I have always been of the mindset that it was better to wait on “school things” for my son, following a better-late-than-early approach. I hadn’t pushed him to start reading at an early age or tried to force any kind of structured preschool program on him and was quite happy with those decisions. But I knew I wanted to at least do something a little more “official” with him after he turned six in August of 2016.
Because I wanted to follow a Charlotte Mason approach to his education, I checked out the Ambleside Online forums to see what others had done in my position. I had seen mentioned in a few places an unofficial “Year 0.5” that some mothers had used for their children who they didn’t feel were quite ready for Year 1. But did we need that?
I posted on the forums that I wasn’t sure what to do and got quite a few responses suggesting that I just go ahead with Year 1 as it’s really quite gentle, while others were of my mindset to just wait. I started to schedule Year 1 and imagined us sitting down each day to go through the readings, but then finally decided that I just didn’t feel he was ready, so I started scouring the internet for something I could use.
If anyone else reading this has tried searching for a good Kindergarten or Year 0.5 curriculum, you’ll know that it can be pretty frustrating. I’d find a post that someone had put up with a beautiful book list, but no idea how to implement it on a weekly basis. I found posts with very intense curricula that looked like they’d take longer than even a typical AO Year 1 week would. And I found others that claimed to be Charlotte Mason but had pretty questionable book selections.
For this reason, I decided to make my own Charlotte Mason Year 0.5 Curriculum! And because it was so difficult for me to find one that I liked, I’ve decided to share mine with others who might be in the same spot. If you fall into this weird Year 1? Year 0? limbo, I sincerely hope it is a help to you!
With this download, you will get….
…a book list (which you can also see here), as well as why I chose each book, what our experience was with it, and any suggestions for reading ahead.
…Morning Time tips, including why I think Morning Time can be helpful, a sample of what we did during Morning Time, and ideas for how to implement it.
…supply lists, including everything you’ll need for the science projects, math activities, and handicrafts over the course of the year. I included this because it is one thing that always keeps me from being more efficient in my homeschooling. I find that if I have all of the supplies I need before a term, or even before a week starts, I’m much more likely to do them rather than scrambling around at the last second to get everything together!
…term overview schedules, in the Ambleside Online format with books and activities listed for history, geography, nature study, science, literature, poetry, math, and handicrafts. I’ve also included the current year’s AO Artist and Composer schedule for convenience and you can visit the AO website for more information on those.
…weekly schedules. (See a sample here.) I have gone through the term overview schedules and broken them down day-by-day for each week, so you have 36 weeks of 4-day schedules (with a nature study hike scheduled for Fridays) already laid out for you! The only thing you need to do is pre-read and you’re set!
…support. You will be invited to an exclusive Facebook group where you can ask questions and chat with other parents using the curriculum, as well as get updates about changes made to the book.
What does a Charlotte Mason Year 0.5 Curriculum day look like?
A typical school “day” for us was only about 45 minutes long, including Morning Time, and generally looked like this:
- a single poem read every day
- Math time (and I’ve laid out the entire MEP Reception Math year for you!)
- one to two readings chosen from history, geography, literature, science, or nature study
- one handicraft per week
- time for copywork every day
The beauty of this curriculum is that you can truly make it yours. If you find a book that you’ve either read before and don’t want to read again or just don’t like, feel free to substitute it (and I do offer a suggestions for substitutions in a few subjects in the book as well)! If there’s a part of the curriculum that you don’t want in there, leave it out! Use this as a framework from which to build your own, unique Year 0.5 that fits your family’s needs.
Finally, if you have any questions at all about the curriculum, feel free to contact me and I’m happy to help however I can!