CM Open House – Form 1


I am so excited to begin a Charlotte Mason Open House on Charlotte Mason’s birthday, giving you little peeks into the lives of Charlotte Mason-inspired home learning families.
I am pleased to have my friend from the Ambleside Online forums, Subversive Gardener, be my first guest poster. She is a regular encouragement and breath of fresh air for me. Without any further introduction…


This video shows snapshots of a fairly typical day in our lives last term. My camera didn’t have a huge amount of memory and the battery eventually gave out, but hopefully what is included here gives an idea of one way to organise a CM day.

One thing that may not be clear from the video is our narration box: We have a whole lot of narration prompts on little cards in a butter container. Each time we do a reading, we pull out a prompt, and then it gets moved to the second box, underneath, until we’ve been through them all – then we swap over and start again. Our prompts are based on the ones in this post from Archipelago (the blog of the AmblesideOnline advisory). After we choose the prompt, I flip a coin to see who starts the narration.

CM Day In Our Life video

River wanted a ‘warts and all’ approach to this, so I tried to include some of the frustrating parts of our day, and the ordinary mess of our house is probably visible in some shots. But you can’t include everything. There are things missing from the video, like apparently I didn’t film anyone doing their copywork or our memory work. And you missed the bit where my son told me I was ‘so insignificant’ and if he had another mother he would be happy!

I hope some of the fun of the day came through, too, though. I really love this way of living and learning, as we have such a rich education. I feel like I’m giving my kids a large world to explore.

I promised in the video to explain our ‘Riches’ loop. This is the page I used to organise our days last term: Daily Schedule Y2T1 (note: based on AmblesideOnline Year 2 Term 1, but with our Australian substitutions)

It’s based on Kathy’s checklists, except since my kids do almost everything together, I have a loop for our riches rather than having them check them off. I have it in a page protector on the fridge. On the left is the list of readings and riches. Each week I cross off any readings we won’t be doing that week, and add check boxes if I think a reading will need to be split in two. On the right is the plan for the day. Each day I write in the kids’ chores and the books and riches we’ll be doing that day, and make a mark on the riches list (on the left) to keep track of where we are up to.

We do this 4 days per week, taking Thursday off for our local home ed group park day. Or on alternate weeks, when I have a meeting on Friday mornings, we split one day into two and do some before we go to home ed group on Thursday and the rest while we’re at my meeting (well, that’s the theory- actually getting the kids to work in that time has been a challenge).

You may have noticed that handicraft and Shakespeare are missing from the lists. That’s because handicraft has been my husband’s responsibility this term (they’ve been doing Warfare By Duct Tape) and we’ve been doing Shakespeare Tales on Saturday as a family once a month or so.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I hope this is a help to someone and I’m really looking forward to seeing other people’s “CM Open House” videos.

Happy new year!

7 responses »

  1. It was refreshing to see a “real” day, Claire – and such a treat to hear your voice and see your face. Thank you for sharing with us!


  2. This was wonderful! I really enjoyed a glimpse into another AO CM mom’s day. I was thankful to see that it didn’t look much different from my own. Thanks for sharing and being real. You’re doing a great job mama!


  3. I really enjoyed the video Claire . It was simple, peaceful, and beautiful. I loved how you sang in the morning while still laying in bed. That made me smile 🙂


  4. I just watched your video and it was so nice to see a real normal family at school. I have a problem thinking that everything always needs to be perfect and watching your happy day made me realize I need to give my family and myself grace! Thank you so much!!!


  5. I had a smile on my face the whole way through the video. How refreshing. It was such a help to see a Charlotte Mason day in action. Thank you for sharing.


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