For the last 17 years I have homeschooled our children. For the most part we have been eclectic unschoolers. I could never fully buy into being a radical unschooler, but having a daily schedule consisting of curriculum was not going to work either. While this particular method, or lack of, worked well for our older two children I was not sure I wanted to continue this path with our 3 children still at home. So, we joined a co-op and added a little more curriculum, but overall we have stayed pretty laid back in our approach. We are not exactly curriculum fools around here, but we are not unschooling either. While this is working for the time being, I am not thrilled with the direction of our homeschool and have been trying to figure out what needs changed. I didn’t know what was coming into view on our horizon…
Two years ago I dear friend began a local Charlotte Mason book study. Now Charlotte Mason was a name I have heard throughout the homeschool community, but honestly I never really paid much attention to her or her educational philosophies. However, I was really intrigued with this particular lady’s approach to homeschooling and life so I decided to attend. Over the next year I discovered that many of Charlotte Mason’s 20 principles were things I already believed. At the end of our first year of book study I was willing to give this Charlotte Mason some room in our homeschool, but how much room was yet to be determined. Summer break had arrived, life moved on, and Charlotte Mason and her ideas were put on the back burner.
As the 2018 school year began I re-dedicated myself to learning more about Charlotte Mason through the book study and joined a Charlotte Mason group. Once a month I gathered with other mom’s to continue our exploration of Charlotte Mason’s principles and philosophies. The more I read and learned the more enthralled I became. By now I owned all 6 of the pink volumes, but only ever opened 1 or 2 (Philosophy of Education & Ourselves). As for the CM group, we met twice a month for Art Study, Composer, Poetry/Recitation, Hymn/Folk song, Handicraft, Shakespeare, Swedish Drill, and Nature Study. It was a wonderful introduction for someone like myself who really had no clue how to bring CM into our homeschool. However, that truly was the extent of Charlotte Mason that would enter our lives over the next year and now summer has come upon us again.
Only this time I have a plan and made a promise to myself to learn more about Charlotte Mason, her philosophy, and how to implement a Charlotte Mason education into our home. I have put together a stack of books to read this summer: Know and Tell, The Living Page, and Pocketful of Pinecones are just a few that are sitting by my bed. These books, which I am eager to read and I expect to be wonderful, do not compare to the knowledge I hope to gain from reading Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series.