Wow!!!! Where do I begin?! I have been contemplating school for next year. It has been such a long three months since our baby Samuel died, and I am just finally getting back in to the groove of things, somewhat anyway. What has been a huge blessing to me was the Homeschool Expo sponsored and put on by Cindy Rushton. I love Cindy!! I have always enjoyed her website, blogs, ezines, etc., but was especially blessed when she helped encourage me through her emails (being able to relate with me after losing a baby/babies) herself. She blessed me with a special opportunity to join the Expo a couple of weeks ago. I needed that burst of excitement and encouragement again! It was like a breath of fresh air for me! I had a great time visiting with all the other moms there, sometimes there were as many as 200 of us at a time for one class! That was awesome!!! At any rate, I enjoyed the Expo very much!!!! If you happen to read this, thank you again Cindy!
This is what brings me to my thinking here. God continually keeps bringing me back to this one path over and over again. I have been reading (as often as time allows me to) anything I could find and devour on the subject. You could say that it is a philosophy...a way of raising children...the Charlotte Mason way!! :+)
Charlotte Mason was a British Educator who was born in the 18oos. Her Victorian style of writing often throws people for a loop in today's world, but her ideas deserve a second and third look. First, she begins by reminding mothers that there is no higher calling, no greater responsibility, than raising a child. She believes that, "Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life." She uses a literature-based approach to education and believes in using few textbooks or workbooks (though we will be using them for math at least for this coming year), there are oodles of interesting books to read and/or have read to our children. Every day there are art projects, nature walks, music or some sort of activity to do. She believes that children of all ages should have plenty of play time outdoors whenever absolutely possible. She believed that fresh air and sunshine are so important for our children. Freedom to run, play and go where their imagination takes them. She truly believed that wholeheartedly. So do we. That's one reason we moved out to the country in the first place 7 years ago , and why we moved back out to the country a year ago, this time to stay, after a short period of five months in town again. Our hearts belong in the country!!! Ask any of our children and I think they would all agree (except for maybe our oldest son Zach right now). (grin)
So, as far as our 4 youngest children, and God willing, will be using the Charlotte Mason ideas and principles of schooling this upcoming school year. There are several curriculum websites geared toward helping someone who wants to school this way, to set parents on the right path, and we are checking into which ones we want to use. Right now we are vacillating between AO (Ambleside Online), or OFE (Old Fashion Education). I am praying for God's guidance on which to use. There are a couple of others as well, so time will tell where God will lead.