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Day 11 – Charlotte Mason Book of Centuries

I can’t believe we’ve only been homeschooling for 11 days! At times it feels like we aren’t doing much, and at the same time I am amazed at all we have learned about:

  • Hummingbirds
  • The Civil War
  • Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
  • Shakespeare
  • Physics of catapults
  • How to conduct a science experiment
  • Averaging
  • Multiplication
  • Super gross Land Planarians

Today the girls each made their own “Book of Centuries.”  At the beginning of the year I thought it would be cool to make a big timeline that we could constantly be adding to as we learned about things throughout the year. I didn’t know this idea was already part of the Charlotte Mason homeschool method, except CM suggests a “Book of Centuries” rather than a timeline. I like the way the books are portable–much more manageable than a giant timeline spanning the living room wall. The books also help the girls visualize when different historical events occurred in relation to each other. I also think the girls retain the information better because the events they enter into their books are things they are already learning about or interested in.

book of centuries

I added tabs for each century so they could easily flip back and forth when entering information. Examples of information they have entered:

  • Shakespeare’s birthday
  • The publication dates of different books we have read
  • The beginning and end of the Civil War
  • Their own birthdays

You can make your own book of centuries using a binder and this free pdf from Simply Charlotte Mason.

Recently I’ve wanted the girls to spend more time re-learning some of the great things they have been studying and exploring. My complaint about total unschooling is that it can feel a little disjointed at times. I decided that a monthly project focused on one thing would allow them to delve deeper academically rather than constantly be flitting from one thing to the next. The girls also really enjoyed putting projects together and giving presentations during their time in public school.

For September, Sera chose hummingbirds and Amelie chose Little Women. In addition to the other things they are learning and exploring, they have to set aside a little time each day to research for their projects.

Besides beginning her Book of Centuries and starting her project, Amelie worked a little more on multiplication. I noticed from her work in her Book of Centuries that she needs to work on her number/year sequencing and also her handwriting. Thinking of creative ways to weave that in.

{ 2 comments… add one }


  1. Marianne says:

    I need to start our book of centuries. I just wish it were prettier =)

    My favorite for handwriting practice is to make a list at the beginning of each month of all birthdays and anniversaries (etc) and each week have the kids make and send cards. Combines art, handwriting, and manners.

    I also cut up an old calendar so that I have squares with numbers 1-31, days of the week, months of the year, etc, all cut out. Then I can hand them to my kids and have them practice the proper sequence, but mine are younger, so I don’t have much for practicing sequencing with 3 and 4 digit numbers.

    I love your idea of a monthly project. I think I need to do that. I just found out that our zoo (in Seattle) does something called a “nature exchange”. The kids can come in with stories, artwork, full-blown reports, dioramas, etc about nature to share with the nature desk people (in our indoor play area there is a corner with huge magnifying glasses and lots of rocks, shells, fossils, bones, etc). The staff at the desk assign points based on effort and thoroughness. They can save or spend their points. There are tons of shelves of rocks, shells, and fossils that all have points assigned to them, and then they can spend their points to bring things home to keep. It’s pretty amazing actually, and it gives me a great excuse (and gives them motivation) to have them work on a project and get it assessed by someone else.

  2. alana says:

    thanks for the shout out on the previous post. :) i heard about the book of cent from Alice and it sounds perfect. also, Marianne, i love your idea about handwriting cards to family & friends and what it accomplishes!!

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