Reader Volume 2 from Cottage Press) 
6.Tales (using the upcoming Tales and Folk Songs unit from Delightfully Feasting)
7.Biography 2: Pharaohs (using Landmark's The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt)
8.Special Studies B: (Term 1: Habitats Coral Reef,  Term 2: Shells, Term 3:Ocean Life)
**Using Delightfully Feasting Special Studies Units

9. Music Appreciation (Using Plucky Strings and Peppy Percussion from Under the Home) 
11. Recitation (Poetry)
12. Memory Work (Catechism)
13.Life Poem and Benediction

Morning Collective
After Treasure Time, we head to the back porch and the boys complete a few items in their Daily Binders (calendar, weather, math daily word problem, etc) and their Daily Nature Calendars, and then we complete our Collective Lessons. Being outside for this time allows a change of scenery and the opportunity to observe the subtleties of the weather and nature for that day, without being rushed or simply "checking a box". 

Day 1: 
1. Daily Binders 
2. Nature Calendar
3. Handwriting
(Form 2 Using Handwriting Level 6 from The Good and the Beautiful)
(Form 1 Using Handwriting Level 1 from The Good and the Beautiful) 
4. Folk Song Lesson (Using the Tales and Folk Songs unit from Delightfully Feasting)
5. Word of the Day (using A Word a Day Intermediate by Evan Moor)
6.Thought of the Day (using Morning Exercises for All the Year) (also in the Public Domain)

Day 2: 
1. Daily Binders 
2. Nature Calendar
3. Handwriting
(Form 2 Using Handwriting Level 6 from The Good and the Beautiful)
(Form 1 Using Handwriting Level 1 from The Good and the Beautiful) 
4. Hymn Study Lesson (Using the Delighting in Hymns units from Delightfully Feasting)
5. Word of the Day (using A Word a Day Intermediate by Evan Moor)
6.Thought of the Day (using Morning Exercises for All the Year) (also in the Public Domain)

Note- Although sometimes presented as such, the materials offered by The Good and the Beautiful are not fashioned after the methods of Charlotte Mason. I do not use or recommend their science, language arts, or history programs. I do, however, like their Handwriting and Typing materials, as you can see linked above and below.

Our Hymn Study selections for 2020 are as follows:
Term 1: How Great Thou Art, It Is Well With My Soul 
Term 2: Be Thou My Vision, My Jesus I Love Thee 
Term 3: All Creatures of Our God and King, And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Group Block 1
At this point, we head to the School Room and each boy heads to their desk.
During this time, we complete the following lessons:

Day 1:
1.Architecture (Term 1: Pyramid, Term 2: Fast Forward Pyramid, Term 3: Ancient Egypt Artifacts)
2.Spanish (Using the upcoming Delightfully Feasting Spanish) 

Day 2:
1.Charts and Mapping (based upon history lessons, and also using Draw Africa)
2.Shakespeare Tales (Form 2 Student also reads plays in addition to reading Tales as a group)

Lunch Break 
The boys grab their lunch trays and then grab lunch from our Lunch Drawers. While they do this, I change over or fold a load of laundry, grab another cup of coffee and grab a bite to eat. 

Breakout 1 
At this point, the boys separate for a lesson. My Form 2 student does his Typing lesson independently (using Typing Level 3 from The Good and the Beautiful) and my Form 1b student does a Reading lesson with me. 

Group Block 2
At this point, we gather again on the back porch for a few more lessons together.

Day 1:
1.Ancient History Spine (using Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors from Simply Charlotte Mason)
2.Art Around the World from Under the Home
3. Solfa (using Children of the Open Air on YouTube)

Day 2:
1. Ancient History Supplements (see Book List below)
2. Composer Study (Term 1:Bach, Term 2:Vivaldi, Term 3: Mozart) 
3. Hand Clapping (using Hand Clapping Fun from Triumphant Learning)

Breakout 2
At this point, we head back to the School Room to separate for some individual lessons. This is done independently (with help as needed) for my Form 2 student and I am working with my Form 1 student at this time.

Day 1 and 2: 
Form 2 Student- 
1.Current Events using CNN 10 and News O Matic)

Form 1 Student- 
1. Math Lesson 
2. Geography Lesson (using Where We Live II from Under the Home)

Note- We use a combination of Life of Fred, Khan Academy, MEP, and public domain books for math.

Form 2 Studies
 At this point, my Form 1 student is free for the day and can move on to Afternoon Occupations
My Form 2 student continues working with me on lessons that apply solely to his age and form.

Day 1

1. Geography (using The Boy Travelers Africa  from Under the Home)
2. Grammar  (using Grammar Land from Under the Home)
4. World History (using Stories of the Nations Volume 1 from Simply Charlotte Mason)
5. Math 
6. Science (using Conservation Science from Winter Promise)

Day 2

1. Shakespeare 
2. Composition (using Poetic Forms from Under the Home and Story Starters by Karen Andreola)
3. Logic (using Primary Analogies Book 3)
4. Plutarch (using the Anne White guide for Brutus)
5. Math
6. Equine Science and History 
(using History of the Horse from Beautiful Feet Books and How to Think Like a Horse)

Day Three: Family Studies Day

On our third day of school, we have a more relaxed morning and we have a much shorter day. We gather for only a few hours on these days to complete several more lessons as a group. Those lessons are as follows :

1.Natural History/Nature Lore 
(using Shared Wonder: Birds and Weather from A Modern Charlotte Mason)
2. US Geography and National Parks (using National Parks and America's National Parks
3. American History (See Book List Below) 
(Term 1: Explorers, Term 2: Indigenous Peoples, Puritans, Pirates, Term 3: American Revolution)
4. Science Experiments (from Conservation Science)
5.Geography Reader (using Letters From Egypt from Simply Charlotte Mason)
6. Math Games (using a variety of games and the Math Games Bundle from Triumphant Learning)
7. Studio Art (using Grade 2 and Grade 4 of Studio Art from Under the Home)
8. Scouting (using the Delighting in Scouting units from Delightfully Feasting) 
9. Piano/Music Theory 
(using the Delighting in Hymns units from Delightfully Feasting and Music Theory Made Easy Book 2

*These days are often combined with our weekly meeting with friends to do supplemental lessons. In 2021 these lessons will constitute a weekly Book Club. 

*Sometimes these days are combined with our monthly Forest School meeting. Depending on which event is scheduled for the week, Days 3 and 4 can look differently in their structure, but between Days 3 and 4 each week we complete the Lessons listed above, our weekly meeting with friends, Forest School, and the list of items below.

Day Four
On the last day of our school week, we complete various combinations of the following items:

Patch Work and Assignments (from our Forest School and Homeschool Group meetings)
Coding Lessons

Book List
Here are many of the living books, reference books, and resources used for our lessons in 2021:

Rulers and Their Times: Hatshepsut and Ancient Egypt

American History 
Revolutionary Solider: Illustrated Living History Series
The Amazing Life of Myles Standish
George Vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides
Around the World in 100 Years
Dover Coloring Books: Life in Pre-Columbian North America
Dover Coloring Books: Life in Colonial America
Dover Coloring Books: Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution
Dover Coloring Books: Uniforms of the American Revolution
Dover Coloring Books: George Washington
Dover Coloring Books: Story of the American Revolution
A New Nation
Liberty or Death
Discovery of the Americas

Natural History/Nature Lore
Feathers: A Beautiful Look at a Bird's Most Unique Feature 
That Quail, Robert
An Owl in the House
Nests: Amazing Ingenious and Intricate
Birds That Every Child Should Know
Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists: Songbirds
Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists: Backyard Birds
The First Book of Birds

Math: A Mountainous Land

                                     Principles of Math Instruction 

     Math instruction is one area in which I consistently see moms struggle to know if they are applying Mason's principles "properly", worry if they've made a good choice of curriculum, and fear for the future. However, I believe that math instruction is one of the areas of a CM curriculum that has the most freedom and should cause the least stress. I wrote here about my recommendations for math curriculum, and I truly believe that a mother should feel free in her choice of math curriculum (avoiding only those which are entirely formulaic or contrived in nature), and should focus more upon applying general principles and practices of math instruction to the work at hand than she should upon finding the elusive "perfect" math curriculum. 

     The ideal instruction for mathematics in a living education could be summed up as that which is logical, clear, promotes mathematical reasoning, proceeds at a pace reasonable for the child, includes written work that is intentional and meaningful, prioritizes oral work, includes games, approaches each concept from a variety of angles, and is straightforward. Mason called math a "mountainous land", giving us the idea of a worthy struggle. The mountain of math is a vigorous, and challenging climb but it is one that should be invigorating and rewarding. 

     We can provide this type of mathematical effort and reward by keeping in mind the following principles and practices that Mason lays before us for math instruction: 
1. Keep Motives in Mind:
Reasoning Powers, Insight, Readiness, Accuracy, Intellectual Truthfulness, Observation, Attention to Detail, Judgment, Neatness, Beholding the Beauty of Absolute Truth (v1 pg 254/ v6 pg 230)
2. Math Lessons are Dependent Upon the Teacher, not the Textbook (v1 pg 254/ v6 pg 233)
3. Rules Must be Contextual (v1 pg 254)
4. Choose Problems Intentionally- as opposed to random pages of problems (v1 254-255, v6 pg 231)
5. Use Word Problems Liberally (v1 pg 255)
6. Demonstrate Everything (v1 pg 255)
7. Prove Every Rationale {Don't Allow Work on Anything that Isn't Understood} (v1 pg 255)
8. Use Natural Manipulatives, Never Contrived or "Special" (v1 pg 256)
9. Do Manipulative and Oral Work Before Written Work (v1 pg 256)
10. Follow the Progression of Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (v1 pg 256)
11. Introduce, Demonstrate, Narrate, Practice (v1 pg 258)
12. Work Gradually (v1 pg 257-258)
13. Make Principles Clear (v1 pg 259)
14. Use Tools (weights, scales, rulers, etc) (v1 pg 260)
15. Let Child Build Own Tables and Charts and Use Own Judgement (v1 pg 260)
16. Don't Correct Wrongs (v1 pg 261)
17. Excite Enthusiasm of Concentrated Attention (v1 pg 261/ v6 pg 233)
18. Base all Instruction on the "Evidence of Sense" (v1 pg 261)
19. Promote Mathematical Reasoning (v1 pg 262)
20. Don't "make the illustration occupy a more prominent place than the thing illustrated"
(v1 pg 262)
21. Don't Over-Prepare a Math Lesson (v1 pg 264)
22. Don't Over-Teach, but Instead Trust the Affinity and Capacity of the Child (v1264)
23. Don't Give Math More Prominence than Everything Else (v6  pg 231)

For Your Research
Mason discusses mathematical instruction primarily in the following locations:
Volume 1: Home Education pgs 253-264
Volume 6: Towards a Philosophy of Education
pgs 110-112, 151-152, 230-231
(Keep in mind the idealism present in Volume 1, and apply these principles in freedom, not in perfectionism or legalism) 

A Program of Math 
Updated for Today from the PNEU 
(This is a basic program of mathematics that I have taken from various programmes and updated for today's student) 

Form 1- 
Oral and Manipulative Arithmetic
Math Stories
Math Games/ Puzzles

Form 2- 
Oral, Manipulative, Written Arithmetic
Practical Geometry
Math Games/Puzzles
Math Stories (if desired) 

Form 3-
Oral and Written Arithmetic
Pre-Algebra (if ready) 

Form 4- 
Written Arithmetic
Oral Drills
Algebra (if ready) 

Form 5-6
Consumer Math
Advanced Math (if needed and desired) 

Resource Roundup: Math

Math Resources
Here is a roundup of all of my favorite resources for math instruction, practice, games, and exploration. Included are links to the math curriculums that I recommend, my favorite math stories, my go-to resources for practice and games, and more. Enjoy! 

Math Curriculum 

The math curriculum that I most highly recommend is MEP. 
From using several math programs and extensively reviewing many, I have formed the opinion that MEP can be used by nearly everyone and is extremely conducive to a living education. Here are the reasons I love MEP.
1. It is a brilliant blend of the mastery and the spiral approaches to math instruction. It provides mastery based material with a variety of exercises and types of practice.
2. Because of its format it is very versatile. You can skip portions of the books, moving forward at a faster pace. You can go through the material very slowly, not using the entire year and still find opportunity to master new material and build upon previously mastered material from the previous year. You can use only portions of the books or all of them. (Because it is free, you can do this without incurring any cost)
3. It is perfect for a Charlotte Mason education because the lessons can be kept short, the written practice is not extensive, and the material promotes mathematical reasoning.
Other Programs I Recommend:
1.Life of Fred- Mason didn't use math stories to teach math material and I do realize that some would label the Fred stories as twaddle. However, I think they are brilliant and the concepts are explained very well. The written work is very minimal, fitting Mason's heavy lean upon oral work in the younger years. There is also a huge focus on mathematical reasoning, and the stories and questions naturally form relations between math and the rest of life.
2. Khan Academy- I LOVE the videos on Khan Academy, and I think they are a great math supplement or great math lessons themselves. The videos are short, the instruction is straightforward, and the exercises are the perfect length and helpful to understanding.
3. Math Primers- I love out of print math primers from the public domain. I often take a concept from a math primer and build short lessons following the format of introduce, demonstrate, narrate, practice. I also use math primers to help me progress through math concepts in lessons that I form myself, giving me a list and an idea of what concepts are included in a thorough math education.
(There are a few math books linked here, in my Public Domain Roundup Post)
4. Singapore Math- Singapore is a mastery based program that mimics Mason's approach to math concepts by following a concrete-pictorial-abstract progression. However, lessons must be shortened and written work must be decreased. Narration of concepts should also be added, along with math games to encourage mathematical reasoning.
5. Art of Problem Solving by Beast Academy
6. Under the Home- uses Ray's Arithmetic, which are classic Math Primers that build strong computational skills and mental calculation, and include many word problems. You can use grades 1-4 for free on UTH (with more to come), broken down into daily lessons and with a free lesson guide. Or, you can purchase all of Ray's on CD for a great price from  Dollar Homeschool.
7. Purple Math is a free online algebra program that is straightforward and easily adapted. 
      There are other programs that I believe can be adapted to fit into a Charlotte Mason education (such as Teaching Textbooks and Math on the Level). These programs (and any others) need to be adapted to fit into short lesson times, and the repetition of practice needs to be decreased. Math games should also be added.
      There are also programs which I believe have no place in a living education (such as Math U See and Saxon). It is important to understand the principles of a living approach to mathematics, so that you can quickly identify the programs that can be easily adapted to fit those principles, and those that are foundationally different.

       The underlying principles for choosing and adapting a math program are to ensure that lessons are short, written work is purposeful and not repetitious, oral work is prioritized, mathematical reasoning is built, exercises are varied, concepts are narrated, facts and formulas aren't drilled without understanding, and mastery of concepts is built upon.

Math Stories 

My absolute favorite Math Stories are the Charlesbridge Math Adventures .

A few other favorites: 
Anno's Counting Series (These are so fun.)
Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies
Sea Squares
One Grain of Rice
Elinor J. Pinczes series.
David M. Swhartz series. (We LOVE these books and have read them over and over.)

Huge Index of Math Stories for All Ages: 
Living Math Stories Index

Books About Math Itself: 

String, Straightedge and Shadow (for older kids) 
Number Stories of Long Ago (Mason sometimes used this book) 
Growing Patterns
Wild Fibonacci
The Golden Ratio (high school and adults) 

Books About Mathematicians: 
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
Mathematicians are People Too

Math Practice 
Bedtime Math Series and Bedtime Math Apps (we LOVE Bedtime Math, and use the apps regularly)

Doodling in Math Class Videos 

Greg Tang Math Riddles (these are favorites!) 

Great Estimations

Mission: AdditionSubtraction Action and other books by Loreen Leedy

Hershey's Math Series

The Math Chef

The Painless Math Series (middle school or high school, depending on child) 

Two Plus Two is Not Five and Five Times Five is Not Ten
(I don't recommend using the heavy number of problems in these books, but the tricks are extremely helpful, and a few problems can be completed for practice) 

Math Reference(These books are like Math Encyclopedias, useful for looking up a concept to understand it better or to simply explore Math and its huge impact on our life and world)
How Math Works

Go Figure!

Games and Manipulatives from Triumphant Learning (we love ALL of the math products from Triumphant Learning- so affordable, so useful, so user-friendly, so flexible, so fun!)
Two favorites from Triumphant Learning: 
Math Games Bundle
Math Manipulatives Bundle

Let's Play Math

Math Games with a Pack of Cards, from Practical Pages

Family Math and Family Math 2 (Family Math is a staple in our curriculum!) 

Pizza Fractions

Games for Math

For Mom(A few reads for any mom who is wanting to understand Math in general, Mason's approach to it, the teaching of it, and its proper place in our curriculum.) 
Afterthoughts Math Week (blog series)

Living Math Blog

The Math Myth

Arithmetic for Parents

2020 Book Club Book List

Delightfully Feasting Book Club


Book List

Here is the Book List for the 2020 Delightfully Feasting Book Club.
        (if you haven't registered yet, you can register here.)
Happy Book Buying, Friends!

February- March

Educational Philosophy 




Book Club 2020 Registration

Delightfully Feasting Book Club 2020

Join us for a year of reading accessible and beneficial to all readers. Whether you're a novice reader or a seasoned bibliophile, the DF Book Club is for you. Whether you plan to read much in 2020, or you just want to ensure that you read something, the DF Book Club is for you. The book choices, the structure, the community....it's all designed to meet YOUR needs, no matter where you are starting or where you plan to go in your reading life in 2020.

After you have registered, request to join the Book Club Group here


My Friend, Charlotte: Who and What Am I Talking About?

My Friend, Charlotte...

Who and What is Charlotte Mason, and Why Does It Matter?  Things To Know : Charlotte Mason was a British educator in the late 1800's...