Is CM just for fine arts lovers? What about logic minds?

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  • RachelReady

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi! I am wanting to hear input on this “issue.” I am surrounded by CM homeschool moms and am inspired by much of what I hear about following a CM education. I love the living books, focusing on your child’s interest, nature study, and spreading the feast. That being said, I am more of a math, objective, logic brained type. I have never, personally, cared for things like shakespear or much of the old english based literature. Many poems leave me thinking “what the heck does that even mean?” I’m not real artsy either. To be honest, I question the value of some of these fine arts beyond just personal enjoyment (which is fine)! Does this leaning make it difficult to do CM? I would love to hear your thoughts. I don’t think it’s just that I was not educated by passionate people. I just think my God-given leaning is not toward those things, but rather objective, real, material things. Can one incorporate CM ideas and still basically do CM if they really do not love “literature” in it’s more artistic form? Some background is that I have a 5.5 year old, 3.5 year old, and a 1 year old. I will start homeschooling in the fall and am figuring out my method/philosophy. I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and experiences. Thank you!</p>


    I’m also a more concrete, logical thinker. I don’t get poetry when it’s supposed to be interpreted and I’m not a huge art person. But the CM approach to fine arts is so much easier for me than the stuff I did in high school. We can just read a poem for fun and look at a painting to see the beauty rather than have to figure out the method used to paint it.



    There have been multiple studies done that prove that studying the arts/humanities make better thinkers of the scientists. I don’t know if they will be helpful, but here is a couple of links to articles on this:

    There was one thing in your post that caught my attention. A CM education is not child-led. In Charlotte Mason philosophy, you are feeding a child’s whole mind. Just as you nourish his body with a healthy diet of varied veggies, fruits, proteins, grains, legumes, nuts, etc., you nourish his mind with beautiful images, wondrous math concepts, lovely music, adventurous literature, up close and personal nature study, the grand pageantry of history, various branches of science, fun and stirring poetry, learning to draw, life skills, handicrafts with a real purpose, and more. Nourish his soul by teaching him about God and helping him to have his own relationship with him. Nourish his emotions by being with him, loving him, and introducing him to all the wonders of the world in a safe environment with a guide that wants the best for him, which is you! But you are introducing these things – he is not picking and choosing. In many ways, he must be taught this wide variety before he can make an informed choice.

    Each of these fine arts help your child to develop a lot of unsung, but necessary, skills for life: attention to detail, discipline, empathy, emotion, discrimination of taste (truth, goodness, and beauty), critical thinking, and more.

    Nature study actually lays a very strong foundation for the sciences as they get older. Spending time observing nature up close and personal lets them develop relationships with various animals, weather and plant patterns and more. Then as the technical names and terms are introduced in higher sciences, your child will have real life understanding of the topic. CM called it giving names to old friends. As your child grows and matures, you introduce him to wide varieties of sciences: CM taught Botany, Geology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. There are others, as well. Nature study will have prepared him for this.

    As your children get older you add in other subjects like literary analysis, logic, economics, government, etc. You add in the higher maths and sciences.

    And really, CM does not advocate that you have to understand everything the way our educational models do. It is enough to introduce children to something like a beautiful painting, a lovely piece of music, or a poem or story and let them take what they will from it. And I promise that they do. You will learn, too. It is kind of like being a new parent with a brand new baby and growing into the whole parenting thing with the child. 😉

    The whole gist of this is that as you spread the wide lovely feast of subjects – both fine arts and more logical ones – before your child, he will have had exposure to lots of ideas and he will find the ones that truly speak to him and nourish his soul through out his life, not just in a money-making career.



    Goodness, sheraz, what a beautiful post! Thank you for the reminders and encouragement!


    Thought this might be of interest to you, too.


    Rachel, have you looked at Timberdoodle?  I am planning on adding some of their stem, drawing, and logic items to our day.

    I do think art, literature, and other parts of the feast are essential and have read about studies showing how important they are.  You can find ways to teach these that will come naturally.  For Shakespeare we listen to the Arkangel cds and follow along in our own copy of the play.  My 8yo is an amazing narrator of Shakespeare and I’ve done little except ask “what did we just read?”  There are many art programs that use video to teach…or get a basic art book and join in with your kids!  My artistic DD has found many online opportunities to expand her skills in drawing and painting.  I have a science loving DS who isn’t a fan of drawing.  He draws in more of a technical style, and I love that about him.  He comes up with the most interesting drawings.  Who knows, maybe he’ll be another David Macaulay!

    Whatever curriculum you go with, you can take small baby steps and introduce things gradually.  We held off on Shakespeare for years!  I’d read an occasional excerpt or poem of his, but we didn’t read an actual play until this past year (we’ve been homeschooling for 10 years, mostly using CM methods).  My kids are loving it and we can still get to many plays before my oldest graduates in a few years.

    I think the point of many of these subjects is to expand their world.  You are a logic-minded person, but your children may be young poets or artists waiting to be encouraged!  Either way, I think we can all benefit and be nurtured by the beauty in music, art, and written word!  Even if it’s out of our comfort zone.


    Thanks for all the input everyone! I am encouraged!

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