Month: May 2019

Learn the frequency and duration of upper elementary subjects in a Charlotte Mason education, and update for today!

We've looked at modernizing the Form 1 time table (approx ages 6-9); now let's do the same thing to the Form 2 time table (approximate ages 9-12).

Looking for scheduling help for other ages?

In general, students were in Form II for a total of 3 years, approximate ages 9-12 depending on when their birthday was and also when they began with the PNEU (the educational program that Charlotte Mason administered to both homeschools and brick and mortar schools).

The first year of Form II was called Form IIB (or 2B).  This was a transition year from Form I, or also can be used as a transition to Charlotte Mason schooling if you and child are new to it.

Once a student completed that first year, they spent two years in Form IIA (or 2A).  The same books and pages would be read by all students in Form 2A, regardless of how long they had been in that Form.  A student who was doing 2A for the first year would be called 2A Lower, and the second year would be called 2A Upper.

I've taken this original from page 43 of the 1928 edition of A Liberal Education for All and brightened it:

charlotte mason form 2 time table

To make it easier to work with, I've retyped it into this table:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

Plutarch's Lives


A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

N. B. -- No "Home Work."  "Narration" (oral or written) at the end of each lesson.  Form A two written narrations at the end of two lessons each day (10 min).  B. one.  

General Overview

The Form 2 timetable is a bit different from Form 1, but still retains some of the same elements.

While in Form 1 subjects were done in 10-20 minute increments, in Form 2 we extend those into 20-30 minute increments, with a single 10 minute segment for repetition or map work.

Just like in the other Forms, there is a start and end time for each subject. What that means is that we don't "do math" for 30 minutes.  We "do math" from 9:20-9:50.

What's the difference?  If something happens in the middle of math time, say the bathroom floods because the toddler threw a matchbox car down the toilet, you don't "finish the 30 minutes when the mess is cleaned up". 

Instead, when the mess is cleaned up you pick up the schedule at whatever time it is.  Yep, sometimes this will mean that you only actually do 5 or 10 minutes of math that day.

It's ok.

Charlotte Mason said that one time is not just as good as another to do things.  We don't push aside other subjects, other learning opportunities, other times of rest, to make way for academics.

Every part of the day is as important as the other parts. Rest is as important as studies. Family time is as important as rest.

Form 2 time tables are also a tad longer than Form 1. The students still start at 9, but instead of ending at 11:30, they now finish at 12 noon. That's 3 hours of lessons in the mornings.

Another difference is that there are fewer different things to be done each day. While Form I had 9 time slots (actually 10, but Drill and Play were broken into two slots while in Form II, they are put in one), Form 2 time table has only 7 time slots.

We still get a good deal of variety, but the attention span of a 9-12 year old is expected to be a bit longer than that of a 6-9 year old.

Yet another difference between Form I and Form II is that Form I had handicrafts, drawing, and brushdrawing as part of the morning lessons, while in Form II those are shifted to the afternoons.

Let's work through the table a few subjects a time and see where it leads us.

Bible and Natural History

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

Plutarch's Lives


A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Old Testament and New Testament alternated, doing each for 20 min each 2x per week, for a total of 20 min 4x per week of Bible reading.  Notice how four out of the six days, spiritual instruction starts off the day. 

Natural History is 2x per week for 30 minutes each.

Bible: 4x per week @20 min per session (one was a Saturday session)
Natural History: 2x per week @30 min per session

Arithmetic and Geography

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

Plutarch's Lives

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Math is a bit different depending on if your student is in Form 2B or 2A.  (2B is approx age 9-10, while 2A is approximate age 10-12.  Form 2B is the first year of doing the more difficult work of Form 2, so it's a transition year).

For Form 2B students, Math was all arithmetic, and done 5 times per week for 30 minutes each. Notice how, unlike Form 1, it is done always at the beginning of the school day, right after spiritual instruction, when the mind is still very fresh.  

In the 2nd year of Form 2A (also called IIA Upper), a student would add Geometry or Algebra to their day. This was done 1x per week for 30 minutes, and took one of the early arithmetic slots.

Interestingly, that same day there is another 30 minute arithmetic slot at the end of the day for 2A students.

It's unclear if this was only for the second-year students who were doing Geometry or Algebra earlier in the day, or if this was for all 2A students.

Math had become an increasingly important part of the day's work.

Geography was 2x per week for 30 minutes, plus working with the map of the world for 10 minutes once per week.

The PNEU programmes state "map questions to be answered from map before each lesson; then reading and narration; memory sketch maps.  All Geography to be learnt with atlas. Ten minutes' exercise on map of the world every week; know something about foreign places noticed in the current newspapers."

Map work was done at the start of each geography lesson, but there was an additional 10 minutes of work on the world map every week, with particular emphasis on places that were in the news.  Charlotte Mason had a really strong focus on both geography and current events!

Math:  5x per week for 30 minutes;  2nd year of 2A adds 30 min of geometry or algebra once per week; 1st year of 2A might have an additional 30 min of arithmetic instead of geometry. (One session was a Saturday session)

Geography: 2x per week at 30 minutes per session, plus 10 minutes world map work

Dictation, Writing or Transcription, and Latin

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

Plutarch's Lives


A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Here's another area where 2B is different than 2A.

Form 2B students had 4 sessions of 30 minutes each of Dictation and Writing, and 1 session of 30 minutes of Dictation and Transcription.

This is interesting.  What is the difference between Transcription and Writing?

The PNEU programmes have three headings for what we could consider "writing" for Form 2:

  • Writing
  • Dictation
  • Composition

Let's say that the "writing" part of "Dictation and Writing" falls under the Writing category. 

The PNEU instructions are:  Transcribe some of your favorite passages from the Shakespeare play or poetry books set.  Two perfectly written lines every day.

And then it gives the handwriting resources to be used, either A New Handwriting or Print-Form Writing Exercises.

If Writing equals "Transcribe some of your favorite passages", then how is that different from Wednesday's slot of Dictation and Transcription?

It could mean the second part, "Two perfectly written lines every day" but again, how is this different from transcription?  

It's possible that Writing refers to penmanship exercises, while Transcription is when the child is taking from his favorite passages.

It's possible, though I find it less likely, that Writing refers to Composition.

Composition in the programme says:

Stories from the term's reading. Children in B who cannot write easily may narrate part.

And again, very ambiguous.  Does this mean that "a child who cannot write stories easily may instead do written narrations as part?"  

Or does it mean that "a child who is not fluent at handwriting may orally narrate part"?

The fact that there is significantly more time for writing in 2B then in 2A could go either way. It could be that 2B student are writing more stories before going to the more academic subject of Latin 2A.

The Writing part of Dictation and Writing could refer to additional handwriting practice for Form 2B students, because they are still developing the fine motor skills needed for fluent handwriting.

This is different from Transcription in that with Transcription, the child chooses his favorite passages to copy rather than doing specific penmanship exercises.

When they move into 2A, students lose three of of the Dictation and Writing slots, and two of them are replaced with Latin. 

This is one of those times where you need to use your own judgment with your child. If you feel he needs more handwriting, then spend more time on handwriting in 2B. If he has handwriting down, but needs more explicit instruction in writing, like using more descriptive words in his narrations, then spend more time on that. You can mix and match depending on what your child needs.

2B -- Dictation and Writing: 4x per week @ 30 min each (includes one Saturday session)
           Dictation and Transcription:  1x per week @ 30 min

2A -- Dictation and Writing: 1x per week @ 30 min each
           Dictation and Transcription:  1x per week @ 30 min

Latin:  2A only, 2x per week @30 min per session (one was a Saturday session)

English Grammar and French

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

Plutarch's Lives


A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

English Grammar is done 2x per week for 30 minutes.  You might be wondering, what's the difference between analysis and parsing?

That's a great question! (and one that I had to look up because I wasn't sure, either) 

Parse comes from the Latin pars orationis meaning parts of speech, while analysis refers to the parts of a sentence like subject, predicate, objects, and clauses.

So one day during the week you'd be concentrating on identifying the parts of speech, and another day you'd be focusing on identifying the parts of the sentence.  For Form 2, this would be subjects, simple predicates, and objects.

French was done 3x per week for 30 minutes each, plus one session of French Songs combined with Play (combined 30 minutes).

English Grammar, with Parsing and Anaylsis:  2x per week at 30 minutes per session

French:  3x per week at 30 min each (one Saturday session), plus one session of French songs

Drill, Play, and Singing

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

A Plutarch's Lives

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Unlike Form I that had two 15-minute sessions per day of either drill, play, or singing, in Form 2 those are combined for us into one 30 minute session each day.  I'm not sure why the change.

However, notice that every. single. day. there is time to play mid-way through the lessons, even for students as old as 12. 

Drill referred to Swedish Drill, a series of specific movements meant to strengthen and tone and based on military drill. The Manual of Swedish Drill for Teachers and Students is one resource that was available in the time period.

Drill was done 3x per week, on alternating days.   The other days were singing, either English songs, French songs, or sol-fa (singing instruction based on the Curwen method).

Regardless, every day had a half hour movement, singing, and play break midway through the lesson time.

Start with an hour and twenty minutes of lessons, then this half hour break, then an additional hour and ten minutes of lessons.

Drill, singing, & play:  6x per week (daily) for 30 minutes

Repetition and Map Work

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

A Plutarch's Lives

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Right after the 30 minute movement break, we start with 10 minutes of something easy. Repetition is either pure memorization, or reciting poems or passages with feeling while the student is reading, much like public speaking practice.

Notice that this is a 10 minute transition from play, so that our students aren't expected to come in from playing and immediately sit down to a grammar or geography lesson.

Repetition is almost a mindless task.  This small interlude lets the body settle down while at the same time not being too taxing on the brain.

Poetry is alternated with Bible passages, and Old Testament is alternated with New Testament.  Variety, variety, variety.

Once a week there is a 10 minute session on the map of the world.  Map work is also done at the start of every geography lesson, but this is a specific 10 minute session to look at the entire world and get familiar with it.

The last Repetition says Week's Work after it.  There is nothing under Work on the on the PNEU programmes (the term programs that were sent to the homeschools and other schools that Charlotte Mason's program administered) that could be considered repetition.

It may be that since the items under "Work" were done in the afternoons (note that there is no longer a space for Handwork during the lessons, though there was in Form I), that this slot was an opportunity for kids to show their parents what they had worked on during the week.

Repetition: 4x per week for 10 minutes, with an extra Saturday session of 10 minutes

Map of the World: 1x per week for 10 minutes

History and Reading

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

A Plutarch's Lives

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Here's something noteworthy. People often ask how to do the multiple streams of history in a Charlotte Mason education. The answer is in the timetables.

The different streams were done on different days of the week. The English History book was read on Tuesday, the French History book was read on Thursday, and Saturday was for Ancient history or for 3B, possibly catching up or working on the Book of Centuries.

English History:  1x per week for 30 minutes, with an extra Saturday session for 2B

French History:  1x per week for 30 minutes.

General History:  1x per week for 30 minutes for Form 2A (Saturday session)

Reading:  1x per week for 30 minutes

Citizenship, Plutarch's Lives, and Picture Study

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

A Plutarch's Lives

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Citizenship for 20 minutes 1x per week and Plutarch's Lives for Form 2A for 30 minutes 1x per week.

Here's an interesting tidbit:  We also have access to A Liberal Education for All with a 1933 publication date (the timetable we are using here is from 1928), and in that one it has A: Plutarch's Lives, B: Stories from the History of Rome in the Friday slot.

There was no citizenship book for the B level in the programmes other than Stories from the History of Rome.

This means that that 20 minute slot first thing Wednesday morning is open for 2B to do with what we wish.  Or, if you are able to easily get Stories from the History of Rome done in 20 minutes, you have a 30 minute slot on Friday that is free.

Picture Study is once again scheduled into the day, but though in Form I it was only for a 10 minute slot, in Form 2 it is lengthened to 20 minutes.  We are expecting a longer look, more in depth narrations, and more discussion of the picture from this age group than we did for Form I.

If you're wondering how to do Picture Study with this age group, here are instructions using a Parents' Review article as a guide: Artist Study with Charlotte Mason.

Citizenship: 1x per week for 20 minutes

Plutarch's Lives (2A):  1x per week for 30 minutes

Picture Study: 1x per week for 20 minutes

Each subject easily identifiable:

Bible: 4x per week @20 min per session (one was a Saturday session)

Natural History: 2x per week @30 min per session

Math:  5x per week for 30 minutes;  2nd year of 2A adds 30 min of geometry or algebra once per week; 1st year of 2A might have an additional 30 min of arithmetic instead of geometry. (One session was a Saturday session)

Geography: 2x per week at 30 minutes per session, plus 10 minutes world map work

2B -- Dictation and Writing: 4x per week @ 30 min each (includes one Saturday session)
           Dictation and Transcription:  1x per week @ 30 min

2A -- Dictation and Writing: 1x per week @ 30 min each
           Dictation and Transcription:  1x per week @ 30 min

Latin:  2A only, 2x per week @30 min per session (one was a Saturday session)

English Grammar, with Parsing and Anaylsis:  2x per week at 30 minutes per session

French:  3x per week at 30 min each (one Saturday session), plus one session of French songs

Drill, singing, & play:  6x per week (daily) for 30 minutes

Repetition: 4x per week for 10 minutes, with an extra Saturday session of 10 minutes

Map of the World: 1x per week for 10 minutes

English History:  1x per week for 30 minutes, with an extra Saturday session for 2B

French History:  1x per week for 30 minutes.

General History:  1x per week for 30 minutes for Form 2A (Saturday session)

Reading:  1x per week for 30 minutes

Citizenship: 1x per week for 20 minutes

Plutarch's Lives (2A):  1x per week for 30 minutes

Picture Study: 1x per week for 20 minutes

Important observations

A few observations I'd like to make about the Form II timetables:

Movement and Play

Even at this age, 9-12 years old, there is still half an hour of movement, singing, and play every day midway through lessons. We tend to think that kids at 10 or 11 "should" be able to sit through 2 1/2 hours of lessons easily, but this is not something that Charlotte Mason expected.

Play was

Every. 

Single. 

Day.

Handicrafts and other artistic pursuits

Handicrafts, brushdrawing, and drawing are no longer scheduled during morning lesson time. This is expected to be done in the afternoons. Presumably the habit has already been set in the earlier years. If not, definitely make it a point to schedule handicrafts, art, and music lessons for the afternoons.

If you find that you are simply never getting to them, then cut back on a few of the morning "academic" subjects and slide handicrafts, art, and music into the mornings. These are just as important as the academic lessons in a CM education.

Saturday School

Not everyone did Saturday School, even if they were enrolled in the PNEU. Though not as easy to cut out as it was in Form I, we can still do it.

Reading

Reading is only scheduled for 30 minutes once per week.  Lighter portions were meant to be read in evenings, on weekends, holidays, and breaks.  This 30 minute weekly session may have been for the more difficult reading like Bulfinch's Mythology, or for focused instruction.

If your child is not reading easily yet, you will want to cut back on a few other subjects to get the daily reading practice and instruction in.  

Similarities to Form I

Bible/spiritual training still starts off most days. There is still that half hour per day for movement and play.  

We can also see that the "B" level is, like Form 1B, a transition year. It is a slightly lighter year than the two years of Form 2A, and serves to transition the student from the easier work of Form 1 to the more demanding work and schedule of Form 2.

Modernizing the Time Table

Let's take a look at how we can use the time table as our guide but adjust it for modern life.

As with Form I, the first thing we'll do is trim it back from a 6-day week to a 5-day week. Realistically, very few of us are doing school six days per week.

For Saturday, we have Bible, math, Latin or dictation/writing, sol-fa and play, repetition - week's work, history, and French.

Bible, math, repetition, and dictation/writing for 2B are all done several other times throughout the week, so we can feel comfortable just cutting those out.

This leaves Latin for 2A, Sol-fa, history, and French. 

We have 3 days of Drill, so I'd put swap out one of those for Sol-fa.  Either that, or shift English Song (folk songs) to be sung while doing chores or dishes, and put Sol-fa in that place.

History I don't feel comfortable just chopping off, especially since Form 2A's General History doesn't show up any other place.

Where else can we find some extra time?

We have a lot of Math slots, and 2A has an extra one even over 2B.   What if we take that extra Friday Math out?

We also have both a Citizenship slot and one for Plutarch's Lives (2A only).  Let's combine them into Citizenship/Plutarch's Lives (alternate these for 2A) so we free up the 20 minute Citizenship slot.

French is done 2x per week without the Saturday slot.  This could just be cut off, but we also are losing a Latin slot for 2A.  I would put either Latin or French in the Friday Arithmetic place.

Which one?  Well, depends which is more important to you:  more time on Latin or more time on a living foreign language?  That's a decision only you can make.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

Citizenship

Old testament

Picture Study

New Testament

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

Arithmetic (oral and written)

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

A Plutarch's Lives


A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

English Song and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

Repetition

Week's Work

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

A General History

B History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A Arithmetic

B Dictation and Writing

French

Once we make those changes, it looks like this:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

A General History

B History

Old testament

Picture Study

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

French History

Plutarch's Lives/ Citizenship 


10:20-10:50

Drill and Play

Sol-fa and Play

Drill and Play

French Song and Play

Drill and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible (O.T.)

Repetition Poem

Map of the World

Repetition Bible (N.T.)

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

11:30-12:00

French

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

French

A French or Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Modernizing the subjects

Now let's modernize the subjects.  We did this for the Form I time tables, too, and it's pretty much the same.

Bible

We know that Charlotte Mason was Christian, but that doesn't mean we have to be Christian in order to use her method.  Read this blog post for a more in-depth look at my thoughts on this.

What do we do then if not Bible?

  • Your own spiritual or religious instruction
  • Moral training
  • Philosophy, logic, or ethics
  • World religions
  • Stories about your ancestors

Repetition

Rather than Repetition Poem and Bible, do recitations (either memorized or not) of speeches, poetry, or inspirational passages.  

Anything that you or your child feels is worth memorizing, from the Kings and Queens of England to the Declaration of Independence to a Shakespearean speech to ...

your favorite passage from Twilight (yes, I said it).

French

Whatever foreign language you would like to study, if you do not want to study French.

French History is what we at Wildwood Curriculum call "Second History". It is the history of another country that is tied to yours, either politically or geographically or both. This could be a country whose history is tied to the place where you live, or even one that is tied to your ancestors (or you, if you are an immigrant).

In the Southwest United States, this "Second History" could be Britain because of the ties to the founding of the U.S. Government, Spain or Mexico because of historical ties of the land and many people who live here, or Poland if your family recently immigrated from that country.

Drill

Drill was not modern drilling of facts, but was Swedish Drill and Drill in Good Manners. Swedish Drill was based on military movements and calisthenics, also called Swedish Gymnastics, and was specific muscle movements rather than free play.

You could do any sort of mindful movement here like yoga or dance, or you could just extend the play break to a full half hour.  I would, however, make sure that this is a movement break and not a build-a-lego-tower break.

New Time Table for Today

After we take off Saturday, shift a few of those subjects to the week, and modernize the remaining subjects, this is what we have:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9:00-9:20

Spiritual or Moral instruction

Spiiritual or Moral instruction

A General History

B History

Spiritual or Moral instruction

Picture Study

9:20-9:50

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Natural History

Arithmetic (oral and written)

Arithmetic  or II.A (2nd year) Geometry or Algebra

9:50-

10:20

Dictation and Writing

English Grammar and Parsing

Dictation and Transcription

Second

History

Plutarch's Lives/ Citizenship 


10:20-10:50

Movement and Play

Sol-fa and Play

Movement and Play

Foreign Language Song and Play

Movement and Play

10:50-11:00

Repetition 

Repetition 

Repetition 

Map of the World

Repetition 

11:00-11:30

Geography

English History

Geography

English Grammar and Analysis

Natural History

11:30-12:00

Foreign Language

A Latin

B Dictation and Writing

Reading

Foreign Language

A Latin or Foreign Language

B Dictation and Writing

Spiritual or moral instruction: 3x per week @20 min per session

Natural History: 2x per week @30 min per session

Math:  4x per week for 30 minutes

Geography: 2x per week at 30 minutes per session, plus 10 minutes world map work

2B -- Dictation and Writing: 3x per week @ 30 min each
           Dictation and Transcription:  1x per week @ 30 min

2A -- Dictation and Writing: 1x per week @ 30 min each
           Dictation and Transcription:  1x per week @ 30 min

Latin:  2A only, 1-2x per week @30 min per session

English Grammar, with Parsing and Anaylsis:  2x per week at 30 minutes per session

Foreign Language:  2-3x per week at 30 min each, plus one session of Foreign Language songs

Movement, singing, & play:  5x per week (daily) for 30 minutes

Repetition: 4x per week for 10 minutes

Map of the World: 1x per week for 10 minutes

English History:  1x per week for 30 minutes, 1x per week for 20 minutes for 2B (if your 2B student doesn't need this extra 20 minutes, you could add an extra session of Foreign Language here)

Second History:  1x per week for 30 minutes.

General History:  1x per week for 20 minutes for Form 2A

Reading:  1x per week for 30 minutes

Citizenship/Plutarch's Lives: 1x per week for 30 minutes

Picture Study: 1x per week for 20 minutes

There should be a half hour movement/singing/play break midway through the lessons.

By dropping Saturday and modernizing the subjects, you can make a schedule that will work for you.

Play around with it.  Use this as a template or as-is. Adjust it as needed for you family and your situation. 

If you need to cut back even further to a 4 day week, or you have multiple children and so need to trim, try to cut fairly evenly across the board. Perhaps do some things every other week rather than weekly. Trim page counts rather than letting the lessons drag on all day.

Remember that it's not just your kids who need down time.  You do, too.

Feel free to play around with this schedule, tweaking where needed. Make it work for you.

WANT TO REMEMBER THIS? SAVE IT TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!

pinterest clock with charlotte mason late elementary modern schedule
pinterest image How to make Charlotte Mason's elemenary schedules work for you

5 tv shows for charlotte mason homes

Discover interesting and twaddle-free TV programs for preschool to adult that are good for homes following Charlotte Mason’s methods of education.

When your child is too sick to spend a lot of time playing, but not sick enough to sleep most of the day, what do you do? 

Randomly flip through the channels hoping something catches your eye before your kid sees something you don’t want to watch?  (“No, we are not watching Robin Hood Men in Tights, because we watched it 5 times last week and you need some nutrition in your brain…”)

Ban all TV and play endless games of Gin Rummy and Canasta, while searching for the cards that slid down between the couch cushions?

While we generally don’t watch much TV during the day, times like these I do revert to TV to keep my little one resting. 

Most TV shows, especially ones created for children, are too loud and too obnoxious. They show attitudes I don’t want my kids picking up.

There are a few, however, that we do use in moderation. Hang around for a minute while I share our favorites with you.  Keep these in your back pocket to pull out the next time the flu makes its rounds and feel like an awesome mom.  And bonus points: these either directly or indirectly support a Charlotte Mason lifestyle!

Here are 5 mom-approved TV choices for kids ages 3 to adult.

(this post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you)

For the Little Kids

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 

This old standby has been around for 40 years for a reason.  Background music is minimal, there are no flashy colors or two-minute sound bites.  My 6 year old calls this “The Calm Show”.  Mr. Rogers teaches our children to handle their emotions, to be nice to each other, to make simple things for themselves, and to visit the Land of Make-Believe on a regular basis.

 

What’s not to love?

Little Einsteins

Flashy.  Loud.  High pitched children’s voices.  Ugh.

 

Normally Little Einsteins is the type of program I’d stay away from, but it’s ok in moderation.  Each episode has a composer and artist of the day, and my kids have become familiar with several pieces of classical music through the show.  (Charlotte Mason felt that we should be familiar with beautiful music and art)

Too much of this program puts my little one on edge and makes it so she has trouble going to sleep that night.  This is best watched sparingly.

Kids – and adults – of all ages

Documentaries

We love documentaries.

Particularly good for a Charlotte Mason lifestyle are those about animals or nature.  Nat Geo Wild is a favorite around our house, with cheetahs and lions being our daughter’s current obsessions.

She also loves Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter.  His enthusiasm and attention to detail are contagious, but as with Little Einstein, he can put kids on edge after too much.  He, too, is best watched in moderation.

Besides nature documentaries, there’re also history and other science documentaries.  History in particular should be screened for age-appropriateness, especially biographies.

The Farm vids

A few years ago, the BBC filmed several seasons of re-enactments that were later collectively called The Farm videos.  They consisted of a small group of experts who lived for a year in a period-correct manner, recreating what it was like to live in Victorian England, Edwardian England, and Tudor England.

 

My kids from 4 years old to teen/adult have all loved these.  We often let them play in the background, as quiet motivators to do handwork or other useful skills.

There are no bright colors, quickly changing subjects, or obnoxious music.  The pace is gentle and slow.

In the series are:

  • Tales of the Green Valley
  • Victorian Farm
  • Edwardian Farm
  • Wartime Farm
  • Tudor Monastery Farm

Teens

TED Talks

You can find these short or long talks on any subject your heart desires.  From an innovative method of re-grassing drought stricken land, to hearing the experience of a North Korean defector, to pushing through failure:  if you have an inkling, TED will have a talk on it.

A word of warning:  you can get lost for days in TED talks …  like when you start out watching a Youtube video of fixing the brakes on your car and 6 hours later you’re watching a kitten and giraffe become best friends.

All TED talks are informative in some way, and almost all are extremely interesting.

Where do you find these shows?

Some you can get through Netflix, a documentary website, your local library, or even Amazon.

My go-to site, however, is YouTube.  If you can stream or cast YouTube to your television, that’s ideal.  

TED talks are often on YouTube, and they are also available with a Smart TV or just through your computer.

While I don’t recommend day in and day out watching TV, when we’re sick and I use TV, I can feel good about these shows.  They don’t spin my daughter up or let her pick up undesirable attitudes, and many of them are sneakily educational to boot.

WANT TO REMEMBER THIS POST? PIN IT TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!

are lessons required at 6

Your six year old isn’t ready for lessons – is she doomed to a life of failure?

Your little one just turned 6 years old and you can finally start homeschooling! You’ve been waiting for this for months, dutifully following Charlotte Mason’s suggestion to delay academics until 6, and now you’re raring to go.

At first everything was fine. You were excited, little Junior was excited … but soon (was it days? weeks?) your once eager student started hiding.

Throwing himself backwards on the couch and screaming when you brought out the math book.

Putting his fingers in his ears and singing “La La La La Laaaaaaa” at the top of his lungs.

What is wrong? Are you just not cut out to homeschool?

Nah… what’s really happening is that your eager child is just not ready for formal lessons.

If you’ve read up on Charlotte Mason and have a young child, you know that she opposed formal lessons for children younger than six years old.

I know it’s tough to wait when you’re chomping at the bit to offer the richness of a CM education to your child. Some moms start sit-down lessons the month – or even week – their child turns that magical age.

But is this really the right choice?

Many children simply aren’t ready for academic sit-down lessons when they are newly six years old. Six and a half or even fully seven is often a much better choice for most. I’m not a neuro-anything-expert, but it has to do with brain development. If your child isn’t ready, it doesn’t mean that he or she will never be ready.

(Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

How to know if your child isn’t ready for lessons

The first question you’re probably asking right now is, “But how do I know if my child isn’t ready?”

There are no hard and fast rules here. In general though if you see any of the following signs:

  • resistance to lessons
  • tears (theirs or yours)
  • throwing himself backwards on the couch and screaming
  • spinning in circles laughing and not paying attention
  • running out of the room and giggling

or any variation thereof… wait for a few more months.

… Even if your child has already been to public or private school and could sit through the entire day there.

… Even if your child has made it through a few weeks or even a few months compliantly and with flying colors.

Even if you are sure that your child is different and is perfectly capable at the ripe old age of six of doing this thing and is simply choosing not to ….

Wait.

But won’t I be sentencing my child to a life of “Behind” if we wait?

In a word, no.

Children catch up quickly when they are ready.

Not only that, but you can always skip ahead if you feel your child is ready for higher level work at a later time. Don’t worry about missing things – there is no way that you can possibly learn All the Things in even an entire lifetime.

Remember that “can start at six” or “children begin at six” doesn’t equal “must start at six” or “all children regardless of circumstances or readiness must begin at six or they will be lifelong failures and eating Cheetohs in their parents’ basement when they’re 42.

Would you ever tell a mother with a 10 year old child who wants to bring Charlotte Mason into their homeschool, “Nope, sorry. If you didn’t start when your kid was 6, there’s no way it will work now. You’ll have to find a different educational philosophy.”

It sounds absurd when we frame it that way, doesn’t it?

Then why do we think that our own children must definitely start at six years old?

What would Charlotte do?

Not all students entered the PNEU schools at 6 years old. Some started at 10 or 12 or even later. (The PNEU was the correspondence-type school that Charlotte Mason administered)

We know that in general, children were put in the form appropriate to their age range. However, sometimes a student would be started in a lower form. This student, she says, always interacted with the material in a manner appropriate to his age, regardless of the difficulty of the material.

What does this mean to us? It means that if you wait a year until your child is 7, you will probably want to start your child in Form IB.

But if you wait until your child is 8 or 9, you wouldn’t start at the very beginning of a curriculum in IB (1st year) but instead in IA (2nd or 3rd year) or perhaps even IIB (4th year), depending on where you think your 9 year old child would fit the best.

But remember this: year or form levels in a Charlotte Mason education are not grade levels.

What should I do if not lessons, then?

I don’t recommend that you do absolutely nothing.

Though this can be a viable option.

Instead, give your child that fertile ground in which to grow.

  • Develop a healthy home rhythm with regularity and simplicity if you don’t already have one. (Not sure how? Find out in How to Create a Healthy Home Rhythm)
  • Spend as much time in nature as you can. If you don’t already own the book Coyote’s Guide to Nature Connection by Jon Young, I highly recommend that you get it. If you’re not in the US and shipping is too expensive, you can get it in .pdf form from 8Shields.org
  • Play with letters. Letter blocks, letter tiles, point out letters, make them with pasta shells or draw them in the sand. Just play.
  • Count everything. Sparrows, eggs, ants, acorns. Make up simple math problems using these, but do it in a natural way. “If Henrietta hadn’t laid an egg today, how many eggs would we have?”
  • Use Math Games by Peggy Kaye
  • Tell stories. Then tell them again.
  • Play in sand and mud and water. Go to swimming lessons.
  • Work through the free Phonemic Awareness curriculum at Sight Words
  • Sing. Always. Sing while folding laundry, while kneading bread, and while finger knitting. Sing when you’re getting dressed. Just sing.

If you’re looking for more handholding, A Quiet Growing Time: Charlotte Mason with Your 3 to 6 Year Old is full of practical ideas to use with your children who aren’t yet doing academic lessons.

catching snake in a jar nature study

Go see children’s theater. Go to museums. Go to homeschool park days. Visit local fields to learn field crops in all stages of growth. Draw lizards in a notebook and let your child dictate to you what to write in it. Talk about the natural objects your child finds.

Don’t Force Your Flowers Before They’re Ready

Not being ready for lessons at six doesn’t mean your child is a failure, or has a lower-than-average-IQ. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure at being a homeschool mom, or that CM won’t work for you.

It just means that your child needs a bit more time.

Remember that children are like flowers and they will bloom when they are ready. We simply provide fertile ground and nourishment.

Want to remember this? Pin it to your favorite homeschooling Pinterest board!

I sat on my bed and cried, yet again. My heart ached for my child. Most of the books she had no interest in, and some she barely understood. The activities were a bust, too. She’d rather spend her days hanging upside down from a tree than making the “fun and educational” salt dough map of whatever country we were studying.

I obviously was a terrible teacher, and I wondered if I was really cut out for homeschooling. Everybody online loved the curriculum, and I knew that it was the absolute best one out there.

That meant that the problem was with me.

There must be something wrong with me, I thought.  

And I secretly wondered if there was something wrong with my child, too, who didn’t love the curriculum like everyone said she would.

It couldn’t be the curriculum.

It guaranteed that every child would love it, and implied that the people it wouldn’t work for were those who didn’t want what was best for their kids.

Was this true?  Nope.  But I had bought into the hype and marketing.

It was time to break up with our curriculum.

Why we delay changing curricula

There are several reasons why we stay with a curriculum even when it’s not working.

  • Loss of the dream
  • Admitting to ourselves that our dearly held beliefs are wrong
  • Feeling like we wasted our money
  • Feeling lack of integrity, especially if we were an outspoken proponent of the curriculum
  • Feelings of failure, “I or my child is a failure, because this is the “best” curriculum
  • Feeling we will give our child a sub-standard education if we use something else, because (say it with me) this is the “best” curriculum

Loss of the dream

Often we buy into the dream of what our homeschool will look like with a certain curriculum, whether it’s free or one that we purchased.

Our children will grow up loving reading, they will do all these projects with high educational value, they will be conversant in world geography and social issues.  

People outside the family will be impressed when you tell them about the volunteer soup kitchen your child organized all by himself as part of the Service to Others assignment in 10th grade.  

Your child will not only know how an internal combustion engine works, but be able to sew for the family and discuss the deeper themes of Shakespeare and grow prize-winning tomatoes.

kids hanging upside down from tree

But when our child doesn’t like to get his hands greasy, or thinks Romeo and Juliet were stupid teenagers, or would simply rather be hanging upside down from that tree instead of reading the books …. it can be unsettling.

What will the future look like if not what we’ve already envisioned?

Admitting to ourselves and others that our dearly held beliefs are wrong

Sometimes we can get so caught up in the hype and marketing and, yes, lemming-like activity of believing that there is One Best Curriculum to Rule Them All that we are crushed when we discover that it is actually not working very well for our own child.

Especially when we’ve told others that this curriculum is The Best.  

We have to admit to ourselves that perhaps we were mistaken, and that the others who also believe this are wrong.

This can be particularly painful if we’ve been the one convincing others that this is the best curriculum.

When we have the dearly held belief that this curriculum is The One True Way to Give Our Child a Great Education, we think that everything else is sub-standard.  

Other people may actually say this.

That you’re selling out your child if you switch.  

That you’re just not trying hard enough, or you’re not being strict enough with little Jimmy and by going a different route, you are sentencing him to a life of inadequate education just so he can be happy now.

Feelings of Failure

This is a big one that is often unvoiced.  We feel it in the deepest recesses of our soul, but are afraid to bring it to the light.

That little voice that whispers “this is the best curriculum for everyone… you’re a failure because you can’t teach it right … your child is a failure …. something is wrong with you both … this is the best curriculum for everyone ….”

The logic goes like this:  If this is the best curriculum for everyone, the best and only way for a child to get a great education, and every child loves it and loves learning, then

 … if my child doesn’t love it, I must be a terrible teacher

… if my child doesn’t love it, there is something wrong with her

… if my child doesn’t understand it, then she must be rather unintelligent and maybe doomed to a life of failure

The Truth About Curriculum

Here’s the simple, honest truth.

Curriculum writers are not gods.

We do not always choose the best books, but the best books currently widely available that we personally like.  That means we make compromises.

Curriculum writers do not know your child.  It is as silly to think there is one homeschooling curriculum that can work for everyone as it is to think that the one-size-fits-all curriculum of the public school system fits everyone.

There is not one and only one path to an excellent education.  There is not even one definition of an excellent education.

There are many homeschool methods and styles out there.  Even if you believe that a particular method is the best (cough, Charlotte Mason, cough), there are almost always several curricula out there that follow that method.

One is not inherently better than another.  One might be better for your child, or for you as a teacher, than another.

Oh, and those lemmings all jumping off the cliff to their deaths?  It was staged.

Breaking up with your curriculum

First, realize that leaving your current curriculum, even if you previously thought it was the best one, or even if everyone in the forum elevates it on a golden pedestal, is OK.

Your children will not curl up in their bed, catatonic, or spend the next 30 years playing video games 24 hours a day and not know the difference between Africa and Australia.

If your current curriculum is not working, it’s not working.  

It doesn’t matter if it’s because you don’t understand the method, or your child hates doing projects, or you can’t stand the religious worldview of the books … if it’s not working for your family, it’s not working.

Then, feel the freedom!  Once you leave one curriculum that you felt was the only right way to educate your child, the whole world opens up.  You realize that even if you stay within your chosen method, there are different ways to interpret it.  One is not better than another.

You can use books that your child finds interesting.  You can do science experiments or projects that mesh with her interests.  

You realize that your child will not be denied entry into college because you skipped that boring read-aloud when he was 8.

freedom after breaking up with your curriculum

I vividly remember the first time I left a curriculum that I had bought into the hype and marketing about.

We stayed with it for over 2 years, despite the fact that it didn’t match our worldview and my daughter would literally throw herself backwards on the couch and scream when I brought out the books.

I stayed with it because I was terrified that if we left, I would be giving her an inferior education.  I felt like a failure that I couldn’t teach it well.  I felt like there was something wrong with her because she didn’t like it.  I felt like we were both… wrong.

Outcasts.

Failures.

Then the company made a strategic marketing error that alienated a large part of their customer base, and I and others left in protest.

I dipped a toe into the water and got a few books from a competing curriculum.

When I got those books home and cracked one open, I cried.

THESE were the kinds of books that my daughter would want to take to bed with her at night.  THESE were the types of activities that she would love.

I realized that it wasn’t that there was something wrong with us, it was that the curriculum wasn’t a fit.

And breaking those chains was glorious.

It will be just as good for you.

Find what works for your family.  For your child.  For you.

Not what other people say is The One True Way.  Find what works for YOU.

WANT TO SAVE THIS POST FOR LATER? PIN IT TO YOUR FAVORITE HOMESCHOOLING BOARD!

breaking up with your curriculum