The One-Day Program is called The Fairfield Program and it fits with any basic curriculum you might choose for the other school days at home.
The Fairfield Program meets Friday mornings at 9:30 to 1:30 from October to March.
The Topics for The Fairfield Program include those things it is often difficult to schedule in to a typical home program, but are nonetheless extremely valuable, often more so in a group setting: Composer, Picture Study, Nature Study, Natural History, Drawing, Math Lab, Shakespeare, Folksongs, and Lab Science.
Our Orientation Program, two mornings at the end of September, will provide the basic instructions you will need to include these Topics in your home program, Charlotte Mason style. A description of each Topic is listed here:
- Natural History provides an opportunity to hear about a creature’s common behaviors and habitat. Narration skills will be developed during this time, as well.
- Drawing will allow the student to sketch out creatures he encounters whether or not he has been gifted with an artist’s talents. Everyone can draw. Instruction and interest are the keys to this skill.
- Math Lab is a segment for hands-on mathematics skills. We weigh, we measure, we compare, we compute, we convert, we pour, we get our hands dirty in the real-life world of God’s gift of order and objectivity.
- Shakespeare is a chance to provide an accessible way for young students to experience this literature by way of Charles and Mary Lamb’s beautifully-worded (and child-friendly) narratives. These narratives give wonderful introduction to a timeless treasure.
- Picture Study is the way we study the Great Artists’ work. It is a specific and particular method of allowing the Artist to speak directly to the student. Students gather these images in their heads as a permanent and transportable “art gallery” which they can conjure up in any moment they please. Students attach themselves — and distance themselves — from Great Artists in a very individual way, reminding us how God created each of us uniquely different from the moment we are conceived. Students’ comments are amazingly insightful — even at the youngest ages. It is quite an extraordinary thing to witness.
- Nature Study allows students to spend six weeks to three months focusing on just one of the wonders of God’s creation. He sits quietly and observes. If he is too anxious, the subject will disappear! He needs every ounce of his developing Attention Skills and Self-Control Skills to be still and just watch. The caterpillar moves. He eats a leaf. It takes time. Sketching the caterpillar requires looking at every detail of his movement and every shade of color he displays. If you go to the Zoo and sit for three hours watching only monkeys, you will KNOW monkeys! How sad to flit from exhibit to exhibit and amuse the interest, but never really KNOW anything. Charlotte Mason students are taught to “be still and see.” Stillness. What a modern phenomenon!
- Composer is an opportunity for students to hear the music and absorb the piece directly from the composer. He speaks to the students directly. The Presenter gets out of the way.
- Literature (in The Fairfield Program) studies two enduring collections: the younger students hear Aesop’s Fables and the older students hear Bulfinch’s Age of Fable (Mythology).
- Folksongs are a sovereign nation’s culture and identity. What American does not know the words to “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” or “Battle Hymn of the Republic”? America’s Folksongs are featured, but so are the folksongs of other countries. The children especially love these songs. They are easy to sing and memorize. They sing them while playing, drawing, riding in the car, and building legos. A simple melody and a profound message transcend generations in any language.
- Lab Science is a modern addition in the style of the Charlotte Mason method. Seaside Cottage School uses Apologia science curricula to expose the children to a natural way to learn of God’s creation from a Biblical point-of-view. The chapters are easy-to-read in a story-type narrative. The lab experiments are interesting and relevant. Seaside provides the Journal which accompanies the Text so the family can expand each lesson, if they are so inclined.
- Tea Time is a unique feature of Seaside Cottage School. This mid-morning snack is composed of rice crackers, cheddar cheese, tea, and fruit. The students sit in the historic Fellowship Hall and use real plates, tea cups, saucers, linen, and silverware. Students learn table manners and how to behave like gentlemen and young ladies while eating. This is one of the students’ favorite times of the day. They take turns serving and they take turns bussing the tables.
“We should not plan his life for him, so that he is being prepared for some great purpose — even if the purpose we intend is a worthy one in our eyes….” — Charlotte Mason