Thursday, September 25, 2008

Charlotte Mason's "Use of Books Makes for Short Hours" part 2

My problem is that when I look at the subjects covered (even with lots of them only covered once a week), it is very hard to plan a school day that has short hours. My schedules end up being about seven hours of work. Then, when you consider that we probably have a longer lunch hour than they do at school (we don't have any cafeteria ladies...), our day is as long or longer. However, I think the education is richer.

Our school week is Monday through Friday. I understand that in Charlotte Mason's day, the children went to school five and a half days. With my children's outside activities (music and sports) and friends, we just cannot count on having school time on Saturday. I'm not sure I would want to even if I could.

So now, I am wondering, what was the comparison that Charlotte Mason made? How long were other children in the late 1800's going to school?

I have seen schedules for a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool with short hours, but the rigor of the curriculum seemed to be lost.

On a practical note, I can get most of our academics scheduled to be done in five hours, but that is just too long to go without lunch. My hope was to be able to get all those things done before lunch (even if we needed a snack), so there would be that sense of a different kind of work done "after lunch." We leave at noon one day a week for music lessons. Combine this with no Saturday lessons and it is easy to see why our day is long--or at least, not short!

Since we cannot get all the academic work done before lunch, I am wondering if I should schedule the start of school earlier, followed by lunch after three hours. Then, continue with two more hours academic work, then have a break of an afternoon snack before we get to the music practice, art, nature walk, handicrafts and artist and composer studies.

And in implementing the schedule, I need to be better about ending the lesson at the prescribed time (or time expended). I am so guilty of going over.

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