Charlotte Mason Style Preschool
How To Homeschool Preschool Using Charlotte Mason’s Methods
Charlotte Mason didn’t recommend doing formal school with your child until they were 6 years old. Instead, she recommended children learn naturally through play and discovery in everyday life. However, there are things you can begin doing with your child around ages 3-5 to create a Charlotte Mason style preschool for your child.
(I realize that all children are different. Charlotte Mason herself acknowledged that children are born persons. They are individuals with individual needs. Some children may be ready to learn or want to do some “sit down work” like their siblings. So, I’ve created a simple solution for that. >> The Large Room- Pre-reading Curriculum for ages 3-5.)
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“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 mother’s 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.” (Charlotte Mason Home Education Vol 1 on Outdoor Life for Children)
In the early years, children are so impressionable. Their minds are open to all kinds of ideas! Children have the best imaginations! That is why this is the greatest time for them to explore God’s creations and learn from being outdoors. We don’t have to sit down and give them formal lessons. Just let them play! Young children love to dig in the dirt and sand. There they find worms and bugs of all sorts.
Let your child’s curiosity lead them to learn something new and exciting. My children are always asking what sort of bug this is or what sort of flower that is. They are naturally curious! Those are the perfect moments to learn.
What about curriculum?
A curriculum is not necessary for preschool. Here’s an idea of what you can use instead:
- Some good books to read to your children. (See below for a list of ideas.)
- Magnetic Letters/ Numbers
- markers, crayons, colored pencils
- Drawing Paper/Sketch Book (It is never too soon to start drawing what they see in nature! Plus kids love drawing and coloring!😉)
- A tray of sand. (For practice making letters and numbers.)
If you feel like your child is ready for more structure, then some hands-on activities may be beneficial. You can always do crafts, simple science experiments, or play some educational board games.
Finding Craft IdeasThere are books filled with craft ideas or you can search the internet looking for projects. Pinterest is another great place to find ideas.
Book suggestion: Art Lab For Little Kids
Fun Science Experiments
A go-to for us is the vinegar and baking soda volcano!! My kids love it.
Here’s a cute idea of a vinegar and baking soda volcano sensory bin: Baking Soda And Vinegar Volcano
We also did a homemade icecream experiment that was a hit!
Pinterest is another great source for science experiments as well.
Preschool Board Games
Matching: Animal Memory Game
Alphabet: Alphabet Go Fish
Colors: The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Number Skills: Hi Ho Cherry-O
Twaddle Free Books For Ages 3-5
It is so important to read to your child every day. Starting at a very young age.
This book is so good! We really enjoyed it. It is about a little house and how life changes around it.
The Little Engine That Could is a classic! Everyone needs this one in their library.
A story about a bull who is not the ordinary bull.
We read this for the first time this year. My 5 year old loved it! He made me re-read it twice!
Adventure with Mike and his steam shovel Mary Anne.
A cute family story about mallard ducks raising a family.
12 little girls living in a boarding school, one named Madeline. The book is written in rhymes. My daughter loves this one!
There are other books in this series as well. E.g. If You Give A Moose a Muffin.
A little rabbit putting off bedtime by saying goodnight to everything possible!
Those are just a few ideas of non-twaddle books to read to your preschooler.
Read some of your favorite Bible stories to your child. You should read the Bible to them every day. If you have older children, let your preschooler sit in on their Bible stories.
Short scriptures can be memorized as well, whenever the child is ready. Some children won’t be ready until Kindergarten age to start scripture memory… and that is ok.
Start playing music around your house.
Read poems or books in the form of rhymes.
Work on habit formation with your child.
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Goals for Preschoolers
Ambleside Online has a list of goals that children should reach by 6 years old.
1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns
2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm
3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters
4. to read–what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child…