What does a Charlotte Mason Kindergarten day look like?
A typical “school day” for us was only about 45 minutes long, including Morning Time, and generally looked like this:
- Morning Time ideas, including hymns, folksongs, Bible readings, poetry, and more
- math time (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
- optional 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 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 kindergarten that fits your family’s (and your state’s, depending on your local homeschool laws for kindergarten) 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!
A little background on the curriculum…
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 any of the Charlotte Mason 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 Charlotte Mason Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten 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!
Charlotte Mason Kindergarten Curriculum Notes
I want to emphasize that Charlotte Mason did not recommend any type of formal education for children before the age of six.
How much time daily in the open air should the children have? And how is it possible to secure this for them? In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mothers first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air. And this, not for the gain in bodily health alone––body and soul, heart and mind, are nourished with food convenient for them when the children are let alone, let to live without friction and without stimulus amongst happy influences which incline them to be good.
vol 1 pg 43
I wholeheartedly believe that “education” is being forced on children at far too young of ages in modern times, especially as young children should be spending large parts of their days outside. However, for the child approaching their sixth birthday who is showing interest in “school,” I do not necessarily think that these “full six years of passive receptive life” and including a simple and gentle kindergarten have to be mutually exclusive. In Home Education, Ms. Mason wrote specifically about the Kindergarten Method (as Friedrich Froebel had established it), suggesting that the home was an ideal place for a year of kindergarten and a mother the ideal teacher:
If the very essence of the Kindergarten method is personal influence, a sort of spiritual mesmerism, it follows that the mother is naturally the best Kindergartnerin [or kindergarten teacher]; for who so likely as she to have the needful tact, sympathy, common sense, culture?
Though every mother should be a Kindergartnerin, in the sense in which Froebel would employ the term, it does not follow that every nursery should be a regularly organised Kindergarten. Indeed, the machinery of the Kindergarten is no more than a device to ensure the carrying out of certain educational principles, and some of these it is the mother’s business to get at, and work out according to Froebel’s methods––or her own.
My original impetus for creating this curriculum was the fact that my son’s birthday falls in August and as we prepared for his sixth birthday, I didn’t think he was quite ready for first grade. However, I did feel that he was ready for something a little more structured than what we had been doing ﹣ though nothing too rigorous as is the case with most kindergarten classes these days ﹣ which is why I began to determine how to work out my own “educational principles.” And that is how this curriculum was born.
That year, we spent our days being exposed to beautiful ideas by reading books together, playing simple math games (as well as counting and coloring together), developing relationships with the natural world through observation, and making handicrafts together. All of this while also allowing plenty of time for him to spend outside every day. Nothing was rigorous or demanding for either one of us and we were able to ease ourselves gently not only into the world of “school” for him, but also into the world of homeschooling for both of us.