Month: February 2014

Surviving College on a CM Diet by Hannah Hoyt

I’m about to start my last full semester of college. As I prepare for commencement this May, I think back and remember all my semesters of college learning. Including the classes that I took when I was sixteen at my local community college, I will have had thirteen semesters in all. Those thirteen semesters have been filled with paper-writing, homework assignments, tests, quizzes, drills, studying, listening to lectures, practicing my instrument, presentations, performances, proficiencies, stress, worry, late or all-nighters, anxiety, good and bad grades, good and bad professors, good and bad roommates, and good and bad classes. No matter whether my experiences in a certain class or with an individual professor were good or bad, there are universal truths to a college education. You have no time. You don’t sleep. You’re busy. You’re stressed. Even if you love school, you still look forward to spring break. A slightly humorous graph came out a few years back that summed up a college experience. It simply presented the choices “Sleep,” “Good Grades,” and “A Social Life,” and …

Nature Study Field Trips for All Ages by Deborah Dobbins

“Nature Knowledge the most important for Young Children. –It would be well if all we persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” Charlotte M. Mason, Home Education, volume 1, p 61. Within a short distance, you may find a world of nature waiting to be explored. While I share briefly about some recent excursions, you may think of similar opportunities within your locality. Day-trips do not require much planning other than selecting your site, date, checking the hours …

A First-Time Mother’s Perspective By Emily Kiser

I started studying the educational method of Charlotte Mason about 8 years ago, primarily to assist my mother who had always wanted to read the educator’s own words but being blind had no accessible copy available to her.  Neither Braille nor audio version existed and since she was (and still is) in the process of educating my younger brothers at home, in the manner Miss Mason laid out, I was keen to help.  A secondary benefit to studying Mason’s method was as an aid to the 50 or so homeschooling families using the private lending library my mother and I had started.  I tell you all this as a little background information and to set the stage for my own admiration of our great mentor’s ideas. Until last April when I got married, I was a single woman, living at home with my parents and younger siblings, no children of my own, but surrounded by mothers asking my advice on educational materials for their children, listening to and receiving my recommendations for books, certainly, but …

Practical Suggestions for Narration by Carroll Smith

We end this series on narration for those new to Charlotte Mason with some practical suggestions. I hope these suggestions help teachers and parents to get started with narration and to remove fears about how to narrate.  Please don’t hesitate to ask questions.  Although some may think, “what is all the fuss about narration?”  it is much more complicated and practical than is expected upon a shallow first look.  Building oral language through retelling or narrating is basic to our humanness. 8.  What are some practical helps for the 6 year old who has no experience with narration? Start with the child narrating his experiences. When a six year old starts her formal education, we mustn’t read a whole chapter of Little House on the Prairie and ask her to narrate; that is expecting too much.  The ability to visualize and sequence are key to the mental processes involved in narration and they can be developed through asking children to tell what they did that morning.  Encourage the child to see herself in bed first opening her eyes, …