Doesn’t everyone want to give their children the best education possible?
Our family surely does, and we considered all the options: private, public, and homeschooling and talked to some very wise people on all sides of the issue. Finally, after a lot of prayer, we decided home education made the most sense for our family for now.
Why do I say “for now”?
I think it would be foolish to think we know everything God has planned for our future. Just as homeschooling may not be for every family or even every child, homeschooling for our family may not be for every season. I want to make sure I am continually striving to do God’s will in our family even if that means things change in the future. However, as my children’s parent, I still will always be his first and foremost teacher. Even if they were in a traditional school, I have an awesome responsibility to train my kids up in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). It is very humbling.
After coming to the realization God is calling our family to homeschool, I suddenly discovered just how big and diverse the homeschooling population is. I found there were a number of different philosophies out there including, but not limited to: Montessori, Classical Education, Unschooling, Unit Studies, and Traditional.
I want to give my children the best education I can provide, and it was difficult trying to wade through all the different ideas and theories that were out there.
Finally, I found a method that I knew would fit our family. A method that:
- Focuses on my children as whole people; persons who are physical, intellectual, and spiritual.
- Stresses habit formation, since nothing can be done if our habits are unstable.
- Strives on learning through one’s home and outdoor environment and not “dumbing” things down to a child’s level.
- Emphasizes gentle learning through the reading of living books narrated by the child, with lessons intended to be short and precise (no busy-work!).
Intrigued yet? What I found was the Charlotte Mason Method.
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived at the turn of the twentieth century. As a Christian woman, she saw children as whole people not just brains waiting to be filled up with knowledge. She believed that “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life”, and she stressed children should be brought up trained in the formation of good habits and given good living books. Her method was based on her 20 Principles of how she viewed the world. These basic principles and the method she devised strongly appeal to my sense of how I view my children, and as a homeschooling mother, I want my children to have an education where they are especially viewed as people who have been created in the image of God.
There are some amazing resources out there if you want to find out more.
Charlotte Mason Books
- Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschool Series
- For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
- Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
- Free Resources by Simply Charlotte Mason