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Charlotte Mason Opinions? Other methods?

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:43 pm
by Xapis10
I am starting to look at what to buy to start homeschooling (son just turned 5). In reading about different methods, I know we are not unschoolers. I don't think we will go with the classical method either.

Charlotte Mason intrigues me, but I struggle with reading that EACH of her 20 points must be followed. If I am not willing to commit to that, should I look at other methods, or is it common to take only 3/4 of her advice? I guess the idea that she must be strictly followed feels a bit cultish, and makes me wary of it.

I like a Biblical foundation for history, for life, etc. I like a manipulative approach to math that teaches a student to think through for themselves how it all works, instead of memorizing formulas (not that I'm against all memorization for other purposes). I believe in using phonics to learn to read. I like hands-on things, but I also believe in lots of reading and not too much video/internet. But when I say "reading," I am not talking about requiring the "classics" that supposedly every person must read, because these were not necessarily voted upon by people with a Biblical worldview. What category of homeschool method does this sound like? (or combination of methods?)

Thanks so much for ANY help :)

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:18 pm
by elliemaejune
No one except Miss Mason herself followed every jot and tittle she prescribed. :D

I think you should do as much as you can and let the rest go.

Have you seen Ambleside Online? That seems to be a pretty good CM site. :-)

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:26 pm
by hscoach
The homeschooling method you described is called "eclectic". That just means you will be using a combination of several different methods. That is what I've always done. I am a lot like you. I can't bring myself to be a total unschooler, I combine different methods and I really like some of Charlotte Mason's ideas - but I definitely don't follow all of them. That's okay!

Best wishes!

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:49 pm
by Xapis10
Maybe I should clarify a bit that I know I can pick and choose from Charlotte Mason if I want :) I just wonder why she (or is it just her followers...) is so strict about following it all. Is there something at the core of her beliefs that is weird there? Something that taints her points and overall method? I guess I'm wondering if she really had a similar Biblical worldview that I have.
Thanks for the input so far :)

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:28 am
by Theodore
Well... it may only be Charlotte Mason-ish if you're following 3/4 of the principles, but practically speaking, that's up to you. The nice thing about homeschooling is that you - not the state, or the federal government, or any subset of homeschoolers - have total control over the education of your children.

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:09 pm
by Llola
Take a little of this method, and a little of that method and create your own homeschooling method.

I'm an eclectic homeschool mom. I pick and choose whatever I think will work for my kids.

I recommend reserving a copy of 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum from your local library.

It doesn't matter

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:42 am
by southernlover
You seem a bit worried that Charlotte Mason may have had some beliefs you don't agree with, and thus wouldn't want to use any of her method... is that right?

I would just say not to worry about any of that at all. It's not relevant. All that matters is that you teach your children in a way in which they understand and enjoy learning. Atheists can have great ideas, but just because they don't have faith, doesn't mean we can't adopt those same ideas- kwim? Don't worry about who had what idea or why... that's legalism, and will get you no where. Just do what YOU and your children enjoy, focus on God (if you so choose :), and you will do well. Hope this helps!

P.S. - I LOVE living books, and that's what I draw from Mason. Read read read!

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:36 am
by satiglenn
I love Charlotte Mason's idea of reading quality literature to young children, and not dumbing it down. Even the youngest child will get much more from treating them like important and adequate individuals, than they will being treated like an idiot by being read simple stupid stories (think goofy, singing, dancing, brightly colored smiley faces. Um, no. Lol) . Now, with that said, I think Charlotte Mason was nuts about lots of stuff, and I do not follow much of her teachings. They just don't work for us. Find what DOES work for you and your kids, and do that. Doesn't matter what it's called, or if it even has a name. If it works, then it's right :)