A Recap of Ambleside Tales Academy Day 1
Today was our first day of Charlotte Mason homeschool. I mentioned in a previous post that we decided to homeschool for Kindergarten and that our approach was relaxed. We covered our basic subjects and then informally explored other interesting ideas. There was also time for play and creativity. In addition, we took advantage of some local opportunities, like Math Club at our library and a children’s community choir. All in all, it was a good year.
This experience made the decision to stick with homeschool a bit easier. The question of what curriculum to use was a bit more challenging. After some research, we decided to use the Alveary. It is a thorough program and honestly was a bit daunting when I first started (and still is!).
Boxed curriculums are handy because they send you everything you need. With Alveary, I had pages of books and resources to review and order, and the lesson plans for the first 12-week term were over 160 pages long. Yikes!
Our First Day of Charlotte Mason Homeschool
I’m sure I could have spent weeks and weeks preparing and planning for our first day. But we had to start somewhere, and today was the day. I chose to start on Wednesday so that we could have a few days to get into the swing of things and then have time over the weekend to adjust as necessary.
My biggest unknown was how our not quite 3-year-old daughter would do. Some of you may laugh at the thought of only having one other child in the picture. (If that’s you, I would love to hear how you make it work.) As a whole, she did well and was only slightly distracting.
We moved our homeschool spot from our kitchen table down to our den. There are lots of kitchen toys for the kids to use, so that provided a good place for little sister to stay busy. But a couple hours is a long time for a little one to play by herself.
Charlotte Mason Homeschool Schedule
During the morning time of our first day, we got through 8 of our 10 subjects. This included Bible, Math, Movement, Writing, Handicrafts, Languages, Natural History, and Recitation Hymn. Reading wasn’t formalized because he is already reading beyond the level of the readers for Forms 1-2. Instead, I had him read his copywork verse and work on a couple challenging words in it. He also read independently in The Magician’s Nephew during quiet play time (while little sister naps).
We didn’t get to Solfege or Sloyd today. I realized I need a bit more time to prepare for these two areas. I’m planning to do some prep work this weekend and next week and hopefully get those subjects on the schedule for the week after Labor Day.
Even though we didn’t do Sloyd on our first day, I mentioned that our first project will be an envelope. Upon hearing this, our son went off to work on creating an envelope with a piece of printer paper. He brought in a prototype, and I offered a few suggestions on ways he could make it without tape or staples. It wasn’t handicrafts, but it was better than nothing.
For our afternoon/evening lessons, we read poetry, worked on life skills (watering the flowers, personal hygiene, and cleaning the table after meals), read a story, and had family devotions. We also visited our neighbors who homeschool so the kids could have free play. We didn’t have a formal current events discussion today, and the math games activity was a bit of a stretch since the “game” was working a 200 piece puzzle (which he did by himself).
Assessing Our First Charlotte Mason Homeschool Day
There’s a lot to do for a day of Mason homeschool. I’m exhausted but hopeful. Overall, the day went well. It is helpful to have a sense of what it looks like to do all these different lessons. Now that day 1 is behind us, we can tweak and find ways to make this work for our family.
When Daddy asked about our first day, I learned that our son’s favorite activity was the copywork! That’s exciting. He has great handwriting, so this is a good opportunity to perfect his printing and allow his spelling to begin catching up with his reading ability.
Both kids really enjoyed the movement lesson with the playground clapping game. I was unsure how this would go, so I was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm. Even little sister started to get it.
Narration is an area where we need to grow. Since this is the first day we’re formally doing it, I expected this. We will persevere and help him understand that this isn’t about right and wrong answers. I may also break up some of the longer passages and allow him to narrate a shorter section.
Have you started your homeschool year yet? Do you use a Charlotte Mason method? Jump over to the Ambleside Tales Facebook page and let us know if you’ve started!