I am really an eclectic homeschooler in that I choose whatever method and whatever resource will assist me in reaching my goals with my children at any given time. One of the things that I have learnt is that I have to ‘tweak’ things to fit my family – my family is unique, just as yours is, and each unique child needs a unique approach in order for them to reach their optimum.
Over the years Charlotte Mason has been an influence in our home – her philosophy has influenced me, and her methods are the foundation of many of the things we do. Here are some of the key principles as outworked in our home:
Children are born persons
I believe that God created my children whole beings, that they are little people and need the respect and consideration that big people need. They also have sin issues that need to be dealt with. I believe it is my responsibility, as the God given parent, to instruct and train my children in God’s ways. They do not need to wait till they are ‘old enough’ to understand God’s word. They do not need to wait till they are ‘old enough’ to walk in His truths.
Education is an atmosphere
When we are discipling our children we need to use every situation, every environment we find ourselves in as an opportunity to teach our children. I used to say that homeschooling was our lifestyle, but now I say our lifestyle is our homeschool. (Read about more about that quote)
Education is a discipline
As we walk in God’s truths, as we practice His words, habits are formed, our character is developed. We need to give our children every opportunity to see their choices in light of Gods Word, to give them time to practice good character.
Education is a life
My desire is for my children to have understanding but to seek wisdom. Wisdom is the practical application of knowing Jesus. Whenever we learn anything we need to consider Jesus, be it in our practical life, our moral standards or our academic studies. There is no separation between the physical world and the spiritual; God is involved in all aspects of our life.
A child’s mind has an appetite for knowledge
It is easy to give my children the facts but I want to teach them to think, to come up with ideas, to make connections with truths. We read, talk, and write as our primary method of formal learning, though there are also many hands on situations as well (though they always include plenty of talking!) Conversation stimulates ideas.
A child requires much knowledge, to feed the brain
It is our intent to give our children a broad general knowledge as we believe this will make them well rounded, able to participate in a wide variety of social situations and conversations.
I believe Charlotte Mason wrote with a discipleship application in mind. Whenever we read anything, we read it with our ‘glasses’ on – what glasses do you read Charlotte Mason’s 20 Key Principles? Through the glasses of education, or through the glasses of discipleship?