Thursday, October 21, 2010

God's Voice - Robinson Curriculum vs. Charlotte Mason

God speaks to me a lot in the morning hours as I am waking up. I am grateful, actually, which is surprising, that occasionally my husband gets up early and go does his farm work (which is largely his form of golfing to him). Once, I was only upset about him getting up early. But, then he didn't lay that down and ask me, but just did it, now he is more and more of a gentleman. And, then I was dealing with insomnia more than now. And having him missing made my insomnia worse. Lately, however, the occasional time in my bed without my husband is a really healthy time when God gives me input into my plans.

One thing God has been speaking to me about is honoring him first in whatever I do. I once put Bible reading as the first thing in our day. With trying to follow a Robinson curriculum pattern this year, I put it off until the end of the day. The idea was to end our day with God's Word...a bedtime ritual if you will. That works for a lot of people. But, our day typically gets pushed further and further and we never even get to reading God's Word. I want to start out reading God's Word to my children first thing.

I've really been into the Robinson idea of having your children teach themselves. I especially wanted to try this during the current year since my baby takes up so much of my time and I found it hard to implement other learning styles. I still believe in the Robinson concept greatly.

I have also over the years worked to implement first a Classical Education and then a Charlotte Mason Education. The Classical Education as laid out in a Well Trained Mind to me was 1) too much to do, 2) too repetitive, 3) too rigid, and 4) took the love out of learning for my children.

On to a Charlotte Mason Education. I must say, I still live by much of what Charlotte wrote. She was a great educator in my book and of course considered herself a classical educator. So much of her philosophy I want to incorporate into my homeschool...twaddle free reading, a love of nature, teaching observation, working on habits, having a wide range of topics, not coddling the child, not bringing the material down the "level of the child", not entertaining the child.

The one topic that I find unhelpful in the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy, I also take inspiration from. That is Charlotte frequently said if a child's interest was waning, to switch topics to a fully different topic...that this keeps their brain engaged and fresh. The burden of this is on the adult. From reading and experiencing Robinson's thought on this, I see the virtue of having the child sustain their attention beyond what is convenient. I particularly like the Math portion of Robinson. The child works two hours a day on their Math, teaches themselves, and finishes Saxon Calculus by the age 16 typically.

So I am praying about a daily schedule of homeschooling that is:

  • challenging
  • teaches the child to be reponsible for themselves
  • can be gotten done in a reasonable amount of time
  • is a rich curriculum
  • creates a love of learning in my children

God has been speaking to me about using Robinson as a guideline, but being flexible and not rigid. Also, I believe He has been speaking to me that reading with my children (especially when they are more challenging works a little above their level and I am not "coddling" them as Charlotte Mason said) creates a bonding time between my children and I.

Happy Teaching everyone. I pray God directs you in your homeschooling adventures in a way that fits you and your family. He is faithful!

1 comment:

Mary @Raising 4 Godly Men said...

How are you doing ? You came to mind today and wanted to check on you. I pray you are doing well. I am finally slowing down now after my 1st ds' wedding and I am getting into a nice hibernation schedule. It is very white outside and we are done with our bible reading and history read outloud. And now settling into book work. Blessings my SSiC. ((hugs))

In Him<><