Everything You Need for Your First Year of Charlotte Mason
I had no clue what I was doing my first year of homeschool. Like none. I read alot of books and blogs and watched videos and I had a vision of what I had to accomplish BUT the first year of moving towards that vision was rough to say the least. I created this blog to provide answers that I couldn’t seem to find the answers to and to make the process a bit easier for you!
A major question for me was- so what the heck to do I ACTUALLY need!? From morning baskets to nature walks kits here is a list of items I used and found very helpful for Kindergarten/1st grade.
I include both grades (from last year and this year) since a lot of items overlap from these two years and depending on your child you may want to have options available to decide where they are at. Also, DON’T WORRY! They may use less or more of what I have listed depending on where they are at. This just serves as a starting point and a guide.
First, the CURRICULUM. This is the outline that will guide all of your lessons and what you hope your children will learn in a year. There are several FREE curriculums that are available that I will link below. I would use the one that best fits you and your family. You could even follow the basic guidelines and tailor it to include specific information that you would find valuable for your own children. I really love focusing on seasonal and local changes throughout the year and the lessons theme I choose for that day/week/month often reflect this!
Start small and add on! This is also the best way to not overwhelm both yourself and your kiddos with the curriculum! I first purchased a curriculum that was waaay to much for my littles! It is better to start with less and focus on a love of learning rather than using too much and creating burnout and learning aversion!
Next, here is a bunch of resources that I personally use. I tried to organize these items by subject below!
We get most of ours from the library and have purchased some used. These are some great ones i have enjoyed using to get you started
Dangerous Book for Boys
some incomplete vintage Encyclopedias for inspired learning and supplemental learning.
These that are a part of the free curriculum. Check the other curriculums as well for ideas! There are tons!
Books I thought were helpful. I will indicate which are appropriate for which age group but really it also depend on where your child is at and what they show a readiness to learn.
Sight Words Flash Cards (optional)
We have also gotten The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross which we mostly read around Easter.
I would also like to get more short songs to sing with the kids this year like these here in the Ambleside free curriculum.
For counting manipulatives I used wooden beads that I have painted and marbles. You don’t really need much else in my opinion but you could choose something different that works for your family. You could use printouts to accompany the manipulatives and assist with counting.
I also used this counting book a lot - Chicka Chicka 123.
Addition Flash Cards (optional)
Backpacks for nature walks or holding art supplies. I bought these here.
Notebook for drawing. (Start with one and buy more as needed)
Markers/crayons/colored pencils- Get all of these or one. I like crayon for kindergarten and markers and colored pencil more for first grade.
Old pastels i passed onto the kids (optional)
Chalk for outside lessons and nice days
Homemade playdough. Good recipe here
A list of some of my favorite poems found here for memorization.
2 inch binder to plan out lessons. (I couldn’t find the one I have but you can find simliar ones on Amazon)
Dry Erase Marker
Good pens (I like these)
Tabs or dividers
A pretty planner to summarize lessons and activities. LIKE THIS! And I “splurge” and buy a RPC planner each year. It makes me really happy opening them every time I use it so I think it is totally worth the little extra.
Set up a little system for the kids to interact with: I also highly recommend setting up something like this in the homeschooling area in your home. It make your day smoother and it really helps to ground kids in rhythm and habit. I will try and update this when mine is fully created. During our kindergarten year as the year went on we added more and more of these types of elements to our fridge. This year I will create a similar DIY set up for the kids to use throughout the year!
One last little nugget of advice that is central to the CMM (Charlotte Mason Method) is having a daily routine!!!! Morning routines are especially important and set the day up for success. Don’t be like me on the first day of homeschooling. Be better. See below.
I really hope this was helpful to you! I took alot of time to provide as much info as possible to you all so if it was please let me know! If you added something else that you thought was helpful send it in the comments below so it can help others!
Ta ta for now!