Has anyone read or used Well Trained Mind? Can it be combined with a CM approach? Any information woild be appreciated. :)
I read it and I liked it, but it is classical education and not CM - I enjoyed reading the ideas put forth in the book, but it was a little too rigid for me, I don't like being told what I should and should not read from long lists - I like to pick and choose from the best that is out there, and if it is not classical oh well, never mind, it does not bother me. I still have the book on my shelf, because there are some interesting things in the book, but I did not use it for our homeschool though I may have gleaned some ideas from it. Maybe someone else has combined it, I personally don't think it would be successful as the demands are different between classical and CM - so lets see if anyone else has another idea. Linda
I've read it. I have DONE it. I do not think there is much scope for combination. While some of the same techniques are used, they are often for different purposes, and the language arts especially is considerably more intense in WTM style education. I encourage you to look at some of our past discussions on classical and CM comparisons and see what you think. At the very base, there are significant differences in basic philosophy on questions like what is a child? What is education? and What does a teacher do? that cause each different philosophy to play out in quite divergent ways even while sharing some books and techniques.
I have also read most of it and attempted to implement it. I will keep it on my shelf as a reference, for now, anyway. I was drawn to it during my earlier years of homeschooling, I think because it outlined exactly what to do, and I liked/thought I needed that. We have gradually become much more CM in our approach, and this next year we are making a giant leap into CM! I think I am just much more confident now and began to feel smothered by the guidelines in WTM, rather than guided by them. It kind of felt like outgrowing a pair of shoes. Just didn't fit our family anymore...not sure it ever did, really!
WTM was the first homeschooling book I ever read (about a year and a half ago) and it was great because it laid it all out and detailed exactly how a homeschool education could look - whereas before I was very nervous about "how exactly can I do this" since I have never seen a homeschool day. I liked that it showed you how you can plan your child's entire k-12 curriculum with confidence. So, I credit WTM with giving me the confidence that I can do this.
That being said, I knew straight away that the program outlined there would never work for me and our family. It was too rigid and too structured and I like flexible easy going. That is why I fell in love with CM the moment I learned about it. It is not heavy on worksheets and drill and testing. I see CM (at least for the early years) as "let's read and talk about it" and THAT I can do. That is how I always viewed education, as the sharing of ideas.
I still will recommend WTM to people that just can't wrap their brains around how homeschool could work for them. But I am always sure to tell them about this wonderful woman with great ideas about education, named Charlotte Mason.
I've read it up to my kids ages, and still pop over to their forum occasionally. I found that trying to implement both WTM and CM ideas could get overwhelming at times. WTM is just not me, but I felt the need to add to CM because of a misperception that CM wasn't as rigorous. Now that I've gone more fully CM, there is more peace and joy in our homeschool. I also appreciate that CM has a focus on the inner life and value of a child, and their relationship w/God. I didn't get that w/WTM. :)Gina
I have become kind of opinionated on WTM lately. The more I look at it, the more I don't like it. There may be a lot of surface similarities with CM, but I think what is below the surface, the values and goals, are very different. I have blogged on it here:
Thank you for posting those links, Nebby. I enjoyed reading them! I will say that I used to spend a lot of time on the WTM forums and find myself going there less and less. The number of threads/comments that I feel are hostile towards Christians has really started to bother me. It occurred to me that if others are using the same materials I am (not ALL the same, but a lot of the same curricula and methods) and are able to act in that way, I may need to re-examine my approach. Now, I know there are a lot of mamas here who are also on WTM, so please don't get mad. I am not saying everyone there is mean! It is just a very different environment. I am feeling much more at-home here at SCM!
I read the book and felt really stressed out when I read it. I finally had to put it down because for me it was anxiety inducing. As others mentioned, too rigid for my liking. Anytime I read about CM approach, I feel more at peace and like this is doable for our family.
Life is full of stress in everyday life and we all go through periods where stressful events come into our lives and cause havoc...therefore to me there is no sense in adding to that by turning school into something that is anything other than pleasant, enjoyable, nurturing and encouraging. Rigid things generally do not bring calm, peace, and enjoyment into our lives, it causes more worry and more anxiety, something we do not need to add to the daily life of a child. Childhood is so short, it needs to be nurtured, enjoyed and treasured; when we are stressing, we are doing none of those things - which harms us and the children...so keep it simple and keep it as free from stress as possible. As I come to the end of our homeschool journey, I can tell you that there are things I would have done very differently had I had the knowledge I have now. I would never have put them in PS, I would have started with the CM approach, and I would have started with MUS. I would have made much more time to smell the roses, and I would have not bought so much curriculum which just muddied the waters. I would not have been as impatient with my girls as I was when they were younger - I would have learned about their learning styles much earlier - I would have made God much more of the focal point of their days, and I would have been much more forgiving than I was at times. I would have spent more time on art, music and nature when they first started out - PS gave them none of that and I felt I had to play catch up - so remember, treasure the moments, and don't forget these are the best years of your children's lives, make them wonderful. Linda
Beautifully put, Linda. I wish I would have read and understood that when I was starting out! I remember stressing because after my dd's K year we hadn't finished our full Sonlight Core. I was going to do it over the summer to catch up. Fortunately, a more seasoned homeschooler told me to relax and just go to the zoo, etc. But that's the mindset I carried for too long....too stressful:( Gina
SowingLittleSeeds said it perfectly.
And Linda made me teary!
I loved TWTM until I actually implemented it. Then I realized it was exactly opposite of what I wanted for my kids. I think I would have actually done great with that method as a child, but it is definitely not for my boys or what I want for them.
It was one of the first home schooling books I went through and while I had it on my shelf I used it only as a reference once or twice, to get an idea from. There is so much other material out there like Lorraine Curry (sp?) And Ruth Beechick that I felt it was just taking up space, so I got rid of it. And I haven't missed it either.
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