K4 Homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason Method

K4 Homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason Method

Several friends have asked me to text them what I’m using with our little guy for K4. Since my texting skills rot, I’m going to type it out here and share. This list is a bit tedious/detailed so feel free to click away if this is TMI or not your cup of tea.

CM method


We use the Charlotte Mason method and feel most at home using it. Though I’ve used other traditional methods and researched nearly every method over the last 20 plus years, CM’s philosophy has resonated most with me and worked with my personality and the atmosphere that I wanted to create in our home. That said, this list is incomplete without a thorough understanding of CM’s philosophy of education.

At age 4 and 5, learning is done in “real life” conversations and is hands on. Worksheets are minimized. Outdoor play is maximized.

We follow Ambleside Online (http://amblesideonline.org) loosely and though K4 falls under Year 0 which is not technically a year, it is a foundational year in areas of habit, observation, self-government, and relationships.

Math is concrete and with manipulatives. Cooking, measuring, counting money, sharing and dividing candy into equal piles, cutting cookies into halves or thirds, paying the cashier at the store, comparing, etc…all happens as we do life and helps the child form a relationship between the concept and real life.

Phonics is taught using Ruth Beechick’s The 3 R’s. (https://amzn.to/2B4Sgsb ) My main focus during “sit down” school time will be teaching reading. 

Language is absorbed by conversation and reading good books aloud.  I tend to like the classics and I’m super picky about illustrations. On our plan for this year:

  • The poetry of A.A. Milne in Winnie the Pooh
  • Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit Series
  • McCloskey’s One Morning in Maine (https://amzn.to/2Ml6ERv), Make Way for the Ducklings, (https://amzn.to/2P1ciH8) Blueberries for Sal
  • A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith and Tasha Tudor.)
  • The Aesop for Children By Milo Winter, now out of print but maybe used here (https://amzn.to/2MlXxjx)

Handwriting will be done with Jan Brett Printables (online free) and A Reason for Writing Level K.

Science is Kumon Science (https://amzn.to/2B6LMZW) and Boom Fun With Science. (https://amzn.to/2vE0AKD)

Logic and Thinking Skills. We’re using Developing the Early Learner. Volumes 1-4 (https://amzn.to/2B5ou6T)

Art study is done by exposure to one artist at a time. This term, we’re looking at the work of Winslow Homer, John Constable, then John William Waterhouse. We study six works per term so the child recognizes the style/work of the painter. I print the work and post them in conspicuous areas. We talk about the piece and play games like “name three things” they can remember after looking at it for a minute. 

If the work is in the MFA, we try to take a trip in to see it. 

Art is basically exposure to different media at this point. Cutting, tearing, pasting, molding, painting, manipulating the colors, etc. 

Composer Study is the same as artist study with a rotation of 3 composers, six works per composer. This year I plan to use the work of Carl Maria von Weber, Johannes Brahms, and Franz Schubert. I have a playlist on YouTube that we’ll listen to over dinner or during free time until the pieces become familiar. 

Nature Study at this age is just to be able to identify six birds by sight and call, six trees by leaves, and six local flowers. We’ll also learn basics like seasons, directions, and note local changes to the crops around us. You can print my birds of the northeast here  in the post about nature study for the very young.

((I’ve include Amazon links to several products I use, though some are out of print. I get a small percentage back if you buy through these links. Thanks for supporting this blog.))

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