I've been developing my own vision for what I expect for our children's education. The main criteria in my eyes is joy of learning. That will be the "measuring stick" for deciding what is working or isn't. For instance, if public school is a joyful place where learning and thriving are taking place as in the case of our daughter Anna, then that is just the right choice for her to continue her education!
Here are a few more key elements for their proper development we have begun to implement:
1. Nature study ~ that they may be in awe of the creator who created all things wondrously. And, as a foundation for learning about science as Charlotte Mason suggests.
2. Good literature ~ the classics and any work recognised for being exceptional. To introduce ideas and knowledge - food for their minds. To increase vocabulary and understanding about the world, history and social issues.
3. Narration ~ to teach them about comprehension and how to form stories
4. Scripture ~ not lessons out of curriculum but scriptures read and copied from the bible because it is a living word and they will learn to apply it with their own discernment
6. History ~ I hope to encourage a view and knowledge of history that is sequential that they know the order of things and how we got to where we are at this point in history
5. I believe we all have natural curiosity and desire to learn and our job as parents and educators is to promote it by making learning joyful - what is the use of joyless learning? The only purpose I can see is to prepare children for joyless work. But I believe we should all be able to find our natural talents and abilities to make our own mark on the world and when we have found our purpose there is much joy and fulfillment there! So they need to be encouraged to follow their instincts and think outside of the box.
So many of these ideas come from Charlotte Mason and they resonate with me. I hope to apply these concepts right along with whatever schooling we are doing. Next year will look much the same as this year except that Anna will be in middle school and Carolyn will start preschool. Every year we will evaluate our choices and decide how well everyone is doing!
Education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. Charlotte Mason
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