Charlotte Mason advocated giving children a rich, wide curriculum.
This generous curriculum can only realistically be covered by keeping lessons short. I call it “short and sweet“, where these 10 to 20 minute lessons encourage a child to give her utmost attention, especially with subjects, such as maths, phonics, handwriting, spelling and grammar.
To keep the daily schedule enjoyable, alternate disciplinary lessons with Bible, poetry, history, fiction, art, folksong, outdoor nature study, chores and life skills like cooking. This variety keeps a child’s minds bright and encourages enthusiastic and motivated participation. Some children prefer to “get all the seat work done first” and then move onto the freedom of the rest of the subjects. You may need to try each approach to find what works for your family.
It isn’t the number of subjects, but their duration that tires the mind. What child wants to sit still and concentrate for long lessons? Quick math drills every morning, practice spelling while jumping on a mini trampoline, or quick laminated chart handwriting practice, or play a quick round of the amazing arrow games, provides younger children the necessary stimulus and physical exercise, and a short review of the same facts before supper results in a better memory of facts and skills.
Memorizing Scripture (which is the living Word) or poetry (which opens the eyes of imagination) verse by verse takes just a few minutes every day. Scripture and poetry also provide deep and meaningful insights and enlarges the child’s heart and mind. They lessons are not dull, dry facts or tiresome workbooks, textbooks or worksheet lessons.
It is very easy to just “do the basics” and call it a day, but I found that the only way we could regularly cover all the diverse subjects was to use our “Theme of the Day“. Allocate all these extra subjects across the weekly schedule, enabled us to maintain a full, rich, wide curriculum.
You don’t have to fear trying to “do it all”. Just start with the basics, keep it short and sweet and do a little every day. Ease into the rest of the schedule by adding one extra subject and you’ll be amazed how much your children will learn in a relatively easy, quick, daily schedule. This way you will offer your children a banquet, but don’t rush them, while also avoiding “force feeding”. A generous education is a homeschooler’s privilege and pleasure!