Home Education

We are a Catholic homeschooling family with 6 children. My oldest son was educated in school and is now working. My next son is now in college. The others are home and will all be home educated.

In this blog I will record what we are learning as a family, how we are learning it and gradually put together a curriculum and set of resources that others can use.

Charlotte Mason wrote a series of books on her philosophy and method of education which are packed with common sense and remarkably up to date approach considering she was writing over 100 years ago. Her educational approach is Christ centred and realistic.

The fact is that children are people, as Miss Mason recognized and human nature is much as it was when Adam and Eve first left the Garden. Children’s needs and ways of learning are much as they always were-and twaddle is still far too much a part of our education system. Charlotte insists that children do not need, nor respond well to “twaddle”.

Education-real education-is not about shoving children to jump through ‘academic’ hoops; to pass exams and to look good on paper; rather it about making what Kimberley Hahn calls “treasures for heaven.” As a mum my “thinking love” must be to try and help my children get to heaven, while being of earthly good.

Charlotte’s Method.

Charlotte Mason understood that children are person’s in their own right and that the natural law is written on their hearts,  but because of concupiscence must be trained in children.

She wrote of a “discipline of habits” in which parents – primarily the mother- must train the child to behave well so that he can learn.

She did not believe in starting a formal academic education for a child until he was around 6yrs old. Although she was writing in the 1890’s or so she was already seeing what research in the 1960’s and 70’s would show, that children can be harmed by pushing academic study too early. First they need the groundwork doing in memory, listening and obedience skills before they can hope to learn.

We do use a faily formal and timetabled routine in this homeschooling family. It helps keep the routine in place and help form the discipline of habits within the family as well as fascitlitate the learning of my 13 yr old.

7 responses to “Home Education

  1. Please consider submitting something to the Carnival of Homeschooling some time:

    http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2005/12/where-to-send-your-submission-for-next.html

  2. I was happy to discover your Thinking Love, No Twaddle blog today. I was unable to find a contact or email link in your blog. I hope it’s OK that I’m contacting you through a public comment. I’ve developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child’s spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

    I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in Thinking Love, No Twaddle. You can learn more about the program at http://www.SpellQuizzer.com. There’s a video demo you can watch at http://www.spellquizzer.com/SpellQuizzer-Demo.htm. I’d be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

    Thank you very much!

    Dan Hite
    TedCo Software
    Dan@SpellQuizzer.com

  3. I do admire parents who have made the commitment to be wholly responsible for their children’s education. Clearly there are many challenges to educating at home. However, I guess the new dimension for such parents is that so much information is now accessible on the Internet. So the practicalities of subject research and content to create a meaningful curriculum is so much easier now than it has ever been. I’m sure you are already familiar with sites like: http://www.parentsintouch.co.uk and http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize that help with worksheets and school subjects. I think the organisational aspects of educating at home must be really tough. I recall many years ago there was a mother (name I’ve forgotten) who educated all her children at home and they all turned out geniuses in different subjects. I wish you all the best in your endeavours.

  4. I will be coming back for a closer look at the nice list of resources, when I can. I invite you to check out my thoughts on achievement, culture, and faith (and on attempting to look presentable as a woman in the thick of the mommying) at aholisticjourney.wordpress.com.
    Diana

  5. it sounds wonderful! We like Charlotte Mason also very much, but unfortunately she isn’t very known in the German speaking part of the world. It is also more difficult to find good German books (without twaddle), but I hope I’ll manage it…..
    At the moment our children are 9, 7, 5 and 3….

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