This Week on Facebook – February 22nd, 2015

In case you missed any postings, here are some of the past week’s highlights from the Charlotte Mason Home Education Facebook page:


Habits book cover imageOkay, I can’t wait any longer to let you all know that I just now republished Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success (I moved it from Lulu to CreateSpace) which means it’ll be available on Amazon now as both a paperback and a Kindle version.  Has  a new cover and a lower price, too.  It used to sell for $8.99 but now it’s only $6.99.  And I think it’s a better product, too.  Better book, lower price.  Win/win!

Currently it’s available directly from CreateSpace and also on Amazon.com as a paperback, but it should show up in the next few days in a Kindle version, as well.

I think the new volume turned out quite well.  So excited!


Homeschooling on a Limited Budget

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

As a long-time homeschooling mom, I lost track of the number of times I had newbie homeschooling moms crying on my shoulder about all the myriads of choices available for home education curriculum and supplies.

http://thesimplemom.com/2015/02/16/homeschooling-on-a-limited-budget/


I love what Charlotte Mason had to say about the idea of “ideas.”

Parents and Children coverThe Life of the Mind grows upon Ideas––Now that life, which we call education, receives only one kind of sustenance; it grows upon ideas. You may go through years of so-called ‘education’ without getting a single vital idea; and that is why many a well-fed body carries about a feeble, starved intelligence; and no society for the prevention of cruelty to children cries shame on the parents.

Read More ….


My latest blog post:

j0386357A Charlotte Mason-inspired education isn’t necessarily about any one particular curriculum …

Over the years, people have asked me numerous questions about Charlotte Mason-style home education and how to apply it in simple and inexpensive ways. I think Charlotte Mason’s ideas, philosophies, and methods can be much simpler to apply than many people realize.

Read More …

 

Charlotte Mason on “Ideas”


Excerpted from Charlotte Mason’s 6-Volume Series
Parents and Children (Vol. 2)
Chapter 4. Parents as Inspirers –  The Life of the Mind Grows Upon Ideas


Parents and Children coverThe Life of the Mind grows upon Ideas––Now that life, which we call education, receives only one kind of sustenance; it grows upon ideas. You may go through years of so-called ‘education’ without getting a single vital idea; and that is why many a well-fed body carries about a feeble, starved intelligence; and no society for the prevention of cruelty to children cries shame on the parents. Continue reading

Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success – republished!

Habits book cover imageOkay, I can’t wait any longer to let you all know that I just now republished Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success (I moved it from Lulu to CreateSpace) which means it’ll be available on Amazon now as both a paperback and a Kindle version.  Has  a new cover and a lower price, too.  It used to sell for $8.99 but now it’s only $6.99.  And I think it’s a better product, too.  Better book, lower price.  Win/win!

Currently it’s available directly from CreateSpace and also on Amazon.com as a paperback, but it should show up in the next few days in a Kindle version, as well.

I think the new volume turned out quite well.  So excited!


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Author:  Charlotte M Mason
Foreword:  Deborah Taylor-Hough
Edition:  2

Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success is a selection of Charlotte Mason’s writings on the topic of Habit Formation in children. Mason’s teachings on the topic of education required six large volumes to cover. This book makes it simple for homeschooling parents to find exactly what they need to learn about Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on establishing good habits.

Publication Date: Feb 20 2015
ISBN/EAN13: 1508401659 / 9781508401650
Page Count: 80
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Education / Home Schooling

A Charlotte Mason-inspired education isn’t necessarily a set curriculum


by Debi

j0386357Over the years, people have asked me numerous questions about Charlotte Mason-style home education and how to apply it in simple and inexpensive ways. I think Charlotte Mason’s ideas, philosophies, and methods can be much simpler to apply than many people realize.

In my personal opinion, a Charlotte Mason-inspired education isn’t about a set curriculum, or a particular reading list. If a parent or teacher can grasp Mason’s basic methods and ideas, they can make anything educational and worthwhile in their home or classroom. I’ve even heard somewhere that Charlotte Mason wanted her teachers to basically throw out their teaching syllabus each year and start from scratch in order to keep things fresh and to keep the students (and the teachers!) fully engaged.

This idea resonates deeply with me.

To me, personally, preset curriculum and hard and fast scope-and-sequence always felt too much like getting an education-in-a-box. I wanted to use real books that we could hold in our hand (not online books even if they were free). I wanted to have the freedom to follow my children’s interests as things came up, and to capitalize on the natural topics in our lives as the foundation of our learning experiences.

Especially in the younger years, I feel that Charlotte Mason seemed much more concerned with how a child learns rather than what they learn. Education was a matter of establishing relationships with a wide variety of materials and experiences.  Placing a large, varied, generous feast of education before them.

I don’t know why I’m sharing this right now, other than to stress that a Charlotte Mason education is more about developing a lifetime love of learning than about following a prescribed curriculum or scope-and-sequence of “what to learn when.”

I know it’s scary to step outside the education in a box paradigm, though. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to things I wish I’d done differently or those lessons learned the hard way throughout our homeschooling years. Maybe I should write those lessons down somewhere.  ;)

~Debi


UPDATE:  This can also be found in the comment section, but I know not everyone makes their way to the comments.


I personally feel that a Charlotte Mason-style education is much more about her ideas and methods and less about any particular scope-and-sequence chosen. While I often followed the various interests of my children in our 25 years of homeschooling, we did follow a “plan” (the “What Your Child Needs to Know” series for the elementary grades), but supplemented everything with living books, nature study, narration, copywork, short lessons, etc., etc.  But I don’t think the plan I followed is the end-all-be-all, either.  Just resonated with our family.

I personally believe that Charlotte Mason lived in a very specific time and place which contributed to her specific choices of curriculum and educational supplies. She was a cutting-edge personality at her time and I personally believe would’ve been more than willing to use new twaddle-free living resources in her schools if she lived today.

On a side note, I would’ve loved to see Charlotte Mason, John Holt, and John Taylor Gatto sit down together and discuss education. There would’ve been differences and similarities, but I think those three great educational minds would’ve enjoyed the ways their methods and ideas intersect, as well.

I’m actually in the process of changing things on my website to have it reflect more of a Charlotte Mason-“style” of homeschooling rather than labeling it as specifically Charlotte Mason. The updates to the site are beginning with the “Twaddle-Free Education” subtitle. My homeschooling adventures have been Charlotte Mason “inspired” for more than a quarter of a century, but these ideas weren’t applied in my home in what could maybe be considered a “legalistic” framework. A friend of mine often says, “Some people are just CM-ier than thou.” I hope I’m not.

Personally, I always tell people that they can do what they want in their homeschool, use whatever combination of methods, ideas and resources work for them. The “Charlotte Mason Police” won’t be coming to their door to check their curriculum choices.

I’m a firm believer that homeschoolers are a wonderful and independent-minded group of people, and I want to spend my time encouraging homeschoolers to find simple and enjoyable Charlotte Mason-inspired ways to educate their kiddos. Your mileage may vary. To each his own.

Also, to avoid confusion in the future, I will make more of an effort to distinguish my personal opinions and interpretations on this website from those of Ambleside Online, Ambleside Schools International, the PNEU, PUS, Simply Charlotte Mason, Living Books Curriculum, Charlotte Mason Help, Sonlight, Mater Mabilis, My Father’s World, or whoever else is out there with Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum options.

I just don’t personally feel the curriculum choice is as important as the methods used to communicate the resources, books, etc., parents choose to use with their families.  There are lots of great options available that can be tailored to Charlotte Mason-style methods.

Charlotte Mason’s Educational Manifesto


An Educational Manifesto
by Charlotte Mason
Excerpted from School Education


“Studies serve for Delight, for Ornament, and for Ability.”

Every child has a right of entry to several fields of knowledge.

Every normal child has an appetite for such knowledge.

This appetite or desire for knowledge is a sufficient stimulus for all school work, if the knowledge be fitly given.

There are four means of destroying the desire for knowledge:— Continue reading

A Brief History of the Modern American Homeschooling Movement


A Brief History of the Modern American Homeschooling Movement

by Deborah Taylor-Hough


The history of modern homeschooling has its roots in the counterculture Liberal Left, but within twenty years, the movement was fully adopted by the equally counterculture Conservative Right. The ideologies and methodologies surrounding these two diverse and oftentimes polarized groups created an interesting mix of people and cultures within the homeschooling world. Continue reading

Books about the Oregon Trail and Pioneers

These books about the Oregon Trail and early pioneers were recommended by someone I know who particularly enjoyed studying this time period with her children.  Although she wasn’t specifically homeschooling according to Charlotte Mason’s principles, she did have a high regard for the literary value of good books.

I can’t personally vouch for these specific titles, but if I were starting a study now on the Oregon Trail, I would definitely begin here for ideas.  Also keep in mind you don’t have to read ALL of these books.  Pick a couple that interest you or your kiddos.  My friend who recommends these titles spent a complete school year on nothing else but the Oregon Trail.  They made an entire year’s worth of interdisciplinary studies around this one topic.  Your mileage may vary.  :)

~Debi Continue reading

“I resolve to read for fun with my children every day.”

One year–a long, long time ago–my New Year’s resolution was to get into the habit of reading aloud to my kiddos every evening from a “just for fun” book.

That was a resolution I kept for many, many years to come. And one of the best habits we ever built into our family.

I highly recommend it!  :)

For suggestions on books to read aloud with your family, check out this list of Twaddle-Free Literature by grade level:

http://charlottemasonhome.com/2007/05/30/literature-by-grade/

~Debi

Happy New Year, Charlotte Mason-Inspired Homeschooling Parents!

Dear Readers …

This week I had lunch with a friend from high school who I’ve gotten back in touch with the past couple of years. She’s a really great mom and values education for her son above most everything else right now (he’s a high school Junior). As we talked, it was interesting to see how much she equated “education” with official transcripts, grades, and test results. Continue reading

The New Charlotte Mason e-Magazine


Timeless Ideas for a Twaddle-Free Education™


watercolour-pencils-nature-studies-02I recently began publishing a weekly online magazine, The Charlotte Mason e-Magazine, which will feature a collection of carefully selected content and articles from around the internet from a variety of respected Charlotte Mason and other educational resources. Continue reading