Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Is A Charlotte Mason Homeschool?

I know I will have to add to this list. But, today I sat and wrote down what a CM style homeschool means to me. I think if I let go of society's expectations and really concentrate on the love of learning that both myself and my children will be better for it. And, Charlotte Mason was one of the most inspirational educators in terms of inspiring a love of real learning that there has been. I struggle some days with my desire to follow a natural learning pattern and want the concreteness of checking off the list from the box of curriculum. But, Charlotte Mason style learning is right for me and my kids. We have such a variety of interests - it just fits. Plus, I've always been a self-learner - a trait I want to pass on to my kids.

What A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Means To Me

  • It means I don't worry so much about my kids doing reports or writing a novel (at least until they are in High School).
  • It means learning about a wide variety of topics that both I and my children are interested in.
  • It means most of our lessons are oral or hands-on and that there is less tangible busy-work to save and show to others.
  • It means I value QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. (In reading, copywork, handicrafts, art, atheletics, music study, nature study, poetry, science experiments, bible study, and math, etc.)
  • It means learning and thinking is a family lifestyle and we talk about things we are learning all the time.
  • It means reading A LOT of high quality (living - rather than dry as bones) books.
  • It means slowing down my life.
  • It means enjoying the natural world.
  • It means allowing my kids to be kids.
  • It means trusting that soaking my children in quality literature and encouraging their love for learning will produce better results in the long run, than drilling and busy-work and sentence diagramming.
  • It means realizing my chidlren will learn to write properly if they read and are read a lot of quality literature and are encouraged to study things on their own.
  • It means realizing the value of handicrafts in my children's education.
  • It means widening my definition of handicrafts to fit our interests. My definition of handicrafts are simply skills done with our hands and our creativity, that would be handy skills to have and that give us and our children a creative and a physical outlet. Some examples of handicrafts include:
    • Photography
    • Sewing
    • Knitting
    • Basket Making
    • Cooking
    • Pottery
    • Carpentry
    • Plumbing
    • Computer Assembly
    • Car Repair
    • Gardening
    • Electrical Work

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