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‘inspirers to our children’ :: a homeschool philosophy, 2nd grade curriculum choices

‘inspirers to our children’ :: a homeschool philosophy, 2nd grade curriculum choices

Thank you for the many lovely emails and comments after last week’s homeschooling post!

I didn’t have opportunity to answer each response, but you all inspire me too.  Yes, you do.  I’m grateful we can encourage one another.  We must know we are not alone, so thank you for joining me in the journey.

Today, I’ll share some about our 2nd grader (boy), and quote more from Charlotte Mason.  This post reflects ‘Part 2’, so you may want to read from last week first.

By the way, our homeschool doesn’t reflect a purist CM lifestyle.

We’re hardly purist of any method of education, instead drawing from thoughts, ideas springing from various streams.  We’re eclectic maybe?  Perhaps too we’re simply confused — your pick. 🙂

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Our Homeschool Philosophy

“A child draws inspiration from the casual life around him…but there is no way of escape for the parent; they must needs be as inspirers to their children.  About them hangs an atmosphere…from which a child derives those enduring ideas which express themselves as a life-long ‘appetency’ (longing or desire)” — Charlotte Mason, from Parents and Children, pg. 37, (emphasis & definition added)

In a nutshell, we seek to educate for life, for relationships.

The sum total of a person is much more than academics.  I affirm strong academic standards, yet shy away from pushing my children towards these alone.


We choose home-based education because we seek to be the inspirers to our children.  To stir within them abilities already lodged in their little minds, hearts and bodies…to introduce them to new ideas and aspirations, to grow up their whole personhood, not just a few parts.

We embrace this living and learning as a family….

 “To excite this ‘appetency’ towards something…is the earliest and most important ministry of the educator  – Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children, pg. 36

2nd Grade Curriculum Choices

My 7.5 year old son is one child I observed intently this summer — watching his play, listening to his {numerous} ideas about what he’d appreciate in our home education, and jotting down notes all the while.

The core of reading, writing and mathematics is still mostly Mama-directed…and after this, the door has swung WIDE open.  If I could bottle his pure delight in this change, I would.  My heart hasn’t quite caught up to all the enthusiasm, but I will.  How can I not? — it’s a beautiful thing happening here.

For 2nd grade:

Core Language Arts:  Explode the Code (he likes these, I don’t as much)  :: Editor in Chief Beginning 1  ::  All About Spelling  ::  Language Smarts  ::  abundant independent reading, read-alouds with Mom, reading to his brother (age 4)

Core Math:  Horizons Math :: Math Analogies

Then we have character training, Bible reading, chores and life skills of course.  Folks, that’s it for all I’m giving direct attention to regularly.  BUT, not all the academics or education happening!

Oh my…not at all.

Right now, because it will most definitely change I’m sure, there’s also

  • a huge, HUGE emphasis on music study!  This boy adores all things musical; it’s his area of strongest aptitude.  He is completely taken up with music theory lessons, singing in choir, studying sight reading, practicing piano & violin, studying music appreciation (a full review of Zeezok curriculum coming later) and swiping his sister’s old musical scripts! 🙂
  • stop animation movie study happening, resulting in script writing, movie recording, etc.
  • learning Garage Band for said movie-making & music recording
  • and more…

All this is mostly directed by him, yet overseen by me.  I support, assist, make suggestions and corrections — inspire.  Then I purposefully let him alone to do the learning.  The process has been just amazing to observe.


Next up...5th grade! 


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Daniele Evans