Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just Gathering My Thoughts

We are just a few weeks away from finishing up the homeschool curriculum that we have been using and I am trying to make a few decisions about what to do after the baby comes.  I may have mentioned this before but in the end I haven't loved the curriculum.  There is so much busy work/worksheets.  Obviously, my background in early ed was in a play-based classroom.  I want to enjoy teaching the girls and at this point, I think Norah and I both dread the table work.  I have done TONS of searching for other activities that fit with the theme, but don't require us to sit at the table.  I have cut out a number of the worksheets and made games that teach the same thing - just more fun.  It is interesting to me because My Father's World is supposedly a Charlotte Mason style of teaching, but the more I read about Charlotte Mason, the less I see the connection.  Maybe I would see it more with the older grades.

The main idea of Charlotte Mason was teaching with living books - not textbooks.  The idea is that you can teach anything (math obviously needs a supplement) by using whole books.  Table work is very limited and it is focused around the books that you are reading.  
A fellow blogger recommended 2 different books that I have read and gained quite a bit of insight.  One, which I had bought a year or so ago, is Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson, and the other is an E-Book called A Charlotte Mason Primer by Cindy Rushton.  
What I love about this style of teaching is that school happens all day, not just during "school time."  Obviously there is a set time for table work, which now I refer to as "school work."  This idea seems to imply that school only happens at the table - which is not the case.  There is also an emphasis on reading - LOTS of reading!  
Anyway, there is a lot more to it, but I have just begun my research.  I think I am going to attempt to teach with a Charlotte Mason style after the baby comes.   I still have to decide on a math curriculum - I am leaning towards Math on the Level, but still need to research this a little too.  


Morgan Joy said...


I love Math Their Way. Don't know if they have stuff for younger kids, but I LOVED it with my first graders. In fact, I did more of that and kinda created my own curriculum rather than using our math series, which was a lot of worksheets. I got my stuff from a retired teacher, though, so I don't know if you can even get it anymore or how or where.....

I realized I still have not called you about the inventive writing/spelling question you asked me. Sorry! I WILL get around to it. Or you can just call me sometime if I forget.....