This week we *officially* switched to the Charlotte Mason method of home education, drawing largely from the amazing work done by the ladies at Ambleside Online. I can hardly describe how pleased I am with the change.
First of all, I have to make it clear that I enjoyed what we did last year and that I am sure that if I had followed the system more closely (and actually WATCHED the DVD!) we’d have done a lot better. But the fact is that I didn’t. I was busy and overwhelmed, and I felt rudderless. What we got was nothing short of chaos, some days. We learnt a lot and spent a lot of time learning it, and I think we covered some very good, solid ground. But every day I’d panic, trying to work out what to do next, and how to do it. We’d spend hours each week just look for stuff that had been “tidied away” – or not tidied at all!
Now, I have a compass and oars, and I know where I’m going. We are super organised in terms of space and time. We have a plan. We’re ready.
The day looks pretty simple:
- A story (which they narrate back and illustrate)
Once a week we do each of the following:
- History (century book)
- Geography (map work)
- Nature Study
We also do map work and history as an integral part of story time.
We’ve started reading a LOT more (which, if you knew us before, is hard to imagine since we were already reading a lot). And we’re working on spending more time outside.
The only lesson we didn’t get to this week was art, because I had a meeting. But the girls did draw and paint, and they started making a fairy house. I think that counts a little, and besides – tomorrow is Saturday! We can paint all day then.
We also didn’t do nature studies this week because I had a meeting. So tonight I took them outside with my laptop, which has Stellarium installed, and we charted the stars (a little). It was great. We read a book called “Stargazers” (Ladybird Early Readers Level 3), and tomorrow we will paint the night sky. It also fitted in nicely with Goldilocks’ poem of the week, namely William Blake’s “The Tyger” :
“When the stars threw down their spears | And watered heaven with their tears”
I’m excited about tracking the trajectory of my own little rising stars, now that we’re using this phenomenal philosophy to educate them.