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There are many different methods and techniques that we use in our home but I think Charlotte Mason has probably had a very large influence. Here are a list of some of her key methods that are a part of our learning model.
- Narrations – the children learn to tell back what they have heard or seen. We have found that the foundation of oral work, such as narrations, is a firm foundation for thinking and writing. We use this method in various ways regardless of the ages of our children.
- Copywork – our children use copywork to master a skill (penmanship, spelling or drawing), to hone in their observation skills, or to commit to memory facts/quotes that have taken their interest.
- Short lessons – when our children were young we had 10-15 minute focus on any one subject, as they grow their attention span grows and they can participate in a 1 hour lesson, or read for 1-2 hours. This expectation is tailored to their abilities, but the expectation is always growing.
- Whole, living books – we encourage our children to learn from a full book, rather than from encyclopaedia or textbook snippets. Reading is such a big part of our life.
- An appreciation of nature and beauty around. Though we have not been consistent with nature studies and a nature journal, our family enjoys nature and encourages observation whenever we are outdoors. We have also not been intentional in our exposure to art and music though enjoy these aspects when they come into our life.
- Creative expression – We spend a lot of time in being creative (once again depending on the gifts and talents each child possesses as to what this actually looks like)
- Life skills – we are intentional about teaching our children lifeskills in both the areas of chores and responsibilities but also as foundational skills in crafts and various hands on projects.
Many people practice Charlotte Mason in primary school but I have found many of these practices to be equally valid in Highschool – they may need a tweak, they may look a little different but the principles remain true. Read more about tweaking your methods for homeschool.
Charlotte Mason Websites I read:
Jeannie Fulbright on Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason is such a gentle way of teaching, isn't it?