Person carrying a toddler near a lake, home educating with a nature-focused Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum.
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Create an Enriching Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum (9 Resources Plus a Day in the Life)

Discover the world of Charlotte Mason preschool curriculum and walk through a day in the life of schooling with this method. Explore trusted resources and principles for an enriching early education. Dive into nature study, living books, and play-based learning for your preschooler's journey.

Person carrying a toddler near a lake, home educating with a nature-focused Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum.

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In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the philosophy, principles, and practical application of Charlotte Mason's approach to preschool years. Whether you're a seasoned homeschooling parent or just starting your journey, our aim is to provide insights into creating a Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum that will enrich your child's education.

Understanding Charlotte Mason and Her Method

  1. Who was Charlotte Mason? Charlotte Mason, an influential British educator, believed in a holistic approach to education. Her philosophy focused on the development of the child as a whole, including the heart, mind, and soul.
Side view of positive kid with outstretched arms in agricultural meadow with dried plants and green trees on blurred background
Charlotte Mason principles foster a love for learning and are meant to nurture the whole child, in body, mind, and spirit.

2. The Charlotte Mason Method The Charlotte Mason method is a unique approach to learning that emphasizes the importance of living books, nature study, and short, focused lessons. Especially in the preschool context, this pairs well with the natural, age-expected norms of attention spans and memory retention.

Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum Principles

There is so much beauty in the process of learning with this method of teaching your preschooler. It is such a rewarding feeling as a parent to see your child's eyes light up with wonder as they are drawn into exploration and learning about the world around them. You can nourish your child's early education in this same way; the Charlotte Mason method is centered around nature studies, living books, and play-based learning.

  1. Nature Study: One of the core elements of a Charlotte Mason preschool curriculum is nature study. Encourage your child to spend time outdoors, exploring the wonders of the natural world. Use this time to learn about plants, animals, and the changing seasons.
  2. Living Books: Living books are engaging and narrative-driven books that make learning a delight. Incorporate them into your curriculum to foster a love of reading and storytelling.
  3. Short and Sweet Lessons: A Charlotte Mason preschool curriculum should be keeping formal lessons brief. Young children have short attention spans, so these short lessons are engaging and effective. Furthermore, lessons can also be play-based for this age group, with the actual “lesson” portion of the curriculum incorporated naturally as they ask questions about topics of play and exploration and read rich stories which explore similar concepts. Elsa Beskow, for example, is an author that does excellent work in the children's literature arena, drawing concepts from the natural world in detail while also providing an engaging storyline to keep young readers thinking.
Elsa Beskow Living Books

Applying the Charlotte Mason Method to Your Homeschool

  1. Everyday Life Learning In the Charlotte Mason preschool curriculum, education is not limited to textbooks. Learning is seamlessly integrated into everyday life, making it enjoyable and practical.
  2. Play and Exploration Allow your child to learn through play. The Charlotte Mason method values child-initiated learning, and play is an essential part of that process.
Boy in Gray Knit Hat
Child-initiated play is a crucial part of the Charlotte Mason method. This is especially foundational in the preschool years.

Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum: Resources for Parents

These resources and guides might be of benefit to you as you do your research in crafting a beautiful weekly schedule for your Charlotte Mason Preschool at home:

  1. Charlotte Mason's “A Philosophy of Education”: A classic guide by Charlotte Mason herself, this book provides valuable insights into her educational philosophy.
A Philosophy of Education
A Philosophy of Education Amazon Screenshot

2.) “For the Children's Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay: This book explores the Charlotte Mason method and its application to homeschooling, offering practical advice for parents.

For the Children's Sake
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer

3.) Ambleside Online: Ambleside Online is a FREE online resource that offers a curriculum designed around Charlotte Mason's principles. It's an excellent starting point for creating your curriculum.

Using the Charlotte Mason method for your preschool curriculum is a beautiful way to introduce young children to the world of learning. Remember, the key is to make learning an integral part of everyday life, fostering a love for knowledge in your child.

A Day in the Life of a Charlotte Mason Preschool

As mentioned several times, one of the fundamental principles of a Charlotte Mason preschool curriculum is nature study. Let's dive into the daily life of a homeschooling mom to flesh out specific ways to incorporate these elements.

Morning Routine

6:30 AM – Start the day with a peaceful morning routine. Encourage your preschooler to observe the sunrise, watch the birds (use a field guide for local birds if your child is interested), and take in the beauty of nature. This sets the tone for a day filled with curiosity and wonder.

Breakfast with a Side of Nature

7:00 AM – During breakfast, read a nature-themed living book or share a nature-related anecdote. This sparks your child's interest in the natural world from an early age.

Nature Walk

8:00 AM – After breakfast, head outside for a nature walk. Explore the local park, your backyard, or a nearby nature reserve. Bring along a nature journal for your child to sketch and document their observations.

Short and Sweet Lessons

9:00 AM – Return home and start with short, focused lessons. Use engaging materials to introduce your child to various subjects, such as numbers (counting acorns or other findings from walk as manipulatives), letters (nature vocabulary as word hooks), and basic science concepts.

Playtime

10:00 AM – Playtime is essential for a preschooler's development. Encourage imaginative play, whether it's building with blocks, creating art, or engaging in open-ended play with nature treasures collected during the morning walk.

Literary Adventures

11:00 AM – Dive into the world of living books. Choose a well-written, narrative-rich book for a cozy reading session. Discuss the story and explore the themes together.

Lunch and Outdoor Play

12:00 PM – Enjoy a nutritious lunch and then head outside for free play. Let your child explore, climb, and enjoy the benefits of outdoor time. If child is interested, let them help with cooking (discuss where the ingredients came from and let this naturally lead into more life concepts such as food growing, processing, etc.).

Nature Journaling

2:00 PM – Resume nature studies by documenting the day's discoveries in your child's nature journal. Use simple sketches and notes to record their observations.

Afternoon Lessons

3:00 PM – A few short, focused lessons on subjects like art, music, and handicrafts can be integrated into the afternoon schedule.

End of the Day

4:00 PM – As the day winds down, allow your child to engage in quiet, self-directed activities or provide time for rest and reflection.

You may also like: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Choose the Right Homeschool Curriculum and Resources for Your Child”

Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum Resources

When it comes to purchasing trusted Charlotte Mason curriculum resources for preschoolers, there are several reputable publishers and websites to consider. Here are some of the best:

  1. Simply Charlotte Mason: This website offers a variety of resources, including curriculum guides, living books, and materials that are in line with the Charlotte Mason method. They have a dedicated section for preschoolers, making it a convenient choice for parents looking to implement the approach with young children.
  2. Ambleside Online: Ambleside Online provides a free Charlotte Mason curriculum that includes resources and book lists for various grade levels. It's an excellent starting point for parents looking for a comprehensive curriculum inspired by Charlotte Mason's principles.
  3. My Father's World: While not exclusively Charlotte Mason, My Father's World combines elements of the Charlotte Mason method with other approaches. They offer preschool materials that are engaging and include nature study, living books, and hands-on activities.
  4. Beautiful Feet Books: This publisher specializes in living books and literature-based curriculum. While they don't have a specific preschool curriculum, their collection of quality books can be used to create a Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum for young children.
  5. Idlewild & Co.: With lessons for preschoolers, this curriculum is our current choice! You have the option to purchase only the nature-based curriculum, or if you want a biblical study companion, you can purchase this as well and the Bible lessons go along with the learning topics, drawing on concepts from your nature studies to connect the dots to theological concepts in a meaningful way.
  6. Simply Classical : Memoria Press offers a Simply Classical curriculum designed for children with special needs or developmental delays, including those at the preschool level. While it's not exclusively Charlotte Mason, it incorporates Charlotte Mason's principles.
  7. Charlotte Mason Preschool Curriculum Facebook Groups: Joining Charlotte Mason-focused Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with other homeschooling parents who may share or recommend preschool resources, curriculum options, and ideas.
  8. Local Libraries and Bookstores: Don't forget to explore your local library for living books and educational resources that align with the Charlotte Mason method. Bookstores may also carry suitable materials.
  9. Used Bookstores and Online Marketplaces: You can find secondhand living books and educational resources at used bookstores or through online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, or Bookfinder. Many homeschooling parents sell their curriculum materials when they're done with them.

Remember that a Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum for preschoolers is NOT rigidly defined, and you have the flexibility to adapt resources to suit your child's specific needs and interests. It's also important to consider your child's individual learning style and pace when selecting materials.

Conclusion: Get out there and nurture a love of learning!

Incorporating the Charlotte Mason preschool curriculum into your homeschooling routine can be a rewarding experience. By emphasizing nature study, living books, and play, you create an environment where your child's natural curiosity and love of learning can flourish. This day in the life of a homeschooling mom exemplifies the joy and beauty of embracing Charlotte Mason's principles in early education. So, embark on this enriching journey with your child and watch them thrive in these oh-so formative preschool years.

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