On Monday we started our new school year. The summer days have been getting too long and boring for the kids. We needed to do something, so why not start school! This year we are doing something completely different. I'm scheduling the kids' year using Ambleside Online. This is an amazing resource. It is a full, free curriculum based on Charlotte Mason's method of teaching. We are discovering all kinds of wonderful books.
I've also discovered another wonderful resource: LibriVox. It is a collection of free online audio books. The goal of LibriVox is to make all public domain books available as audio books. This has been a great time saver for me. Our curriculum this year is heavy with literature. Much of it would take my oldest son a very, very long time to read on his own. He depends on me to read aloud most of the stories. A couple of the books we are using can be found at LibriVox: Our Island Story (the history of England) and the Burgess Animal Book for Children (an introduction to different animals and their habits through stories).
Another great tool is the CM Organizer found at Simply Charlotte Mason. It allows me to schedule materials for each child and will even print out a report for any time frame I choose in order to keep track of the material we have covered. Great for showing my husband so he can keep up with what the kids are studying. Unfortunately, this resource is not free. I started a 30-day free trial and I'm sure I will keep the subscription. It has been very useful in my planning and record keeping. Now if it could only pay my bills and organize my cupboards.