Friday, August 4, 2017

Our Journey to Charlotte Mason Education

Our Journey to Charlotte Mason Education

I came to know Charlotte Mason Education when a dear friend shared with me this video of Sonya Schaffer about Five Flavors of Homeschooling, way back 2015. We've been homeschooling for about two years then and has been using the traditional method with a few unit studies. I realized, there are other styles or methods of homeschooling that can be used and utilized aside from the one we grew up with. That's the beauty of homeschooling, you can customize education. After watching the video and doing the test, CM Method resonates to me and I say to myself, I want that. It will be a good fit for our family.

Not long, I started checking google for resources and to my surprise, there are actually a lot of CM resources available and It was overwhelming. My friend pointed me to AmblesideOnline. However, I find it intimidating. Instead, I started exploring Simply Charlotte Mason by Sonya Schaffer also. I found very helpful step by step instructions on how to apply this method in different subjects. I was not able to fully embrace it during this time because I don't have the necessary books. With SCM, you need to purchase the books and it was disheartening because these books are not available locally.

Since I really wanted to apply CM in our homeschooling, I started with some of the riches: picture study, composer study, copywork and nature study. Though, I'm still using the traditional approach in our major subjects.

Fast forward, it was only last December 2016 that we finally embraced the method. I got so tired of our usual homeschool routine. There are instances that I am forcing my child to answer certain test and would end up doing it the entire day, wasting both our time and efforts. I knew he is not enjoying it, and I too. This got me burned-out as well. I realized we are just bringing school at home, sad to say. It dawned on me only then that this is not how homeschooling should be, there's more to it and I need to get out of the box. 

"The Charlotte Mason method uses living books with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity, narration instead of comprehension exercises or composition, copywork for handwriting, spelling and grammar modeling, nature observation as the primary means of early science, and literature, poetry, art and music to give children's minds beautiful ideas to feed on." ~ AmblesideOnline

Another friend of mine recently homeschooled her child using Charlotte Mason Method and AmblesideOnline Curriculum. She really put her heart to learn the method and the curriculum. So, I was encouraged to venture into it and I was determined this time to take our homeschooling to another level.

AO is a FREE Christian CM curriculum created by Moms who have seen firsthand what the method has done for their own children and homeschool experience. I'm grateful to these people who have put a lot of effort in coming up with this rich curriculum for free. I started easing 1-2 subjects and slowly doing the entire AO Year 1 Curriculum. We are now wrapping-up our Year 1 and I'm blessed to have a friend who is my go-to person for questions. She selflessly shared her knowledge to me as well as resources. 

I'm also thankful that nowadays, there are different support groups in facebook for those wanting to implement CM. I learned a lot from different Moms from AmblesideOnline group. I also joined the newly created local CM group, Charlotte Mason PH headed by Gina Guerrero-Roldan of Our Living, Learning

I am still learning this method by reading Miss Mason's six-volume book series (I'm not even finished with the first volume, haha!) and at the same time, I listen to A Delectable Education podcast. I also attended one of Gina's talk on CM Education which I will share on my next blog.

There is a lot to learn about Miss Mason's principles but the more I discover it, the more I'm loving it. I can see how I and my child benefited from this and there's no turning back. We are happy to make this big switch.

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