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Charlotte Mason's Preparatory Level

I've recently found some PNEU schedules for what Charlotte Mason called the Preparatory Level.

Here is a sample schedule that she included: Monday: Bible, Reading, Painting, Number, Handwork, Geography, Writing Tuesday: Tales, Number, Handwork, Reading, Singing Games, Writing, Nature Study Wednesday: Poetry, Reading, Nature Study, Number, Handwork, History, Writing Thursday: Bible, Number, Handwork, Reading, Singing Games, Writing, Tales Friday: Tales, Reading, Picture Study, Number, Handwork, Nature Study, Writing

Notice how she intersperses skill work with content work keeping the child from becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. A short period of concentrated work such as Numbers, Writing, etc. should be followed with a different type of work such as Handwork, listening to stories, singing, etc. This schedule should be followed with time allotted for outdoor play, nature study, gardening, etc. Tales/Literature/Reading Aloud Some books that might be used for Tales included:

  • English Fairy Tales by J. Jacobs

  • Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A. A Milne

  • Fairy Tales of Long Ago edited by M. C. Carey

  • Anatole by Eve Titus

  • The New Pet by Marjorie Flack

  • The Fairy Caravan by Beatrix Potter


Here is a link to one of several books used for history: A Nursery History of England by Elizabeth O'Neill Days before History by E. G. Hume and Stories of Great People, Stories of Great Deeds by K. Conyngham Greene were also used. These books were used for biographies, particularly Alfred the Great and Sir Walter Raleigh.

Natural History

Here are just a few of the many selections used for natural history. Many of these books are not available for free downloads, but are available for purchase.

  • Tales of the Wild Folk by Cicely M. Rutley

  • In the Wilderness by Derek McCulloch

  • Walnut Tree Meadow by David Severn

  • Zoo Days by H. Golding

Seeing the books that CM used helps me to have a better understanding of which books I can use today as replacements. I often can get a better sense of her fundamental goals by looking at her books just as well as reading her theories and methods.

CM also included poetry, picture study, Bible, geography and singing along with a great emphasis on physical exercise and outdoor time.

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