Month: May 2011

Getting Ready: Childlight USA Conference, 2011 by Bonnie Buckingham

I  live close to Gardner Webb University, which makes it easy  to go to the Childlight USA Conference,  but there are  more reasons why I go back every year.   My spirit ignited when I first read Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For The Children’s Sake in 1992 when I began homeschooling our 4 sons.  In 1995, Susan came to Charlotte for a weekend conference on Charlotte Mason. Looking back, that was extraordinary (plus lunch with her!). When the Childlight USA Conference began in 2004, I had to go.  I’ve come to it every year.   I’ve given workshops on poetry and become an avid lover of poems and words.  I’ve made friends. I’ve watched a group from Canada drive down  (see below what CM said at her last conference about travels to the P.N.E.U. Conference) to the hot days in Boiling Springs. I’ve met those from Ambleside Online who come. Every time I go to the site, there’s a deep gratitude to people rather than names. Ranald Macaulay came one year. We called him one year, and his …

Professing and Practicing by Lisa Cadora

As some of you in this Charlotte Mason community know, my husband and I have been home-educating two 13 year old girls this year for their 8th grade year. One is my niece, and the other is the daughter of a dear friend and CM kindred spirit. I cannot thank these two sets of parents enough for allowing The Reverend and me to have these delightful creatures in our home this year, and I hope and pray that this experience has benefited these girls, their future education, and their families as much as it has blessed us. Having NEVER homeschooled before in my half-century long life as a professional educator, I was thrilled with the opportunity to do this, and, at the same time, wracked by apprehension at the prospect of taking on the sobering responsibility of teaching them, parenting them, feeding them, and living our lives before them. “Why?” one might ask, “You’re a PROFESSIONAL.” All manner of issues of life and learning, of practice and theory, are called up by the term “professional”. …

Becoming a Charlotte Mason Teacher: Paradigm Shift Required by Jennifer Spencer

So you think you might want to be a Charlotte Mason teacher?  You’ve read Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and your eyes have been opened?  Great!  Now what?  Friends, this has been a long, arduous, and sometimes painful journey for me.  Although Mason’s ideas resonated with me, the actual letting go of things I thought I knew about education in order to put Mason’s ideas into practice was very difficult.  If you will allow me to share some of the things I have learned along the way, perhaps I can help make your transition a bit smoother.  What follows is a list of “A-Ha!” moments that I have had through the years:  1.    The best way to understand Mason is to read her own words. There are lots of books and blogs about Mason’s ideas.  There are also some really good conferences available.  But there is a great deal of difference in the knowledge obtained through primary and secondary sources.  Many times those secondary sources even contradict one another.  (For example, how can one person’s ideas possibly …

Charlotte Mason and Motherhood: Reflections for Mother’s Day 2011 by Gladys Schaefer

When I first found the writings and philosophy of Charlotte Mason in the mid 1990’s, I was already the mother of six children.   We were well into the adventure of home education and I was, each school year, weeding through all types of curriculum.  My desire was to find the best for my children and that involved willingness, might I confess desperation, to try new ideas and see how they fit our family. Meeting Charlotte Mason for the first time, I felt the wind of truth and it drew me like a moth to the flame.  Could this be happening?  Might I have found (or been led to) my heart’s desire, the truly best way to educate my beloved ones? In Home Education, Volume One of The Home Education Series, Eighth Edition, published in 1916, we read her words: A discontent, is it a divine discontent? Is upon us; and assuredly we should hail a workable, effectual philosophy of education as a deliverance from much perplexity. Before this great deliverance comes to us it is …