Taken from Simply Charlotte Mason:
What methods did Charlotte Mason use?
Basic Principles for All Subjects
Short lessons; the habits of attention and perfect execution; varied order of subjects
Living books*; narration; Book of Centuries
Living books; narration; map drill
Manipulatives; a firm understanding of why
Nature study and notebook; living books; narration
Hear and speak, then read and write
Copywork for handwriting; oral and written narration for composition
Not formally studied until older than ten
Picture study for art appreciation; handicrafts; nature notebooks for drawing and painting
Music study for music appreciation; any instrumental instruction; singing
Living books; narration
Read aloud and enjoy frequently; memorize and recite occasionally (include Shakespeare)
* Living Books: Probably the most well known of Charlotte’s methods is her use of living books instead of dry, factual textbooks. Living books are usually written by one person who has a passion for the subject and writes in conversational or narrative style. The books pull you into the subject and involve your emotions, so it’s easy to remember the events and facts. Living books make the subject “come alive.”
I use more of the Charlotte Mason method with my homeschooler than I do with the preschoolers, however, there are still things that I incorporate in the preschool.
Short lessons - At the beginning of the year, I do more group lessons and towards the end, mostly individual lessons at whatever level each child is on, but I try to make my instruction time brief. Flower typically spends about 20 minutes per subject, with literature time being at least 30 minutes every day.
History - Flower uses many living books in her study of history. We don't talk much about history in preschool except in a yesterday/last week/a long time ago sort of way.
Geography - We use artifacts from the various continents, read books about different countries in a continent, do activities with the animals of each country, etc, and works with globes and map puzzles. Flower also labels maps and identifies landforms and bodies of waters on maps.
Math - Manipulatives. Most of our preschool math activities use manipulatives. Flower used more manipulatives at the beginning of the year, but is moving from concrete to abstract reasoning.
Science - We do a lot of Nature Study at Montgomery Academy. The preschool children study parts of animals and parts of plants. Flower also studies these parts, as well as learns definitions, and labeling. We do some outdoor/physical Nature Study (going on nature walks, observing birds at the feeder, etc.), but I would always like to include more.
Foreign Language - I did not incorporate foreign language at Montgomery Academy this year.
Writing - The preschool children may copy their name and other theme words for copywork. I had Flower do copywork for part of the school year, but she didn't enjoy it. I plan on trying again next year. Flower does do oral and written narration of her studies.
Spelling - The preschool children can use word lists and the moveable alphabet to spell words. Flower works on a spelling list every week.
Grammar - Flower is studying the basic sparts of speech.
Art - We do picture and artist study during the school year for preschool and homeschool. Both do free art and handicrafts.
Music - We do music and composer study during the school year for preschool and homeschool. The preschool does singing during circle time and Flower is in a homeschool choir. The preschool has free music and Flower is studying the recorder.
Literature - I read many living books to the preschoolers and Flower reads many living books.
Poetry - We both study poetry regularly. The preschool also studies nursery rhymes and Flower does poet study and studies and creates different types of poems. The preschool recites nursery rhymes and Flower recites occassionally, although I would like to have her recite more often.