An Atmosphere, A Discipline, A Life…
A Charlotte Mason Education
I’m loving notebooking instead of worksheets. The kids can be so creative!
I believe in a good foundation and being open to questions and conversation about God and the Bible.
We moved to Utah from Hawaii.
It’s a BIG change.
Here is our workbox wall.
On the left, our calendar/circle time “corner.”
Here is our desk wall and calendar. The clock is set to “Daddy Time” in Afghanistan.
Here is the rest of our school space that we finally cleaned up and organized.
We are so blessed to have a finished basement in our rental house to use almost exclusively for learning space. When we move, I have no idea what we’re going to do because I doubt we’ll have anything like the space we have here and we’ll have to downsize! We came from a small 3 BR 1-level house where we “did school” at the kitchen table or on the living room sofa to this great 6 BR 2-story with a basement. God made it all possible. :)
That corner wasn’t really working out, so here are our updated circle time boards on a pocket chart rack. They are two foam boards hooked together. (I am working on changing it up for the week so there’s blanks.) A word wall is in the red pocket chart on the back.
Our reading nook.
Our weekly preschool manipulatives are in the cubes (from Target).
I use the shelves (yard sale finds) to store pencil boxes, AWANA cards, felts, a Beka cards, big puzzles, our book of centuries, and nature journals. The tops of the shelves have our pencil sharpener, a basket of magnet letters, a portable DVD player, paper towels, Kleenexes, etc. The rainbow cart (had this forever) on the right holds magnets, push pins, do-a-dot pens, geoboards, cork boards, play doh…On top of the rainbow cart are our Education Cubes and tot trays.
Here is the same wall from another angle. I found this very sturdy table at a yard sale for $15 and the 4 chairs at another yard sale (on the same day) for $20. That was a good day!
I put our daily tools in little metal buckets on a lazy susan on the table. The bulletin board above the computer station shows off my 2 preschool daughters’ Bible crafts. To the left of that bulletin board, I have created pictorial timelines for my daughters with pictures of each of their birthdays to show their growth. They love it! Underneath those, a little blue pocket chart holds a weekly Bible verse.
The bookcase holds all my teaching materials and extra books that I want to keep nice. The bottom two shelves have some manipulatives like dry erase books and magnet dolls. The colored plastic drawers hold lots of Melissa & Doug and Lauri puzzles. On top of that is our bin of circle time stuff.
There is another set of folding doors to the right of these, but it’s still messy. I store board games in here. We have labeled plastic bins with all of our school and craft supplies like construction paper, paints, stamps, beads and baubles, pipe cleaners, feathers, etc.
We also are so blessed to have a separate play room for toy storage and another room that is supposed to be my personal sewing and craft room (right now it’s seeming to be storage!)…
We also have our TV and sofa behind the reading nook. It’s nice to have a not-so-central location so it’s not on very often. We use it more for the Wii anyway.
Our school room in the basement…
Maybe should’ve taken the picture before school time?
(Although, it looks better than most days! Notice I’m not showing you the play dough tables and accessories all over the kitchen floor! Nor the glue dollops and collages that are stuck to my plastic floor pad under my computer desk…)
We do workboxes, sorta. Love my cube unit for activities the 3 littles share. The girls are about to outgrow those little pink and purple desks! The bookshelf mostly holds Elizabeth’s books. A plastic crate holds board books. Bean bags and pillows are on the floor.
There’s another bookshelf in Tori’s room that holds the picture books and early readers.
Elizabeth has an entire setup in the room that should be a formal dining room. We turned it into her music studio and desk area. She has her keyboard, workboxes, a storage shelf, desk, and computer station.
This setup is working for us this year!
Year 5 can be tough. Bodies and minds and attitudes change. It’s a hard time for a child, asserting her independence and discovering who she might be.
I try to allow for interests while guiding the curriculum for what I want her to know. She has a lot of freedom and few rules.
I highly recommend the books by Louise Bates Ames. A good guide to follow is What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fifth-Grade Education by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
5th Grade Curriculum
Geography and History
This week, we started geography learning about Kenya. I bought the Expedition Earth curriculum and we love it! I’m teaching future missionaries with our new books and prayer cards!
We’re also studying a U.S. state a week with the Nifty Fifty states flash cards from A Beka and other U.S. books I’ve had since I was a kid. We did Alaska last week and this week we did Montana. Yeah, no rhyme or reason. They just picked those out of the stack.
We love the PowerPoint shows at 1+1+1=1. The membership is well worth it!
She loves to read, so I have no worries there. Just trying to find appropriate and interesting books to read and discuss can be a challenge sometimes. We love the book lists from Ambleside Online.
Liz has studied piano for over 2 years and here she is practicing! She loves classical music and opera and adores Broadway musicals. We learn about composers and music all the time.
Liz is working on Singapore Math 5B. She does really well when I can work with her, but does not do well independently in math. She loves reading and will do almost everything else on her own…Life of Fred is a great supplement that incorporates fun stories with sneaky math.
She did her Latina Christiana II lesson right after math with very little help. We have the DVDs and CDs for those and they’re great.
I love notebooking for assignments and narration and evaluation. I print notebooking pages as we need them based on our history and reading assignments. I don’t force writing formally.
Liz helps a lot around the house and with her siblings. She’s becoming a great mother’s helper.
5th grade is a fun transition year – before middle school!
My middle girls in 5th grade:
- Singapore Math 5
- Tapestry of Grace Year 2
- Studying God’s Word F
- Spelling Workout E
- Apologia Botany
- Latina Christiana I
The last time I teach 5th grade!
I can hardly believe my youngest is doing 5th grade work this year, y’all! He’s only 9 but keeps moving along at a quick pace and I won’t hold him back.
- Singapore Math 5
- Tapestry of Grace Year 4
- Studying God’s Word D
- Spelling Workout C
- Apologia Human Anatomy
- Latina Christiana I
When my kids were younger, we had fun, simple, colorful, and (mostly) healthy lunches in muffin tins.
It offers variety in small portions, perfect for little fingers.
And small appetites.
I even prepared a mini cheese and chocolate fondue buffet!
I often create themes around holidays or special events.
Sometimes, divided trays are easier than muffin tins.
We like the fun and pretty shaped muffin tins.
The girls loved this PBJ buffet.
I also like individual muffin holders for a fun shaped meal.
I used fun cocktails sticks for lunch kebabs.
Alex wants to eat out of fun muffin tins all the time!