When I first started reading about Charlotte Mason, her methods seemed geared toward elementary-aged children. However, the more I study, the more I find that her methods work well for all ages - elementary, middle school, high school, and even young adults! After all, we should never stop learning.
So how do I plan to use the Charlotte Mason method for my middle school aged children? I am going to share five ways we are using the Charlotte Mason method this week, and hopefully a few more next week.
Charlotte Mason stresses the importance of short lessons - short lessons build the habit of attention. When your child is giving their full attention to a lesson, they retain much more information. The recommended time per lesson for grades 4-6 is 20-30 minutes and for grades 7-9, it increases to 30-45 minutes.
I am not going to set a timer, although that is a great idea for younger children. Generally, Mikaela's lessons take around 20 to 30 minutes, with math stretching to maybe 45 minutes a day, but I will do what is necessary for her lessons to stay within the recommended time frames.
Dictation is a little different from copy-work - the child studies a passage, noting the correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The parent then dictates the passage, phrase by phrase, while the child correctly writes it. Mikaela will use dictation once or twice a week, taking passages from living books we will be reading.
Mikaela will drop her formal grammar program from daily to three times weekly.
Mikaela will be reading many living books as opposed to textbooks for history, science, and geography.
You are never too old for nature study! We spend a lot of time outdoors, but I am going to make nature study a formal subject once or twice a week. This means we will either go on a nature walk, do some bird-watching, or use our sketchbooks to draw insects, or plants, or clouds. I will expect Mikaela to do further reading on whatever topic we are examining. An hour a week of formal nature study is what I am aiming for.
I hope this list has helped you! I plan to share some more ideas next week on how to homeschool middle school the Charlotte Mason way!