Saturday, February 24, 2007

So much to blog about so little time

I noticed that I have been blogging about once a week until recently. That seems reasonable for a busy homeschool mom, right? Then as I tried to keep up on the blogs I like to read, I realized that these women are posting much more often. Where do they find the time? As I have tried to find a schedule that works for our family, I find that if I take time for school stuff, I have no time for other stuff and vice verse.

Our school stuff is going really well lately. We have spent the whole month of February learning about Ancient Greece and Greek Myths and the girls are loving it. It is hilarious to hear my 4 year old running around talking about Dionysus. And today my older two asked if it was OK to draw more pictures for their gods and godesses book even though it wasn't a school day! Ah, music to a homeschool mom's ears. Then they made art galleries in their rooms and wrote down the names of all their visitors - greek gods and goddesses, of course. It was amazing to see my 6 and 8 years old carefully writing and spelling correctly names like Aphrodite and Apollo. The amount of school-like stuff that was done today was astounding, but I am still not convinced about unschooling.

I recently borrowed A Charlotte Mason Companion from a friend. I have read many homeschool philosophy books in the last 6 months -
Teach Your Own by John Holt
Family Matters by Guterson
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by the Moores
Homeschooling for Excellence by the Colfaxes
Beyond Survival by Waring
A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
The Unschooling Handbook by Griffith
The Well trained Mind
and several others. (No, wonder I have no time! I admit that I did skim a few of them.) As I read these books, I half agreed with each one's philosophy. I am now 5 chapters into A Charlotte Mason's Companion and I keep wanting to shout out loud, "Yes, exactly!"

Here are 2 quotes that really struck me:

"We never know just where a child's talents lie, until we give him a variety of opportunities and a wide curriculum... therefore, in the morning sow thy seed, and the in the evening withold not thy hand, for thou knowest not which shall prosper"

"Although children will pick up ideas, they will also run out of them unless they are given a regular supply."

These quotes just really confirm my thoughts that I should plan a schedule of topics that we should learn instead of just being child lead. I have seen my 4 year pick up tons of stuff this year and it is wonderful, but it is just as wonderful to see all of my girls taking what I have chosen to teach them and expanding upon it during their free time.

When I first heard of Charlotte Mason, I thought, based on overhearing other homeschool moms talking, that her philosophy was all about running around in nature and learning in an unschooly fashion. Once I learn more about CM, I knew that I liked alot about it, but wasn't entirely convinced. I didn't really understand narration or copywork and dictation. Then I took a homeschool styles quiz and got Charlotte Mason as my style. I had begun to think of myself as an ecletic homeschooler, but was now wondering if I did lean more torward CM. Now that I am reading Karen Andreola's interpretation, I am even more convinced that if I had to label my style I would say I have a definite leaning towards CM.

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