Drill Scope and Sequence

Drill Exercises, Folk Dancing and Games (Musical and Athletic)

The chart below shows the Scope and Sequence from the programs for “Drill, Dancing and Games” while Mason was still living. The information primarily comes from the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection which can be searched through World Cat.

The chart shows all the different forms or grade levels. It seems to me that during Drill time, which was 3 – 6 times per week for 20-30 minutes depending on the Form (see the Scheduling your Lessons page for an in depth timetable description), that the Pilates type exercises and dances or musical games were always done. Either they would use the 30 minutes to work through multiple different shorter lessons, such as 10 minutes of Drill, 10 minutes of Dancing, 10 minutes of games,  or they might have rotated from day to day between these books and activities. Whatever the case, a majority of this “Drill” time included musical movement activities. The game books are primarliy musical, the Dancing is obviously musical and the Drill was sometimes done with music.

It doesn’t seem that all the Drill from the Syllabus of Physical Exercise would have been done to music, but every form lists a piano accompaniment book that says it either should be or may be used for Drill. We really aren’t totally sure how these piano books were used.  I am still researching to try and understand the ways the accompaniment books were utilized. I ordered them from England and now have them in my possession.  I hope to have them recorded over the summer and by next fall have them available for a small fee so families can use them for their Drill, Dancing and Games time!

Below the chart are links to the Public Domain books I have found.

Drill Forms Drill Dancing Games Other
Form 1 Syllabus of Physical Exercises (4-6 Tables), Marching Done to Music, House of Educ. Drills Joyous Book of Singing Games or Rhythmic Games and Dances (Eurhythmics)

With British Marches for Schools  by Martin Shaw  (piano score)

Skipping (Jump rope) Possibly to music
Form 2-4 Syllabus of Physical Exercises and

Ball Games and Breathing Exercises by Alice James,

Music for Mrs. Wordsworth’s Classes (piano)

Peasant Dances and Songs of Many Lands Hockey (in season) Longball, netball, sometimes swimming, tennis, and cricket are also mentioned (offered as team classes in the PR for afternoons) Skipping rope, Possibly Indian Clubs and other gymnastics
Form 5/6 Syllabus of Physical Exercises, Manual Of Free Standing Movements 6 Country Dances (The English Country Dance) Hockey, Lacrosse, etc.


Linked Here are many of the books from the 1920’s ( and some 30’s) P.N.E.U. Programmes that are in the Public Domain at this time:

Form 1: 

  • Syllabus of Physical Exercises (4-6 Tables per term from this book were used) This Drill book says “In these Infant classes (Children 7 and Under) music should be used as far as possible ; the exercises are more easily performed to a definite rhythm, the fatigue is consequently diminished and the enjoyment greatly increased.” At the back of the book, there is also a section to help exercises be modified for children under 7. Mason suggests teachers should read it.  Pages 161-163.  So it seems Mason used music with Drill at least in Form 1b ( 1st grade) if not in all of form 1.
  • Joyous Book Of Singing Games Singing and Dancing for young Children
  • Rhythm Games and Dances (this book is based on Delcroze Erythmics)
  • British Marches for Schools  book is a Piano Accompaniment Book to be played live while children do their Drill and Marching exercises along with it. They may have used it to skip or jump rope to the beat as well.

Forms 2-4: 

  • Syllabus of Physical Exercises (4-6 tables per term) Same book as form one.  So Mason just sequentially worked through this book as the years went on.
  • Peasant  Dances and Songs of Many Lands
  • Ball Games and Breathing Exercises is a book that uses small hand balls and Pilates type moves and lunges similar to the Drill book.  The Ball games aren’t for multiple children to play together, they are for individual children to do to gain self-control and attention. they can be done by a family with only 1 child easily.  They are to be done with Waltz Music.  We hope to publish video lessons that accompany this book in the coming year, since the book had been out of print for many years and is hard to find.
  • Music for Mrs. Wordsworth’s Classes is a piano accompaniment book that is suggested for use with drill in these forms. We also hope to record this piano book and make it available in the coming year to use with your drill exercises.
  • Skipping seems to mean Skipping rope
  • Games like Lacrosse, Hockey, tennis, swimming, netball and longball etc. were sometimes included in form 2 and 3 (grades 4-8th, depending on the year or term) and always were in form 4 and up (9th -12 grade). Based on the PR articles, it seems that these were done in a similar way we do now with afternoon teams. One PR article talked about the Hockey team meeting at 4:00 pm. So it seems that this was extra-curricular, but still suggested in the Programmes. Maybe this was done so children learned how to play a variety of team sports.  The significant difference I see, is that a new sport was suggested every term.  This would result in a much more well rounded athlete than our modern situation where a child plays soccer only for 12 years.   While Mason was alive, usually just forms 3 and up included team sports and the only one mentioned that I have seen is hockey.

Forms 5-6: