Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Homeschooler

So we started homeschool this week. Charles is officially in Kindergarten, and Thomas is doing a lot of the same work - though we call it preschool. I've been doing a lot of reading lately, enjoying learning about the Charlotte Mason method. As for the "Christy" method, it's a hodge-podge of materials I drummed up that use a lot of Charlotte Mason's ideas. More on that later, but I wanted to just post on the resources I've read over the past year, and more specifically, this summer:

A Charlotte Mason Companion :the minute I started reading this it seemed like it fit me to a "T". So far, I really enjoy everything I read that discusses Charlotte Mason. I do feel a little overwhelmed, but there are a lot of resources online that help walk you through this method.

For The Children's Sake: this expounds more on Charlotte Mason, but really focuses on how to teach children and why we want to use methods like Mason's. You can tell Susan Schaeffer Maccauley really cares about children and wants to impart that love to the reader.

Handbook of Nature Study: a totally exhaustive book on everything in nature. It's not a field guide though. The author gives ideas on how to teach children about each item found in nature, and often includes related quotes from literature (mostly poetry). This still intimidates me, but I'm told that as I and the boys get out and are creating journals on what we observe in nature, this will be an invaluable tool. I love it.

The Three R's: recommended to me at a homeschool conference by a mother and vendor who uses the Charlotte Mason method. She said this coincides with Charlotte's ideas. It's a quick read and gives reasoning behind her methods. She also gives concrete ideas on teaching children (grades K-3) the 3 R's - reading, writing, and arithmetic. It's just our first week and I've used it nearly every day for ideas on what to do with Thomas (my 4 year old) - it's been great.

Honey For A Child's Heart: I borrowed this at the library this summer, and half-way through reading it decided I had to buy it. The author spends the first half of the book convincing us of how vital reading is in our children's lives. She then gives detailed book lists for toddlers up to 14 years. I've got it bookmarked and have taken it to the library with me several times. I also pull it out when I'm requesting library books online.

Managers of Their Chores: I have to confess, these last two I haven't quite "read" yet, but I'm sure they will be great resources! This one is used by the Duggars (on TV - "eighteen kids and counting", or nineteen, or however many there are now). I've been able to look over the first two chapters and can tell you that my mindset regarding my chores is already changing. It is biblically based and I think will be a valuable tool.

The "Brother Offended" Checklist: saw this at the homeschool conference and decided I had to have it. I need something besides me making the rules. It's hard to teach the boys not to tattle when I haven't always given them a firm idea of what to do instead. This promises to help me draw the line while giving the boys tools to work through their disagreements and fights. Here's hoping!!

Anyway, I wanted to share these with you - whether you homeschool or not, they are great books and would be valuable reads.


Monica said...

Hey Christy,
I like the book list you have! I have some of those books and hope on getting some of the others. Here is that pamplet I was telling you about. It is called, " Turning Back The Pages Of Time". I see they sell it on amazon and some other sites. It is an amazing pamplet that highlights the best books for certain time frames. Like Early Explores and all the books that would apply for Early Grades and then for Older Grades. Then it goes to Early Indians, Colonial, American Revolution, Westward Expansion, etc. It is great for a literature based approach for American History. I am teaching american History this year and it has helped so very much! : )

Stephanie said...

OK, "The Brother Offended" sounds great. Have you read it yet? Does it work?

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