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My name is Grace and I have four children ages 7, 4, 2, and 5 months. I know my children are young, but I used to be a public school teacher and I find myself second guessing myself constantly. I love CM and I want to teach my children in a way that is gentle, allows them to explore their interests, and fosters a love of learning. I am homeschooling because I want to disciple my kids in the Lord and give them an education as I believe God desires. I do pray about planning their education and I feel like God is giving me direction, but it is scary to me. I used to used a set boxed curriculum, but I believe God led me away from it to CM. However, I find myself longing for the curriculum again,not because my kids or myself desire it, but because I think it gives security. I worry I won’t know when, how, or what resources to use to teach grammar, spelling, writing, history, geography, etc. How will I know when to introduce a subject or time period? I know it sounds silly, but these are my thoughts. I am afraid of not doing enough and doing too much at the same time. I was wondering if you all could just pray for me. I want to trust God and know that HE will lead me and help me homeschool. I don’t want to worry about Junior high or high school now. I want to be able to give my kids what they need and be at peace about it. It is so hard getting public school teacher expectations out of my head. Is there anyone who has used this method and see how their high schooler or adult child is doing? Any encouragement is very welcome. Thanks for reading this.anniepeterParticipant
It really does work… And yes, you really can relax. I’m not a teacher, but I can relate. When I started 17 years ago, I actually went to the school and borrowed the books they were using so I could be assured that we were “keeping up”! We used the math book, and the rest sat on a shelf and never got used. We haven’t “even” always done CM! In retrospect, and without intending to, we’ve probably done just about as much unschooling. But we’ve done a lot of living! We’ve always used a literature approach to history, never used textbooks except for math and occasionally science, never got my plans finished or half of what was planned accomplished… You can only do better than that starting out and continuing CM! And in spite of all that, my first two kids have grown into wonderful young adults at 20 and 22. One had very high ACT scores and did some accelerated distance learning to get started on a college degree before becoming certain of her calling to give her life to ministry. She is settled in that now and doing very well. The other (son) is very different and has taken as very different path. He accepted an opportunity to manage a dairy farm on his own in another state for a season before graduating from high school, and has had several other growing and stretching experiences along the road. Now he has just started a new job at a ranch for troubled boys, working toward an opportunity to take a mentor position there later this summer. He is absolutely loving it and we are thrilled to feel that he is now discovering what he is made to do.
I have not arrived yet. I am still growing as a mother and teacher, and still working on getting some of the CM methods going. The best way is to just start with a few basics and get them going till they go smoothly, then add one more at a time. Hope this helps to give you confidence. Blessings to you!Melanie32Participant
I recommend reading some really good CM books to get a better idea of how CM methods work. I, personally, believe that CM methods are superior to traditional educational methods. That is why I have chosen to use them in my homeschool.
I highly recommend these CM books:
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley
Charlotte Mason’s original writings-I recommend starting with book 1 and book 6
I have also heard great things about Karen Glass’s Consider This. Hers deals with the fact that a Charlotte Mason education is truly a classical education.
I have been trying to implement CM methods in my homeschool for the past 12 years. I have had moments where I wavered and tried more traditional curriculum or unit studies. I always came back to CM methods because they work! Charlotte Mason wanted her students to care about things, not just learn about them. I want my children to care about history, science, nature, art, music, literature, etc. I want my children to form relationships (a CM principle) with the people, places and things they are learning about-not to just memorize dry facts and move through textbooks and workbooks. That is how I was educated and it wasn’t effective in helping me to love learning or in helping me to retain the information I “learned”.
A Charlotte Mason education is a meaningful education. It may feel relaxed at times because you and your children are enjoying it so much but a CM education is actually quite rigorous. Charlotte Mason would have you introducing your children to Shakespeare and Plutarch and great classical literature at a fairly young age. Your children will be doing copywork and dictation from classic literature and speeches. They will be doing oral essays (narration) from a very young age.
Try using CM methods for yourself. Try reading a portion from a great living history book and narrating from it yourself! Try copywork and dictation yourself and see how much attention you must pay to copy and write from dictation properly. This is hard work CM requires of us and our children-much harder than fill in the blank and multiple choice workbooks.bethannaParticipant
I was going to suggest some good CM reading materials also. I have found inspiration & encouragement from this site & forum especially, but also a few blogs. I was a public school teacher before having my own children. There is so much of the school-ish mindset that I rejected when I embraced the CM philosophy & methods. And it really does work! We have all probably felt fearful and/or intimidated at some time or another. As my oldest daughter approached school age I totally panicked at the thought of teacher her to read! I was sure that I could not do it. So I read and read and re-read CM’s original writings about teaching reading. I typed up some poems and cut copies apart so we could manipulate the words. We began word building and reading lessons, as I understood them at the time. I would have bought Delightful Reading if it had been available then. We did also do some phonics with traditional readers, but I went at my daughter’s pace and when she no longer seemed to need that type of instruction we dropped it.
Focus on developing good habits as you start this CM journey. Good habits benefit any approach to education, but one of the things I love about CM’s view of education is the balance of Atomosphere, Discipline (habits), and Life. SCM has a great free e-book and many wonderful blog entries about habits. The Laying Down the Rails books/dvd as well as The Early Years book/dvd have been some of my favorite purchases from SCM.
Welcome to the forum!
Thanks for the replies. I have For the Childrens Sake. I will read it again and spend more time learning more about the method. I think that will help.mommamarthaParticipant
Dear new to CM homeschooling, it’s like a revolution. Very exciting for me to see your post. Something you may benefit by having a CM mentor, bare in mind, our homes are likely very dynamically different with different callings, but I feel encouragement from other moms that have been in your position is very helpful. Being virtuous is very important down this road. Like, contentment, patient, with yourself especially, honest about the newness and difference in teaching strategies.
Also, don’t measure your kids achievements by other similar aged public schooled kids. Because, CM measures many other important factors than what info can be regurgitated.
It takes a leap of faith that this is a superior way of schooling, and I believe it is. For right now with such a busy household, I’d prioritize reading outloud and virtues building in your children.
In a support homeschoolers group, I help families. Firstly, we write their homeschooling mission statements, which ours hangs in our kitchen, to remind us. Our reads:
“Our school mission is to first love our Lord with all of our hearts and souls, second, strengthen our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ by serving,loving and helping others and finally, to cultivate the love of learning. ” I felt this was so important because your outlook of life will dictate your priorities and help with setting goals.
I’ve been homeschooling for 6.5 years with 2 years ScM, and I feel to be most content with schooling, I have to disguard most of the advice and treat it a bit like an experiment and build on the things that work and don’t sweat the small stuff that doesn’t.
This year our family decided to add part-time babysitting into our homeschool, firstly because of the great need in our area and secondly to have a cm “PRE-K” environment. the 3 families that are involved love it. My prayer is to promote Homeschooling and it show families the wonderful benefits.
My children are 20 yo son (graduated), 14 yo son, 10 yo daughter and 7 yo son. Your fabulously courageous to have landed in the world of SCM!
Prayers for strength and excitement! Martha
I would love a mentor! There isn’t a good support group near me, but we will be moving to Texas so hopefully we will find one there.MelissaParticipant
Having the SCM lesson plans (one for Bible/History/Geography and one for Enrichments) helps me tremendously to have a sense of structure and when to do what, which chapters to have the kids read, etc. I just open them up and see what’s next. for math, science and L.A. it too a little while to get the hang of what to expect of the kids but it’s become pretty routine now that we’re halfway through our first CM year.
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