Char Mason is My Homegurl

Okay…so this is my 30-second post. Picture me saying all of this really really really fast. I’m trying to. My typing WPM is not what it used to be. Which means, yeah…it used to be up around 60, it’s now dangling on the edge of hunt & peck at around 20. Pathetic. But I digress (so frequently and with such vigor).

It’s Labor Day! And that’s great. Everyone’s going boating or camping or fishing or…whatever they do on Labor Day. Wonderful. And I’m not jealous. I mean, seriously, I just got back from an awesome songwriting conference in Santa Cruz. Before that I went camping with the fam. My getaway cup runneth over.

But I’m still working.

I just discovered the Charlotte Mason Method of homeschooling and I’m sooo sold. To briefly describe the method with my own introductory understanding, the idea is to use “living books”, as opposed to dry text books, for learning; putting children in direct contact with the great works, authors, composers and artists. Instead of testing what they DON’T know, the focus is more on what they have learned and their unique retelling of information absorbed. They learn composition through narration (the retelling of a passage read or heard). They learn natural science by experiencing it. The books they read/listen to are not dumbed down. They’re reading Dickens and Kipling in the early grades. Courses include (besides the usual basics) literature, history, geography, art appreciation, music appreciation, foreign language, poetry, and the formation of good habits. Sweet.

The only problem is that it’s September 7, and I need to get homeschooling rolling. I scheduled myself to start today, but I think it’s going to take the better part of the day just to figure out a plan for the week/term/year. Why couldn’t I have discovered this in May?! Anyway…it’s cool. Just gotta hit the books.

By the way, if you’re curious, here are a couple of great sites about Charlotte Mason method:

http://simplycharlottemason.com/
http://www.amblesideonline.org/

SIDE NOTE: I can’t believe how darned near hostile some people can get toward you when they hear you homeschool. It reminds me of the breastfeeding/formula debate. *sigh* Hotheads. 😉

UPDATE: People are still hotheads. And we did a science study today. It was fun. Beehives and sketch pads were involved.

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