Month: August 2013

What I Learned This Summer by Amy Tuttle

This summer I had the enormous pleasure and privilege to find myself stateside in attendance of several Charlotte Mason retreats, with some shopping and visits on the side. How kind and longsuffering my husband is to have taken care of things back home in Peru so I could have a couple of weeks of ‘mommy break’ as he calls it! Among the interesting gems I have laid hold of this summer are: the importance of the manual hand work of Sloyd in early education; the place and importance of Mathematics, as well as it’s proper instruction; and how to take Science out of the box even in the upper years, getting the student to ask the questions. And perhaps outstanding amongst the others, the idea of being fully present and living fully wherever one is, also struck home once again. Throughout my travels while ingesting all of these ideas about education, I was also taking in How Should We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer via audiobook. It was a perfect compliment to everything I was …

Meeting Mason: Baptism into Relational Education, Part 2 by Kara M. Stalter

My dream was to be a mission-minded, crime-fighting, lollipop-giving explorer, rescuing children and adults from the depths of poverty and despair while being a mother to twelve.  Well, actually that was just one of my many complex aspirations as a young homeschooled child through sixth grade.  As I devoured living books, I became the characters, often-times acting out the stories while I picked up my toys or cleaned my bedroom.  Quite honestly, my vivid imagination still inspires me as a young adult to pretend, while cleaning the house, that I am a lowly servant of Princess Jobynah, preparing her quarters for her return home after being rescued from the venomous, insidious Elliad (Carolyn Ann Aish’s three-book series Treasures, Castles, Kingdoms).  It works like a charm; the room is clear of clutter in no time. I am thankful for this homeschool foundation in my life to fall back onto as a new teacher.  Nearing one year ago come August 25, I met Charlotte Mason at Gillingham Charter School and am grateful to have been baptized into …

Bushels of Information by Dr. Donna Johnson

In the weeks since attending the 2013 Living Education Retreat in Minnesota, I have returned to my preparations for the fall academic semester at Dakota Wesleyan University.  While doing so I’ve reflected on the pedagogy of Charlotte Mason and the conclusions being reached by her 21st century devotees as they delve deeply into the resources available to them.  More than one retreat attendee thanked those who have done the research needed to thoroughly understand Mason’s ideas and then pass on what they have learned. Charlotte Mason’s methods have withstood the test of time.  This is not news to those who attended the retreat or regularly read this blog. I mention it only because I frequently find evidence of the durability and longevity of Mason’s philosophy in my current teaching setting.  For example, one of the slides in my presentation at the LER about CM and struggling learners (based on information from a 1997 edited book about students with disabilities) includes some decidedly Mason-ish ideas and even wording: While not included in my presentation, other information …

Israel by Lisa Cadora

When my husband, “Pastor Matt” as he is known to our congregation, said he wanted us to do a study tour in Israel as part of his summer sabbatical, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what we would see and hear. After all, for most of my life I had heard the stories of exodus, exile, and return. I knew the geography by way of maps and models. I had memorized the lists of the whole- and half-hearted kings and could write out a chronology of the patriarchs with a fair amount of accuracy. As the date of our departure drew closer, I skimmed the papers compiled for us by our divinity school professor guide, paged through Fodor’s and Rick Steves’ travel books, paged through my husband’s Hebrew textbook from seminary days, and read a bit about the history of Palestine and the Zionist movement. I was ready to spend a month in the Holy Land. My brain was ready. Or at least I had given it a “Heads up!” The rest …

Studying Architecture in the Context of a Charlotte Mason Education by Jennifer Stec

When we began homeschooling, it never crossed my mind that architecture would be a component of our study, and it certainly didn’t occur to me that we would find it to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of our education. We were introduced to the idea of studying architecture four years ago by Kerri Forney, who many of this blog’s readers know as the purveyor of wonderful living books at the annual CMI conference.  We had already started to read Virgil Hillyer’s A Child’s History of the World, and Kerri suggested that his three small books on architecture, sculpture and painting would be a wonderful supplement to our studies. Virgil Hillyer was the Headmaster at Calvert School in Baltimore. A teacher at heart, he was the author of many child’s histories.  He co-wrote the series on art with one of the science and art teachers at Calvert School, Edward Huey.  They worked together for seven years on the series, bringing to a child’s attention the oft neglected works of fine art, sculpture and …