Jul 23, 2016

The Road Less Traveled

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There are many approaches to homeschool.

There are even many ways to homeschool using the Charlotte Mason method.

It is my understanding that most sane Charlotte Mason-ish moms use prepared curriculum outlines like they have at Ambleside Online.

Or they use the beautifully organized planner at Simply Charlotte Mason.

But me?

Let me just put it this way: I am incapable of doing ANYTHING the "easy" way.

It is just not in the fabric of my being to do so.

I am the queen of customizing EVERYTHING.

I tweak things, I adapt things, and I mess with things until they are unrecognizable from where they began.

Maybe it's the stubborn, bratty little girl inside me, but I simply can't leave well enough alone.

So, guess what? I have been creating our homeschool plan all summer, and I'm STILL planning.


I could not leave well enough alone, and am in the throes of making The Simple-- well, Difficult.

You can always count on me!!!

What the heck is my problem?

Here are my issues with following the simple and straightforward:
  1. The resources at Ambleside Online are really mostly amazing, and I know that many women have put countless hours into organizing everything-- especially for the younger grades.

    That being said, there are also many things that I just can't assign to my kids. Being LDS (Mormon) and doing all I can to raise my children in my faith, I cannot in good conscience read anti-Mormon books to my little ones.

    Now, I could skip those passages that specifically refer to my faith, but if that is the viewpoint of the author, my trust in the resource is gone.

  2. Another thing: most of the books recommended in the upper grades are all about Christian missionaries and are not the classical resources I was really hoping my kids would learn. While the younger grades all have rigorous academic work and books, the upper grades seem totally devoted to reinforcing Christian beliefs, and leave academics to the past.

    I have NOTHING against strengthening the faith and beliefs of my children. Goodness knows how much my youth need it! But as LDS members, we already have so many resources available to us as members for teaching and reinforcing our beliefs, that I already have it covered.

    I need a list of the classics and great works of ancient and modern thinkers which will challenge and enrich all the great things that my kids learned in the earlier years. And I have not yet been able to find the list of books that fits what I want my teens to leave our homeschool knowing.

  3. I have MANY children. I refuse to plan for each one, grade by grade.

    That's crazy talk, right there.

    If I were to plan according to grade, I would run stark mad from my house to register them all in Montessori or other charter schools tomorrow.

    I know my limits, and I will be COMBINING all the lessons I can, thank you very much. Interestingly enough, I will be following dear Charlotte's example by splitting my kids into three lovely, manageable levels. She called them Form 1, Form 2, and Form 3. I have my own names for them, but I will share those in a future post. ;-)

  4. There are many, many resources out there, I know. My choices are not limited to those I have listed above. Frankly, I guess I must have "trust issues." I just want some things very specific for my kids.

    That, and I have OCD. Oh, so much OCD...

Adventure Is Out There!

So, what am I doing, then?

I'm so glad you asked!

I am starting from almost-scratch.

I am taking the things that worked for us last year, and I am adding to it. I'm tweaking it. Messing with it. Jumbling it up, and throwing out the things I don't like. I'm adding the things I miss and some new things I always wanted to try.

I am stepping onto the "road less traveled," and it gives me a little tingly thrill of excitement to imagine the adventure ahead of me!

I thought you might like to join me, so I plan to blog weekly to share a bit of what I'm doing.

In the end, I plan to make everything available here on this website. Heck, it might all turn into a book, if I get my act together.

Thank you for sharing in the journey with me!

Ambitiously yours,

Mama Rachel


  1. Oh Woman!! For being so different, we are so much alike. Why oh why, can't I just be satisfied with the beautiful plans out there??!??! As for me, I'll probably have to tell you my final plan for this year sometime next summer when I figure out what I did. <3

    1. LOL! Yes, I am for sure planning as I go, but I have a pretty good picture overview in my head that I'm HOPING with work. I really liked how things worked for us last year, so I am adding a bit more specific planning this year. We can wish each other "Good Luck," right? ;-)

  2. I wiSH I had time to plan. Planning is actually my favorite. :) I just still plod on with Robinsoj Curriculum. No planning. Just going forward every day until they graduate. :)

    1. I love planning, too. It's probably the gene that makes us love offic supplies, too, right? :-D

      I think you are so wise to keep going and I love that you have found something that fits your family so well. {Hugs}

      (Have fun this week in the happiest place on earth!!! ♥ )

  3. Rachel have you seen heritage history? It is a little known resource-she no longer markets it. We found it and use it at monarchwrbwork.com but you don't need us for it. It is a cm friendly list of classics in those upper grades that you need and it isn't just Christian missionaries (at all). It is divided by time period, searchable and for your membership $10? As I recall you get ALL the books she has formatted and a way for your kids to quiz themselves if you want and to mark off their reading too. It's pretty impressive. The maker is a computer programmer �� I am not affiliated with her just wanted to tell you about it. I look forward to your posts. I am struggling with homeschool. My kids don't want to be at home. They want friends and a place to go and I am worn down by life circumstances beyond just homeschooling. Thanks for your inspiration. ��

    1. I have not seen it! It sounds like I need to look into it. :-)

      I know what you mean about being worn down by life. I feel like I'm finally coming out of a fog that I've been in for the last couple of years. I think there are just times when we have to simply put one foot in front of the other.

      Have you connected with iFamily up there? I know how it is when the kids need connections with friends. ♥ Let me know if you want me to connect you with some IF peeps. ♥

  4. I have used the Ambleside reading lists extensively. What has anti-Mormon sentiments? I would love to avoid those too!

    1. One anti-Mormon part is found in chapter 81 of "This Country of Ours." :-( That makes me so sad!

      It's not just the anti-Mormon stuff that bothers me about AO. When I have tried to interact on their forums on FB groups, they are very stringent on not deviating from their interpretation of Charlotte Mason. I just can't seem to fit into their AO-shaped box! ;-) (Though I did try.)

  5. Check out milestonesacademy.com. It is a free Charlotte Mason preK-high school curriculum for the LDS family.

    You'll probably still need to tweak it, but not as much as ambleside.

    1. Thank you! I do like a lot of her suggestions, and I'm sure I will use many of them. As a visual learner I just wish her lists were more organized.

      Thanks again! :-)


Be nice, kids!