A Day in Our Delightful Life:A Look at Our FeastI am humbled and honored to offer you a peek into the way that my family chooses to delightfully feast. Your feast will not look exactly like mine, and it shouldn't, but my hope is that in seeing how a busy, ministering, businesswoman, homeschooling mother serves up a wide feast and (mostly) delights in it, you too will know that you can spread a wide feast and that homeschooling can be delightful and enjoyable. With both the courage to form a plan and set aside the hours that its due and the grace to let each imperfect day go so that you can embrace the next, you can have a banquet table that excites and enriches both you and your born persons.
May all your days be spent delightfully feasting....
The Framework of Our WeekWe do formal lessons three days each week (two days at home and one day with a small group of friends), and do field trips and other activities on a fourth day. Please know that this fourth day is not a day in which I cram all of the "fine arts" or other "extras" within a Charlotte Mason feast. Art Study, Music Study, and Handicrafts are not extras in our home, but rather an essential part of a wide feast. These lessons, along with drawing and singing and many other "extras" are dispersed throughout our week, so as to provide everything that the mind needs to feed upon within each day, not just at the end of our week. Our fourth day, however, IS a day in which we can do some of the things that require leaving our home, such as physical geography lessons, nature walks, and field trips.
A Week in Our Life:Monday-
House Cleaning, Grocery Shopping, Teacher Development (studying, planning, etc)
Tuesday- Morning Lessons, Occupations
Wednesday- Morning Lessons, Occupations
Thursday-Morning Lessons/ School With Friends/ Forest School
Friday Morning- Free Time
Coding, Housecraft, Sporting, etc
Days 1 and 25:00-
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.
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.
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.
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:
Holy, Holy, Holy
Bible: Old Testament Reading
Poetry (this year we are using the Fables, Fairies, and Fauna lessons from Under the Home)
Tales 1 (Parables From Nature)
Literature 1 (Term1: The Little Duke, Term 2: The Wind in the Willows, Term 3: Robin Hood)
Natural History (this year we will complete the Peter and Polly lessons from Under the Home )
Composer Study (Term 1: Gershwin, Term 2: Bernstein, Term 3: Stravinsky)
Latin and Greek Roots (English From the Roots Up Cards)
Memory Work (Shakespeare Passage, Catechism)
Life Poem and Benediction
Holy, Holy, Holy
Bible: New Testament Reading
Tales 2 (Dragonology) Christian Studies
Special Studies: Animal Habitats (using the One Small Square and Take a Walk series)
Picture Study (Term 1: Giotto, Term 2: Michelangelo, Term 3: Da Vinci)
Recitation (Term 1: The Acorn and the Pumpkin, Term 2: Here and There, Term 3: Little Things)
Memory Work (Scripture, Poem)
Life Poem and Benediction
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. 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". While still at the table on our back porch, each boy does their individual Handwriting lessons (housed in their Daily Binders). Lastly, we do either Hymn Study or Folk Songs depending on the day. (These items are also housed in their Daily Binders, preventing the need to take many supplies or books outside, making for smooth transitions from place to place).
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 and Folk Song selections for 2020 are as follows:
Term 1: Be Thou My Vision, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Term 2: Doxology, Standing on the Promises
Term 3: This is My Father's World, I'd Rather Have Jesus
Term 1: Who Killed Cock Robin
Term 2: Polly Wolly Doodle
Term 3: Tingalayo
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:
World History (using a variety of living books,with Mystery of History Volume 2 as a spine)
Cultural Studies (using a variety of living books with Missionary Stories With the Millers as a spine)
*Note- Some living educators are not a fan of Mystery of History, but I am.
American History (using a variety of living books, with Mr. Lincoln's High Tech War as a spine)
United States Geography and Mapping (Draw the USA and The 50 States Book)
*Note- More books that we will be using this year for History lessons are linked below.
At this point, the boys separate for a lesson. My Form 2a student does his Typing lesson independently and my Form 1b student does a Reading lesson with me.
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.
Group Block 2
After lunch, we gather again on the back porch for a couple more lessons together.
Architecture (Term 1: Castle, Term 2: Cathedral, Term 3: Middle Ages Artifacts )
Spanish Lesson (52 Weeks of Family Spanish)
Spanish Stories and Songs
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.
Form 2a Student- Current Events and Copywork
Form 1b Student- Math Lesson and Geography Lesson
Note- We use a combination of Life of Fred, Khan Academy, MEP, and public domain books for math.
Form 2a Student- Copywork and Logic
Form 1b Student- Math Lesson and Shakespeare Tale
Shakespeare Selections for 2020:
Term 1: Comedy of Errors, Term 2: The Tempest, Term 3: A Midsummer Night's Dream
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.
Science (this is one topic for the entire year, and for 2020 we will be studying Animals)
Geography (using First Lessons in World Geography)
Musicianship (we use Enjoying Music at Home's free Musicianship program)
Reading (my son is dyslexic so he still needs regular reading lessons)
British History (using A Castle With Many Rooms as a spine)
Science Stream (this is a different topic each term, using various living books)
Shakespeare (I read the full plays to my Form 2 student and the Tales to my Form 1 student.)
Music Appreciation (also Enjoying Music at Home )
Grammar (using various public domain texts and Simply Grammar)
Day ThreeOn our third day of school, we have a more relaxed morning and we have a much shorter day. We gather for only a couple of hours on these days to complete several more lessons as a group. Those lessons are as follows :
Nature Lore (this year we will use a combination of The Burgess Bird Book and A Year With the Birds)
Classical Music Studies (using Classical Music in Pictures)
Special Studies Stream (Term 1: Lovely Beasts, Term 2: The Tree Book, Term 3: TBD)
Literature 2 (The Chronicles of Narnia series)
Biography (alternating each week between Knightology and a single bio)
(Term 1: Gutenburg, Term 2: Martin Luther, Term 3: Fibonacci)
History (alternating each week between World and American)
Studio Art (Form 1 Student using Level 1 and Form 2 Student using Level 4)
Solfa (using Children of the Open Air videos)
Geography Reader (Paddle to the Sea)
Scouting (Boy Scouts Handbook and various other books)
*These days are often combined with our weekly meeting with friends to do supplemental lessons. This year, we are doing Farming Lessons, Pioneer History, Handicrafts/Art, and Tea Time.
*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.
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)
Other Books Used: We use a variety of living books, and various resources for all subjects.
Here are a few of those books and resources for 2020: Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Trial and Triumph
Archers Alchemists and 98 Other Medieval Jobs
Medieval World Series
The Real Vikings
Shutting Out the Sky
Six Days in October
Treasury for All Seasons
The Way Things Work
Jim Wiese Science Series
Draw and Write Through History
Draw Write Now
Learning Cursive in Narnia
Sir Cumference Math Series
Math Adventures Series
The American Boys Handy BookHome Occupations for Boys and Girls
Work and Play With Numbers
Various Other Public Domain Books