I know this is the time of year when all us homeschoolers are planning and preparing for the next school year. Actually, I start the planning process sometime around January, but right now is when I start the putting-plans-on-paper stage and I wanted to share how we go about our weekly schedule.
I was sold on the Charlotte Mason method when I heard about how she encouraged short lessons. Say what!?! Yes, SHORT lessons! The idea is to get the kids into the habit of paying attention, and in the beginning it may mean lessons as short as 5-10 minutes. You will gradually increase the lessons times as their habit of giving their lessons their best attention builds. But, even an older student would only have 25-30 minute lessons. If they are giving it their all, they don't need much more time.
I just started fully implementing the Charlotte Mason style at the beginning of this year and at first I set a timer and did 15 minute lessons all day. Now, I don't set a timer for each subject as I have a feel for how long the lessons should be, but I do set a timer for when the kids read on their own. Right now I have my 10 year old reading 10 minutes then narrating, and my 8 year old gets 5 minutes then narration. This goes for every subject that requires reading and narration throughout the day.
Putting our daily schedule together took a lot of thought and I am really happy about how it came out. We have been sticking to this schedule all year long. One of the things I read about the CM method was to vary the subjects throughout the day, alternating the parts of the brain being worked and moving from one subject to the next won't tire the child's mind. We used to take breaks in between subjects, now we cruise on through. Again, I used the subjects listed on the Ambleside Online Curriculum as a guide.
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Now, it may look like and ambitious list, and it is, but we are able to do most of what is listed on here in as little as 4 hours of schooling. We also don't get to every subject on the list, and that is my fault. I simply have not prepared for all the weekly subjects, so that is one of my goals for next school year. I really want to be prepared and hit all of our weekly subjects, hymn study and Plutarch always seem to make it to the back burner and I just can't seem to get them off. We were doing a weekly nature study with a couple of other CM families in the beginning of this school year, but after the winter we have not got back on track with those, and that is another goal of mine for this fall.
I have already shared how we do our Bible Studies, and am looking forward to sharing a little about every subject we cover over our school week. I also recently started implementing workboxes into our homeschool routine, so look for that in an upcoming blog post and video on my YouTube channel .