These are our homeschool curriculum choices loosely following Charlotte Mason principles, for 6th grade, 4th grade, 2nd grade, and kindergarten/pre-k. Beautiful living books, exploring the natural world, and LOTS of learning together as a family.
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We are about to start our seventh year of homeschooling, this year with four kids in school and one three-year-old joining in at the table. I have used lots of different homeschool curriculum over the years, from all-in-one open and go boxes, to piecing together our studies from several different sources on my own. The method I chose has largely depended on the season of life we were in at the time– during times of pregnancy, transition, loss, etc, I have been so thankful for curriculum that requires little planning on my part. But usually, by the next summer, I’m ready to jump in and do my own planning again.
I have found, however, that no matter which curriculum I have used in the past, what forms the heart of our school time are the books we use, the connections we make around them, and the discussions they spark. Because, at the end of the day, what we are really trying to do is raise children who will become adults who CARE– about people, about themselves, about history, about learning, about a number of things according to their passions and interests.
Charlotte Mason puts it well: “The question is not, – how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education – but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?”
Our Curriculum Choices for 2021
6th Grade, 4th Grade, 2nd Grade, & Kindergarten/Pre-K
Accordingly, what you’ll find for a large part of this are books, and curriculum that is also centered about beautiful living books as well. I will share our daily rhythm in another post soon (you can see a past example here), but basically, we will start all together at the table with our morning time, then will move through our other subjects while the younger children come and go. My oldest child is entering sixth grade and will have a slightly larger workload this year than his siblings.
I hope, at the least, sharing our homeschool curriculum choices for this year can give you some new ideas, or simply a vision of how one family is approaching learning together in a Charlotte-Mason-ish way.
FAMILY MORNING TIME
Morning time is one of my FAVORITE parts of homeschooling. It’s how we start our school day, all together around the table, learning about a great wealth of interests and subjects. In addition to the plan/resources listed below, we will also read picture books and play games and basically add in whatever is catching our fancy that day. It’s also worth noting that we will not all these subjects everyday.
I’ve written more about morning time and free printables for planning, as well as shared a list of our favorite books and resources. The book, Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love, by Cindy Rollins (the “creator” of morning time) is an incredible resource as well.
- Wonderfull: Ancient Psalms Ever New
- Trials & Triumphs: Stories from Church History (listen on Audible)
- Tiny Theologians Christ at the Center cards, (books of the Bible)
- Hymn of the Month, Happy Hymnody
Treehouse Schoolhouse Fall Nature Study
This curriculum will make up the bulk of our morning time. I have used curriculum from THSH before, and appreciate how “open and go” they are. Using this, we will have much of the “beauty” part of the feast covered in fall-themed units, like Birds of Prey, Pumpkins and Corn, Changing Leaves, and more.
- The Fall Nature Study Includes poetry, folksongs, hand rhymes, nature study, crafts, & copywork, and more
- Get 10% off the Treehouse Schoolhouse shop with the code THISPILGRIMLIFE10 (lots of great resources and morning time printables!)
- Tales from Shakespeare: Hamlet
Myths, Fairytales, & Fables
- 6th Grade: Learning Cursive with the Hobbit
- 4th Grade: Print to Cursive Proverbs, Simply Charlotte Mason
- 2nd Grade: Coypwork Reader, Simply Charlotte Mason
- Everyone: Treehouse Schoolhouse nature study poetry copywork
- Grammar & Spelling:
- 6th grade: Fix-It! Grammar, The Nose-Tree Book, Institutes for Excellence in Writing
- 4th grade: Using Language Well & Spelling Wisdom (4th grader)
- Everyone: Grammar Land, Nesbitt– parts of speech
- Everyone: Mad Libs
- Reading & Phonics:
- 6th grade independent reading: Robin Hood
- 4th grade independent reading: Wild Animals I Have Known, Homer Price
- 2nd grade: finish My Father’s World’s first grade reading lessons
- 2nd grade: Pathway Readers, Simply Charlotte Mason
- Pre-K/ Kindergarten: ABC See, Hear, Do— learn the alphabet with animals and fun hand motions
- Pre-K/ Kindergarten: finish The Good and The Beautiful pre-K book
Our geography and science studies will work together as we learn about different parts of the world this year– cultures, countries, landforms, and ecosystems.
- Around the World with Beautiful Feet Books: covering Asia, Africa, Australia, & Antarctica
- This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Children Around the World
- Geography from A to Z: picture glossary of landforms and other geographical terms
- Elementary Geography, Charlotte Mason
- Thistles & Biscuits Woven Melodies: world instruments and musicians
For my younger kids, nature study is the bulk of their science. They will get nature study in morning time, our daily observations, and a monthly “forest school” we are attending. My older boys will do a little more science studies independently. I am still deciding on whether or not we will do an experiments day in addition to all this.
- 6th & 4th grade independent reading: Christian Liberty Nature Readers, books 4 & 5
- 6th grade independent reading: Great Inventors and Their Inventions
- Studying landforms & ecosystems coinciding with our world geography studies
- Forest School: local monthly classes to discuss
Again, our geography studies will be what we do together as a family. My 4th and 6th graders will have a little additional reading to complete continuing with the next phase of American History.
- Intro to the Civil War:
- Abraham Lincoln’s World: horizontal history– world events during Lincoln’s lifetime, including politics, science, arts, and more
- 6th grade independent reading (read, narrate, & discuss): Across Five Aprils, Shades of Gray
- 4th grade independent reading (read, narrate, & discuss): Harriet Tubman biography, & ?
- readings from This Country of Ours
- readings from A Young People’s History of the United States
- readings from A Child’s First Book of American History
- Plutarch Primer (6th grade, with mom)
We are switching math curriculum this year to Math Mammoth. (For the past two years we used CTC Math). Math Mammoth came recommended by multiple reliable sources, so we are giving it a try. This summer we’ve been going through the Skills Review books (pictured above) before jumping into the next year of curriculum.
- Math Mammoth, grades 6, 4, and 2
We are taking a weeklong vacation to the beach this month, so I’m bringing along some books on the ocean and beach. I don’t plan to do anything rigorous, but we will have down time everyday, and want to provide relevant books to read and coloring books to color. I am also providing each of us with a small notebook to nature journal treasures we find, or pages from the reference books.
- The Big Book of Blue
- Ocean Anatomy
- At the Beach
- At the Beach (coloring book)
- Sharks of the World (coloring book)
EXTRA NEW RESOURCES
- The Fallacy Detective (read with 6th grader)
- Little House on the Prairie paper dolls
- Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs
- Various chalkboards from Chalk Full of Design (including their World Map, place value, and letter tracing boards)
- blank books to use for nature journaling
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