Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart

I am one of the CM Mommas who did not miss the opportunity to meet Wendi Capehart in person during the Tea Time with Wendi organized by Gina of Our Living Learning.

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart 

Wendi Capehart currently is serving in the Philippines as a missionary with her husband Bill. Wendi began her homeschooling experience in 1988 when her oldest was in first grade. One of the first books she read about homeschooling was Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's book For the Children's Sake. Because of this book and Wendi's own background, which was rich in the liberal arts tradition, they have always incorporated living books, poetry, music, song, art, narration, and nature study in their homeschooling, but for several years of confusion over Mason's methods, Wendi incorporated those elements into unit studies. In 1997 she finally started reading the six volumes Miss Mason wrote and abandoned unit studies and relied exclusively on CM's methods. 
Excited by what she was seeing, she delved farther into Charlotte Mason research and soon found herself helping to develop the AO curriculum.

More about her here.

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart
Gina, giving an introduction

It was not a formal talk, unlike the usual talk. So we were gathered sitting around with coffee, tea, and cakes served. Gina is in-charge of everything and I really appreciate her hard work in this event.

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart

We began by singing a hymn which most of us were not familiar. But as we go forward were able to sing along, the beauty of hymn as Wendi puts; it brings happy hormones, it's rejuvenating and a good way to start or even have a break.

Wendi shared that during her early years with homeschooling, she made CM into a Unit Study because of the confusion with the method. She, later on, realized that Miss Mason is against it after reading her 6 Volumes. Unit Studies entail forced connections and parent is the one making most of the work. Thus, the parent is the one who learns. Whoever does more work in homeschooling, he is actually the one learning. Our children should be the one learning, though we can also learn alongside with them. 

"Children need to participate not to be entertained (esp with gadgets)." ~ Wendi

In Charlotte Mason, the books are the curriculum. God designed us to respond to stories. When you read, you're making friends outside of your home. The beauty of own reading for our kids is that they see the proper writing and the punctuation. Then, they eventually pick up the style of writing and imitates it. The language becomes their own. They pick up vocabulary from context. The more they understand the more they know. No need for a vocabulary list.

Narration is the work of the mind, there's so much going on in the mind since you need to review what happened and organize the ideas. It can be in the form of oral, drawing, acting or skits (with a time limit of course)  or even a newspaper article. You can give a blank card and popsicle sticks for Shakespeare and they can draw the characters.

When they narrate, parents are not to interrupt. We can correct them after, once done. If there are simple details from the narration that is not correct but it doesn't change the entire story, correcting is not always necessary. Some questions we can ask after narration: Do.you have anything to add? or Is this reminds you of anything else?

For written narration, we can ask our kids 6 things they like from the story, make a composition, a summary or write about the character. We can write down names, difficult words on a whiteboard or index card to help our kids in the narration.

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart

We had an immersion activity for narration where Wendi read a passage from the book Watership Down and we were to do a written narration. I thought she wasn't serious about it and honestly, in the middle of the story, my mind was wandering. The result? One sentence narration. Hahaha! It was hard really and I was like, my son can write a whole page narration while I can only make one sentence. Hahaha!

Another immersion activity we had is for Art Study. So she showed us a painting and ask us to narrate. Some questions we can ask our kids when doing picture study: What time of the day is the painting. They can also act out the picture but is best in done in Coop. The aim of Art Study is for the child to have art galleries in their own mind.

She said, we, Filipinos don't need to worry about Foreign Language because we are already using English as a secondary language. Miss Mason included foreign language to be able to connect and communicate with other people outside our country.

Wendi also shared that grades are not a good motivator. Afterall, our child is more than the job. They are to love knowledge and as parents, we need to provide a well-rounded education and give them the feast because you do not know what they can pick-up. 

Tea Time
Photo credit to Living Learning Children

She also shared several inspiring and success stories from her own homeschooling journey which really inspired us, especially a newbie like me.

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart
These ladies have been very instrumental in our CM journey.
The one introduced me to CM while the other one, I consider one of my CM mentors.

Thank you, Gina, for putting up this successful event. Thanks also to Wendi, for sharing her wisdom and love for Charlotte Mason Education. Lastly, to all AO Advisories for making this curriculum FREE and available even for us here in the Philippines.

Tea Time with Wendi Capehart
Giveaway from Gina

We were tremendously blessed! I look forward to more CM talk!

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