We are about to embark on our homeschooling journey! Exciting, lots of work and planning. We’ve been doing preschool at home for a couple of years. But now that we are “officially” about to start has made me spend more time studying and preparing to start this journey. Over the last year I have read much about different philosophies of education. There is a lot of information out there- about philosophy, programs, curriculum. Well – I don’t know exactly if I would fall in a Charlotte Mason/classical but that is what I lean towards. Or maybe some would say a literature approach. With a little bit of Montessori hands on learning too. Sometimes I think there are too many labels.
Knowing your philosophy of education, what works for your family, your child and of course for you-the teacher will play a big part in choosing your curriculum. This year I am not buying a whole box curriculum or following a scheduled like Ambleside Online. Maybe next year I will. Or maybe I will continue to choose separate materials and books and put together my own. We will see as time goes on. The nice thing is you’re not stuck you can always change something to fit your need-your students needs.
This year we are still keeping it pretty simple around here. My daughter is on the young side. So I still want to provide ample time for free play. So much learning takes place when children have time to just play and to play deeply, without adult intervention. I want to make sure that she still get lots of time to do that!
I want our homeschool to have time for play and for creativity. My daughter LOVES to do paint or do crafty things. I want to make sure she has time to be creative to get out the paints, coloring, time to do a handicraft, or nature journaling…or even glitter and glue! Maybe it is just learning to bake muffins or frost a cake. As a teacher I want to make sure this time is available to do those things.
This year I also want to continue fostering a love for reading. We want to enjoy lots of books together from picture books to chapter books and poetry. The saying learn to read so that you can read to learn is so true but a child has to have a love for reading too!
Habits. This year I want to develop good habits…well every year I want to do this! If you’re familiar with Charlotte Mason you know that Education is an atmosphere, and discipline, and life. When she is talking about discipline she is talking about habits. I want to develop habits this year in my daughter that will help her not just now but later in her schooling. Such as paying attention, doing her best work, cleanliness, kindness and so on. This also means that I must have the habits that I want her to have too.
Short Lessons. Charlotte Mason said to keep lessons short. One reason was so that they pay attention. Another is so that they have the afternoons free for play for creativity for nature.
A few areas we are not Charlotte Mason followers….
Learning Games and STEM. We are a math and science family. WE LOVE IT! And my hubby he is and engineer and well technology is just a way of life now. We are a low tech family as in my daughter doesn’t get a lot of screen time. But we want her to know how to use technology and maybe one day how to develop her own software, or read code and write it. My hubby the other day was talking about how he was learning how to read and write code as a young child. It’s kinda like learning a foreign language.
Age. Like a mention before my daughter is on the young side for kindergarten. She is 4 1/2. Charlotte Mason and others say to wait for formal lessons (mandatory lessons) to wait until the age of six. I will say after reading Home Education, She says if the child shows an interest than to teach them but not force lessons. She even says two year olds will want to learn their letters! Maybe she would be for learning through play 😉 Anyways my daughter is ready for lessons. And my hubby started school at 4 1/2 so this is what we are doing as a family. This is an area where you will find various answers throughout Charlotte Mason communities. But what it really boils down to is doing what is right for your family. You can read and read and ask question but ultimately the decision will be yours. You know your child!
We are so looking forward to this year! To beginning this journey of homeschooling!