Charlotte Mason Inspired Lesson Plan Templates

Charlotte Mason Inspired Lesson Plan Templates

I finally got my act together and made a lesson planning sheet for our preschool at home this year! And then I was on a roll, so I made another planning sheet for those of you with older children. These templates aren’t only with use of the Charlotte Mason philosophy- I think they’re pretty flexible!

Preschool Lesson Plan Template

I wanted to keep this one simple, since our year will be simple (read more about our curriculum here). But I’ve learned that just leaving a big box for all of my plans doesn’t work for me. I’m forgetful. A box-style lesson form made me leave out entire sections of the lesson, like introducing vocabulary. This template lets me detail each section of our lesson, but I can just write a few words in each section.

This form covers two days, so if you are planning more than two days a week, just use a couple of them. It has room for four lessons a day written vertically.

Preschool Lesson Plan Template

Preschool Lesson Plan Form

Elementary Lesson Plan Template

I just learned recently that some people don’t like to write things like this vertically. Who knew!? This lesson planning form has lessons recorded horizontally. I made it with elementary-aged children in mind, but you can use it for preschool as well. It covers eight lessons- either eight lessons in a day, or eight lessons in a subject (you would just have to switch the subject and date sections- if you want it official instead of crossed out, just shoot me an email!) Any other work you want your child to do, like a notebook entry, can go in the final box. Elementary Lesson Plans

Elementary Lesson Plans

If you end up using these, I’d love to hear about it!

The Charlotte Mason Philosophy: Understanding Authority

The Charlotte Mason Philosophy

It’s discouraging for me as a parent to see how much right and wrong have become blurred. There’s no longer a moral code that all children should learn: right and wrong is arbitrary to the world. When I read Charlotte Mason’s words, it amazes me how relevant they are to our times. In her third volume, School Education, she writes about docility and authority.

Understanding Authority: Three Types of Parents

Mason writes about three types of parents in this section. She mentions that educational thought ebbs and flows, and once one tide rises, it will fall again. (pg 3). This is so interesting to me, because I can see the ebb and flow in the parenting styles she mentions in this chapter.

The “Because I Said So” Parent

The Authoritarian parent was common before the 20th century. These parents expected  obedience, “because I said so.” With the exception of a few rebellious children, most kids knew to obey immediately with no questions asked. Charlotte Mason described these parents as loving, but that they were used to this type of parenting and didn’t question it. She told the story of a boy who walked miles in the cold and eagerly returned home to warm up. When he arrived, his very loving father asked, “Did you shut the gate?” Since the boy wasn’t sure, his father asked him to go back and check. He headed back into the cold for the mile-long walk.

Early in the century, authority was everything in the government of the home, and the docility of the children went without saying, that is, always excepting the few rebellious spirits. (School Education, page 6).

The Anything Goes Parent

This type of parent is often driven by the thought that there is no God to establish a definite right and wrong. Since they view authority as arbitrary, each person has to decide what they think is right. They let children learn right and wrong through experimenting and consequences. They don’t want to encroach upon their child’s sense of self by telling him or her what to do.

From the dethronement of the divine, follows the dethronement of all human authority, whether it be of kings and their deputies over nations, or of parents over families. (Volume 3, pg 6.)

 

The Parent Under Divine Authority

The final type of parent is what I am called to be as a Christian. A parent who recognizes divine authority has the duty to teach her child right and wrong according to The Word. Since he made me a parent, I have the duty to be in authority over my children. My authority isn’t because I’m a grown up or because of anything I’ve done to earn it.

We know now that authority is vested in the office and not in the person; that the moment it is treated as a personal attribute it is forfeited. We know that a person in authority is a person authorised; and that he who is authorised is under authority. (Volume 3, page 12.)

 

What Does This Authority Look Like?

A parent under divine authority is gentle and reasonable. When challenged, she’s willing to reconsider her commands and accept that her child’s perspective might be right.

We need not add that authority is just and faithful in all matters of promise-keeping; it is also considerate, and that is why a good mother is the best home-ruler; she is in touch with the children, knows their unspoken schemes and half-formed desires, and where she cannot yield, she diverts; she does not crush with a sledge-hammer, an instrument of rule with which a child is somehow never very sympathetic. (Volume 3, pg 23)

 

 

Where she cannot yield, she diverts; she does not crush with a sledge-hammer, an instrument of rule with which a child is somehow never very sympathetic. (1)

Learning this idea of divine authority has been so helpful in my parenting. It has shed a new light on the phrase, “pick your battles.” Before giving my children directions, I think about how important it really is. Cleaning up? Important. Not dragging the dog leash around the house? Not so important.

How to Respond to “Why?”

“Why?” seems to be every young child’s favorite word. I should keep a count to see how many times I hear it every day!  Miss H often asks why I give her the directions that I do. Although Charlotte Mason says that children shouldn’t get into the habit of questioning their parents’ commands, she also says:

But just to know that you can ask and tell is a great outlet, and means, to the parent, the power of direction, and to the child, free and natural development. (Volume 3, page 5).

I’ve also learned that tying my answer into God’s divine authority is a good way to respond. When Miss H asks why she can’t ride her bike in the street alone, I tell her that it’s because God gave me the job to protect her. This lets her know that I’m not ruling arbitrarily- I’m fulfilling the position that God gave me.

There is so much to read on this topic! You can read this chapter of School Education here. 

 

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Preparing for Preschool at Home With Two Schedules

Our Preschool at Home Schedule (and why there's two!)

We’re gearing up for Miss H to start preschool at home. Starting preschool is a big rite of passage these days. I’ve loved seeing pictures on Facebook of sweet little ones holding “My First Day of Preschool” signs. Even though we’ll be homeschooling Miss H for preschool, I want her to feel that excitement too. We went “back-to-school” shopping yesterday, and we’ll go to buy school supplies later this week. I don’t want her to feel like she’s missing out on the preschool fun. That’s one of the reasons I chose to start preschool with her this year instead of waiting like Charlotte Mason suggested.  When setting a schedule for our preschool, I decided to structure just a couple of hours, and leave the rest for play.

Keeping a Schedule

If you read my post about building a preschool curriculum, you saw that we are planning about four hours of preschool a week. I know lots of homeschooling families don’t like schedules. One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is not having to stick to strict schedules, and spending more time on a subject when the lesson is going well. But the teacher in me needs a schedule. I’m planning on sticking to it. I want Miss H to learn the habit of timeliness (I mentioned this in my post about infant habits). I also want to be sure I don’t just teach her what is more comfortable for me.

Two Schedules

This is my plan to help us stick to a schedule: making two of them. I know myself. If Baby E misses a nap, or drops his first nap altogether, then I would throw the schedule out the window. I’d probably throw all my lesson plans out the window, too. So making multiple schedules lets me adapt if something changes. If I thought Miss H would ever sleep in, I would make a third one. I can dream!

Schedule 1- Normal day
7:00 Wake up

Playtime with Dad

7:30 Breakfast

Bible time

8:00 Get dressed
8:15 Discuss weather, date, etc.

Read story

8:45 Math (number sense)
9:00 Break, Baby E naps
9:20 Music/Art/Crafts/Science
9:40 Character building
10:00 Baby E wakes, snack 
10:15 Leave house for class, activity, etc.
Schedule 2- No Nap Day
7:00 Wake up

Playtime with Dad

7:30 Breakfast

Bible time

8:00 Get dressed
8:15 Discuss weather, date, etc.

Read story

8:45 Math (number sense)
9:00 Break, play with Baby E
9:40 Music/Art/Crafts/Science
10:00 Snack
10:15 Leave house for class, activity, etc.
12:00 Return home, eat lunch

Put baby E down for nap.

1:00 Character building
1:20 Miss H’s rest time

Activities

Have you noticed that I usually try to avoid the word “activities?” I try to save it for occasions when Miss H is actually active. Otherwise I think it sounds like busy work. The goal isn’t to keep a child busy, but to keep her engaged. I digress.

Miss H is going to take a variety of classes (activities!) this year through a local program. They’ll mostly be exercise based. I know the most exciting part for her will be playing with other kids, though. It was important to me to work these into our schedule so that she knows to expect them as continuation of her learning day.

Non-School Days

On days that we don’t have school, I’ll probably try to keep the schedule as similar as possible. Our wake-up and breakfast times will stay the same, but we’ll replace the lessons with nature walks, play, and more books.

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Cutting the Clutter: Decluttering Printable

Photo credit: Ellepacca via Pixabay
Photo credit: Ellepacca via Pixabay

In January, I went on a mission to get rid of 500 things from our house. I decided that this would be a twice-yearly thing for me, so I started again in July. In the months in between, I still got rid of children’s clothes and other items. And it still feels like I barely made a dent in our clutter.

What I Learned about Cutting The Clutter

I wrote about my motivation for decluttering earlier this summer. Less clutter means a less-stressful atmosphere for my children and for me. The problem isn’t the amount that I get rid of. The problem is the amount that comes into our home. It’s sounds so simple, but is anything really simple when you have kids?!

Clutter Diet

When people go on diets, one of the most helpful things to do is write down what they put into their bodies. This is the same with decluttering. I had no idea what I was putting into my house.

So, I made a decluttering worksheet to help me with this. It’s uncomplicated so it doesn’t become another piece of clutter. I made spaces for recording what comes into our house, and a larger section for what I get rid of. When I get a set of things, I don’t write down every piece of it.

This month, I’ve gotten rid of 46 things and have brought in 43 things. Yep. This is why we have so much clutter! Having some way to hold myself accountable definitely helps with my decluttering mission!

What I’ve Learned

  1. I think more about what comes into our house when I know I have to write it down.
  2. When little things come home, I often turn around and throw them out. It makes more sense to just not let them in at all!
  3. I’ve started asking: Is keeping this worth the hassle of picking it up over and over again?

Download your decluttering worksheet here. Declutter Worksheet

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum

Ultimate Preschool Curriculum

This post contains affiliate links. 

There isn’t a lot of information floating around about planning a Charlotte Mason preschool at home. This is mainly because Mason said that children should learn through play until they’re six, when formal lessons begin. Since children today often start preschool very early, many parents don’t want to wait until the age of six. Creating a curriculum based on play and living texts is a good alternative to rigorous preschool. You could buy an expensive preschool curriculum and hope it lines up with the CM philosophy. But you really don’t need to!

Curriculum planning is something I studied in grad school, and I had so much fun putting one together for Miss H (nerd alert!) In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to plan your preschool year. While I speak specifically about preschool, you can also use these tips to create an elementary curriculum.

1. Decide What to Teach

The great thing about a curriculum based on living texts is that your child can learn anything.  I chose topics that I know interest Miss H, but also things she has never heard about before. Learning about a variety of topics will help increase your child’s vocabulary, and also give them background information that will grow seeds knowledge later on.

Some possible subjects to teach are Bible, art appreciation, music appreciation, math, literature, literacy, poetry, crafts, nature study, science, and foreign language.

Math and Literacy

Parents often feel stressed about what to teach in these areas.  For math, I chose to focus on number sense, geometry, and money. For reading, I’ll focus on teaching the alphabet thoroughly, and phonemic awareness (paying attention to the sounds in words). Here are some helpful links that explain what’s developmentally appropriate for young children to learn.

Get Ready to Read- Literacy

Get Ready to Read- Math

Go Beyond Your Own Interests

It’s easy to teach our children what interest us. But in order to have a rich education, we have to step out of our comfort zones. Art is not my favorite topic, but I want to introduce Miss H to it, so I added it to our curriculum.

 

2. Get a Feel For Your Schedule

Understanding how much time you’ll devote to your homeschool will help you determine how much to plan. This year we’ll have two “school” days, for just two hours in the morning. We’ll also continue to learn on the non-school days, of course!

Plan Short and Varied Lessons

You know those 90 minute reading blocks that schools sometimes have? That’s the very opposite of what Charlotte Mason suggested. She said that for young children (8 and under), lessons should be no longer than 20 minutes. She also said that by varying types of lessons, the child’s brain is less taxed. For example, instead of doing science and nature study back to back, a reading lesson after the science lesson gives the brain a change. This will help keep the content fresh and help them pay attention.

Allow Time for Play!

When planning for math and early literacy, I thought about play opportunities that we can do together. My goal is to present the alphabet and math skills through interesting, playful ways. (See my post about teaching the alphabet through play here.) Our schedule is minimal so that Miss H can have plenty of time to get outside, visit educational places, and play.

3. Identify Your Materials

You don’t need all of your materials immediately. If you know you won’t use something until the end of the year, hold off on purchasing it in case your plans change.

Living Texts

For the schedule that I set, we’ll need about eight texts a month. We”ll read more than that, but these are eight books that have been chosen very intentionally.

The Charlotte Mason bookfinder is a great tool for finding living texts. I searched for books surrounding the topics I had decided on. So I don’t spend lots of money on our curriculum, I found books in the bookfinder, then made sure I could locate them at our library. This also let me check to see how living I thought the text was! It might be tempting to only choose non-fiction texts in order to get as much information as possible, but children can learn so many things from well-written fictional books, as well!

Don’t Go Overboard

There are so many math manipulatives (hands-on math tools) out there that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I knew I didn’t want to stock up on lots of different manipulatives, so I chose just a few that can be flexible.

Inchimals
Pattern Blocks
Money (real money!)

Other Possible Math Manipulatives

  • counters (chips, cubes, teddy bears, etc.)
  • Cuisinaire Rods (similar to Inchimals, but with fewer frills)
  • Dice

For learning the alphabet, we’ll use foam letters leftover from my teaching days. (I’m in search for pretty wooden letters for Miss H, but I can’t find what I’m looking for.)

Older Children

With elementary aged children, I recommend purchasing a math curriculum. Teaching math can be challenging for parents, so having the guidance of a math curriculum is a necessity.  Personally, I think that  a curriculum that teaches to mastery rather than uses spiral review is better for children. But every child is different!

Make it Easier On Yourself

I love seeing all of the cute, thematic ideas on Pinterest. But I’m not sure that the effort I’d put into them would equal the learning that Miss H would get from them. Charlotte Mason said that unit studies were “arbitrary and not inherent connections.” (School Education, pg 231.) Letting the child build connections between topics naturally is more beneficial. That’s a bummer for cute Pinterest crafts, but isn’t that great for planning? No cutting, pasting, or buying materials: just present rich opportunities and let your child make the connections.

I chose books that are based around the seasons or events in the season. In the fall, we’ll read about pumpkins. When we go to the pumpkin patch, she can connect the book we read with her experience. In the spring, we’ll read about butterflies. She can observe the butterflies flying in the backyard, and I can already see the spark in her eye when she thinks about what she’s already learned.

4. Plan it Out

Pacing Chart

You can simply list all of the books and topics you’d like to include in your preschool lessons, or you can set it up like a pacing chart. A pacing chart is more detailed because it gives you a general time frame of when you will read each book and teach each topic. Since I chose books that correspond with the season, I organized my pacing chart month by month.

Planning Lessons

Organizing your curriculum in a pacing chart makes planning easier. I can sit down and plan a month’s worth of lessons at once. Lesson planning won’t be very intense with what I want preschool to look like this year, but I want to write down the book we’ll read, idea to discuss, and what we’ll do for math.

Think About Habits

Think about habits, but don’t plan for them ahead of time.  It’s hard to know how long it will take to help your child develop positive habits. Some habits will form in days, while some might take much longer! It’s better to identify habits to work on throughout the course of the year. That way, you can decide which habits are the most pressing.

I’m working on what a preschool lesson planning sheet should look like, and I’ll share it with you when it’s ready.  If you’ve made a Charlotte Mason curriculum on your own, I’d love to hear about it!

 

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Teaching Reading Skills With How to Read A Story

Teaching Reading Skills Through How to Read a Story
Picture Source: Hermann via Pixabay

A few years ago, teachers at my school read How to Read a Book. It’s a classic how-to that  teaches reading skills to adults. Reading this book, along with the practice of narration, made me a better reader. So when I saw How To Read A Story  by Kate Messner in the children’s section of the library, I was curious. Teaching literacy skills outright is important, and that is this book’s goal.

Teaching skills, like thinking while reading, seems too obvious to adults! But children need to be directly taught what strong readers do. These things come naturally to grown-ups, but only after lots of practice.

This book has step-by-step instructions on how to read a story. Some are simple instructions like “find a cozy reading spot.” But some teach important skills that children need to know. I described the skills in the book, and added some notes.

How To Read A Story

Literacy Skills

Prereading: Look at the book’s cover.

Note: Children should also look at the table of contents if there is one.

Sounding out words and using context: The book suggests using the pictures to see what word might make sense.

Note: Teaching children to think about the context is even more helpful!

Make predictions: Think about what might happen next.

Note: This skill is important to teach alongside some other skills. Predictions should be made using the context of the story. Also, teaching children how to correct their predictions if they are inaccurate is important.

Reading with expression: Teach children to pay attention to punctuation while reading.

Note: Too much expression can be distracting!

Other Skills To Teach

There are so many of these reading skills to teach! Here are a couple more.

Making a picture in your mind: Charlotte Mason wrote about the importance of making mental pictures while reading. More than a hundred years later, reading research showed that strong readers make pictures in their minds.

Questioning: Strong readers ask themselves questions while reading. These aren’t only prediction questions, but things like, “Why did that happen?” (Or before I became a better reader: “Wait, what?”)

Age Appropriateness

I’ll hold off on reading this book with Miss H. I think I’ll share it with her once she’s a little closer to reading independently. I think it’s probably appropriate for ages 4-8, but every child is different!

 

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Preschool Science Magic: The Floating Grape

Preschool Science Magic- The Floating Grape

 

The floating and sinking science experiment (“spearment as Miss H says) was one of her favorites. She wanted to do it over and over again. Last week, she piled up paperclips and erasers so that they stacked up higher than the water level (did you see my picture on Instagram?)  So when I found the floating grape experiment, I knew she’d enjoy it and hopefully learn from it.

This was one is simple, you know I like that! I adapted it from The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book. Do a floating/sinking experiment before this to make sure your child understands those concepts first.

Materials

We used:

3 Mason Jars (any glasses would work)

3 grapes for floating/sinking, and 59 for eating


Sugar

Water

Sticky notes to label the jars

Liquid measuring cup

The Floating Grape Science Experiment

First, I used the sticky notes to label the jars 1, 2, and 3.  I filled jar #1 with water, and let Miss H drop the grape in. She wanted to use her science tools, so she did this with her red tongs. The grape sank immediately, and we talked about why it sank.

Three labeled mason jars. The grape sinks in jar #1.
Three labeled mason jars. The grape sinks in jar #1.

Then we mixed sugar and water in a liquid measuring cup. It took a lot more sugar than I would have thought! I think I used about 1 part sugar and 2 parts water. I probably needed close to three cups of this liquid (I had to mix it up twice).

Miss H wanted to pour the sugar water into jar #2, so she used her funnel to help. No sticky sugar all over! I asked her if the grape would sink or float this time. She thought it would sink. She put the grape in and it floated! The sugar increased the density of the water, so consequently, the grape rose to the top. Miss H thought that was pretty exciting!

Jar 2

But that’s not where the magic comes in.

The Magic Grape

Jar #3 is magic. Miss H poured the rest of the sugar water into this jar, so that it was about halfway full. We waited for it to settle, then I poured another cup of water on top of it. The plain water and sugar water can’t mix. I finally got it right after three tries! I figured out that it was helpful to use the funnel so the water trickles in slowly.

After the plain water was in jar #3, Miss H put the third grape in. It started to sink down through the plain water, and stopped right where the sugar water began. She was thrilled! I asked her why this happened, but she wasn’t quite sure. We discussed the density of the sugar water, and I asked her about how high the sugar water was in the jar. She realized it was right about where the grape was floating.

Floating Grape Jar #3
The grape is suspended in the middle of jar #3

This was a fun and easy experiment! It was appropriate for her age (3 years) but it would probably be enjoyable for children up to 7 or 8 years old.

Looking for more preschool science ideas? Follow My Little Robins on Pinterest!

 

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Nourishing Joy

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Why Are Quality Texts Important for Children?

I ran into another Charlotte Mason mom at the library a couple of weeks ago. Amidst the rows and rows of books, we lamented together about how difficult it is to find quality texts for children. I recently wrote about how to choose living texts for children.  As I continue to read more from Charlotte Mason, I’m learning why I should choose these texts.

What is Twaddle?

My impression of “twaddle” has changed since my last post. Merriam-Webster defines the word twaddle as “a. Silly idle talk. b. Something insignificant or worthless.”  When Charlotte Mason refers to twaddle in texts, she means diluted texts or “easy-reader” type books. But what I also realized is that there’s another category that she refers to, lurking in her Victorian language. These are “funny” books. 

“They must have ‘funny books’, but do not give the child too much nonsense-reading.” Home Education, Pg 152

Charlotte Mason says that children should never see twaddle, but they must have funny books. So, maybe there is another category of books that falls somewhere between twaddle or living texts. Or, maybe funny books can fall into either category. 

This graphic briefly explains Charlotte Mason's quotes that are referenced in this post.
This graphic briefly explains Charlotte Mason’s quotes that are referenced in this post.

Why Living Texts Are More  Beneficial

 

  1. They are “brain food.”

“Teachers, and even parents, who are careful enough about their children’s diet, are so reckless as to the sort of mental aliment (food) offered to them, that I am exceedingly anxious to secure consideration for this question, of the lessons and literature proper for the little people.” Home Education, pgs 176-177

 

Offering living texts gives children rich ideas to think about. This introduces them to moral thoughts, teaches them empathy, and teaches them critical thinking skills.

 

  1. They develop refined taste

 

(Referring “books of comicalities”)-“When cultivated to excess, it is apt to show itself in a flippant habit.” Pg 152

 

When children get into the habit of reading funny books or twaddle, they have a harder time enjoying worthy texts. I want to make sure my children are reading living texts early on. If I suddenly try to move away from “twaddle” when they’re ten, it will be harder to convince them that it’s worthy.

To continue on with the food analogy, junk food makes us crave junk food. It is so difficult to cut out sugar and carbs if we eat them regularly. In the same way, allowing children to read twaddle will make them want to read only twaddle.

“We wish the children to grow up to find joy and refreshment in the taste, the flavour of a book.” Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children.

 

  1. They experience better things

“By the way, it is a pity when the sense of the ludicrous is cultivated in children’s books at the expense of better things. Alice in Wonderland is a delicious feast of absurdities, which none of us, old or young, could afford to spare; but it is doubtful whether the child who reads it has the delightful imaginings, the realising of the unknown, with which he read The Swiss Family Robinson. P 152

Only exposing a child to a “feast of absurdities” is a waste of their time! Her quote above makes me think of Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” NIV

Additional Charlotte Mason Quotes on Twaddle (Referred to in graphic)

“Had his reading been the sort of diluted twaddle which is commonly thrust upon children, it would have been impossible for him to cite passages a week, much less some two score years, after the reading.” Home Education, pg 176.

“Even for their earliest reading lessons, it is unnecessary to put twaddle in the hands of children.” Home Education, pg 205.

“Before they are 10, children who have been in the habit of using {living} books will write good, vigorous English with ease and freedom” Home Education, pg 247.

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The Charlotte Mason Philosophy: Not Just For Homeschool

The Charlotte Mason Method- Not Just For Homeschool

When people find out about my blog, they automatically say, “Oh! Homeschool!” Charlotte Mason believed that home was the best place to learn.  But, hers is an educational philosophy, not exclusively a homeschooling philosophy. Mason trained teachers at her , wrote a volume called School Education, and worked with the Parents’ National Education Union to implement her ideas in schools.

When I first heard about Ambleside Schools, Nate and I went to an open house. We learned about a Charlotte Mason education, which was so new to both of us. We saw all of the beautiful books and ideas that were made available to students. When we left, my husband said, “That’s how I should have been educated.” That’s how I should have been educated, too.

I hope that more people can be educated in this way. When I learned the Charlotte Mason method, I felt healed. All of the scars from being shamed in my own education: healed. All of the time I spent laboring in public schools and still felt like a failure.  Thankfully, its popularity continues to grow, so more children can experience a living education.

Private Schools

The Charlotte Mason philosophy can be used fully in private schools. Children are offered a rich and well-rounded education. The main focus of so many schools today are the core subjects: math, reading, and writing. The opportunity to learn about music, art, and poetry in school is so exciting for them!

Public and Charter Schools

There are success stories of Charlotte Mason’s ideas being implemented in public or charter schools. All knowledge is worth learning because it comes from God. Without that thought, it seems to lessen the motivation for learning. But, there are aspects that can still be implemented to benefit children.

Habit formation

Masterly inactivity

Non-competitiveness

Choosing worthy texts

Another hurdle to implementing this method in public or charter schools is class sizes. It’s important to build strong relationships between the teacher and student. It is crucial for a student’s success. A single teacher building a relationship with 30 students is a challenge, if not unrealistic.


In today’s education climate, new standards and curricula are introduced every year. I pray that some of these timeless ideas can positively influence education in America.

5 Classroom Management Strategies To Use At Home

5 Classroom Management Strategies To Use At Home

 

I’ve had back-to-school on my mind the past couple of weeks, and even though it was always a challenge getting my classroom and lessons plans ready, I miss that season. For the next week or so, I’m going to post about school related topics. I recently wrote a guest post about building a library on a budget based on strategies I learned as a teacher.  Make sure to read it now!

When I taught in public schools, figuring out classroom management for 30 children whom I was responsible for every day was a challenge. A huge challenge. I developed systems that helped. I got pretty good at sticker charts, table group incentives, and pizza parties as achievement awards.

When I left public schools and started teaching with the Charlotte Mason method, my classroom management changed drastically. The goal was no longer to “manage” my students, but to help them develop better habits. Some strategies were adaptable to fit my new teaching philosophy. Now that I stay at home, I find some of the classroom management strategies I learned and honed over the years helpful with my children. 


Routines

 

At the beginning of the school year, I always worked hard to develop strong routines. This fits in well with habit training! Thinking out and planning the events of the morning allowed us to begin the day smoothly. We spent time practicing these routines, and that investment made a huge different in our school year! Now that I stay at home, I still find this helpful! By making and practicing a morning routine, I can find some time for my work, spend time with each child individually, and complete any chores that need to be done.

Positive Attention

 

As a teacher, I learned that spending a few minutes a day giving positive attention to a child who sometimes has behavior issues can greatly improve their behavior. I notice how true this is with Miss H, too. Being proactive and having a really attentive, imaginative play time with her in the morning can change her behavior for the rest of the day.

Attention to the Picked-On Child

 

The other day, Miss H and Baby E were playing so sweetly. I went into the kitchen to grab something, when WHAM! Miss H pushed Baby E over backwards. I scooped up Baby E, asking him if he was okay. I waited to discuss consequences with Miss H.  At one of the schools I taught at, we learned to focus on the victim and not the bully. I don’t think my child is a bully, but this strategy does make sense for us!

Stopping Points

 

Miss H loves this one! With a class, I made predetermined stopping points for them in the hallway. That way, when I stopped to lock the door or was needed for an issue, they wouldn’t take off without me. I do this with Miss H when we’re at the gym or library. I say, “Stop at the corner!” and she walks ahead of me, waiting at the corner until I catch up. This gives her some independence, but keeps her from running too far away.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise has so many positive effects on the brain! One year, the other teachers and I took all the students outside to run in the morning. This set our day up for success, and the students came in ready to learn. When Miss H is grumpy or anxious, exercise helps. We go for a walk, to the park, or to play in the backyard. In the winter I get children’s exercise videos from the library for her to do. When we start more formal preschool, I’ll include plenty of exercise in our days. 

 

Do you use any of these strategies?