We have been using Charlotte Mason's methods and educational
philosophy in our home school since 2004. I am home
schooling one child, a son, who is highly gifted. Charlotte Mason's
educational philosophy works very well with gifted students,
especially those who love to read. However, not all of her
methods mesh well in our home school. Mostly this is due to
my son's unique gifts and special interests (no fault of her
methods!) I have had to modify my approach to suit his
needs. We currently use a mish-mash of approaches:
Unit Study with CM tossed in! It works for us so hooray!!
We currently use the Metropolitan
Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History website. This is
an awesome resource and we match up the period we are studying and
pick and choose artists to review. Normally, I select
several from each period and then find age-appropriate biographies
and choose paintings that I feel represent the best of each
artist. I also have us read the appropriate chapter in
either Story of Painting by H.W. Janson or Janson's
History of Art for Young People.
Since I have a born musician in my family, I do not do a lot of
extra music study. My son takes weekly lessons from a
private instructor and participates in a Chamber Group (he is accompanist
to the violinists). He studies theory and composition as
well as technique with his music teacher. I do match
composers to our current history study and when possible see if he
can learn to play a piece of music from one or more of the
composers we are reviewing. At a minimum, we try and find
Midi's or MP3s to listen to online.
We have used Calvary Chapel's Online Sunday School Curriculum
for our Bible Study program the past two years. I have us
read aloud the selected passage from the Bible and then we discuss
any items of interest. Map work usually follows using a good
Bible Atlas (I have the Oxford Bible Atlas). This year, my
son is reading through the NIV DailyWalk Bible, a 365 Day
Reading Bible. He spends quiet time reading and then in
personal prayer/worship. Each Friday we read one devotional
study book together. We are just finishing up C.S. Lewis'
book, Mere Christianity.
This has been the one area where we have had the most problem
finding a good match for our son. He is quite a good math
student but struggled with traditional math programs. A
friend recommended we try CIMT's
Math Enhancement Program (MEP), a free online curriculum based
out of the United Kingdom. We have used this program for two
years and we absolutely LOVE it. We plan on using this
through Pre-Calculus. We do math 4 days a week and spend 2
days on each lesson. This helps keep our math sessions
short, approximately 30 minutes each day.
We love A Beka for science and are have completed the 6-9th
grade textbooks. We love the way they are designed and how
easy they are to use. My son really likes all the content
and finds them interesting to read. We read two sections per
week and then spend Friday's either doing a lab experiment or
watching a DVD.
We are able to use Rosetta Stone through our Public Library
and have completed Level 1 and part of level 2 for French.
In process: German I, Spanish I and Latin I. I plan
on spreading this program over 4 years so each Level will take 2
years. This allows for less study time and a more low-key
experience. Each RS Level is equivalent to 2 years of high
school foreign language. My goal is to complete 2 levels
of each of these languages by high school graduation.
We love Easy Grammar for grammar and Jensen's
Format Writing for composition instruction. We will
finish up the red book (Plus) next year and will spread Jensen's
through 10th grade. We will
finish up our study of Poetry using Roar on the Other Side
by Suzanne Clark this year. Next year, we will go over The
Grammar of Poetry (skipped in Y7) and will continue to read
poetry each week.
Literature and History
We will continue with HEO and will try and follow the course
recommendations as listed on the website. We will make
some modifications as needed.
Every so often, we take a diversion and study topics of
interest. We did this in between 8-9th grades, 9th grade
and then in 10th grade.
Computers and Technology
My son is very advanced in computer technology. He has
recently finished reading and studying the Visual Basic
Applications book, 4th Ed. and has designed several applications
as part of his program.