Friday, September 3, 2010

The Cider Mill Schoolhouse

The Cider Mill Schoolhouse will officially be opening it's doors on Labor Day this year, after a last hurrah camping and u-picking at an orchard in Wenatchee.

Our curriculum is flexible, as are our days, but there is enough structure to aid Sophia and to keep me accountable. Here's what I've come up with.

Inspired by my friend Emily over at Charming the Birds From the Trees, I will be putting together weekly learning baskets for both children. Obviously, Sophia will get the most out of them academically, but they will be a means of inspiring whole learning within the whole household--and perhaps even entertaining James during our lessons. Each basket will have it's own theme and will contain our "story time" books (provided by our excellent local library system) for the week. The basket and books will reside on a low, child-accessible table in our homeschool room, along with themed and inspirational items: statues, art, icons, nature walk finds, etc.

We will also be using the following general resources in our homeschool this year:

We will have school four days a week for about an hour each morning, leaving Friday open for daily Mass, field trips, and nature walks. Here is our basic schedule:

Monday - Thursday

8:30 - “Our Father”, Pledge of Allegiance, Scripture Memory Verse and Song
8:45 - Reading lesson
9:00 - Religion (Bible study, lives of the saints, prayers, etc.)
9:15 - Math or Social Studies lesson

At this point in our day, we break for snack, then playtime, followed by lunch, storytime, and nap. In the afternoons, we will have a brief time of reading and memorizing poetry. On Mondays, we will also have a short art appreciation lesson, and on Thursdays, music appreciation.

Science will be explored on Fridays during our weekly Nature Walk.

Again, this curriculum gives us a lot to work with while being very flexible and should prove challenging without being overwhelming. I am very much looking forward to our first day of school and sharing our first learning basket with you all!


  1. Your plan looks great! I have been enjoying the learning baskets a lot. They are a good way to include my two year old in "school."

  2. Mrs. Hudson,

    I've been a longtime lurker of your blog and enjoyed watching your family grow. As you enter this season of home education, I wonder if you have researched the Charlotte Mason philosophy? I was educated with this philosophy and completely loved it. Much of what you already have planned reminds me of Miss Mason's methods.

    Just a thought,
    Jane Ellen

  3. Bethany,

    Love it! I think this is a great plan to get your toes wet with homeschooling. I'm not personally planning on homeschooling Liam (unless St. Mary's school closes!), but I like that your days are not so rigid to impose a struggle. Liam's actually going to preschool 3 days a week now at the parish preschool, and I'm quite happy with the curriculum they use, as well as the schedule. It's very similar to yours, in fact! :)

    We will, however, be starting lessons for the days in between preschool at home, mainly because I'm a HUGE booknerd (Hi, librarian. Hehe.), and I am certain Liam adores learning new things. Good luck this school year!

  4. Jane Ellen, I have been learning a bit about Miss Mason's philosophy and educational style. I am very inspired by it and have certainly incorporated it into my own style of teaching. While I would not strictly call myself a "Charlotte Mason" homeschooler (mainly because I do not feel quite well-versed enough to claim a title), I can see her influence in our homeschool already, and I'm sure will see more in years to come.

  5. Nerdy-
    How wonderful that you have found the perfect fit for Liam! And, I'm certain he will benefit from your love of literature and learning at home. My mother, too, was a librarian, and I am living proof that love of learning and books really can be learned by osmosis in a home where both are practiced! (Either that, or it's just in the blood.)

    God bless,


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