Home Education

Our Living Books 2016-2017

Just a quick post to share what we are doing for each of our subjects this year. We are again using the methods of Charlotte Mason to teach our kids, which is based on using “living books” and narration as the foundation of learning. Narration is where you take a chunk of what you read and the student tells you about it. In the early years this means they orally tell you what they learned or what the book was about, in later years this translates to written narrations and eventually essays. She also believed in short lessons, switching subjects quickly. She also emphasized nature study and picture study, as parts of a liberal arts education. I highly recommend A Delectable Education as a good site to get a complete image of what a Charlotte Mason education entails.

The following are our subjects and what we will be using to fulfill each of those subjects this year for Kindergarten. My youngest will tag along for preschool. We are fortunate to have a great library locally that offers most of our selections. We try to limit purchases of books where possible to reduce the overall cost. The following contains affiliate links and if you choose to purchase through my links I am grateful as it does offer me a small commission towards funding our schooling.

Religious Education

Speak Lord I am Listening: A Rosary Book

We may also use something else. The Authors of Little Acts of Grace, and Catholic Icing have resources on learning the Rosary as well.

My First Book of Saints

We will also be using Catholic Mosaic selections this year throughout the year, and will alternatively substitute saint education from Catholic Icing.


This year we will be using MEP Math and finishing up Reception year around November and then moving on to Year 1.

MEP Math

How to set up and Use MEP: A Peaceful Day blog

I will also be doing a post on how we set up and use MEP here.

Math Games from The Measured Mom will also be included for review as we go. We also play a lot of board games which helps with number memory.


  • Phonics:

All About Reading Pre-Reading and All About Reading (Level 1). We will finish Pre-Reading in November. I know some other kids are ahead of my daughter at age 5 but she just wasn’t ready until this summer. And she forgot half of her letter sounds so we are reviewing with the pre-reading program. The nice thing is that I will re-use the program materials with her brother should he need it, and the re-sale value holds well.

  • Story time:

Selections from our spine curriculum covering varied topics. We are using Wee Folk Art Homeschool Curriculum this year again. It combines kindergarten and pre-k for me, so brother can be included. It is a great planned introduction to Charlotte Mason style (post about that here) and also seamlessly transfers to the Oak Meadow curriculum should you want to go Waldorf style. It also contains elements of Montessori style.

The cycles for the curriculum are:

Harvest Time

Winter Wonderland

Spring B’s

Puddles and Ponds.

  • Chapter Books

Harvest Term: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Winter Term: The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter

Spring Term: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Summer Term: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne


I will update this as we borrow titles from the library. While we are using Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans and Turn of the Century: Eleven Centuries of Children and Change as spines, picture books will be our focus for our introduction to history. I am following a local mom’s (Our Home on the Range) division of history into time periods and will pull titles that fit that to discuss.

We are also using the printable Book of Centuries from Catholic Icing, because unlike a bound book I wanted something for a binder, where we could move or add pages as we see fit over time.


See selections from Mater Amabilis Prep K level we will also be using selections from Delightful Reading and other titles we can find for each continent at our local library.

Additionally using Where People Live: Houses around the World

Me on the Map to teach the concept of self location.

  • Cooking
  • Music

Putamayo Kids selections

Nature Study

Every week we go to our local Great Plains Nature Center and participate in the activities they have for kids my daughter’s age there. While we are there we will also be taking a nature hike and exploring what we can find to look at and identify. I ordered us some basic notebooks to do sketching in and I will write down what they tell me their discoveries are in the notebook or label as they want to. I am also nature journaling this year right along with my kids.

We also do science experiments and read about nature with the resources Wee Folk Art provides us. It’s a lot of fun and we learned a lot last year.

The Year at Maple Hill Farm (we read one excerpt per month)

One Small Square Backyard

One Small Square Pond

Nature in a Nutshell

Picture Study 

Come Look with Me World of Play

Come Look with Me Exploring Landscape Art

Come Look with Me Animals in Art


The Real Mother Goose

The Complete Book of Flower Fairies (We read the corresponding letter for AAR Pre-Reading)


  • Music Appreciation


Smithsonian Folkways for Folksong audio to sing along

Traditional Catholic Music. We are learning a few hymns this year and this is a free resource to take the planning out of teaching.

  • Music Instruction

Since we have the instrument and can afford it I am teaching my daughter to play piano this year. I have been playing for 24 years now. She really wants to learn violin, but I can at least teach her music theory to prepare her for that when we are in a better financial place.

We will be using Alfred Music books which is how I was taught early on. You will also need the workbook and teacher guide as well for Little Mozarts. I also will be using the Alfred Music theory books to teach theory and notespelling.

Music for Little Mozarts


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