Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

The Early Years of Home Schooling

I have had several women ask me recently what I used for curriculum when my kids were young. Instead of telling you how we played school for a few years, let me give you what we found to be our most valuable resources.

I tend to be very eclectic, as you’ll see, but for the most part, we used the Charlotte Mason method.

Charlotte Mason was an English educator in the 1800’s who stressed several ideas when educating a child:

  • The child’s mind is not a blank slate, or a bucket to be filled. It is a living thing and needs knowledge to grow.
  • Children’s’ minds are capable of digesting real knowledge. Material chosen should be interesting and varied and not dumbed down. Provide many living ideas and concepts.
  • “Education is the science of relations” means that children are  capable of making their own “connections” with knowledge and experiences. We provide interesting material about nature, science and art. Handwork and crafts, poetry and  painting, music, etc…are all included at the youngest ages.
  • Retelling what the child has just learned in their own words is the method used to cement a concept. Oral narrations in the early years, and then eventually written compositions.
  • All truths are God’s truths. This applies to secular subjects as well as religious.

So….we read lots and lots and lots of books. We took many nature walks, took science notes and sketched in a nature journal, painted, listened to beautiful music, studied various famous artists, did narration and composition, and grade level math.

My favorite resources in the early years were:

Ruth Beechick’s “3 R’s” series.

  • An Easy Start in Reading
  • An Easy Start in Language
  • An Easy Start in Arithmetic

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Ruth Beechick

The Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson

Season’s of A Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson

Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

And this amazing book list was like a bff. here

Ambleside Online is a weath of information as well. here 

What are your favorite resources? What advice would you give to a newbie home schooling mom?


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