I absolutely adore the Charlotte Mason style teaching and learning. The stories grab me and take me on adventures right along with my children! Sometimes, though, I forget what we’re learning.
When there are 11 books to read (all with different stories), poems, verses, songs, paintings, and the three R’s, I can’t remember it all. I could spend all day looking at lesson plans or through books and papers to find it all, but I don’t. I have a “currently learning” board.
Four long years ago, I wrote about Bella’s preschool learning board. Our new board is a 3 foot by 4 1/2 foot cork board with our subjects OR books as titles. Under each title is a half sheet of paper with more information related to that topic. This board provides me with everything I need to remember lyrics, words to poems, and current studies. If Bella is working on copy work, I give her a section from one of these papers. New nature study topics or the latest pet research papers are placed on the board as they change. I’ve also left a blank space at the bottom of the board for the children to post any of their prized papers; this is rarely empty!
Our Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress, Shakespeare, and Art pages are laminated. The Pilgrim’s Progress Map is updated as Christian travels. Shakespeare’s page has his biography with a space at the bottom for the play we are currently studying. I laminated a brief biography of the artist with space at the bottom for the artwork for the week. Each piece of art is laminated separately then taped to the bottom of the artist page. This allows for games of “which art goes to which artist” later!
Large thumb tacks hold any cards that we need: names of God for Bible, character sketches for Pilgrim’s Progress, costumes for Shakespeare, and kings for An Island Story. I use the cards for flash cards to help us review; the children quite often grab these to use as ideas for sketching or building. Charlie enjoys looking at our kings and letting everyone know who was bad and who was good.
Danny made my board even more functional by adding hinges and attaching it to a bookshelf. This hides our somewhat messy art supply shelves and saves valuable wall space in our school room. Double duty objects are always worth the space they take. Our board does not have space for arithmetic, reading, or grammar, but those are much easier to track than the multitude of other subjects we study! I don’t know how I’ll track two, three, or four children’s studies. I do know that this idea will morph over time to work for me, no matter what the situation!
How do you keep track of what you are learning? Do you use anything other than lesson plans?