Favorite Posts and Where We Go from Here

Dear Reader,

Now that I have finished my series on the approaches to homeschooling, I have been pondering what to focus on next. I am still going slowly through Charlotte Mason’s original books. I also plan to continue to post on the psalms. But I would like to add to these two other types of posts. The first will be book reviews or ideas. Thanks to a friend, I have  a long lost of good books for children and I’d like to spend some time sharing what’s on it, telling you which ones we have enjoyed or asking for opinions if there are books we haven;t read yet.

The second new thing I;d like to add is to share with you some of the other blogs I read and particularly to point you to posts that I have enjoyed. My first such post is from Higher Up and Further In and is called “What about Hard Books and Uninterested Children?” Linda Fay makes some excellent points in this post. I know I have said before that we should read living books and that they should spark children’s interest. But we also need to realize that sometime sit takes a while to catch hold of a book, especially of harder ones. I know there have been books we have read that the children took a while to warm up to. One I can think of was a version of Robin Hood which was fairly difficult. Another was a book-length poem Reynard the Fox. In both cases I am glad I insisted that we continue with the book despite some initial resistance.

The other point that struck me relates to unit studies. I particularly liked this quote:

“Or perhaps, they spend several weeks studying ships or knights because their
child has an interest in them. It is possible that their children will enjoy
this study very much and will even be able to recall several years later a lot
of what they did. But the price you pay for this type of learning is that fewer
ideas are being presented to your child’s thirsty, curious mind. The fewer
ideas, the narrower their lives, And the narrower their lives, the less capacity
they have to relate and enjoy many other areas and therefore, people in this
world. Broad interests and knowledge open greater vistas to a mind, creating
more opportunities to share truth with people from all walks of life – another
reason I educate my children this way.”

That is what a Charlotte Mason education is about –putting a wide variety of ideas before the child and letting them absorb what they will. We do not make the connections for them and we do not limit what is available to them. We are doing more subjects than ever before in our homeschool this year, usually 8 or 9 different things a day. A few at least only take about 5 minutes each but still there is a lot of variety. This is a good thing. They say that a good way to get enough nutrients in your food is to eat as many different colors as possible. The food for the mind is similar. Variety is good. It allows creativity (see this post on the emphasis on STEM subjects). It allows new connections to form.

Nebby

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