All posts tagged: homeschooling

Owning the Middle Ages: Teaching History CM Style! – Revised by Mary Gildersleeve

[this is a revision of my original post where I mistakenly stated that Charlotte Mason recommended a four-year cycle through history.  This is a later development that CM proponents have used to balance history for grades 1-12, especially in homeschools.  I apologize for any inconvenience this caused.   – MCG, May 8, 2014] In a post a little over 2 years ago, I mentioned my deep love for history, especially American History.  I mentioned how, had I learned history the way I teach my homeschooled kids, I probably would have majored in history, possibly even going on to a Masters and Doctoral work. Yes, I love it that much. My kids, on the other hand, aren’t quite as enthusiastic.  But they still understand the great benefit to learning history: Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. Edmund Burke, English Statesman/Philosopher (1729-1797) Ancient World (Greece, Rome – we would add Asia and Meso-America) Birth of Christ, later Roman to early Middle Ages Middle Ages through the Renaissance (again, adding in America and other continents) …

Lessons from a Long Season by Maura Timko

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecc 3:1 It’s been a long, cold winter in the Great Lakes region of the US. In Ohio, where I live, it has been a season of record cold and snowfall. There have been so many school cancellation days, our state government was forced to add more, so as not to extend the school year beyond the middle of June. The Vernal Equinox was last week. Yet, I see neither bud nor flower in my little yard. Even as I am writing, the snow continues to fall in great, blowing swirls. This time of year, I always find myself saying, “Enough, already!” I am so weary of winter. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecc 3:11 Some seasons are bright and flowering, others rainy, green and filled with newness. Another season may have the pale beauty of a world washed in white, or of a vibrant, multi-colored quilt stretched across the woods. The Word of God tells me that …

What Could Be: Reflections on Beginning a CM Community by Amy Fiedler

  When I was first introduced to Charlotte Mason, just over a year ago, it didn’t take much to draw me in.  As I began to consider her philosophy, I found myself letting go of many of the ideas and methods that had previously defined me as an educator.  Despite my degree and my previous training, my beliefs about education began changing, and in turn, began changing me.  In many ways, it was (and still is) a spiritual experience.  I guess one might say I’m a convert of sorts. As often happens after a conversion experience, I had a hard time keeping quiet.  Charlotte Mason soon became a household name to my family and friends.  Not only was I devouring as much information as I could get my hands on, I was talking about it.  A lot. I recently heard someone refer to this idea with language that has stuck with me.  Lisa Cadora, in an email to CLUSA educators, expressed her desire to create a space where people could share about “how we are …

Why Homeschool a la Charlotte Mason? by Mary C. Gildersleeve

It was a little over 10 years ago that my life completely changed:   not only had my husband and I decided to homeschool my older two children (who had been in parochial schools), but I had also discovered a way of homeschooling that perfectly fit my family, my faith and my philosophies!  I had discovered Charlotte Mason and her method of education that grew into the unique and successful education pedagogy under the umbrella, Parents’ Union School.  Realizing that parents are in fact the first teachers of all children, she established the Parents National Education Union, writing a monthly newsletter (Parents’ Review) filled with tips and tricks and techniques for best-practice education. Mason, a spinster and self-taught educational theory expert, grew up in late-Victorian England in the Lakes District (1842-1923).  She was an only child whose parents taught her at home until the age of 16 (when her mother died; her father died a year later).  Mason went on to earn a First Class Certificate in teaching and spent her next 10 years teaching.  While …

Weed It and Reap by Nancy Kelly

As recently as nine years ago when my last child was born, a passerby stopped and suggested to my husband, Kent, that he might consider wielding a machete to chop down the weeds taking over the front porch (which had no railing).  Soon after that, a sweet lady from across town stopped by the house and invited me to come and see her flower gardens.  She described in detail what she envisioned I could do with our pathetic front lawn if I was willing to do the research and heavy lifting.  I had never gardened before, but her enthusiasm and vision for what she believed I could do was inspiring.  I was finally at a place in my life where I could consider what she was saying and get to work.  Over the next few years, our family worked hard on making the front yard the refreshing place that it is now.  We enjoy it so much, even though it needs a little weeding and the house will be ready for some new paint soon.  …

Beginning a Charlotte Mason Education (Or How to Begin Your Journey Into Delightful Living) by Gladys Schaefer

Inquiries Angel, a beautiful young mom, very pregnant with their second child, caught me after class to ask me about homeschooling.  I started gushing about Charlotte Mason. Their first child, a five year old, is one of the delights of our church. His joy in life and his easy ability to make friends with any age always puts a smile on my face. The Wonderful Aiden Another Sunday brought me similar inquires from Jodi, a mom of three lively preschoolers, and my own daughter, Samantha, the mother of our beautiful grandchildren and I are in a long standing discussion of the pros and cons of homeschooling vs. public schooling vs. private schooling.  We do agree on following, as closely as possible, the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason.    My Granddaughter Zoe This article is an attempt to provide a reference point for those searching for information on this educational journey and to a path that leads to a wonderful way of life. Directions “It may be that the souls of all children are waiting for …

Classical Music Appreciation for the Non-Classical Music Lover by Leslie Noelani Laurio

Instilling an appreciation for classical music can be daunting for a parent or teacher raised on pop, rock and rap music. But it can be done. I know — as a young mother, I had good intentions of teaching my children to love the best kinds of music. Before my first child was even born, I would turn on the local classical radio station and plug in headphones, then put the headphones up to my pregnant stomach so the baby could hear it, but I wouldn’t have to listen. By the time I had two preschoolers, I had a plan to listen to exactly two hours of classical music every day (for the children’s sake!), but after a half hour, I had usually had enough and needed to turn on some pop music for relief. Yet now, we listen to classical music for quite a bit more than two hours a day, and it’s by my preference rather than because the schedule says so. I won’t try to convince you of the reasons why classical …