Tag: approach

What Instrument do our children learn first? Ukulele

Homeschool Ideas

Ukulele? Yes. Ukulele. Why?

Here are the five reasons we start with Ukulele:

  1. It is an instrument readily available to purchase at any time online.
  2. It is inexpensive, $20 for a decent Ukulele.
  3. The instrument requires fewer refined motor skills. Very young children (3 years old for example) can comfortably pick it up and be taught how to hold it and play it without their needing to have such refined motor skills as are needed with say the recorder. It is a rhythm instrument.
  4. Music on the first day of lessons! Children can learn to play a strum the first day of lessons that they can sing along with. Since their vocals are already developed, it is only a matter of time before they connect the songs they already love to sing to the notes from the Ukulele. Then, they are making music along with Papa!
  5. The musical skills learned with Ukulele are easily transferred to other instruments they wish to learn later.

What Catholic Homeschooling Approach Do We Use?

Homeschool Ideas
Catholic Homeschooling by Mary K. Clark

In general, you will find that we include elements of Montessori, the Classical Approach, and Charlotte Mason. Now that I have had four children and some experience homeschooling, I am beginning to fall in love with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, which I find to be classical in the ideal sense. This post is to offer reading suggestions on finding what works for you based on what we have loved.
After you decide to homeschool, I think a great second step is to read what is out there. What approaches exist for home education? What curricula exist? What am I ready to do myself, and with what should I recruit help? This is the list of books that I found most helpful when I was at this phase, and I list them here first for my records, but also as a help to others now researching.

  1. A Charlotte Mason Companion Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola
  2. Catholic Homeschooling by Mary K. Clark
  3. Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist
  4. Home Education by Charlotte Mason
  5. Raising a Bilingual Child by Barbara Pearson
  6. Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-school Years by Elizabeth Hainstock
  7. The Child in the Church by Maria Montessori
  8. The Year and Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season by Mary Reed Newland
  9. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jesse Wise.
  10. When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today by Elaine Cooper
TIP: Do not wait until your first child is 5 to start researching homeschooling curricula. Go ahead and get started by reading books from your library, looking at curriculum providers on the internet, and talking with mothers who have been there and done that. My oldest was one when I started collecting materials, and by the time she was ready for Kindergarten I did not need to panic.