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CM's Curriculum: Scope and Sequence

I spent some time studying some samples from Charlotte Mason's curriculum for years 1-12. I used both the PNEU samples from Ambleside Online and the PNEU lists from Charlotte's Daughters. My goal was to focus on the changes made with each year to better understand the framework she used in constructing her curriculum.

I thought that I would share my list of points here:

  • Years 1-12 studied Bible and Religion but Years 1-3 contained a heavier focus on moral stories such as those found in Parables from Nature and Golden Deeds.

  • Years 1-3 included a focus on national history through Our Island Story and tales, fables, myths and poetry made up the main focus for literature. Pilgrim's Progress was used during these years as well. Tales were taken from Grimm's Household Stories and Andersen's Fairy Tales. Tales of Troy and Greece and sometimes Tanglewood Tales were used for myths. Alice in Wonderland was added in Year 3 and the Just So Stories and The Fairy Ring were also sometimes used in these three years. Aesop's Fables was also read. Science topics included study of plants, animals, animal habitats (pond, forest, etc.) seashore life and birds. Geography concentrated on land forms and bodies of water and learning map skills. Biographies and books about explorer and books about children from other countries were also shared.

  • I'll probably use another post for the points about music and art, foreign languages, math and writing.

  • Year Four brought a few changes with it in that French history was added to the study of National History. The time period studied would match the time period studied for National (English) history. Here is where literature begins to match the history time period. It is important to note that even while the literature matched the history time period, the study of mythology, poetry, tales and Shakespeare was included along with the books which matched the time period. Shakespeare was added to this year. Literature might include The Jungle Book and Water Babies along with Heroes of Asgard for mythology. Citizenship was also added this year and was studied with Stories from the History of Rome. Science books rotated in Years 4-6 between Jack's Insects, Glimpses of Animal Life and Madam How and Lady Why. The Sciences was studied in these years but was divided up into sections. It was interesting to note that it was emphasized that experiments should accompany the book The Sciences.

  • It was also interesting to note that the study of Plutarch begin in Year 5 along with Age of Fable for the study of mythology and English Literature for Boys and Girls began in this year too. Much of this year was the same as Year Four but with these additions.

  • Year 5's most interesting change includes the addition of another history chain. Ancient History is studied separately from this point forward. Students work through 3 chains of history at this point.

  • Year 6 proved to be much the same as Year 5 but botany was added to the study of science topics.

  • Year 7 includes another change in science topics and these included the study of plant life, the universe and The Fairyland of Science was sometimes used here.

  • Year 8 and 9 marked the change of moving from a study of mythology to the study of actual Greek works. The Odyssey was read over Years 8-9. The science topics in Year 9 included more book title changes. Also, world history replaces French history at this point. A Year 9 student studies National history, world history and ancient history.

  • Year 10 includes more changes in science books/topics and biology is added this year. The works of Aeschylus are studied instead of The Odyssey. Year 11-12 includes the study of the works by Euripides as well.

In summary:

  • Myths are studied every year for years 1-7 and are only replaced with the study of the actual works such as The Odyssey, etc.

  • Ancient history has its own category of study for Years 5 and forward.

  • Biographies and books about explorers were used often.

  • Citizenship began in Year 4 and in Year 5 used Plutarch for part of this study. Other books used included Ourselves, Utopia, works by Plato, etc.

  • A Book of Centuries was begun in Year 5.

  • Latin was added to the study of French (which began in Year 1) in Year 5 too.

  • French history was given its own category of study in Year 4 and was studied until Year 9 where it was replaced with world history.

  • Age of Fable was used sometimes for Years 4-6 but was also used in Years 7-9.

  • English Literature for Boys and Girls was used for Years 4-6 but was also used in Years 7-9.

  • Books such as The Song of Roland, Aeneid, works by Livy and the Nibelungenlied were studied in their original languages. So, The Song of Roland was studied in French, works by Livy and The Aeneid were studied in Latin and the Nibelungenlied was studied in German.

  • Four time periods were studied and rotated through for National and French/World history but the specific dates are slightly different for Years 1-4 vs. 5 and up. This causes some overlap and makes it harder to pinpoint which books would be read by each Year for each time period. You would have to look up the setting of the books to be sure of where they would fit for that particular time period with that specific Year. For example, The Children of the New Forest was often used in Year 4 but it was used in other years as well. There was some flexibility with the books.

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