A Charlotte Mason Preschool Feast - Plans and Priorities

As time has gone by, I've been moving more and more towards a fully Charlotte Mason educational plan. Even those few areas that I initially disagreed with, well, let’s just say I’ve come around. Reading/Phonics is my one last holdout and I know of a soon to be released CM inspired reading program that I’m pretty excited about. I don’t have any regrets with what I’ve done with Lucy in the past but I also knew that as she got older and our family grew, I would probably be doing less and less preschool and not surprisingly, this is the case.

She’s gotten better and better at playing by herself and being able to do arts and crafts with just a “here’s some art supplies, have at it” approach. I don’t plan on doing a formal kindergarten program (as in things she MUST do, what we do know is all optional for her and will continue to be until she is six years old) but even so she’s only got two years left to just play all day. So every year I’m more conscientious of going easy on things – while still realizing that my future self will probably be shaking my head at me saying “you didn’t really need to do that.” And I’m okay with that.

Planning with Lucy is a bit tricky because she tends to go all out on a subject for a short time, then saturate herself and move on. When she was into math, it was “can I do math?” all day, everyday. Even with my encouraging a diversity of activities, we made it through the second half of MEP Reception and ¾ of Singapore Essentials (Kindergarten) Math in about 2 months. Then she moved on (somewhat). The same thing happened with reading. Right now, she’s into writing but who knows what will be the topic of choice in 3 months. But even so, plan I must. Really, it’s like a disease of my personality. I have to plan!

I know most people say that with young children you should focus on the core of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic and don't worry about the rest. I plan to do the opposite for now. My goals are to get all those extras that Ambleside Online is so rich in firmly part of our schedule when we get to First Grade – the art, and music and table time stuff. That’s my first priority.  My next priority is fitting in what Lucy’s and Jonah want to do and lastly adding in Math and Reading as Lucy requests. It's not that I don't think reading, writing and math are important, they are. But developmentally, six is a better time for them to be formally studied and I don't want them crowding out other things.

So those are the goals but goals are not plans. I really had to wait on God’s plan for this year. I thought I knew what we might do but when I looked at it, it wasn’t right. Then I thought we would do nothing but Table Time until we tried that a few weeks ago and that did not work well for us AT ALL. The week’s trouble were probably exacerbated by dealing with post trip adjustments but still, it was rough!

Then I stumbled upon The Alphabet Path. I had seen it before but brushed it off because last year I was not at all interested in an Alphabet based/themed program.  This year Lucy not only knows her alphabet but is well on her way to reading so while it may not seem to make sense to learn our letters, in other ways, it will be perfect and I’m really excited about it. I think it goes to show you that you have to find a balance between keeping your eye on future goals overall but not stressing to get every little detail about how you are going to get there figured out.  Of course, being me, I can’t just use it as in so I’ll be back with more details about how I’ll be using it. Let the fun begin!


  1. I've been working on a "Why I'm Not a Charlotte Mason Homeschooler" post. It's not ready yet. But I applaud all the CM homeschoolers I know, even if I can't embrace the label. Love to see what you all are doing. It inspires me with Miss Lili, not to pass her over while I'm focusing more on the big girls.

  2. Oh interesting, I can't wait to read it.