I have been thinking over our plans for next year for some time now. I was all set to use Ambleside Online's House of Education reading list for the next three years (Y9-11). I have most of these books on my shelf (a bonus) and could easily continue on using this program. I love Charlotte Mason's method for teaching great books and have been blessed to see great benefit from using it consistently in our home school. However, CM is an intense literature/reading based History curriculum. Students in PNEU or modern day CM home schools read A LOT of books. Textbooks are not used unless absolutely necessary and students spend a great deal of time reading and learning directly from the best authors. It is a great approach and I think one that prepares the student very well for college life.
We have enjoyed reading AO and have learned a lot from the books they suggest reading. My son has matured nicely and has developed a keen interest in worldviews and also in sharing his faith. I don't credit this to CM really, though I do believe the process of reading and letting the author's speak, has made some very difficult books more accessible to him. He has read some fairly "meaty" books and has been able to understand and process them. CM has been a good fit to us.
The Road Less Taken
So here we are on the start of our second year of high school and we are considering another path. We will probably always use CM, but we are now looking much more intently on choosing "the best curriculum" rather than simply a good one. This is not to say that CM isn't the best, because IMHO, it is one of the best ways to learn at home. It is more that we are looking towards the future and deciding on the "best" curriculum for our son. There is a big difference between using a good, all-around, curriculum and finding or creating a "customized" fit. The Lord has been strongly leading me to broaden my approach to teaching my son and to consider not only the near future (checking off the required subjects), but to prepare him to do His work. I have always known that God had a special plan for my son and have always been very keen on finding it out. I do not know the specifics, I just know that God does have a desire as to what my son studies and learns each year. I think we have hit the turning point and up to now, I had a bit more leeway in choosing what we were to do. Now, I feel more compelled to do exactly what He wants me to do and that will mean doing it His way, and not my way or the way a college may suggest.
Bible, History and Literature (3 credits)
Diana Waring, History Alive! - Ancient Civilizations
Some extra books from my own "great books" list
Writing - essays
Logic (1 credit)
Traditional Logic I and II by Martin Cothran
Foreign Language (1 credit)
Athenase Greek, Book 1
Science w/lab (1 credit)
Chemistry, A Beka
P.E. (1/2 credit)
Physical fitness and lifestyle wellness
Various activities, aerobics and other sports
Art/Music (1 credit)
LifePac Art, Alpha Omega
Music lessons, performance, and Hymn study
Amazing Grace by Kenneth Osbeck