CM Series #10 – Our Charlotte Mason Schedule

What does a typical day in a Charlotte Mason homeschool look like? Truthfully, it will look different for each family! While there are important aspects that should be included in a true Charlotte Mason homeschool, the way you work those in should always fit your preferences and lifestyle.

Today, I’m sharing the typical daily pattern our family has fallen into that has worked really well for a number of years now.

Daily CM Homeschool Schedule

Our Typical Charlotte Mason Day

The short and sweet of our Charlotte Mason schedule…We do chores and bookwork in the morning and the less academic things in the afternoon.

The longer explanation varies daily, but the overall picture is essentially the same.  I never put strict time limits on anything because we just do what we need to do until it’s done.  That plan works out similar to this:

Before breakfast – Everyone does simple daily chores like making the bed, bringing laundry downstairs and brushing teeth.

During or just after breakfast – We have Bible time and brain training time.

After breakfast – Everyone does a few chores to get the house tidy.  I assign the chores daily and they rarely take more than 10-20 minutes.  Then it’s on to schoolwork…

Math – Depending on the day, this time is either textbook math or living math.

Language Arts – This will include several (but rarely all) of the following – copywork or dictation, reading, writing, specific grammar or spelling lessonspoetry, and/or Shakespeare.

Science and/or History – Sometimes we do a lesson of each.  Sometimes we do larger lessons of one or the other.  Most of the time, we do these lessons as a family through unit studies.  Yes, you’re right, you don’t hear much about unit studies in Charlotte Mason circles.  As we apply Charlotte Mason’s principles to our unit study time, though, I think even she would be proud to see our learning time together!

Lunch – We take at least an hour to eat and have free time.

After lunch – The afternoons can be anything and everything – finishing up morning studies, nature walks, reading living books, handicrafts, cooking/baking, horse training, 4-H, barn chores, experiments, building projects, art, board games, plain old play time, and the list goes on.

I will tell you that I find myself having to train good habits into this time.  If I’m not the afternoon activity director, it’s very easy for my children to use this time less wisely – like sitting in front of the TV all afternoon.  Many afternoons, I try to loosely organize or suggest worthwhile activities, but I also allow freedom for personal exploration and projects as much as I can.

There you have it.  It seems simple, yet really works for us.  My children are academically challenged, my house is relatively clean and organized, and we all have time to pursue our passions.

I’m sure some of today’s readers would appreciate other Charlotte Mason homeschoolers commenting on daily schedules.  What does your day look like?  Does a somewhat relaxed schedule work well in your homeschool?  Please help me encourage those who might be skeptical.

Well, that does it!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking this two-week journey with me!  And don’t forget to check in next week for the Q&A post.  Before I wrap it up, I want to remind you of one thing…

The Lord tells us in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters…”  I don’t want any curriculum to become my master, no matter how wonderful it is.  With that said, take from this series what works for your family and do it well.

Expect excellence from your children, but realize that none of us can be excellent in everything, especially if our schedules are overloaded.  Give God the glory and let Him direct your homeschool path and you’ll find success!

Want More?

Using this series as a springboard, I’ve written a new book to help you get your Charlotte Mason homeschool up and running efficiently in 18 EASY steps!  I think you’ll love it!

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34 Comments

  1. Our days look similar. I do a day in the life each month on my blog. It is fun for me to see the flow of the days. I just started doing one thing different. I now have themed days ~ Monday…Art, Tuesday…Music, Wednesday…life skills and science, Thursday….History, and Friday…more History and Geography. We do the 3 R’s and a Bible Story before moving into our theme.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  2. Oh yeah, we do a chapter book over snack time most afternoons.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  3. I have been reading the whole series in my Google Reader but I wanted to click over and say how much I enjoyed reading every entry. Thanks for sharing your CM homeschool with so many readers.

  4. If you wouldn’t mind, please address this question in your Q&A. Why is it not CM to do unit studies – especially in history, science and geography. I know this a popular opion but I have 3 children very close together and I can’t imagine doing it otherwise.

    Michelle

  5. Cindy, I have so much enjoyed reading these past 10 days. I have gained a wealth of information and I know my own homeschool will be better because of it.

  6. I’ve really enjoyed reading your 10 days of Charlotte Mason. I’d forgotten what wonderful things entail homeschooling this way. I’m excited to add some of your ideas into our homeschool more.
    Thanks Cindy!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and wisdom. I’ll definitely be trying some of your ideas and I’ve already checked out many of the resources you’ve mentioned. What a great help you’ve been to me.
    Sincerely,
    EM

  8. Thank you so much for all the great CM informatin and resources and most of all how you use them!! We are just starting to homeschool and really like the CM approach! Again thank you for all the hard work and time you put into this blog hop :)!

  9. Thank you so much for taking part in this event. I have really enjoyed reading here. You have done a wonderful job giving a clear picture of Charlotte Mason methods.

  10. Speaking of bible study… the Charlotte Mason scripture memory system is THE. BEST. THING. EVER. I really struggle with memorizing. Not for a little while, but once we add another and another, going back and recalling the first? Notsomuch. We’re doing this as a group, too, and the kids are responding so well! The 5 year old has amazed me with his ability to learn along with us!
    Thank you so much for writing this series, I have really enjoyed it!!

  11. Just discovered your blog today. I love reading the daily schedules of other homeschoolers. I just started a blog and will have to make a note of writing about our schedule. You are SO RIGHT about advice about not overloading the schedule.

  12. Thanks for sharing your day. We’re unschoolers in Australia and love hearing about other homeschoolers’ lives and meeting them as we travel!

  13. Found your blog through Pinterest. Just HAD to tell you what an encouraging, enjoyable read it was! Thanks for taking the time to share!

  14. Thank you so much, Dara! I appreciate you taking the time to encourage me. 🙂

  15. Emily Laturell says:

    Found this series on Pinterest and really enjoyed reading through all 10 days!! I have two boys (3 1/2 and 7 months) and am doing a lot of research and reading on homeschooling to try and get an idea about what would work for our family. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on Charlotte Mason style and for the glimpse into your daily homeschooling life!! It is a real encouragement to someone who is considering homeschooling!

  16. You’re welcome, Emily! Enjoy your little ones. :o)

  17. First time reader tonight, and I’ve Really been enjoying your posts!

  18. Welcome, Amy!! Glad you enjoyed your time here. 🙂

  19. I love reading about others’ schedules! We use many Charlotte Mason methods also. We follow a flexible schedule. I function better when I have a schedule, but I for it to be relaxed so we can make changes when necessary.

    We start with devotions and then have a block of time for together work- history reading, word study, art or music. Then we split up for math, science, and language arts study. It works well for us. And with a lunch break and a “recess” we are still done around 2.

  20. Found this in pinterest and i think that its such a great read for a newbie homeschooling mom like me who also uses CM methhod. I have a question about multi level teaching. How do you integrate lessons for the kids? Im assuming they are all in different levels?

  21. Great question, Val. I’ve started a post draft and will try to write about this soon!

  22. I know, CN lessons are supposed to be 15-20 min. Do you do short lessons? Do your children do that much for math? Saxon math takes about an hour to complete a lesson. Even with half the problems it’s more than 15-20 min. Plus checking and correcting.

    Thanks for the post! I also blend CM, unit study for geography and some Classical. I also do it bilingually because we are immigrants. It’s a bit overwhelming but I am unwilling to let them forget the language.

    God bless!
    Oksana

  23. Hi Oksana,

    I do short lessons for most things. Sometimes math takes us a little longer than 15-20 minutes – maybe more like 30-40. (In high school it takes around an hour.) If a particular day gets too overwhelming, we stop and pick up where we were the next day.

    Bilingual is SO cool!

  24. Thank you! Sometimes I get unrealistic expectations and screw up. So, it’s nice to talk to other moms! I love keeping my kids bilingual but I have to redesign any curriculum or approach to fit that. It would be easy to read something in one language to all, but there’s always a younger child who doesn’t understand English yet… Oh well, three have solid footing in English, only three to go!
    God bless! You have a cheerful blog!
    Oksana

  25. This looks very similar to the routine we have set up for our family, and I am so glad to see it works for others too.

    In the past we have always incorporated a few Charlotte Mason ideas, such as an emphasis on nature, and reading “living books”, but this is the first year we have followed Charlotte Mason method strictly in every subject. We love it!!!

  26. I’m so glad it’s working well for your family, Bree! We just love this lifestyle of learning. <3

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