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Form 1 Timetables for today

Learn the frequency and duration of early elementary subjects in a Charlotte Mason education, and update for modern life!

Have you looked at the time tables but are having trouble translating it to our modern world? Does it all look like a bunch of random subjects? What do you do if you don't want to do school six days a week?

Let's break down the timetable into manageable pieces and figure out how to bring it to our modern life.

(Just want to see the 5-day schedule? Jump to it)

We'll start with the originals. They can be found in A Liberal Education for All at this link. We are only going to talk about Form I (approximate ages 6-9) in this post.

Looking for other Forms?

Form II (approximate ages 9-12) Timetables for Today
Form III (approx ages 12-14) Schedules for Today

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To start, for ease of use, I've transcribed Form I into this table:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

N.B. -- No "Home Work." "Narration" (Oral) at the end of each lesson. Form Upper I.A., an occasional written narration.

General overview

The first thing you might notice is that the increments are 10, 15, and 20 minutes. No lessons for these early elementary years are over 20 minutes.

The second thing you might notice is that there is a specific time for each subject. In other words, we don't "do math" for 20 minutes. We "do math" from 10:00-10:20. Practically speaking, that means that if your child is taking a long time to do his work, you don't do "what should take you 20 minutes if you would just focus." When 10:20 comes around, you stop math for the day.

It also means that if the baby has a poop explosion in the middle of your reading lesson and it takes 45 minutes to clean everything up, you check your timetable for where you would be when you're ready to start lessons again, not pick up where you left off so that you're still doing lessons at 3 PM.

Let's go through the time table a few subjects at a time, breaking it down to easily manageable chunks.

Bible and Geography

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

Old Testament and New Testament were alternated, doing each 2x per week for 20 minutes.  Notice how in general, spiritual instruction started off the day.

Geography was two times per week for 20 minutes each.

Bible: 4x per week @20 min per session

Geography: 2x per week @20 min per session

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Math and Reading

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

Number was what Math was called in this Form. Like Reading, it was done every day, but the duration varied. For 4 days it was a 20 minute session, one day was 10 minutes, and then Saturday was 20 minutes. Also note how the time slot changed throughout the week. Variety is key at this age.

Reading was also daily, with a little bit of a twist. Saturday had a regular lesson, but for the IB students (first year, approx age 6-7), there was an extra lesson that day. Note also how it wasn't back-to-back; there is an hour and a half between those two lessons with a singing and movement break in-between, and the second Saturday session was only 10 minutes.

Math: 4x per week @20 min each, 1x per week @10 min, plus a 20 min Saturday session

Reading: 2x per week @10 min each, 3x per week @ 20 min each, plus a 10 min Saturday session and for Form IB (6-7 yo) an extra 20 min Saturday session on top of that.

History and Repetition

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

History only shows up here once or twice. One time per week for 20 minutes, then an additional Saturday session for the Form IA (approx ages 7-9) students for 20 minutes. 

Do you see that? History is only once per week. Twice per week MAX. When many people think of Charlotte Mason education, they think it's heavy on history, but this shows that it's not. Geography is done more often than history in these early years!

Next we'll look at Repetition. As you can see, it was done four times per week for only 10 minutes, and the material was varied.In the PNEU programmes (the term curricula sent out to Charlotte Mason's homeschools and member schools), each term usually had 1-2 hymns, a Psalm, a poem of the child's choice, a passage from the Old Testament and one from the Gospels to learn.

History: Form IB - 1x per week @20 min

                   Form IA - 1x per week @20 min, plus a 20 min Saturday session

Repetition: 4x per week @ 10 min each

Natural History and French

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

Natural History (science): 2x at 20 min each

French: 3x @ 10 min each, plus a 10 min Saturday session and 15 min of singing French songs

Handicraft and Tales

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

Handicrafts: 2x per week for 10 min each, 2x per week for 20 min each, plus a Saturday session of 20 minutes

Tales: 2x per week for 20 min each. In Form IB, there weren't enough Tales scheduled to fill these two slots every week (3 fairy tales and 3 Aesop's fables per term). What I do is use that extra time to retell the fairy tale, to let them really sink in to my child.

Writing and Picture Study

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

Picture Study: 1x per week for 10 min

Writing: 5x per week for 10 min each, plus Saturday session of 10 min

Drawing, Brush-drawing, and Week's Work

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

Week's Work: 1 Saturday session of 20 minutes. What is Week's Work? My best supposition is that it covered the material in the PNEU programmes labeled "Work". That is, helping in house and garden, as well as creating things. Since we have 5 slots for Handicrafts, my assumption is that this is deliberate instruction in "help in house and garden".

Drawing: 1x per week for 10 min

Brush-drawing: 1x per week for 10 min, plus a 10 min Saturday session

I want you to note where these drawing times are in the table. They are all towards the very end of the lesson day when attention is flagging. A little art break, particularly after 20 min of math when math is near the end of the lesson period. After these drawing and painting sessions there is only a single ten minute session left in the school day.

Drill, Sol-fa, Play, Dancing

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

Week's Work

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

A History

B Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

Writing

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

French

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill

Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

Number

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Reading

This is a more difficult set to analyze for the simple reason that so much of it is "or". Play OR drill. Dancing OR play. All of these are also the only ones that are 15 minutes instead of 10 or 20 minute lessons.

Drill: 3-5 days per week at 15 min each, with an additional Saturday session

Sol-fa or singing, including French songs: 2x per week @15 min each, plus Saturday for 15 min

Play: Daily for 15 minutes, as an option.

Dancing: 3 times a week for 15 minutes as another option

One thing I really want you to pay attention to here: dancing, play, drill or singing constituted a 30 minute movement break in the middle of every school day.

Each subject easily identifiable:

Bible: 4x per week @20 min per session

Geography: 2x per week @20 min per session

Math: 4x per week @20 min each, 1x per week @10 min, plus a 20 min Saturday session

Reading: 2x per week @10 min each, 3x per week @ 20 min each, plus a 10 min Saturday session and for Form IB (6-7 yo) an extra 20 min Saturday session

History: Form IB - 1x per week @20 min

                   Form IA - 1x per week @20 min, plus a 20 min Saturday session

Repetition: 4x per week @ 10 min each

Natural History (science): 2x at 20 min each

French: 3x @ 10 min each, plus a 10 min Saturday session and 15 min of singing French songs

Handicrafts: 2x per week for 10 min each, 2x per week for 20 min each, plus a Saturday session of 20 minutes

Tales: 2x per week for 20 min each.

Picture Study: 1x per week for 10 min

Writing: 5x per week for 10 min each, plus Saturday session of 10 min

Drawing: 1x per week for 10 min

Week's Work: 1 Saturday session of 20 minutes

Brush-drawing: 1x per week for 10 min, plus a 10 min Saturday session

Drill: 3-5 days per week at 15 min each, with an additional Saturday session

Sol-fa or singing, including French songs: 2x per week @15 min each, plus Saturday for 15 min

Play: Daily for 15 minutes, as an option.

Dancing: 3 times a week for 15 minutes as another option

Important observations

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

Movement and play

There is a full half hour movement and play break every day a little more than halfway through the lessons. After an hour and 40 minutes, the kids have a 30 minute movement/singing/play break, then come back to another 40 minutes of lessons.

Immediately after the play break they have a longer lesson of 20 minutes, then the last two lessons of the day are both short ones at 10 minutes each. 

Saturday School

Not everyone did Saturday school, and if you notice what was scheduled for Saturdays, it's nothing that can't be cut out. An extra session of reading, writing, and arithmetic, French, handicrafts, art. Help in house and garden.

So easy to just chop off that day and not even miss it!

Handicrafts

Four to five times per week! This is more than Geography, more than History, more than Natural History.

If you want to make a hierarchy of importance based on frequency and length of time, it would go like this

Math --> Reading --> Writing --> Bible --> Handicrafts --> Everything else

Handicrafts aren't something to be tacked on when we get around to it. It should be an integral part of our Charlotte Mason life!

Specific lesson times

Notice also that there are specific times for lessons. Not "10 min: reading" but "11:20-11:30: reading".

Why is this important? Because it's so easy to set a timer for 10 minutes of a subject, and then when the timer goes off, swap out the books, run to the bathroom, get set up for the next subject ... then start the timer for the next 10 minutes. In the meantime, you've lost several minutes of transition. This can add up to an extra half hour over the course of your day, making lessons drag on much longer than the 2.5 hours we'd like.

Modernizing the timetable

The first thing we'll do is trim this back from 6 days down to 5 days. Realistically, there are very, very few of us who do lessons 6 days per week.

Now, this Form is really easy to do that with because of the nature of the subjects for Saturday -- they are all things that you just work on "the next thing" without an assigned number of pages per term to get through, other than a slot of History for Form IA (approx ages 7-9).

We can just cut Saturday right off and never know it's missing. That extra day of History for Form IA? Don't sweat it. Really.

If you just can't let go of that 20 minutes of history, then one day a week read from your history book in the evenings or as a bedtime story. 

Do 20 minutes of chores or gardening with your kids over the weekend, and you're golden.

And for the IA students, slide an extra day of Sol-fa in as an option.

That brings us to this:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9:00-9:20

Old Testament

New Testament

History

Old testament

New testament

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition Bible

Repetition Poem

Repetition Bible

Number

Repetition Hymn

9:50-10:00

French

Writing

French

French

Picture Study

10:00-10:20

Number

Handicrafts

Number

Handicrafts

Number

10:20-10:35

Drill

Sol-fa

Drill

French Song

Drill or Sol-fa

10:35-10:50

Dancing or Play

Play or drill

Dancing or Play

Play or Drill

Dancing or Play

10:50-11:10

Tales

Number

Geography

Tales

Natural History

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Modernize the subjects

Let's start swapping out subjects now, shall we?

Bible

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

What could those of us who don't want to use the Bible -- or use it so often -- do in the Bible slots?

  • Your own religious instruction
  • Your own spiritual instruction
  • Moral training
  • world religions
  • stories about your ancestors
  • anything that ties in with your own spiritual path

Repetition

Rather than Repetition Bible, Poem, and Hymn, instead just keep this a repetition slot of poetry, songs you find inspirational, inspirational speech excerpts or motivational sayings. You'll want to keep these age-appropriate, so for my 7 year old we are doing poetry memorization for about 5 minutes and then reading poetry the other 5 minutes.

French

Just change to this whatever foreign language you want to study with your children.

Drill

Drill was Swedish Drill and "Drill in Good Manners". Because this is a movement break, swap out Drill with yoga or another physical activity. 

Or, just give your child a full half-hour break depending on the weather and your child's needs. For IB (approx age 6-7), we do a half-hour play break every day at this time. It also gives Mama a rest!

New Time Table for today

After we chop off Saturday and swap out the subjects to modernize it, this is what we end up with:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9:00-9:20

Spiritual or moral instruction

Spiritual or moral instruction

History

Spiritual or moral instruction

Spiritual or moral instruction

9:20-9:40

Geography

Natural History

Reading

Reading

Reading

9:40-9:50

Repetition 

Repetition 

Repetition 

Math

Repetition 

9:50-10:00

Foreign Language

Writing

Foreign Language

Foreign Language

Picture Study

10:00-10:20

Math

Handicrafts

Math

Handicrafts

Math

10:20-10:35

Movement or play

Sol-fa (singing instruction)

Movement or Play

Foreign Language Song

Sol-fa or Movement

10:35-10:50

Movement or Play

Movement or Play

Movement or Play

Movement or Play

Movement or Play

10:50-11:10

Tales

Math

Geography

Tales

Natural History

11:10-11:20

Writing

Drawing

Handicrafts

Brush-Drawing

Handicrafts

11:20-11:30

Reading

Reading

Writing

Writing

Writing

Spiritual or moral instruction: 4x per week @20 min per session

Geography: 2x per week @20 min per session

Math: 4x per week @20 min each, 1x per week @10 min

Reading: 2x per week @10 min each, 3x per week @ 20 min each

History: 1x per week @20 min

                   Form IA - optional 1x per week evening session of 20 minutes

Repetition: 4x per week @ 10 min each

Natural History (science): 2x at 20 min each

Foreign language: 3x @ 10 min each, plus 15 min of singing French songs

Handicrafts: 2x per week for 10 min each, 2x per week for 20 min each

Tales: 2x per week for 20 min each.

Picture Study: 1x per week for 10 min

Writing: 5x per week for 10 min each

Drawing: 1x per week for 10 min

Week's Work: help in house or garden on the weekend

Brush-drawing: 1x per week for 10 min

Movement: 3-5 days per week at 15-30 min each

Sol-fa or singing, including French songs: 2x per week @15 min each

Play: Daily for 15 minutes, as an option

There should be a half hour movement/play/singing break a little more than midway through the day.

By dropping Saturday and modernizing the subjects, you can make a schedule that will work for you. Use this as a template to create your own schedule, or use it exactly as written (that's what I do!)

Feel free to play around with it, moving subjects around for what works for your family. Give it at least two weeks before tweaking though, to give yourself time to get into a new routine.

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24 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this. I’ve struggled for a couple years to come up with a plan for our school days. This is the most straightforward I’ve seen!

    1. Great question! I should clarify that in the post.

      Writing for this age was handwriting practice — copywork and some dictation. Dictation started with letters and words in the first year (Form 1B, approximate ages 6-7) and moved to words and short sentences in the second and third years (Form 1A, approx ages 7-9).

  2. Hello
    Thanks for this detailed post. It’s so helpful.

    What I don’t understand is how a homeschool mom with a baby can afford to just skip lessons because of tending to a baby. That would be neglectful of the older children’s education when one has a difficult baby. What we’ve been practicing is that older children know that things may change. We do have a set of things to accomplish but they may shift. And instead they may have free play, dancing, outdoors, movement activities and then when baby is tended to we may go back to doing work together. They also may pick up some of their more individual work like copywork or practicing reading or a handicraft or their instrument during this time.

    Could you clarify your comment that if the baby has a blowout the lesson is skipped? I find that hard to believe because CM didn’t have nurslings in her school. I do agree we shouldn’t let lessons drag. But if we simply change things around where they get free time, rest, or sometimes skip a lesson in the afternoon if we see they are tired, why not do this? If they are ok, why not have a reading, or repetition for example?

    1. Hi Aleksandra! That’s a great question.

      The PNEU programmes were meant for both physical schools and homeschools. The programmes were originally created solely for mothers to do at home with their children. By the time of this publication of A Liberal Education for All, there were physical schools in the network also. But it always included homeschools, which were not just an afterthought.

      What this means is that there were multiple ages in the homes, and often nurslings.

      While A Liberal Education for All doesn’t specifically address diaper changes ๐Ÿ™‚ that’s from my own experience. It is perfectly ok to skip a lesson. Just pick up next week, or the next time that lesson is scheduled. Once your kids have graduated and you look back at their education, you realize that you will never remember those small times that were skipped.

      If you are consistently missing a certain subject, then I would definitely look at the schedule and see where things could be adjusted. Maybe you need to add a snack at break time, or maybe buy diapers that will fit better if you’re having a half hour cleanup every day because the baby poop escaped and requires a complete change of clothes for whoever was holding the baby as well as some carpet cleanup (been there).

      And you definitely don’t want to throw all lessons out every day just to take care of baby. But the occasional, even weekly, missing of a random 10 minute lesson is not going to make a difference in the long run.

      It’s just not.

      I found that for my own kids, constantly changing things around wasn’t good for either them or for me. We always felt off balance, and they couldn’t know what was going to come by looking at the time table when it as constantly changing. I liken this to being in high school where you’re changing classes – if something happens that takes the teacher out of class, you don’t have all the other classes rearranged to accommodate it. Only if it’s *always* happening during the same period would the school consider making changes.

      As an example, if we had a therapy appointment from 9-9:30 every Tuesday, I would adjust our schedule on Tuesdays to accommodate that. But if the 4 yo throws a temper tantrum in the middle of math, or the baby has a blowout and it requires half an hour of cleanup during Natural History time, when it’s done I’d just pick up where we were according to the timetable.

      I guard our “lessons are done for the day” time very closely, because when I don’t it’s so easy for other things to encroach on morning lessons because “we’ll just do them later”. And then that happens more and more often, and the kids are never really sure if they can immerse in play or if they still have lessons hanging over them.

      I would, however, ask the older kids to do some quiet work that is easy to call them back from if they weren’t helping me with the blowout. We learned through trial and error what activities worked well and what didn’t for that.

      But honestly, no one is going to come to your house and tell you that you must stop doing what works for you. I give suggestions and recommendations based on my interpretations of the sources, and what I’ve found works in our own family and in other families that I know. But that doesn’t mean that that’s what will work for you.

      You do you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi! Curious how music and music appreciation would be factored into the schedule? I know it’s listed as a subject in Form 1, but I don’t see it on the schedule… Thank you so much!!

    1. It’s not on the schedule, which I also found interesting. I alternate composer study with picture study (opposite weeks) and do music lessons after lunch.

  4. Do you prefer this over block scheduling? My ADHD son has a hard time with transitions and, while the short lessons are great sometimes, I also find they constant “we have to move on” is not always great for him. He is also fairly independent and today, he woke up ready to dive in because he had a video game (he bought with his money) he wanted to try later. He wanted to get his school work done quickly (which meant he was ready to get started by 6:30! and was super sad and upset when I said I wouldn’t be ready until later. He started trying to do his work by himself, not waiting for me to meditate. So, I’m trying to figure out how to create more “self-directed” work for him. He is a “live in the moment” type of kid and when I introduce a time to things, we end up obsessing over the clock. He wast the entire 15-20 minutes sometimes and then says things like “times up.” “Oh well, now it’s time for our next lesson.” “what do you want me to do mom.” I’m more interested in having him enjoy the learning and the learning being more self directed. But, I do love a lot of the concepts of Charlotte Mason!!

    1. Hi Evelyn!

      I do prefer this over block scheduling. We found that block scheduling works great for us for a week or so, then we get burned out on whatever subject we’re diving into and don’t want to see it again … sometimes ever.

      Charlotte Mason said that when the child’s attention has wandered, then the lesson should stop and a new one completely unlike the old should start, and the lessons should be engaging. If my daughter is spacing out during math, I’ll stop the lesson and tell her to go jump on the trampoline 10 times — and sometimes she’ll have a meltdown and yell “why not 15 times??” LOL

      Then the next lesson needs to be something that doesn’t engage her mind in the same way as math, so maybe drawing or art.

      If it happens more than 2x in a short period of time, say maybe 2 math lessons in one week I’ve lost her after just a few minutes, then I take a really hard look at the materials I’m using and the way I’m presenting it. How can I keep her engaged? What’s wrong with what we’re doing now that needs to change?

      I also make a habit of asking my kids every 3 weeks to evaluate with me. What’s working? What’s not? How can we make it better?

      I hope this helps some!

      Also, did you see the relaxed schedule? It’s another option for if you don’t want to stick to a strict timetable, and may work better for you. Easy & Relaxed Elementary Schedule

      1. Thanks! I would be thrilled if my son would get up and take a break. He just plows through no matter what and argues when I ask him to pause and take a break. He gets so focused on “getting it done” that he melts down when I try and take a physical break. Then, when we do take a physical break he either puts in minimal effort and rushes back to finish up his school work or, gets into the break and whines and complains and is disappointed that it is not his personal choice time. Lol. Yes, I’ll take a look at the relaxed schedule. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Oh, yes! My older daughter was like that. I found that having a schedule posted — or laying out on the table where we were working — really helped her. Nope, I don’t care how fast you rush through, we’re not finishing everything as fast as we can. This is how long the break is. And it took usually a solid 2 weeks at the beginning (of a year, of a break, whatever), to really get to where the schedule was “just what we did” and arguing lessened.

          But I’ll be honest — a big part of it I know is my own attitude. If I’m thinking, “Ugh, I really don’t want to do this” and let it slack, then it’s so hard to get it back because the kids know if they pester enough I’ll give up. Consistency.

          But I totally understand just not wanting to fight those battles, too! We only have so much bandwidth. In the end, we need to do what works for kiddo AND mom, and that won’t necessarily be what works for someone else.

  5. Is natural history the same as nature studies? I’m consider sciencethroughnature.com for my son this year and not sure exactly where this might fit in the above schedule.

    1. Yes and no. It is the study of nature, but it’s not your random “nature study” that some people do.

      I would definitely do Science through Nature here! It looks like a wonderful program.

  6. We don’t sound a ton of time on school 2-3 hours 4 days a week. Butt I’m wondering if using a timer for subjects would help. My oldest will often sit and “think” for half an hour or more. Meanwhile, my youngest has worked through her task and is off and running. It’s hard to get her back to move onto another subject when her sister finally gets something done. What are your thoughts?

  7. Hi, Marjorie. I’m wondering where the slot for the “special study” is. I have read in other places that it was scheduled for the morning

    1. Hi Angel,

      There was no slot for “special studies” in these timetables. It’s very possible that Charlotte Mason said to do them in the mornings, but I don’t recall reading that anywhere. I haven’t read everything she’s ever written, though, so I could very well have missed it.

      I tend to do them in the afternoons or during our Adventures (nature walks, which I never call nature walks because that sounds so boring).

      1. Thank you, Marjorie.

        Another question. Isn’t handcrafts a afternoon schedule subject? A lot of people told me that.

        1. Hi Angel,

          Handicrafts was in the afternoons in Form II and up. In Form I it was done during the morning lessons. You can always do more in the afternoons and on weekends, but it was scheduled during the mornings.

  8. Hi Marjorie! Your post is such a lifesaver! This is our first year doing Charlotte Mason and I couldn’t get my head around scheduling until I discovered your site ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope you can help me out. I plan to use The Good and the Beautiful language arts for my 3 kids (Form 1, 2 & 3 respectively) since it worked so well for us last year. I just can’t figure out how to fit it into your timetable since it combines a lot of the subjects like reading, spelling, writing, grammar, literature, geography, poetry and memorization, art appreciation and instruction. It’s an open and go course and I feel overwhelmed just thinking about cutting up the lessons to fit in the timetable. And I still want to use the resources in the Wildwood curriculum in addition to TGATB course, like your Living Geography book for example. How would you do it? Any suggestions would be soooo great!

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tess,

      I’ve never used The Good and the Beautiful, but while there may be some common elements with Charlotte Mason’s method, it isn’t a CM curriculum and as such it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to fit it into the timetables.

      What I would do instead of trying to shoehorn TGTB into the timetables is to take the philosophy of the timetables and bring them to TGTB. Plan your schedule so that lesson times are short and varied. Vary the subjects so you’re not doing all “head work” back to back. Alternate subjects that work with the hands, the artsy ones (heart), and academics.

      As far as using WW resources with TGTB — do not add them. Replace, but don’t add. TGTB is complete as it is, adding more will just add more time on to your schoolday and detract from the masterly inactivity time (free time) that is so essential. If you want to use Living Geography, then take out a comparable resource or book from TGTB.

      Replace, don’t add.

      I hope this was helpful. Have a great day!
      Marjorie

      1. This makes sense. Will adjust our timetable but will also substitute the Personal/Shared readers with the WW recommendations. Our next challenge: masterly inactivity time that does not involve gadgets!

        Thanks so much for your response ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. What if you have multiple students in Form I? I have to do readings for all of them (the oldest one is going to attempt to do one of her readings on her own).

    1. Combine as much as possible. The PNEU programmes say “In home schoolrooms where there are children in A as well as in B, both forms may work together, doing the work of A or B as they are able.”

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