Month: August 2011

Charlotte Mason Undercover: An Attempt to Implement Mason’s Ideas in a Traditional Homeschool Co-op Setting by Jeannette Tulis

In general I have learned to steer clear of traditional homeschool co-ops as they tend to drive your homeschool schedule, and not where you want it to go! For a number of years I organized a CM style early elementary class for the “extras,” those subjects which all too often get short shrift in a busy homeschool curriculum: picture study, poetry recitations, composer study, hymn singing and nature study.  The moms who have been part of my little enrichment class have learned how these lessons are not at all as intimidating as they once feared. In teaching these lessons to other children I have ensured that my youngest son will be getting the benefit of those lessons as well. If I commit to teach others, that means I will have to teach my own! But this year I agreed to teach the early elementary history class for a local co-op. It was time for me to do my part in the group I was using to furnish my sons with high school level science classes …

Paying Attention to Dead Books by Jack Kelly

“ The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.” –Keanu Reaves Despite being on the study of life itself, my college biology textbooks are anything but what one might consider living books. They are devoid of any kind of narrative: a joyless compendium of facts, figures and informational graphics. Fortunately, I haven’t been required to read many textbooks in college. The few that I have read provide some interesting thoughts on trying to make subjects or methods that appear incongruous with a typical Mason background become more palatable. First of all, I think that a relational education based around Mason’s methods and using living books as the primary vehicle of instruction prepared me extremely well for studying “dead” books. While I did not find the method of presentation particularly appealing, I was able to quickly learn the material in one reading. I believe that this was due to the way a Mason education trains the student in the habit of attention and in the practice of absorbing material in a single …