Friday, September 17, 2010

Part 1 Begining Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way

I kept waiting to come up with the perfect way to phrase things before deciding to put something down in print. I look around and I'm impressed by the talents all around me. I know I am way below many in caliber. However when will I get better if I don't give it a go. So a subject I am truly enjoying and believe myself to be growing and gleaning in. I didn't know what I was going to do when it first came to homeschooling. I think I probably thought I'd use a set curriculum like Abecka however as I headed down that path, I thought to my own formative years and the way sitting for hours doing page after page of work just zapped the life out of me. I have sense discovered that learning doesn't need to be that way. Learning is exciting and fun. Once I came to this realization the world opened up to me in so many new ways. With passion I have learned much when as A child I was labeled L.D. (learning Disabled) Truly I believe I was bored and emotionally stressed. The way things were taught to me stressed me out. This caused me to shut down . Now I watch the light in my children's eyes sparkle as we learn together. I am currently homeschooling a 7yr old boy Shiloh Ethan, a 6yr old daughter Haven Rose, a 4yr old Grace Elaina, and a 2yr old Shepherd Sebastian.
Okay, so maybe just now you did a double take when you saw that I listed my 2yr old there, but truly I think I could just as well have added my 4 month old son Elijah because after all isn't learning an integral part of life? I'm not talking about sitting all the children down at the table to commence a day of boring memorization from a dull text book. Look around at this beautiful world jump into life. Pick up a bug with your children, learn all about it. Read living books on people from history stories that make you feel like you're there. All the while they're learning. Pause a moment, discuss briefly the author and illustrator and what those are, explain title pages and index's, settings, main characters, plots..... Not all in the same day but randomly as you cuddle your kiddos on he couch in the bed outside at a picnic table. Don't talk about a dam, build it with them. want to learn fractions? Cut a pizza, make a muffin cake, or pie. Or measure out ingredients for something, live life together. Pause when they ask questions seize these moments to impart knowledge when they are eager to know what they are asking. Don't send them away and tell them that right now they aren't learning about that. You may wonder what the outcomes of schooling like this are well I can only answer with what I have so far. I have a son who climbs trees to kick back and read his Bible. When he was tested he tested well above his grade level. He reads old English and spells better then me. The teacher who evaluated him this year says he is at a 5th grade level in many areas. This is for his 1st grade evaluation. I chose to wait to start my 6yr old officially until this year, that is the beauty of home school. I didn't feel she was ready for what the state required of her hour wise however she already has all the first grade educational requirements met now in this 1st month of this school yr. which are low standards in my opinion. She only needs to be able to read barely and know simple addition and subtraction... she reads well and knows multiplication, fractions... they don't even check history or science until 3rd grade. We aren't waiting for them to check on us we love watching plants grow, learning about the clouds, the planets all of it, it's exciting. even the arts, classical music... It starts with our passion as parents we model what is exciting. My 4 yr old Grace is also reading at a 1st grade level and will very quickly exceed in math once further introduced.