I love, love, love homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method. And I feel like I've just scratched the surface into what that means!
But a CM homeschool can seem...a little stuffy or highfalutin (for my southern friends; that's a southern word, no?)
Littlest "helping" in Circle Time. *swoon*
Even so, a Charlotte Mason education IS attainable for EVERYONE. (Read: if I can do it, you can do it.)
Some things we do in our school week:
- Nature Study
- Composer Study
- Artist Study
- Literature readings
Sounds pretty lofty doesn't it? Let me break it down for you. *does running man dance*
-:- For Shakespeare, we read a couple of paragraphs from Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare (or the Bruce Coville's Shakespeare books -- highly recommend those for 8 and under!). Then I might ask what my kids think of it. The end.
-:- For Composer Study, we listen to classical music by a composer once or twice a week. The end.
-:- For Artist Study we look at a painting by a particular artist once or twice a week. We may talk about what we like and try to describe the painting to each other. The end.
-:- Nature Study? We draw something we see in Nature. A pine-cone. Or a tree. Or a snowflake. Or a caterpillar. The end.
Of course, it's a leetle more complicated than that, but not much! We are just giving our children beautiful things to think about (Mason refers to it as a "feast") and letting them take from them what they will. The mom (or teacher) stays out of the way as much as possible.
Obviously it really helps to know the "Why" behind having your 6 year old listen to classical music in the car on the way to gymnastics. So I highly recommend reading Mason's books if you're interested. (read them HERE for free!)
But you can just start with one thing. It doesn't have to be complicated. Find an artist you like, print a picture and put it where your kids can see it. You don't even have to talk about it, except to say, "Monet painted that. Cool, eh?" Easy peasy.
We do Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic as well. But by offering more than just those things, we hope to grow an awareness of a bigger world than the one we see out our front porch, while appreciating the world we see out our front porch. More importantly, learning, no matter how it's done, is just giving us a glimpse of our Creator.
For the record, we do not sit around with white gloves and hats on, sipping tea and eating crumpets whilst I wax eloquent about The Bard of Avon, dahling.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Ahem.
(have you seen this book, though?)
Quite honestly, if you were a fly on the wall in my house, it would probably look pretty similar to yours. It might be louder though.
We don't just listen to classical music (we love Josh Garrels), we don't sit around and stare at beautiful paintings all day (we watch movies like Big Hero 6), we don't only read great literature. (Tacky, anyone?)
But we do include those things because they are good and beautiful things. And they are a reflection of who God is. :)
This post from My Peace in the Puzzle spurred me to write this post. She's much more eloquent, so go read hers! From her post:
Yes, we do composer study, but again it’s not a bunch of memorizing of dates or places or events. No tests. No quizzes. No worksheets. We spend time just listening to and appreciating the music. This year we are studying medieval history so our composer for this term is Hildegard of Bingen. Now, calm down. Don’t feel dumb if you’ve never heard of her. I hadn’t either.
Of course, every mother chooses what is best for her family. I'm just telling you what we think is best for ours and hopefully, if any of you have thought me Too Big for My Britches for doing a CM homeschool, your thoughts have changed! :)
Read Why We Love Charlotte Mason (or Part 2) HERE.
And here is a sort of Part 3.