We started the new school year last Monday. Yes, I am quite behind on getting the first day of school picture posted. (We actually did a little school all summer, but this was a fun, fresh start!)
Back in the spring I began reading book after book on Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy. Just what is all of this CM stuff I hear people talking about? I decided to find out, and let me tell you, I am impressed. I read Charlotte Mason’s first volume in the Home Education series and many other authors’ interpretations and methods of implementing her ideas. I’ve been slowly moving to a more Charlotte Mason type approach in our studies, but her idea that I most love is that the curriculum, studies, ideas, “stuff” we moms tend to worry about choosing is really only a third of our children’s education. Their education also includes training in discipline and good habits and also includes the atmosphere of our homes. It is so refreshing to be reminded that education is really more than the books, rigorous studies, memorizing, writing.“It’s easy to get caught up in the reading, writing, and arithmetic and forget that our children are watching us day in and day out… The fact is that much of what a child learns he picks up by watching and listening to those around him… The ideas that rule your life as a parent will rub off on your child… What ideas rule your life?… Every look of gentleness and tone of reverence, every word of kindness and act of help, passes into the thought-environment, the very atmosphere which the child breathes; he does not think of these things, may never think of them, but all his life long they excite that ‘vague appetency towards something’ out of which most of his actions spring. Oh, the wonderful and dreadful presence of the little child in the midst!” (Education Is... , Sonya Shafer, Simply Charlotte Mason) “Education is a discipline—that is, the discipline of the good habits in which the child is trained. Education is a life, nourished upon ideas; and education is an atmosphere—that is, the child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which rule their own lives.” (Charlotte Mason, Vol. 2, p. 247).
I hope to share a more detailed look at our studies for this year, and while I have gleaned many things from Miss Mason’s writings, my goal is not to provide my children with a Charlotte Mason education. It is to provide them with a Christian education, though the two do not have to be separated.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10
Here are some glimpses at memories from the beginning of our new school year…
All around us, little puffs of white cotton are peeking through the green leaves in the fields. We had a fun nature study right in our yard.
We have enjoyed being botanists with our Apologia Botany book. The children worked on “shoe taxonomy” to better see how scientists look at details to classify plants.
A Vincent Van Gogh artist study that we began few weeks ago was a fun addition to our week!
We are moving along in our study of Biblical history, family Bible reading, and the book of Numbers. It is getting a bit complicated to read in different areas, so in case you are keeping up with our studies, we are streamlining soon. Here is a snapshot from our Numbers study (more to come). I never thought about why there is a snake on a pole on ambulances and other medical equipment and supplies. I never took much notice I guess. Wow! Healing! Now I know…
We have a very special 4-year-old, our “little cartographer”, who amazes us and makes us laugh everyday…I’m trying to leave the kids little notes and surprises to make the start of the school year special. I want to MAIL them letters! Will you join me? Let’s mail our kiddos letters! Mine love to get mail! Until then…
“Put your best foot forward!” ~ Fruit by the Foot
“You brightened my day!” ~ highlighters
Bookworms ~ (picture from last school year)
(more ideas here)
We are working on transferring some of our previous learned material onto a NEW timeline! I am excited!
I hope that in all that we do… each topic we explore and each letter we write and each object we count, each plant we examine, each person we study, we would remember the Creator of ALL things, the One in whom we live, move, and have our being! HIS name should be extolled…
I went back to reread my VERY FIRST “FIRST DAY OF HOMESCHOOL” post. Here is a little encouragement from me to me! 😉 He he! It is encouragement for all homeschooling mommas…
I know I am not the best teacher, but I am their best teacher because I am their momma! I know them like no one else and know how they can best grow in our family. I can best teach them about our faith and our life by having them here with me. Thank you to our supportive friends and family who have prayed for us and loved us during this time as we seek to answer His call! There will be tough times, but I have no greater joy! 🙂 I often remember this verse:
“He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it!”
1 Thessalonians 5:24
When it comes to school, there’s no place like home!