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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Top 10 things I love about Charlotte Mason's Philosophy

Here are the top 10 things I love about CM's Philosophy... today :)
I'm always learning more, so this list will undoubtedly grow, and there are surely things I've neglected to mention... maybe you can help me in the comments?
Here are my reflections from last year, and from three years ago... 
Uh right, back to this year, here you go:
  1. I love to learn and I want make it as easy as possible for my kids love learning too! Like many of you, I didn't always know the joy that comes from learning. I do vividly remember the awe I experienced outdoors when I was pretty young. But it was my experience in school to be uninspired by boring text books taught by bored teachers. It wasn't until I began researching the teaching of my own kids (even before they were born), and then actually watching them learn for themselves, that I realized again how many interesting things there are to know. Charlotte's philosophy of education is the most delightful I have encountered, not just for children, but for learners of all ages!
  2. Books. Need I say more?
  3. Charlotte Mason encouraged Nature study as the training ground for keen observance. The ability to focus on something for an extended amount of time, paying close attention to detail, developing knowledge based on personal experience with the diversity of plant and animal life are all invaluable to a wide and varied curriculum.
  4. Nature Study has multi-faceted value. In our day and age, the need to be outdoors tends to be forgotten; and if not forgotten, then at best undervalued. Charlotte Mason regularly emphasized the benefit of nature study and the necessity for children to have many hours outdoors. I've found that when we spend extended periods of time outside, we tend to be drawn outside of ourselves, out of our self-absorbed existence into the enormous and incredible Creation; we gain perspective and the propensity to acknowledge God as the eternal Problem-Solver is increased.
  5. The training in CM's way of the will has been key in turning this family around, starting with the parents. :)
  6. Narration works.
  7. An appreciation of the arts enriches life through our understanding of the human experience as relates to God, man, and the world around us.
  8. Children are persons. They will learn because they must. They will learn in spite of us. We get to teach them, because God has given us the privilege. Our children are the people who will lead our future families, our churches, our nation, our world.
  9. As persons, they are interested in the same things as we are (or as we should be interested in, if we haven't been dulled up and dumbed down!). They don't want silly stories, or kid-i-fied versions of things (they do get spoiled though don't they? generally though, they can tell the difference). They want to know about things from someone else who is interested in knowing things (through personal experience or from the wealth of authors who have written out of their own passion to know).
  10. As children learn about all the interesting things in the world they form relationships, which as CM taught, is what all of education is – the Science of Relations. It is this science of relations that helps us to understand that people are whole beings, in a whole universe held together by One God, Who made all men and all things and Who is working. As we learn about ideas and things we are really learning how we relate to Him, the world and to others, also how all things relate to other things, because He made and sustains them all.
CM offers a short synopsis of her educational theories as practiced in homes and school for many years here.

What are your favorites?? This month's CM blog carnival has "My Favorite CM moment" as theme. Do you have a post about your favorites or another post related to using CM's methods in your school? Submit it here.

Upcoming CM Blog Carnival: January 10th
Theme: What do you like the most about CM educating?
Submit your posts here.

Happy 2012!


Nadene said...

Such lovely points! And I totally agree! Looking forward to the carnival - always such inspiration and confirmation in those posts. (And I love your blog's new look - fabulous family photos!)

walking said...

I totally agree and decided to share our latest favorite moment of CM educating. I submitted it to the official carnival link and hope I did it correctly!

Sarah said...

She sure had it down. The more I learn about her ideas the more freeing nad sound and rich they are. I like your points, all of them, and certainly #1 and #2.

Charlotte Mason in the City said...

Excellent! As I sit here with your list and thinking of my own favorites, I see it's a difficult task to pick the top 10 things I love about CM education. I do think habit training has to be way up there on my list. Nature study is awesome and essential. Oh, and books. Yes, books. Can I put books a few times on the list?

kevin21 said...
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Jenni R. said...

Hi Amy: So glad to find your blog today! We live in Portugal to run a retreat center for missionaries, and I homeschool my girls (age nearly 6 and 7) the CM way (for the most part). It is nice to find someone who has similar circumstances of doing this outside the U.S.! Blessings to your family and all HE is leading you in!

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