Friday, January 28, 2011

Charlotte, Oh Charlotte... I HAVE FAILED YOU!!!!!

I am not a by the book Charlotte Mason Home educator, as I am sure you have figured out if you are one and are reading my blog... I do strive for the 7 primary characteristics. I don't want to be accused of plagiarizing so I will just connect you to a great link that lays them out plainly and simply, HERE.                                 
Like I said I strive to reach these goals... but I more often times FAIL! After you click on the link above and have read all the wonderful characteristics that make up a Charlotte Mason education... Come back here and I will show you you how I have fallen flat on my face  failed to bring every aspect into my home perfectly... After all, no one is perfect. Are they?!?!

The basics... 

  1. Habit ~  Oh boy do we have bad habits in this house. ALL OF US!!!! It is so easy to get focused on education and forget that the education is only a part of the person they will become. It is so easy to slip into bad habits. I need to get the train back on the rails.
  2. Short Lessons  ~ This is so important and yet we slide here too. There are days when I have pushed forward instead of pulled back. Those are the most miserable days. More importantly they are missed learning opportunities! Rather than push through the dawdling I need to stop, switch gears, and work on more positive habits.  
  3. Living Books ~ This is the whole reason I began looking into Charlotte Mason. It is so much more fun to learn from a good living book. Here I would have to say I am mostly successful. I fail in this area when it comes to Science though. I want to offer up the modern world and modern science. Not just the natural world in our own backyard but the whole universe from atoms to gas giants. I have found some wonderful living books on modern science.. but I have stumbled into some stinkers too. WHEW!!! 
  4. Narration ~  I think we are pretty good about this. I love narration. I think if Charlotte Mason were alive today though she would like lapbooks for younger kids. I love using lapbooks to express what they have learned. It is also nice for them to look back at and reference through. It reminds them of what they learned. They are fun to create and since we get all of our books from the library, it is nice to have something to keep about a favorite subject. Not to mention they make great keepsakes. 
  5. Dictation ~ I am not very strict about this. I started out with copywork and never made it to dictation. We have fun little spelling bees in the car.  Skittles has a daily writing assignment. Sometimes it is simple penmanship. Sometimes it is a story starter. He is such a great story teller that I want to encourage it. I also work on grammar bit by bit. I introduce one idea at a time. Last week we studied compound words and this week we are studying contractions.  Maybe next year I will trust myself more... maybe not. 
  6. Art & Music study ~ I have admitted before that I am lousy at this! I really want to expose my children to the arts more but I have a hard time drumming up the motivation. I guess I have not found a way to make it fun.. and so.. I suffer. :-( We all do actually because I believe the Arts make our lives richer. I have started listening to music throughout the day from our chosen composer. I have only done 1 art study though. I think I will try a free unit study for any great artist. If it works out I will post it up for you.  
  7. Nature Study ~ Since I am confessing all the ways I am failing at being a good Charlotte Mason home educator... Here is the big one!!! I blogged about my one and only true nature study this year. Now don't get me wrong we go on nature walks daily. We walk in a variety of places. We discuss the things that we see around us.. but alas.. I always forget our backpack full of notebooks, pencils, and magnifying glasses. etc... All of which would be dispensable except for my Field Guide. I  would love to point out a berry on a tree and know the name of it. I really need to remember to bring that thing with me at the very least. Instead the whole backpack full of nature capturing treasures is sitting by my bed. 

I guess as I read this blog to myself.. I am failing at going by the book but my kids ARE learning.. and for the most part we are having fun... and that is what matters... Sorry Charlotte. I guess I am not as methodical as I would like. You might say that my style is Charlotte Mason inspired... 

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