Saturday, January 25, 2014
My summer with Charlotte (Mason): The Intro
Meet my new BFF! ;) No, but seriously, since I began reading Charlotte Mason's six volumes on homeschooling a few weeks ago, I have been enthralled, encouraged, and challenged.
I am very grateful to be reading it now, the summer before my daughter begins Kindergarten at home. I have been "playing school" with her since she was probably two years old, and trying to nurture her love for learning. We just completed a (partial) year of Pre-K and are super excited to go forward!
While I was never really intimidated by the thought of homeschooling my own children, I really didn't know how I was going to go about doing it. My tendency in Pre-K was to come up with an over- complicated lesson plan for each week, and just try to get through as much as possible, so I felt like we were accomplishing something. No doubt, my daughter learned something, but Charlotte Mason was just who I needed to tell me to slow down, simplify, and allow my daughter to absorb what she is learning. This is how she will truly love to learn, and indeed, learning should be fun and effortless for a child. They were born to learn! My job is to give her opportunities to learn, to inspire, and to guide her learning.
If you are interested in an introduction to homeschooling and Charlotte's methods, go to www.simplycharlottemason.com and download the free e-book "Getting Started in Homeschooling." I am reading it now, and love the way it starts by giving five different approaches to homeschooling, Charlotte's being the fifth. I was unaware of all of these approaches until I read this. I was basically "winging it" before I discovered Charlotte Mason's writings, and I love her because she fills me with joy, encouragement, and the conviction that I am the best teacher suited for the job of educating my children. Many of her methods were in my mind and heart already, but I couldn't fully express them, and wasn't sure if they would be sufficient. Thankfully, she has given me renewed confidence.
As I read more and more of her writing, I am more and more excited to try her methods! This summer provides our family a unique opportunity, as we are embarking on an eight-week long road trip... Leaving the concrete jungle of Brooklyn, New York, and heading south as far as the panhandle of Florida. We look forward to learning all kinds of things along the way, especially geography and nature study, and no textbooks allowed! :)
Please join me on this journey. I will be continuing this series, and also posting pictures and stories from our adventures on the road. As my children are only ages four and one, your prayers are appreciated as well!