I bought a book about Charlotte Mason and I am hooked. I’ve always known the overview of the Charlotte Mason approach. You choose living books and you read good literature and you take your kids outside to study nature and TWADDLE IS BAD!
I did not realize that it’s much more than that.
I’m not through with the book yet, because it’s taking me so long to get through it, because I’m stopping to take notes every few paragraphs, and it takes about an hour to read three chapters.
I bought the book on a whim. I’ve been digging more into researching homeschool methods and although I gravitate towards a more Classical style of education, I’m not really fitting into one “box”. So, in digging and deciding which curriculum we’re going to go with next school year, I stumbled across this Charlotte Mason companion book.
When I began to delve into it, I felt so many things begin to open up inside of me. I’ve been talking everyone’s ear off about it ever since I read the first chapter.
I’m going to share with you some of the notes and things that I’ve learned so far.
Charlotte Mason teaches that every day, children need three things: someone or something to love, something to do, and something to think about.
One third of education, according to Charlotte Mason, is the atmosphere. Set your children up with an inviting atmosphere, and they will learn. Giving them something or someone to love, something to do, and something to think about adds to the atmosphere of the home.
She also talks about instilling habits in your children. One third of education, according to Charlotte Mason, is discipline of habit. What kind of habits do you develop? The habits of attention, obedience, manners, truthfulness, thoroughness, punctuality, etc. You start with one habit a day and you work on it until it becomes a habit and then you move to another.
These things give me hope, while softly showing me that homeschooling isn’t only about what my children learn from books, but also what they learn from me. I cannot expect my children to make their bed every morning if I’m not doing it. I can’t expect my kids to develop the habit of attention if I’m checking out halfway through their conversation with me to check my twitter feed.
She discusses the Will of the child, and how parents keep children’s Wills weak by constant nagging, doing things for them, and not allowing children to feel the consequences (good or bad) from their decisions. Guilty as charged. I would rather save my children from every consequence of their actions than let them feel their own pain or happiness.
I find myself gravitating towards it more and more; the teachings are so truthful and rooted in good. Although I don’t think I’m going to utilize every single thing of the Charlotte Mason approach, because I’m still very eclectic in my teaching style, there is so much that is wonderful about the method of teaching.
Besides the living book aspect, which I’ve always enjoyed, the Charlotte Mason approach is really about showing your child that learning is a lifelong process and allowing them to fall in love with learning. It’s not only about teaching your children things that are in books, but also about teaching them how to have a good character and how to make good choices in their lives. It also exposes your child to culture through art and music, myths and fairytales.
This is an approach to learning that I will definitely be implementing parts of in the future of our homeschool.