Sunday, April 27, 2014

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hi, my name is Ann and I am a homeschooling mom of 3 with one happy little blessing due this August.  This is our fourth year of homeschooling and for the very first time I feel like we finally got things running smoothly and I would like to share how we implement the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling and also how we use Ambleside Online Curriculum.

I currently have a 5th and 2nd grader along with a Kindergartener.  For the 5th and 2nd grader, we follow Ambleside Online Years 5 and 2.  My little one in kindergarten does reading and math on her own, but then joins us in Year 2 for the rest of the subjects.  Ambleside Online is my very favorite resource and it's all free. A bit overwhelming at first but I hope to give a step-by-step of at least what we go through.

We live in California and homeschool through a Charter School.  Homeschooling through a charter has its up sides and down.  First of all, we go through this particular charter because it allows us to have instructional funds that we spend on curriculum, supplies, and services like tutoring and music classes. We meet with our ES (educational specialist) every 15 to 20 school days. She pretty much is the liason between the school and us. She will collect attendance and learning records each meeting, writing benchmarks every quarter, samples every semester, assess the kids in the beginning of the year and once towards the end. 

My kids are still required to take the state test, but this year we did exercise our right to opt out as I am not a fan of the whole Common Core movement. Our school stated that they would have to take a written alternative which would be on campus (45 mins away from us) and 4 days out of the week. I agreed and they ended up not administering the test at all this year. Bonus!

I really just wanted to share about our experience with the Charlotte Mason method and hope to help anyone interested in Charlotte Mason because the application of her methods are pretty vague and I hope to clear up some of that confusion and to simplify the seemingly overwhelming task of putting together a curriculum using Ambleside Online.  I understand this style is not going to be for every homeschool and for every student, it just works really well with our family and I understand how overwhelming the task may seem at first, but after implementing it more fully this year it has been the most enjoyable year of homeschooling and my kids have learned so much.  It really is a gentle art of teaching and I can't wait to share more with you!

First off, these are my favorite Charlotte Mason websites:
We follow the Ambleside program almost to a tee and I have found many enriching resources from Simply Charlotte Mason.

If you would like to read more about Charlotte Mason, she did publish a 6 volume Original Homeschooling series that I got for, like, 99 cents each on Amazon Kindle.  It is not an easy read so the following are kind of her ideas condensed and written in a way that is easier to understand.
In my next post I will give a quick guide to how we implement the Charlotte Mason Method for each subject in our homeschool routine.

Here is my official vlog introduction as well! Enjoy!