Only taking Paypal right now

I apologize for the inconvenience. I had to take off our new sales page for a short time, due to problems with the purchase option for Paypal. My service is only accepting payments through the paypal system only, no credit cards outside of Paypal. If you would like to purchase the Insect ebook, you should be able to do so through Paypal; I have contacted my service to fix this problem and they are working on a solution. If you have a problem or question, please let me know by comment or email me at Thank you again to those who brought this to my attention and for your patience. Enjoy your Insect study!

A Super Summer Special Sale!

It’s my 21st anniversary today! And to celebrate and remind myself – yes, it really is summer somewhere  (just not where I am), I am having a Special Summer Sale on my Insects – A Unit Study using Charlotte Mason Methods and More ebook! I am doing my best to finish my next one – Nature Study, Nature Journaling, and Poetry – but life has gotten in the way these past two months. (So for all those who signed up for my newsletter and have entered for the drawing of a free copy, I apologize for the delay – I haven’t forgotten. It’s coming soon!)

Anyone, who hasn’t entered yet for the chance to win a free copy of Nature Study, Nature Journaling, and Poetry, you still have time due to my overscheduled life these past two months! Just sign up for Katie’s Homeschool Cottage Newsletter !

Now, for the Sale! For a limited time, maybe until I start seeing signs of summer in the Northeast, you can purchase Insects: A Unit Study using the Charlotte Mason Method and More for 9.95. (I think you have at least a week or two, maybe more. We have had nothing but rain and have been barely into the 70’s most days.)

Here is what you get in this 82 page unit with suggestions for preschool through high school:

  • Lists of Living Book suggestions that can be found free online,(these are the ones I have used in my lesson plans I have done for you), the library, or purchased through an online store like Amazon.   In these economically challenging times, I have tried to make this a complete unit study where you do not have to purchase anything else unless you want to –  all of the materials can be found for free.
  • These Living Book titles include Charlotte Mason style literature, quality non-fiction resources, poetry selections and anthologies, and activity books. A brief description is also included for each title with a suggested age range.
  • 4 Weeks of daily lesson plans for you to follow (does not include math and history and is not a complete English course)
  • Each day contains A Reading Selection from Charlotte Mason style literature from which your child can orally narrate and write down on the provided notebooking pages. There are even sections in the unit that give you direction and suggestions on how to use Ms. Mason’s methods with the lesson plan for your younger, middle, and upper children.
  • Each daily lesson plan is divided into two separate plans, one for elementary and one for middle and high school that overlap in places for group activities. You can pick and choose what you want each of your children to do individually or as a whole family. I have just given you options to choose from to allow older children to explore and learn independently at times when it is most suitable. This gives you the time to sit and read with the younger children, while the older children are going into the subject matter in a greater depth, but still allowing everyone to work and learn together at times.
  • 22 Copywork selections are provided, consisting of  more simple ones for the younger children and longer and more complex ones for the older children – paragraphs from suggested living book titles and poetry.
  • 16 different notebooking pages – all different, some labeled and decorated, some unlabeled, some specifically for taking on a nature walk to document your day.
  • Lists of online resources and links to online activities, movie clips, activity ideas, manipulatives, insect flash cards from simple to entomological classification, cute preschool crafts and more hands-on crafts for the older children, quality on-line resource information in a fun format and also technical information for the older children including how insects affect their daily lives and our agriculture, science, and medicine.
  • Lists of Hands-on activity suggestions for you to do with simple materials with your children in a science experiment format, just have fun applying what we know format, full lapbooks, or get outdoors and explore. You’ll be amazed at what you can find yourself doing and enjoying bugs!
  • Each piece of copywork for that week’s lesson comes with a daily focus skill on either a grammar application for them to take notice while doing their copywork, vocabulary or spelling word review, or a literary element discussion, or a combination of these. You will be so happy to see your child recognizing these skills in good writing as they copy these pieces everyday in preparation for dictation at the end of the week.
  • There is a suggested activity to do after the reading, narrating, and copywork is completed. You can choose to do the activity or skip it if you don’t have time, save it for another day for another activity you wish to skip, or replace it with a whole new one from our Activity Suggestions list.
  • At the end of the week there is a nature study type activity, most outside, some inside in case the weather does not want to cooperate. You’ll find yourself virtually dissecting an insect or skimming a pond and examining insects before they morph into something that looks like a totally different bug. Nature Journal pages are provided to take with you on some of your outings for a more relaxed and exploratory experience.
  • We have provided the opportunity to include a short poetry study in this unit. From reading some aloud or examining some literary elements in poetry to learning how to write a specific form of poetry and combining it with an art project.
  • There are a few writing suggestions included in the lesson plans to practice writing a fable based on the insect theme, and modeling and writing a personal narrative.

This unit study is designed to allow you to use the daily lesson plans as they are, use some parts and not others, move parts around if you want, or exchange pieces that are in the plan with other ideas you like from the lists provided for you. It’s that EASY. You get to customize your plans to fit your child’s needs.

AND, there is so much here, you can keep going after 4 weeks or you can use this unit year after year and still not use everything in this unit. I have given you two different kinds of blank lesson planning forms to use so you can make your own plans in the way feel most comfortable.

There are suggestions and directions to guide you in using Charlotte Mason’s methods in your homeschool and how to use those methods when studying Insects with this unit study.

I hope you will enjoy the time spent together with these quality readings and activities with your family and really digging into homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Way without the worries and stress of pulling materials together!

If you have any questions, please email me at and I will be glad to answer them. If you have any topics you would like to see developed, email that to me too! I’m always looking for ideas!

Order your Insects: A Unit Study using the Charlotte Mason Method and More now before the Insect season is over!

We are offering this unit at a special introductory price of $9.95, normally offered at $14.95!

Click on the Add to cart link below the ebook picture and you will be taken to paypal to complete your purchase. Then you will have directions to automatically download your item.

Insects: A Unit Study using the Charlotte Mason Method and More

Insects: A Unit Study using the Charlotte Mason Method and More

 Now on Sale for Limited Time – $9.95!

Add to Cart
(Only able to accept payments through Paypal right now)

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Remember, we have links to the Free Online Libraries on our website under Free Online Books and we have our own Unit Study Resource Store where you can browse the titles suggested in the unit’s Living Books list to look at their descriptions or to purchase. Just look for them under the heading Insect Unit Study and click to open that store. Thank you! We really appreciate your business! Please let us know what you think! We want to know! 

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TOS Schoolhouse Planner

     Looking for a way to organize your homeschool for the new school year? How about your materials? Your home and budget? Yourself? Have I got a solution for you! My first TOS Homeschool Crew review discusses the many things the Schoolhouse Planner can do for you. The new 2009-2010 planner is available now at the TOS Magazine’s Schoolhouse Store.


     This planner, in e-book form, sells for $39.00 and supplies you with forms you can use endless times for every part of your homeschooling and home organization.

     This e-book can be printed off or you can enter your information and save it in the document. This feature is so easy to use. The cursor lines up on all the forms and tables perfectly, and you can tab from section to section, and click inside check boxes to enter a check where you want it . I loved playing with it.

     Now, about all the forms you receive – there is everything you need to plan all aspects of your homeschool, organize your materials, and your home life. You receive all kinds of calendars and planning forms for the year, month, and day. I even found one that I had been looking for that allows me to plan for the week with space for my two sons and up to seven subjects with plenty of room to write.

     During your school year, there are logs and records to compile lists of materials used, books read, fieldtrips taken and activities the children enjoyed. As your children progress through their school work, you can make notes on various reports, evaluation sheets, and transcripts.

     But homeschool forms are only half of what you get with this planner. Along with tons of recipes, you are going to love the monthly topics presented in summary and fact sheets. These topics range from the thirteen colonies to the weather to getting into college to name just a few. Each one has fact sheets that go with each topic. In addition to these fact sheets, there are many more. These range from various famous groups of people to countries, states, and their capitals to the periodic table. There is a load of information here, handy to use. I plan on printing these out and having my boys add these to their notebooks for our different subjects for handy reference.

     Lastly, as a homeschooling mom, I know I need as much help as possible organizing my home life as well. This planner supplies all sorts of forms to help you organize schedules, housekeeping, contact information, and budgeting. There are even chore charts that include pictures for your little ones to use. I love these and wish I had them when my guys were little. I ended up making my own. Now, you don’t have to.

     Check out the 2009-2010 Schoolhouse Planner for yourself. There are pictures of various forms for your review. I know you’ll love it as much as I do. I can’t wait to start planning my new year!

Homeschool Blog Carnivals

Check out these blogs for the new entries for the Carnival of Homeschooling at Principaled Discovery and the Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Carnival at Barefoot Voyage. There are alot of links to many homeschooling blogs with interesting articles about homeschooling in general and homeschooling using Charlotte Mason methods. It’s a smorgasbord to be savored over time! I’m sure you’ll find something you can use and will enjoy.

Using Dictation

Using dictation goes hand in hand with the use of copywork in our house. We use copywork and dictation differently than posted on other Charlotte Mason websites and blogs. We study the same piece of copywork everyday for four days, focusing on different spelling and vocabulary words, literary devices, capitalization, punctuation, and various sentence structures. For more details about how we use copywork, please see the article entitled “Using Copywork.”

After studying a piece of copywork all week, at the end of the week, we use that piece as our dictation piece. As I read the selection phrase by phrase (only once), my children will write it down on a piece of notebooking paper. We then correct it together, as they read it aloud to me and mark whatever they find wrong, with some subtle hints from me. This allows me to determine how well they are grasping the grammatical and spelling skills we have reviewed during the week. Errors are reviewed and explained and those sentences will be used again.

My older child who is more language oriented can work with longer and more complex pieces, rarely making mistakes. While my younger one whose talent lies more in mathematics benefits from this use of copywork and dictation with its additional reinforcement.

The following links have various methods in which to use dictation and copywork and dictation sources:

After you read these articles, you will see dictation can be used in a variety of ways that best suits you and your children. We also use different sources for copywork and dictation depending on what we are studying at the time. If we are not reading a book to go along with our history or science studies, we take the time to copy Bible passages, poems, classic literary works, or the boys pick passages from their favorite books. We look for interesting sentences that have new elements and written conventions and spelling words to learn. We then try those conventions in our own writing to make them our own after copying it and taking it down in dictation.

My boys have then made connections between this process when recognizing these writing techniques in pieces of literature and in their own writing. It’s wonderful when all the pieces come together for your children! I hope these methods will help your children make their own connections and enjoy reading and writing interesting sentences as much as we do.

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Using Copywork

If you have read my previous articles, you know that  I use some Charlotte Mason’s methods in a variety of ways. Some methods I follow exactly as Ms. Mason would have used them with her students; others, I have customized to suit my teaching style and my and my children’s needs.

Some Charlotte Mason followers advocate that copywork should be used only as handwriting practice and nothing more, while others state it can be used as copywork and a source of spelling practice. Ms. Mason wrote that copywork can be used as a careful “transcription” for handwriting practice using only the best handwriting, attention to detail, and short passages. She also states that the child should note a few spelling words to observe closely, close the eyes to see the word, and then write the word from memory. Allowing the child to pick his own favorite passages from assorted sources makes it a more meaningful exercise; and, when written in a personal journal, the child has a book of favorite selections as a keepsake.

I allow my children to select passages I’ve printed out and put into a folder, or select a book they are reading or have read, or choose a book that corresponds to the topics we are discussing from a few choices on our reading list. They can then choose a notebooking page they can copy on from another folder, where I have placed copies of notebooking pages with various theme borders or pictures.

When they have selected their passage, I point out to them any words I think might be challenging to spell, any capitalization and punctuation details, and a grammar concept, literary device, or special sentence structure used in the sentence. This piece of copywork will be used for the first four days of that week, so I will divide the items I want to discuss over those days of the week, and then use the copywork piece for dictation on the fifth day.  I look over the copywork and have my child read it to me aloud word by word so he will be editing his own work. He will usually catch his own mistakes and correct them this way. This forces my children to gain attention to detail and the corrections they make will remain in their memories so that next time they write the passage, that correction is still set in their minds.

I like to use examples of good writing and point out what makes the piece good writing, so that my child understands what he sees as he writes. That way later, when we are writing our narrations and we discuss what makes their writing good or better, we can refer to what he has learned in our discussions of copywork.

I know some homeschoolers using Charlotte Mason might be jumping up and down right now with their arms waving and saying “but you don’t have to point all of this out to the child, he will pick it up as he continues to copy down good literature.” And others maybe  saying, “I’ve never heard of copying the same piece everyday or using it for the dictation piece at the end of the week.” This procedure is what my family follows because it is what has worked best with my teaching style and my children’s learning styles. They continue making connections between what writing elements have been used in their copywork with other pieces of literature they are reading or later copywork that comes along. I guess I must feel the need for a little bit more structure to the copywork than letting my child pick this up more intrinsically.

Whatever way you use copywork, it is well worth the time spent for a number of reasons: developing handwriting skills, spelling skills, and copying good writing, which could be a precursor to emulating good writing as you use good literature as your model to follow when writing your own piece.

Find the best way copywork works for your family and have fun with it. Use a variety of pieces your children find interesting; write on fun notebooking pages and decorate them; and put together a neat looking notebook at the end of the year.

Here are some resources to use for copywork pieces:

Have fun with your copywork and creating books of your own!

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