Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Charlotte Mason

So the day we decided to homeschool, there "just happened" to be a meeting that night where a panel of moms was going to be sharing about the different ways they teach at home.  We went and I immediately loved the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.

It is very heavily influenced by submerging your children in reading good literature.  The lessons are short and gentle.  Every day the boys do a simple math, writing, spelling and reading lesson.  The pace is laid back, most can be done on the couch and plenty of time is allotted to play and explore outside.

That said, we turned to the Abeka Academy DVD curriculum for our first two years at home.  I was so unsure of myself.  If you'll remember, I am the girl who majored in lunch and minored in passing notes.

Last year we jumped ship and entered the world of Charlotte Mason.  It was a sweet year.  We were all so happy with (most) of our days.

This year, little baby has thrown me a curveball.  I have been in bed sick for going on three weeks.  Just feeling miserable and not talking at all because it makes me sick.  The idea of schooling the boys has made me sick at my stomach because it seems like an impossible task.

There are a couple of things that bring me comfort as we move ahead.  The first is that I believe God will give us the grace to complete our lessons.  The second is that my husband has offered to teach the lessons in the mornings before work.  The third is that I can always put them in school if it doesn't work.  I even have a friend who has offered to come over a few days a week to help teach my boys.

I've laid in bed and prayed and thought through all the scenarios.  This really could have been the year I would've been completely ready to send them to school.  I think they are ready and I could've been.  But the hubs did not think it was time.  Then all the resources we needed were provided free of charge.  It was obvious what we were supposed to do.

There is a measure of, hmmm, how do I say it.  This year is not going to start with a lot of fanfare.  There was no back to school shopping for school supplies day, no new outfits for the first day, I probably can't even button my denim jumper to make my dramatic teacher debut on the first day.  All our bookshelves are filled with last year's books and I am feeling very behind.

Normally this time of year we have a month under our belt.  This year I have had to let go of every single expectation.  I suppose it feels a little blah.  But this week I had a ray of sunshine.  We have gotten into the habit of watching TV at night.  One show after another.  Two nights ago we traded the TV in for Uno and a time of family reading out loud.  I cannot tell you the joy it brought to be all gathered around a book.  Seeing those brown eyes hanging on every word their Daddy read re-energized me.

It's going to be a simple start without a lot of fanfare but come Monday we're opening back up the Little Red Schoolhouse. 

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

I didn't know you did Charlotte Mason! That's kind of where I'm leaning... I'm not totally there yet, but I hope to spend this year researching it more while we go through a very simple, laid-back kindergarten year. Do you use Ambleside Online's curriculum or something else?

Bugs and Sunshine said...

I just learned of Ambleside and it looks really good. My friend Mari Beth is using it this year. I took a look at the notebook she made from printing the free curriculum and it is great.

We are using My Father's World for our main framework this year. It has a really good book list to supplement the daily lessons.

Anonymous said...

Anna! I am so excited for you. And don't worry! When you homeschool it isn't suppose to have fanfare...it's just a part of your life. Just greet the day and live it!
So, I just heard of a group around here of Charlotte Mason moms. They meet and do stuff! Sounds fun. When I hear more, I'll let you know! Unless, you hear first...let me know!
Praying for you!!!!
Mari Beth

williebemacin said...

Anna,

Let me say that I am so sorry that you are sick. It has to wretched for you not to be able to do anything but be sick and sleep...and for over three weeks now. We, as a home church, have all been praying for you and your family. God has been so good to you all, and he will continue to do so.

This too will pass, then your pain will be replaced by joy.

God bless,

Will

Geidlbots said...

I love Charlotte Mason. I've been following that approach for about two years. It has been great! I love her philosophy. There is so much grace for you now and for your family. I also really like simplycharlottemason.com. I bought their Spelling Wisdom this year for Sam. It has been great and no 25 word lists to go through over and over. Check out the site! Sonlight is very "Charlotte Mason." Great literature!!!! Most of the books on the lists are available through the library.