Meet my friend Dachelle and learn about her Charlotte Mason Tidal School!

Charlotte Mason Tidal School

1 – Briefly tell us about you and your family.

My husband and I are the proud parents of 3. My oldest is currently in a dual enrollment program with our community college and will be a Senior next year (I’m kind of freaking out about that). The younger two are 11 and 8-years-old.


2 – How long have you been homeschooling?

We are in our third year of homeschooling. The first year was a little crazy, but last year we started finding our groove, especially when I discovered Julie Bogart and Brave Writer.


3- Tell us about your homeschooling approach.

I’ve always liked Melissa Wiley’s term “Tidal Homeschooling”. We have our ebbs and flows and with those our style changes. For the most part, we are Charlotte Mason with dashes of Classical, Unit Studies and Unschooling thrown in to spice things up. Sometimes this means we are all about reading rich literature, copywork and narration and sometimes we need a workbook to help us on our journey. We tire of the same thing over and over and need to change it up ever so often.


4 – Year-round homeschooling or traditional calendar homeschooling?

Honestly, we’re a bit of both. The kids have lots of family and friends that are public/private schooled, so they like the idea of “getting out of school for the summer”. But, as a homeschool mom, I’ve realized that we need to keep some things going through the long breaks (mainly for my own sanity). We have a light summer schedule in June and July so that we can take bigger breaks during other times of the year.


5 – Tell us about your Charlotte Mason Tidal School routine.

Last year we had a schedule and life became unbearably stressful. So we threw out the schedule and developed a routine. I use some block scheduling and loop scheduling to help keep me from stressing about getting everything done on the checklist. Our typical day looks like this:

Morning Work: Every morning starts with Morning Work. That’s just a little review that I have in their morning folders which helps to get them rolling while I’m still getting prepared for the day (which translates to the non-morning person getting my caffeine fix).

Group Work: We start our official day with Bible and History because we do these subjects together. Then we move on to Morning Basket. This could involve anything from literature and history to math and science.

Individual Work: After Morning Basket we’re ready for individual work. I usually start this by reading from our Brave Writer Arrow or Quiver of Arrows book with one of the children while the other works independently. This gives us some one-on-one time which sometimes gets missed out when homeschooling multiple children. Most of our work is done by around lunch, so we can leave the afternoons free for more project-based learning like art, music, dance, science, cooking, poetry teatime or outside play.

6 – Complete the sentence: Our homeschooling happens mostly at…

Home…specifically the school room, living room and library. But, often we can be found in the kitchen, dining room, bedroom and, when the weather is nice, on the porch. And, at least once a week we are fieldschooling because learning becomes real when it’s first hand.

7 – What have you picked for your curriculum next year?

I pieced together some of our 2015-2016 curriculum myself. Though I enjoyed being able to put together a personalized curriculum, it was A LOT of work. So our tide has shifted, and we are using more purchased curriculum this year. Here is a glimpse of the coming year:
Group Work (3rd & 6th Grades combined):
Bible: Grapevine Studies
History: Notgrass’ Uncle Sam and You for part of the year, Unit Studies on Egypt and Greece for the other part
Writing: Brave Writer’s Partnership Writing
Latin: Song School Latin (This will be our first year, so I’m starting everyone together)
Fine Arts: Loving Learning Freely’s Online Artist Studies
Individual Work (3rd Grade):
Language Arts: The Quiver of Arrows Guides, Grammar Galaxy, Explode the Code, Magic Tree House Unit Studies, Spelling City
Math: Life of Fred, Math U See Gamma
Science: Magic School Bus Science Kits, Kiwi Crate
Fine Arts: Individual Ballet and Art Composition classes
Individual Work (6th Grade):
Language Arts: The Arrow Guides, The Giggly Guide to Grammar, Learning to Spell Through Copywork
Math: Life of Fred, Right Start Math Geometry
Science: Creation or Evolution and Tinker Crate
Fine Arts: Individual Guitar and Art Composition classes

8 – List 3 books about homeschooling that really impacted you.

  • The Unhurried Homeschooler
  • A Gracious Space (pick any or all)
  • The Writer’s Jungle

9 – Your family is going on an unplanned trip, not much time to pack, you must homeschool the kids while traveling and you can only take 5 of your homeschooling resources/books with you. What would you take?

  • iPad and Kindles: This may be cheating because I have my Bible and a ton of other great resources on them
  • Life of Fred: Fred makes us laugh and teaches math all at the same time
  • Our current read-alouds: I’d probably grab the entire Morning Basket
  • Colored pencils: We use these for everything
  • Travel journals: We are always learning, and an unplanned trip sounds like Adventure Schooling

10 – If you had the chance to start homeschooling all over again today with the knowledge and experience you have now, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t have tried to “school at home”. I would have purchased less curriculum and studied my children’s learning styles more carefully before investing time and money. I would have spent more time letting them “deschool” instead of expecting them to jump straight into loving homeschool.