Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Curriculum

After months and months of stressing and planning, and re-planning, and more stressing, I finally found the curriculum that speaks to my soul.

We have decided to teach in the Charlotte Mason style, specifically using Mater Amabilis - a free online Catholic Charlotte Mason program.

What is Charlotte Mason?
"Charlotte Mason was a British educator who believed that education was about more than training for a job, passing an exam, or getting into the right college...[and] that children are able to deal with ideas and knowledge, that they are not blank slates or empty sacks to be filled with information.  She thought children should do the work of dealing with ideas and knowledge, rather than the teacher acting as a middle man, dispensing filtered knowledge.  A Charlotte Mason education includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, and through art, music, and poetry."

She emphasized using "living books" - books that are written by someone with a passion for the subject and that engage the mind, rather than dry textbooks.  It's a character education emphasizing the learning of good habits.  Other important characteristics are short lessons, nature study, and narration.

Here are more great links to read if you are interested in Charlotte Mason:

Michaela's Curriculum - Kindergarten - Age 5
Handwriting - We practice Manuscript handwriting using printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Once she finishes these we'll move onto a simple handwriting practice book that I purchased from Target, and eventually move on to copywork.  She also gets a bit of freeform writing practice in her phonics curriculum.

Phonics - Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Math - Right Start Math

Rafael's Curriculum - Preschool Yr. 1 - Age 3
For Rafael's first of two preschool years we are starting off fairly simply.  We are doing a weekly letter, number, color, or shape.  For the alphabet we talk about the letter sound and what words start with that letter.  We also do lots of pre-writing activities such as building our letters, numbers, shapes, colors out of playdough, wikki stix, finger tracing, etc.  He probably only spends about 10-15 minutes a day on these but he enjoys them and it makes him feel like a big kid.  :)

Family Learning
Science - Living Books and Nature Study

Religion - We do bible study (Catholic Bible Stories for Children), Saints/Virtue study (living books and Virtues in Practice), Liturgical Year (living books), and Catechism study (living books, Call to Faith).

Art - Young Artist's Basics, Discovering Great Artists

Music - Teach Your Kids About Music, Living Books

We also do home ec., spanish, geography, history, poetry, music appreciation, art appreciation, PE, and health using a mixture of living books and resources I've made/found.

I hope later to post a list of the living books that we use, as well as a schedule of what our days look like.  Thanks for reading!

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