First Day of School

I have been anticipating this day for some time now. I printed Ambleside Online’s lesson plans, created a daily lesson plan, and ordered books. I was awake at four this morning in excitement for the day.
I have four children. The oldest, Emma, is seven. She will be starting her second year of school today. I don’t hold to the standard grade system strictly. She has twelve to thirteen years of learning in front of her. This is her second year. If I had to place her in a specific grade at this point, I would say she would be in first and a half grade.

As Emma begins her second year, my other two daughters will be joining in the short group study. I will be reading to them some good storybooks. I expect they will accompany us on nature walks and various activities outside regular book learning as well. But other than that, I am giving them play time.

With the Charlotte Mason Methods, I do not use a large variety of textbooks. Most of the books we use are biographies, books with stories, and classical books. To keep my life simple, I stick to Ambleside Online’s lesson plans and book lists. Until Christmas, we will be finishing up a few books from year one, while beginning year two. After Christmas, she will be completely year two.

Emma’s Year 2 Lessons:

Math: Math-U-See Alpha Single Digit Addition & Subtraction Instruction Book, Student Workbook, Test Booklet & DVD
History: Fifty Famous Stories Retold, D’Aulaire biographies, Our Island Story: A History of England for Boys and GirlsTrial and Triumph: Stories from Church History
Natural History: The Burgess Bird Book for Children (Dover Children’s Classics), Paddle-to-the-Sea (Sandpiper Books), James Herriot’s Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and Small
Geography: Charlotte Mason’s Geography, Home Geography for Primary Grades, and Mapping Paddle to the Sea
Copywork: Language Lessons for a Living Education 2 and Scripture Passages
Reading: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Books from Ambleside Online’s Free Read List
Timeline: Continuing to build a personal timeline of Emma’s life
Recitation: Memorizing the Walrus and the Carpenter by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Drawing: Step-By-Step Drawing Book (Activity Books for Little Children)
Handicrafts: Plastic Canvas Art
Piano: Basic Piano Lessons

Group Lessons:
Bible: A variety of Bible Stories, Scripture memorization, Catechisms, and Hymns
Poetry: Book of Poms
Art: John Constable
Language: French and Spanish from Little Pim (available on Amazon Video Prime)
Classical Music: Carl Maria Von Weber
Folk Music: Three a term, starting with Cockles and Mussels
Hymns: There is a Fountain by William Cowper
Exercise: Wii Fit for 30 minutes, or a nature walk
Nature Study: Handbook of Nature Study, National Geographic Kids Magazines, and Emma does a nature notebook

The day went very much how I expected. We accomplished what we set out to do, but it was not without its rough spots, some whining, and there is always the baby fussing and a telephone call. But we did it. We will spend a few days working out the bugs, but it will come together into some sort of system before too long. After a very rough start last year, I quickly learned to allow myself and the children grace as we begin a new school year.