Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I am a Charlotte Mason mama!

I am often asked what type of homeschooler am I.  Well, let's take a step back through the time machine to 1997.  I was a teacher in a Christian school.  I knew the ins and outs of Christian education forwards and backwards after growing up in that environment and now teaching in that same environment.  And, I loved it.  But, in 1997, I discovered I was pregnant with my first child.  I knew then I would be going home to take care of my little one.  And, on top of that, I knew I was not sending my little one into a school since we had already decided I would teach our children for a while myself.  I had the degree.  I knew what I could do.

Our first little girl made her appearance followed by a second little girl and then a baby boy.  And by that time it was for Ladybug to start school.  And, I began in the traditional manner with my traditional Christian school books.  However, within no time flat, I discovered it was not going to work.  I could not teach my daughter at a table with tablework, chase a toddler, and nurse a newborn all at the same time.  I was not super woman!  Plus, she didn't learn well in the traditional method, especially in the area of reading.  I was used to Abeka methods of teaching to read and she was not able to do it.  I was flabbergasted!  So, by December I had to back up and regroup. 

About that time, I was introduced to Charlotte Mason and her methods.  It was literally love at first sight.  Who was she?  She was an educator in England who lived at the end of the 19th to the beginning of 20th century.  She believed in a rich full education but with a lot of living books and shorter lessons and time to allow kids to be, well, kids!  You not only educate them internally but externally as well, in other words, she believed in educating the whole person.  She believed in reading living good books and classic literature and as a book lover, I was excited about this.  She believed that education was a natural part of every day life.  If you want to read a bit more of her ideas, visit this link.  I will be touching more on these ideas as I do this series.  I started reading her books (listed below) and any other book I could get my hands on about the Charlotte Mason method.  And, I started working this way with my daughter.  It was so much easier for me to snuggle on a couch reading books to both my little girls while nursing my son.  I changed our reading curriculum completely to a more home friendly way of teaching to read and it clicked!  And we were learning and having fun.  However, I never talked much about what I was doing to others because it was so different!  I was afraid I would look like a weirdo.  When asked what method I use, I would say it was eclectic.  I have since learned there is nothing weird about it.  It is natural.  It is rich.  It is beautiful. 

I have since that time also discovered a couple of other things we enjoy doing like notebooking, lapbooks, unit studies all of which has fit nicely into our Charlotte Mason style.  We have also added just wee touches of Classical to it especially as our children got older, but I am a firm believer (despite what you will read others say) Charlotte Mason and Classical education can go hand in hand quite nicely.

I love being a Charlotte Mason mama.  I love that we get our lessons done in a shorter periods of time, for the most part. I love that my kids get to go outside and explore nature.  I love that they have time to explore their interests and learn their instruments.  I love they can spend lots of time reading good literature and that I am reading it to them.  I love that they learn naturally.  When I first started, the internet was brand new.  And finding curriculum that fit the bill took some hunting and experimenting with.  Since then, I have found "curriculum"  that works for us but most of our so called curriculum is a just a spine for me to work with.   You will see that as I go along.  I now proudly tell people that I am a Charlotte Mason mama.  

Now for a bit of practical help if you are interested in pursuing more about the Charlotte Mason method.  I wish I had this lovely bunch of people along side me when I started.  But, good old fashioned books worked fine for me.  :)

Below, you will find a list of my favorite go to websites:  (she is the host of the Charlotte Mason blog hop)  (she combines classical and Charlotte Mason and was my first confirmation that these 2 do work together as I always thought they did, contrary to popular opinion)

And, here is a list of my favorite Charlotte Mason books (contains affl. links, which helps my family, thank you)

The Charlotte Mason Original Series (this is an excellent series and was written by Charlotte herself)
        Volume 1
        Volume 2
        Volume 3
        Volume 4
        Volume 5
        Volume 6

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

A Twaddle Free Education by Deborah Taylor-Hough

A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levinson

More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levinson

For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley

When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper

Consider This by Katherine Glass (about combining classical and Charlotte Mason)

I am sure there are other good books but these are my favorite and the ones I refer to over and over again!

Do you like a good podcast?  I have those for you as well.  (not all are strictly charlotte mason but mixed in there are so many good and encouraging things) (full charlotte mason)

And, last of all, here is a link to my pinterest board full of Charlotte Mason and some classical.

I am happy to help you if you want to know more or just have questions about Charlotte Mason and her way of teaching.  Drop me a note or leave a comment!

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