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 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.