If you even dare to whisper a breath in Charlotte Mason homeschooling circles, you’ll run up against six or seven different words or concepts repeatedly. Narration. Nature study. Born person. Living books. Mother culture. Many more that can almost make it seem like a foreign language. But today, I’m going to share very briefly about what I have planned for our “riches” this year.
“Riches” I interpret to mean the topics of study that are usually viewed as optional but add so much to a child’s depth of understanding of beauty, truth, and goodness. Namely, poetry, art, folk songs, hymns, theatre/drama, some literature and music or composer study(at least in our home.) These studies don’t take up a lot of time, so oftentimes they can be forgotten and do take a little intentionality.
Typically, in a more modern curriculum for a Charlotte Mason homeschool, there will be three artists and composers studied over 32 weeks. However, since we school year-round, and since our kids are constantly immersed in art, music, and poetry, I felt more comfortable studying a few “extra” artists and composers this year.
The kids each have individual courses of poetry “study,” at different levels, and we will be doing those separately but sharing about them at our gathering time perhaps once a week. Our artists and composers will be studied in our Behold time.
I’ve linked below any resources I plan to use, although in some cases I’m creating my own.
Juan de Pareja to go along with I, Juan de Pareja: The Story of a Great Painter and the Slave He Helped Become a Great Artist
Emily Dickinson, (a lovely picture book illustrated by Barbara Cooney) (Here is a new picture book that I haven’t seen, but it’s by Jane Yolen, whom I generally trust when it comes to beauty and children’s literature.)
as well as a bunch of poetry themed on nature and seasons
and our general family poetry readings.
I organize these in playlists with our folk songs and hymns we study on Spotify. I haven’t got those lists completed yet, but hopefully, I’ll come back here soon and update these to add links.
Wagner (Opal Wheeler book)
Chevalier de Saint-George
Handel (Opal Wheeler book)
Hildegard of Bingen
I also have some other resources that are more general topical studies that feature many different composers. I’ll use those if the kids are interested, but they tend to just flip through them on a whim.
La Vie En Rose
The Ash Grove
The Log Driver’s Waltz
I’ll Tell Me Ma
Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (and many from this book)
I Sing the Mighty Power of God
Revive Us Again
I Know Whom I Have Believed
I Will Sing Of My Redeemer
Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed? (At the Cross)
There is a Fountain
God of Our Fathers
Come Thou Almighty King
You’ll note that while some of the artists or composers are more typically studied, I have also intentionally chosen to represent females or people groups who have been marginalized. I want my kids to hear and see the exceptional pieces of artwork from a variety of perspectives, not just those that I grew up seeing and hearing.
During our Behold Time (where we store most of our “riches”), we also do family catechism or devotions. We typically will be memorizing a verse or prayer together as a family as well.
As my kids are in different forms (1-3 grade and then my oldest is in 5 grade in a higher “form”), we will be doing the younger kids’ Shakespeare during this time and some Christian hero tales. However, my oldest’s Shakespeare will be with me individually as well as his hero tales (Plutarch) due to the complexity of the literature.
There you have it— a basic overview of our “riches” for the coming year.