I posted last about Superboy’s Charlotte Mason-inspired schedule because , as I pointed out, there just isn’t much out there about CM at the high school level and I want to encourage sharing about that if I can. And though there is a LOT more available about CM at the elementary level, I thought I’d go ahead and write up a little description of what a typical day for JBug entails, and how these two variations (high school and elementary) work together for me as a teacher to both levels.
Most days have about the same feel to them for JBug, with some small variations here and there. I’ll describe what JBug did on wednesday, which is a fairly typical day:
- Phonics: due to JBug’s dyslexia, we have a LOT more phonics-type work to do than the typical 3rd grader might have. We begin with a warm-up of her reading aloud from lists of simple short-vowel words: cat, bat, pan,tin, lid, pig, ten, fed, men, mud, sun, bug, etc, (pink level work if you are a Montessorian). Then we move on to our blend (blue level) and our long vowel (green level) word cards, and some sight word cards. Next we read and discuss our phonics lesson of the day from Alphaphonics. And finally she reads to me from a phonics reader (right now we are using the Now I’m Reading series). This may seem like a lot, but believe me, JBug needs this constant review. Really it takes only 30-40 minutes or so in the morning and these daily reminders make a world of difference to the flow of the rest of her day.
(Meanwhile Superboy is reading his religion materials and will come narrate to me when he finishes. I will pause JBug’s phonics lessons if necessary to listen to his quick narration. Side benefit: JBug hears and learns from Superboy’s narration.)
- English: a quick lesson from English for the Thoughtful Child. This day’s lesson was on what makes a complete sentence. We did this lesson entirely orally. 10-15 minutes tops.
- History: since it is wednesday, JBug has listened to her audiobook chapter the day before, so today she makes a poster for her wall timeline. Today it is ancient Egypt, her favorite, so she happily works on her drawing of pyramids, a sphinx, and the temple at Abu Simbel, adding plenty of detail and coloring it carefully, chattering all the while. I give her a line of copywork to add to her poster: ” Egypt was a mighty kingdom on the Nile river.“ ( “mighty” relates to the her phonics lesson for the day, the–igh– long I sound ). This she copies in her best handwriting. (total time, maybe 45 minutes).
(Meanwhile, Superboy is reading his history. When finished he comes and narrates to me and we discuss some of the more interesting aspects of Minoan culture.)
Snack time! Some yogurt and fruit and we are recharged!
- Nature study: I read aloud to JBug a chapter from our current nature read: Wild Life in Woods and Fields. Today the topic is early spring flowers. She listens, narrates, and then does a lovely notebook page on daffodils for her nature notebook. Her copywork, ” The daffodil stores food in its bulb under ground”. She draws and labels a daffodil, making special note of the round, onion-like bulb.( maybe 30 minutes)
(meanwhile Superboy is reviewing his formulas and equations from his chapter of Caveman Chemistry, noting them in his lab book. He has a couple of questions on the combustion reaction of cellulose so while JBug draws and labels her daffodil, Superboy and I discuss that.)
- Math: Today’s lesson is simple fractions. She blasts through it in no time. (10 minutes) This gives her plenty of free time before lunch. She heads outside to play “Iron Chef” with seaweed and mud on the rocks of the jetty.
(Superboy is ahead of schedule too, so he takes advantage to get some free reading done. A Percy Jackson book, I believe).
Lunch time! Sandwich for Superboy, leftover chicken and rice for JBug and me. Then it’s back at it again!
- Religion: Wednesdays we read a saint story and JBug narrates. Today was one of our family favorites, St Francis of Assisi, a life story which JBug knows well. I read from Loyola Kids Book of Saints, and JBug gives a lively narration, acting out scenes in quite a dramatic way. She always giggles and turns red at the point where Francis drops his clothing in the town square. Tomorrow she will do a notebook page on this beloved saint in her faith notebook, but today, it is all about the drama! (maybe 20 minutes, with all the drama).
( Meanwhile Superboy whizzes through his math lesson, and moves on to literature. He reads ~50 pages from Hittite Warrior and then comes to give me a brief review.)
- Art study: This week’s artist is Gustav Klimt, so we spend a few minutes reviewing his paintings on the computer slide-show I’ve made. She needs an extra day to finish up her coloring page of The Kiss from yesterday, so that’s what she does. She is happy she has an excuse to use the fancy gold Prismacolor pencil. There’s lots of gold in Klimt! (~30 minutes)
- Computer work: Last thing of the day is for JBug to spend some time with Explode the Code Online. She happily works through a dozen lessons,(~30 minutes) then is rewarded for her efforts with some time on her favorite site: Lego Games.
I use this quiet time to tend to my own education, and catch a quick read of some Plutarch. Good stuff!
(Meanwhile Superboy has been reading from his nature study book: Fruitless Fall. He comes to narrate to me , cup of tea with honey in hand,very enthusiastic about the book. We have a nice discussion about the importance of honey bees and the book’s unfolding mystery of colony collapse syndrome. )
And then…we are all done for the day!!! Superboy is off to swimming practice, JBug goes back to her “Kitchen Stadium” in the rough, and I catch up on blogs and message boards before it is time to prepare dinner.
And that, my friends, sums up our Charlotte Mason day!
I’d LOVE to hear about YOUR CM day, especially how you coordinate varying levels within your home!
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