Friday, April 6, 2018
Homeschooling Preschool: Charlotte Mason Method
When Evie was just two years old, I remember people asking if we were going to enroll her in preschool. I have to admit, it surprised me that preschool was even available for children that young.
I knew long before she was born that we would more than likely home school. Its something both my husband and I wanted. Family time and having the ability to instill the belief and character virtues that we find important were vital to us. At the same time, we also believed in giving children freedom and flexibility to find their learning styles to better suite their individual needs.
I spent months pouring over web sites, reading books and studying curriculum. The thing that really stood out to me was the "out of the box" thinking that many Montessori and Charlotte Mason educationist shared via the web. One article in particular that stood out to me reiterated something I had felt all along: we put too much pressure on young toddlers and preschoolers.
So, I put away thoughts of curriculum and spent time reading, playing, coloring and simply enjoying my children.
But, as with anything, there comes a time when a little structure is necessary. I waited for the cue's that I felt were necessary to really dive into preschool with my oldest.
Now, we follow a very light-hearted schedule and focus on areas that come natural to curious preschoolers: numbers, letters, drawing, art, nature, etc.
My focus is nurturing their heart, head, hands and home with simple and fun based learning.
Here's a simple breakdown:
Heart: We rotate between Psalms 121 & 23 every morning and an age appropriate Bible story or devotional. This is our "Morning Basket" time, and my oldest loves it!
Head: We read inspirational books together following a Five in a Row method. We also watch videos and talk about character building lessons from each story.
Hands: We use this time to inspire their creativity through play dough, coloring, drawing, building forts (with daddy), painting, etc. This is also the time I choose to play hymns, classical or jazz music.
Home: I believe children should take ownership of their home so that home is more than just a place to rest their head. They help me decorate, clean, bake, and make things cozy (all age appropriate of course). They love helping and it gives them a since of pride over their space. It's just a few minutes sprinkled here and there, but it is so worth it.
The rest of their day is filled with free play, being outside and quiet time. We also love watching movies and dancing to silly music. There is time for blocks and My Little Pet shop. When it comes to these methods of learning, to me, it is all about balance and finding what works best for YOUR family. I'm a Type A, introvert/extrovert and I NEED schedules and routines. Following this loose schedule and channeling the CM/Montessori style has given me just the recipe that works for US.
What are your methods for schooling children? I love learning new ideas!
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