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Year -0- Introduction

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Charlotte Mason Kindergarten
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Dear Friends,

 

The following is a schedule and booklist that I created in an effort to offer my own son a kindergarten experience similar in style to the Ambleside Online curriculum.  I felt that I should use this introductory letter to explain the schedule itself and how I came to choose some of the materials that will be used.

 

You will first notice that, like Ambleside Online, we will also be utilizing the 3-term format.  The school year itself is essentially a full year long with each term lasting three months.  Between each term is a one-month respite to be used as free time for the parent and student.  I felt that this system would allow for a more adequate period of rest than the traditional schedule thus preventing a case of the doldrums in both parent and child. 

 

In order to avoid a sense of monotony during the school year, each term lends itself to a distinct period in history - term 1 being Colonial, term 2 being Revolutionary and term 3 being Pioneer.  Each book therein was carefully chosen to reflect the subject at hand.  You might argue that far too many books are planned but again this was designed with my own son’s personal needs in mind and he is quite a devourer of books.  Remember too that it is not necessary to use each and every book; some may be replaced or even overlooked altogether.  I must also say that all of these books are available through our public library system so as to avoid purchasing each and every one listed.

 

For natural sciences only three books are absolutely necessary for the entire year and should be purchased, The Handbook of Nature Study, Christian Liberty Nature Reader book 1 and Burgess’s Bird Book.  Many other supplementary books are available through your local library should you choose to make use of them.  After much thought and prayer I decided that we would use Burgess’s Bird Book despite the fact that it is used in Ambleside Online year 1.  The reason behind this is two-fold, the first being that it is a book we already own and the second being that my son is extremely interested in birds at the moment.  Thankfully there are many other Burgess books to choose from such as Burgess’s Flower Book or Burgess’s Seashore Book if this is simply unacceptable to you.  For a complete list of Mr. Burgess’s lovely nature books go to www.thorntonburgess.org.  

 

I must say that I have no previous experience with the Simply series by Charlotte Mason mom, Laurie Hicks, however that is what we will be using for kindergarten mathematics and phonics along with Ruth Beechick’s three book set, "The 3 'R's."  From what I gather the Simply series is a very gentle approach to math and phonics and is in line with the Charlotte Mason values of education that I hold so dear.  It can be purchased through Shoelace Books at www.shoelacebooks.com. 

 

In my opinion the subject of poetry is a matter of preference.  What one person considers enjoyable may be nerve-racking or even twaddle to another.  I have chosen “Read-Aloud Poems for Young People” again because it is one that we already own and because it is rife with nature poetry.  The poems tend to be rather long but many of them have caught my son’s attention because they tell a story. 

 

The two books chosen for literature and tales, North American Indian Tales by W.T. Larned and Favorite Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs, are again ones we already own but can very easily and inexpensively be purchased through Dover Publications.  In addition to these two there are several more in this series of tales from around the world including Chinese, Scottish, Irish and Italian fairy tales.  They are rather charming little paperbacks with simple line drawings throughout though be sure to pre-read each story as I have found a few things I wouldn’t yet want my son to hear.       

 

And then we come to books for free reading.  These, I believe, are a purely a matter of choice.  Our list simply reflects what we already own, can get from the library and what we have not already read.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of good classic books out there that can easily be supplemented for those listed.

 

Last by certainly not least we will be studying basic Spanish this year.  Our main resources will include the Teach Me Spanish course, Twin Sisters Spanish CD, First Thousand Words in Spanish book, Dora the Explorer and various other books, CD's and videos available from our public library.  I must note though that this is only an introduction to Spanish rather than an intensive daily course.   

 

I hope that this schedule and booklist might be useful to someone.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me at crissyfleetwood@yahoo.com.

 

Have a blessed day in Christ.

Crissy Fleetwood  

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