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. When he turned six in August of 2016, I wanted to do something more “official” with him that fall, but I didn’t think he was quite ready for Charlotte Mason Year 1 curricula I could find. So, I started to look around for some kind of alternative.
If anyone else reading this has tried searching for a good 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 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!
For us, an average day doing Year 1 takes about 2 hours. In contrast, the kindergarten curriculum, without a morning time, takes about 20 minutes per day if you’re doing 4 days per week as we did (with a nature walk day on Friday). If you choose to do five days per week, it would take even less time each day. With the morning time that we did, it was about 40 minutes in all. Some days are longer than others, but for the most part, we usually began our days at around 9:30 to 9:45 and were done by 10:15 or 10:30.
Another note I want to add is that I did not require narration, a tenet of Charlotte Mason education for children ages six and up, during the kindergarten year. I would occasionally ask my son what he thought of or if he remembered anything in particular from a reading, but if he didn’t have an answer, I didn’t force the issue. Again, this is your call, but I felt this was not something I needed to require of him at this stage.
Also, a disclaimer in that this is not an exhaustive kindergarten curriculum for states in which kindergarten is required (especially as it does not include any kind of formal reading instruction). If you happen to decide to use this curriculum, please make sure you’re meeting your state’s requirements for subjects covered, etc, if necessary.
Finally, I want to suggest that this curriculum is meant to be flexible. Feel free to change it as you see fit, insert other books, leave sections out, whatever you need to do. Make it fit your family’s needs rather than the other way around!