"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why the Charlotte Mason method of home education?

“So, why the Charlotte Mason method?”

"Charlotte Mason was an English educator that lived in the late 1800s/early 1900s. How can her methods be effective in our day?"

I've been asked these questions several times by other homeschool moms when I mention our new method of home education.

Before I give my answer(s), a little background...

This year, we began our 18th year of homeschooling. and as of last summer, the textbook method of home education was the only method that I used – it was the only one that I was familiar with. Of course, I had heard of other methods, including the Charlotte Method. But that's all I knew – the name, and nothing more.

As the new school year drew closer, I struggled with the very method of teaching that I was so familiar with. Sure, the kids did well : good grades, tested far above grade level, etc....but did they enjoy learning? I knew they loved being home – I'm thankful to say that that was obvious. But I also knew they didn't like school work . They just wanted to “get it over with”. There was no eagerness to learn. They seemed bored and complained about the lessons. I know – until I learned about the CM approach, I too, thought it was “normal” for children to dislike school. But I also knew that children are born with a love for learning, and I wanted to encourage that, not snuff it out. And I was afraid that I was getting very close to doing just that if I didn't change my methods!

So I began to pray about it and ask the Lord for wisdom about changing something..anything to preserve my children's love of learning.

A couple of weeks before we were to start school (the Lord is always on time, isn't He?), the answer to my prayers came in the form of a magazine : The Old Schoolhouse magazine. There were several articles that explained the CM approach. I read each of them (devoured is more accurate) , highlighting almost every word! This was it! I knew that I had found what I'd been looking for. I also did lots of online research. And the more I learned, the more excited I became. My hubby and I discussed it and he was very supportive of the change. And I knew if I had his support, making the change would be an easy transition.

The next step was to talk to the children about it. After I explained to them what we were going to do, they became very excited, and eager to start the new year ( imagine that! eager to start the new school year!).

That's the “why”.

Stay tuned. In my next post, I'll explain the “hows”.

Happy homeschooling,

linked up at www.deeprootsathome.com