Thursday, January 26, 2017

Homeschooling in the Wild: Charlotte Mason and Mother Friday

Halfway through our first full year of intentional homeschooling and I'm realizing just how much I adore this aspect of motherhood. I attended state-schools all the way until college, and so my daughter and I are discovering how education at home works together, and right now, we are just reveling in the magic of it.

Our exploration has lead us so far to the Charlotte Mason method, which is rich in literature, art, music, and nature. And specifically, to the Catholic curriculum based off of that method, Mater Amabilis. But as much as I loved the tone and structure of that curriculum, some of the books don't quite fit our family..we've ended up starting there and jumping off into sometime else. 

It's a little fuller in the fairy-tale, Faith, and artistic aspects..a little wilder and free form in the nature study, and a little more rigorous in catechesis. We also have edited our history texts completely, as the books recommended seems a little limited. Since we're starting with American History, I wanted Yarrow to learn more about the people who were here before Colonization before we learned about the United States itself. 

And she is thriving in this learning environment! We have library books piled up high on the dresser, a morning basket full of the read-aloud books, and such a variety of ideas to pull from. Yarrow is really getting to know her name-saint, Paraskeva, this year! She has been so delighted to try to include her in things on Fridays especially, and to get closer to Christ through her.

We're reading poetry each morning and I can see her mind filling up with images from our newest book, The Tree is Older than You Are. 

One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is that she shares it with her brother. Watching him watch her writing out a line of poetry, or helping her collect beech leaves makes everything so rich for me. Seeing her have the chance to practice her Arabesques in between math questions is delightful. Education is such a multi-layered thing..and my children finding their own paths in it. I'm so blessed to be able to guide them, and to give them the chance to guide each other.

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