Year 1 Prep

IMG_4267-001 You may be like me and just starting out in the journey of Charlotte Mason education and fortunately for us, there have been MANY blog posts around the internet to help plan and prepare for Year 1!  This post will be a round up of resources out there.  There is no substitution for the actual website.  It may be daunting to go through at first (it was for me!) but the more I read, the more I started to understand!

Main Websites

Each of these links is a great place to begin and request membership.  You'll find that there are also Yahoo Groups that may not all be active, but still have some great treasures available.  Some of those Yahoo groups are

Planning the Day

Everyone will have a different environment for planning.  You may be someone who wants to have something detailed, or you may be more relaxed in your school planning schedule.  The awesome thing about the AO curriculum is that it will give you everything you should do in a week - how you break it up is up to you!  I have found several blog posts and schedules that have helped me! Loop Scheduling - this works so well with the AO curriculum!  Since there are things that only have to be done weekly, you can easily manage these extras! Morning Basket - I love this idea!  We do a circle morning time and since my kids are younger, it involves the Bible reading, memory verse, weather, and song. Detailed Planner- I found several documents that I really like and combined the aspects into one two-page planner that you can modify. I've also included a sample of week 1 so you can see a glimpse of what we do. (What I've written on my sample week may change before we actually start!) One page planner - this is my favorite one page planner so far! I love the simplistic check mark system!  The only drawback is I can't find a way to download without being a member so you may have to create your own from this inspiration.


There are a lot of books! There are several great files to download to have a list of all the books for all 12 years and you can sort by year for what you need. Here's one - click! You can also decide if there are books you want to use on the Kindle or other e-reader instead of buying a hard copy. I found these GREAT printable bookmarks for each book and laminated them. We are using a lot of Kindle books so each chapter that is finished I will have my son mark on the bookmark - just to have something tangible to hold and see rather than having the actual bookmark in a hard copy of a book. As I planned out our year 1, we should be able to finish a week of reading work by scheduling in 3 readings a day! So doable!!! Not every reading can be done in one sitting though - make sure you have an idea of what needs to be broken up (for example, Burgess Bird chapters are long for one sitting of reading. Splitting the chapter into two days is more doable!)


This is a huge part of the Charlotte Mason education and I'm sure I'll still have a lot to learn!  Here's a a great article to get started.

Artist and Composer

The Yahoo Art Prints group always has the current files for the yearly term that you can download and print!   There are also usually Youtube playlists for each composer term!  I will share throughout the year on what I am currently doing for my kids with our art/music/folk/hymn!  Also, the folk song list is a bare bones list. If you want to find some WONDERFUL folk songs to teach your kids, check out this book (#afflink), or this website! Cassatt Art Prints Bondone Art Prints Whistler Art Prints


I can't wait for our Paddle to the Sea activities! Check out this Pinterest board for lesson extensions! Long's Geography and CM Geography links are at the AO website!


We have already started Our Island Story and are about to begin the section on kings. This website will be a great reference as we begin learning about the successions!


Here is a great post about a Century Chart.  Here is a PR article about the Century Chart. I made up this printable for my son. You can make something similar for yours!  If you want to go deeper into a Book of Centuries for an older child, here is a great website.

Nature Studies and Science

We are planning to use Lynn Seddon's curriculum for our nature studies! We also have the Comstock guide that is a wonderful resource! The Burgess Bird book is one that we are reading on Kindle so I found this resource is going to be very helpful!


Since we will always have two kids in two different years, I read a great suggestion to do Mondays Old Testament, Tuesdays New Testament, Wednesdays Psalms, Thursdays Proverbs, and Fridays a review! For our family that will keep it simple and offer some flexibility so I don't feel like I get "behind."


For our family, Miquon is what is working well! We finished the Orange book last year and will continue finishing out the series for the next couple years.


Some of the readings like Aesop will be actually read by my son, but we will also go through the Treadwell First Reader (here)


I have debated between continuing manuscript or going to cursive. We will continue with A Reason for Handwriting with Manuscript A and follow the plans to do Transition in a couple years. Copywork will vary with our schoolwork. This year I made a simple paragraph narration the copywork for the day.

Foreign Language

We are doing Song School Latin since it is a program geared to young children! I also think it will be an easy starter to Latin later on!


I love that there is a list of poems on the AO website, however we are going to probably just stick with reading through the Child's Garden of Verses and A.A. Milne collections. I think that does it for now! I have read so many personal thoughts from others that the best thing to do is just JUMP IN AND START! You may feel like you're not prepared entirely (even with all this preparation I still feel like I'm not ready!)  Also, if you have not seen the Year 1 Primer, you must check it out!  


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