My Homeschool Journey
I grew up in the woods. Running barefoot in the summer was (and still is) my favorite thing. Digging my toes into the rich, warm dirt.
When my son was born I knew that I wanted to give him the kind of childhood I had growing up. Lots of hands on learning, plenty of time in nature, and late nights with good books. My school experience was a mix of traditional textbook learning and living books, but I felt that there was something even better out there.
When I went to college I thrived in my new environment. I loved interacting with other students and listening to lectures while Powerpoint presentations played on the screen. The first day of public relations class I opened my textbook and glanced over the first paragraph. The opening line hit me like a rock. “You can’t learn public relations from a textbook.”
Tell me why I’m reading this book then?
There’s a lot of things we can’t learn from textbooks. Looking back the information I retained the most was what was learned through field trips, literature based books, figuring things out on my own, persevering through failures, and self learning. What I don’t remember is the list of dates in my history textbook.
Falling in Love
That’s when I stumbled across the Charlotte Mason method.
As an elementary education major I learned about Montessori, Waldorf, tablua rasa (that children were blank slates), and Socratic questioning. I learned how to write a lesson plan and how to communicate with ESL students. I did not however learn about Charlotte Mason. After briefly student teaching in public schools and working as a private tutor for nearly six years I stumbled across Charlotte Mason and fell in love.
After unschooling through preschool and kindergarten we switched to the Charlotte Mason method in 2018.
Charlotte Mason for the Busy Mom
While I’m not a CM “purist,” I’ve taken the method and adapted it to fit my busy family and highly active son. Shakespeare led to tears, so we’re skipping that for now. Watercolor was frustrating, so instead we’re doing art projects that help instill a love of art in him. He excels at math so I plan on covering much more math in high school than was traditionally done in a CM school. We’ve only recently added in music lessons and handicrafts because this mama was overwhelmed with a new baby for a time.
There are many who are intrigued by the method, but end up tweaking it to fit their individual family. As much as I love Charlotte Mason, she was a single lady without a toddler underfoot, no clammoring hungry mouths to feed, and no laundry sitting in the washer. This is a practical, dare I say simplistic approach, to the Charlotte Mason method. One that spreads the feast, while still giving grace to the business of everyday modern life.