Monday, January 03, 2005

Charlotte Mason

Well, I've been seriously into reading materials by Charlotte Mason, recently. Her writings are from so long ago that they're now in the public domain and available to read on line. I found a great collection here. Charlotte Mason believed that children were born whole people, not blank slates (as I have always believed) and that we are to feed them healthy thoughts and ideas, just as we feed them healthy food. She also believed that much learning could happen outside, in nature. I tend to agree, though it's REALLY cold out right now. And also children could learn through what she calls "living books" and reading. I definitely love that idea.

There are some concerns about whether or not Charlotte Mason's ideas can be used in conjunction with a Catholic curriculum. One article can be found here. I, however, tend to disagree with this author, but then again, I'm not one to religiously follow any one type of curriculum. I like to mix, match, and find what works for Reagan. And I never agree with all of any one person's ideas. But I like the Charlotte Mason approach.

So today I began using some of her educational ideas along with our Catholic Herritage Curriculum and had wonderful success. We didn't spend too long on each subject. We took breaks for excercise and light mental activities after more taxing work. The day went really well, and we were both really happy with the work we got accomplished. Reagan got all of his Spelling words on his test and realized what good studying had been. In fact the day was virtually devoid of breakdowns, which was a huge relief.

I suppose I need to keep reading about different teaching methods. Not only will it make me a better teacher in the long run, but it keeps things fresher and more exciting. And homeschooling can get stale just like anything else. As much as we love it.

Oh, and my husband is the best. There, honey, happy?

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