Sunday, 17 March 2019

A Charlotte Mason Education: Our Week #1

Last week we finished our first week of Year 9 using mostly the Ambleside Online suggestions for this year but with some Australian substitutes and a couple of science additions. Each time we've gone through this AO year we've done things a bit differently.
This time around I have a few other commitments, including having a day with my two grandchildren when Moozle practices her Aunty skills and not a lot of our regular work gets done.
We also have a lot more outside commitments than we've ever had before because I'm only teaching one. This has been a stretch for my less than stellar organization abilities and that is reflected in my plans for the year...I haven't fully decided what we will be using in a couple of subjects at this point.
Anyhow, I thought I'd do a little post on our first week, so here we go:


Captain Cook by Alistair Maclean. This is a substitute for one of the American biographies AO schedule and I've scheduled it for Term 1.

Two more books I'll be including are My Love Must Wait by Ernestine Hill, which sounds like something from Mills & Boon, but is a superb account of the life of Matthew Flinders, and Currency Lass by Margaret Reason, which is set in the early days of Sydney Town - lots of local history in this, especially of the Parramatta area.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Age of Revolution by Winston Churchill

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - I'm reading this aloud as part of Science this year and editing where necessary. We're only one chapter in but it generated some great discussion!

The study of Architecture continues and this week Moozle read about Michelangelo in a chapter from 50 Architects You Should Know.

Men, Microscopes & Living Things by Katherine B. Shippen is a Newbery Honor book I've added in for science as we skipped a couple of books from Year 8. I bought the guide to this book from Sabbath Mood Homeschool. It's well done and would be suitable to use with a range of ages. The author includes 'Special Studies' and gives guidelines on how to go about them, which I find helpful as I tend to neglect this after a while.
We only did half of Napoleon's Buttons last year so it continues this year. I'm surprised she likes this book as much as she does because of all the organic chemistry details it includes. We had a home ed high school chemistry workshop a few weeks ago (which she loved) and that was a great way to boost her understanding.
Phineas Gage is another book we didn't get to last year so we're doing it now.

The Arts by Van Loon - one of the AO options for this year. We've previously used the Janson book of Painting which is a bit dry whereas Van Loon's book is more engaging, I think.

I bought this Art School Watercolour course during the Black Friday sales last year & Moozle started it this week. So far it looks good & I'll post some more details after she's used it for a while.

John Everett Millais is our current artist. I get Moozle to observe the painting for a week or two and then she writes a description from memory into her notebook.

* Did some hand quilting on her patchwork quilt project while I read aloud - it's getting there bit by bit.

* Orchestra Rehearsal - once a week; preparation for a Musicianship exam and cello practice.

* Commonplace Book - chose a quote from her reading & wrote in in her book

Free Reading

Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)

The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini (re-read) Free for Kindle here. Sabatini is one of her favourite authors.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (re-read)


We started using The Art of Poetry from Classical Academic Press about a month ago. I'll be writing a review shortly.


I'm taking advantage of these free edX courses: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Italian. They each run for 12 weeks and may be accessed until 2020.
I'm really thrilled about these being available because Italian would have been my first choice as a foreign language as my Dad's mother was from Molise in Southern Italy although she spent most of her life in Scotland and we were surrounded by Italian speakers when I was growing up.
Due to the lack of resources, especially for younger children, when we first started home educating, we opted for French instead.
The plan was that we'd work through the lessons together but my daughter has left me for dead...I can get the accent easily enough but trying to learn vocabulary when your brain appears to have the dimensions of a pea is very difficult. I have progressed very slightly. She said to me, "I think because I'm young it's easier for me." Never a truer word was spoken.


I read a few of Elizabeth George's books some years ago & liked them and this one, Life Management for Busy Women called out to me from the bookshelf so I thought it was probably time that I read it again.

I've been working on my Christian Greats Challenge. If you have a blog or a Goodreads account feel free to link up with us. Details here.


Erin said...

I just read a fascinating Australian bio on Friday, gobbled it in one day.
Mary Reibey: From Convict to First Lady of Trade by Kathleen J Pullen. An incredible woman

Carol said...

Hi Erin, I haven't heard of that one but she sounds a bit like Margaret Catchpole.

Marianne said...

What a wonderful post. From your books I have read
Emma by my favourite classic author Jane Austen and A Short History of Nearly Everything by one of my other favourite authors Bill Bryson. He's not as hilarious in this one as he is in his travel books but it's a great read. So much information!

What a great idea with the language, as well. If you want to improve and use it more frequently afterwards, I can higly recommend Duolingo. It's free.

Dawn said...

I recently "discovered" this painting and fell in love with it. I am interested in studying more of his work as well. Do you have a list of pieces you plan to study? I'd love to hear about them, Carol!

Sharon Wilfong said...

I'd love to read the book about Architects. I love architecture. I also love pre-Raphaelite artist, including Millais. I'm jealous of your children for getting to enjoy such a great curriculum.

Carol said...

Hi Marianne, the Bryson book was one my husband enjoyed when he was given it by his sister some years ago.
Thanks for mentioning Duolingo. I'd heard of it before but must look into it.

Carol said...

Hi Dawn, so good to hear from you! We have a lovely coffee table-type book on his life & his art so I've been using that to choose pieces, although there are a couple not in the book that I might use also.
So far besides the one above we've done:

Autumn Leaves
Halcyon Weather

I'll probably also do:
A Huguenot

Portia - we'll be doing Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice so I might include it then
? Isabella

I love his work & some of it reminds me a little of John Waterhouse, perhaps because they've both painted Ophelia.
He's an artist I'd be happy to spend more time on.

Carol said...

Hi Sharon, the good thing is that I'm getting an education I never had while I'm teaching them:)

Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

As always happens when I read your school updates, I want to come to school at your house. :)

Carol said...


Anonymous said...

Lovely reviews Carol.
Future learn also have free Italian lessons... I have been tempted just not yet!
I am reading through that Architecture book about early Australian architects and it includes an enormous amount of early history. It is quite enjoyable. Your book choice for Moodle looks very inspiring.

Carol said...

Thanks, Margaret. Always good to see you here. 😊Your book on Architecture would be much more in-depth but I’m trying to contain this year for multiple reasons!! The Italian programme via edX will keep us going for a year so I’ll keep your Future learn in mind as well as Duolingo. Hope you & your family are well. X

Marianne said...

Hi Carol,
only getting to answer this today. Sorry. I hope you've had a look at Duolingo in the meantime and find it worthwhile.
It was nice to be reminded of Bill Bryson again. So sad that he hasn't brought out anything new lately, so I will have to re-read one of his old ones soon.
Happy Reading!

Carol said...

Thanks, Marianne!