If you ever use Simply Charlotte Mason’s free curriculum guide you will be directed to choose a history time period to study together as a family.
These guides, arranged by time period, by Sonya Shafer, act as the backbone of the Simply Charlotte Mason ‘curriculum’. They are central to carrying out the SCM program in your family.There are six guides for six different time periods flowing from Creation to Modern History.
So, let me give you the run-down as to what these guides entail. Basically, if you purchase a Family Study Handbook from SCM, you are getting a comprehensive guide to homeschooling your whole family all together for one school year (or however long it takes to work through the material). The guides are separated into 3 Terms with 12 weeks per term.
Although this is the outline, it never works out so neat and tidy for us – but that’s the layout, anyways.
There are three main subject areas: History, Geography, and Bible.
Now, when you pay your $10.95 for the ebook or $15.95 for the hard-copy, you are getting the guide. Any other books you will need are listed for you in the Resources Needed section of the guide (this can also be seen in the
of each guide).
So, our kids didn’t really love the recommended book for grades 4-6 study of Abraham Lincoln (Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to White House). Not a big deal. We just stuck to a couple other Abe Lincoln living books and learned about Lincoln through those books instead. There is a lot of freedom with living books curriculums if you can get the
when needed. I think this is also why SCM and programs like this (where you buy the guide for pennies and work with it as a springboard) are so much more appealing to me as a homeschool Mom. I don’t feel completely tied down to a HUGE investment of countless books and a strict schedule that I’m not sure will work for us. I feel like I have more flexibility.
Having said that, many of the required/recommended and even the optional titles for the SCM programs are fabulous and worth investing in. It’s up to you to read through the resources and make your own decisions. The books we certainly could not have done without for this guide (Modern History) and the previous guide (Early Modern History) are the
books from SCM. These are really, really good and much needed to work through the history component of these guides.
This program is VERY book heavy and based entirely on reading great books together as a family and also individually. (That’s why I love it so much~!)
For the whole family…
Every time it was a monumental disaster – super overwhelming and impossible to keep up with. I know it works for some people – but I think those people are super heroes. (Seriously…) To me, having all the kids study the same stuff as much as possible just makes sense.
The Layout of the Family Study Handbook
I actually really, really like the layout of the guides. They give you a ton of information to help get organized. There are lists of all the required and recommended books, a full layout of what will be presented throughout the year, books required by term, grids per term showing weekly progress and what will be read when. Then the guide breaks off into detailed lesson plans that are listed by lesson rather than day. (So, the guide says LESSON 1, followed by LESSON 2, with no required dates specifically assigned to the lessons).Although there is a grid for weekly progress, you can also just ignore that grid and follow day by day (even if you miss 3 days… or 10) and still keep moving forward. AMEN for this, friends.
There is a really neat rhythm to these guides as well. They are written in somewhat of a loop schedule, really.
For Modern History – Lesson 1 is American History, Lesson 2 is American History, Lesson 3 is Geography and Bible, Lesson 4 is World History, Lesson 5 is World History. So for this book (Modern History) you have this laid out loop of 2 times American History, 1 time Geography/Bible, 2 times World History. And then the loop begins again.
Not every handbook is laid out exactly like this but they all have a really nice mix of variety in the layout of the lessons.
If I had to choose a favorite Charlotte Mason-inspired website, it would be
. I love how the information is presented, I love how the site doesn’t completely overwhelm me but instead, helps me find direction and simple, applicable information. I love the affordable resources and the
. I love that the studies are presented in a family format and biblically based.