Fit in Extras

Last year I shared our Theme of the Day chart which we use to “Do 1 more thing” after lunch and fit in all our Charlotte Mason extras.

Our Theme of the Day chart is the most successful and simple method to ensure that we enjoy the rich and rewarding education Charlotte Mason suggests.

Here’s my newest Theme of the Day Chart which you are welcome to download or use ~ Theme of the Day 2014

Theme of the Day 2014

We start our day with Bible and follow with Disciplined Studies (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic), keeping lessons short and sweet.  Then we move on to our Core.  If things go smoothly, we finish before lunch, but most days we do 1 extra thing after lunch.  Our Theme of the Day chart is a handy reminder.

Here’s an example of my youngest daughter’s weekly timetable:

Lara's Week TimetableThe grey line indicates our lunch break.  I included an “extra” extra for my daughter to do on her own if I am busy helping my high schooler after lunch.  Also, this year I hope to include a new craft “paper Sloyd” which I read on Amy’s post “Sloyd: Warming the Intellect” at Fisher Academy International.

In case you are wondering if we really manage to “do it all”, here is a little peep into our reality:  We first do our farm chores and housekeeping before school starts and so most days we only begin at about 9:00am.  My farmer hubby and sons return for lunch at 12:30pm and we stop school at 12:00pm to prepare lunch.  This means that we usually try complete most our schooling in 3 hours.

Another reality of our life is that we live on a really remote mountain farm and we always take a day off to all go to town for shopping and appointments, so we almost NEVER have a 5-day week.  Despite this, we still usually squeeze 2 days into the “1 extra thing”!  For example, we will do our Timeline with Social Studies, or Science with Nature Study. Very often we combine Fine Arts with our tea and Poetry.

And if you still don’t think you can plan and organize and fit all your Charlotte Mason extras in your week, Patti of All things Bright and Beautiful has done all your Fine Arts for you.  She posts a weekly study of a famous artist, composer and poem with links to YouTube videos and other helpful sources.  I subscribed to her blog and her posts arrive every week per email. I simply right-click and save the famous artist’s images to an art folder on my computer to use later if we are not following her schedule.

I encourage you to plan the extras and keep them visible in your school room.  These are the fabulous and fun, rich and rewarding aspects of homeschool!

Much Grace,

18 thoughts on “Fit in Extras

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  8. So, so SOOOO love all you share here dear, lovely Nadene!!! WOW oh wow you truly are an inspiration!! I’ve been POURING myself over your blog the last few weeks before starting school here and have taken on almost EVERY idea!! Including the Music downloads, the theme days (which we already had but i’ve mixed them up a bit more now like you have!!) and even introduced writing!! (much to my children’s dismay!) Oh and the short 20 minute lessons!! AMAZING!!!! it certainly helps to keep children happy and flowing, rather than the complaining and struggling to solider on!!!
    Thank you and God bless you richly as you give and bless and encourage others on their homeschooling journey! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
    SMiles and hugs Sharnee 🙂


    • @amy in peru, thanks for your inspiration with sloyd … I’m stunned and amazed to still find completely “new” and unexplored skills to try and include in our CM-inspired learning! 🙂


  9. Thank you! She has joined you in my list of blogs in my side bar that I follow. *smile* I printed off you last idea chart of how to fit these things in. *smile* Thank you so much. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!


    • @Marybeth, good question! Core is the term I learnt from our first Sonlight curriculum we bought years ago and basically it is the main literature-based learning we read aloud and narrate daily. This is our “spine” books or theme, and our reading and research and all our other lapbooks, notebooking and hands-on activities flow from this.
      Cores can be the main study material and schedule from a bought curriculum packages, but could be any unit study, eclectic curriculums, delight-directed studies or theme you follow daily.


  10. This is great insight into a homeschool other than our own! I love your “1 more” idea… I’ve had a similar approach on the docket for several years but it hasn’t quite played out as I’ve intended. Life seems to happen (serious life like death and major illness, so while I’m so tempted to flog myself, I have to find grace somewhere).

    I live across the pond, I’m curious, what do you consider “core”? Over here most folks consider reading, writing, and math to be the core.

    By the way, you are quite the inspiration to me. I just adore your posts and am thrilled to be able to share your rustic wedding post with my daughter! Such beautiful thoughts and pictures!! What a blessing!


    • @Melissa Harrell, thanks for writing and lovely to ‘meet’ across the pond! Over the many years of homeschooling, real life has disrupted our schedule and I have learnt to trust the Lord that the kids are learning even if we don’t “do school”. It is really all in grace!
      As I answered @Marybeth’s question, cores are the main study material and schedule from a bought curriculum packages, but could be any unit study, eclectic curriculums, delight-directed studies or theme you follow daily.
      My kids consider core work FUN after the basics. They do all the seat work/ basics/ 3R’s/ disciplinary studies and then we go relax somewhere and read aloud and narrate. This leads to research work, notebooking, hands-on activities and sometimes our lapbooks. We describe our core as the main theme of our school work, such as “World History”, “American History” or as in our case, our South African “Footprints on our Land”.
      I’m delighted to inspire and encourage you and others through this little blog!
      Much grace, Nadene


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