We have been homeschooling since the beginning. I was one of those moms who actually spoke the words, “I could NEVER homeschool my children!” A few months later, we began our journey….using a “boxed curriculum.” It didn’t take long to figure out that this all-in-one set was not for us.
Over the years we moved from one approach to another, tried this and that – and it wasn’t working for us. I was labeled eclectic, but I felt like it was more appropriate to call me indecisive. Jumping from curriculum to curriculum was leaving holes and causing much frustration for my daughter.
After dabbling in a Charlotte Mason co-op for one semester last year, I thought maybe that style of schooling could work for us, at least some aspects of it. This year, for seventh grade, we took the plunge!
Bringing the Joy Back to Our Homeschool
We are using Charlotte Mason style curriculum for language lessons, copywork, spelling, vocabulary, and history. For the first time since kindergarten (you know, when doing school is FUN!), my daughter has not complained about any of her schoolwork. She has even WORKED AHEAD at times!
If that sounds normal to you (your kids not complaining about school & working ahead), then let me clarify our situation. We had tears! Lots of tears–from both of us! School was a fight because she didn’t want to do it. She didn’t get it. I was overwhelmed with a toddler and working from home. She would shut down, I would freak out (and repent later). This cycle was building an environment that made her and me both dislike homeschooling.
Incorporating the Charlotte Mason principles into our schooling has brought the joy back into our homeschool! She has learned to enjoy poetry, picture study, and copywork, none of which was included in previous curricula that we used. Her penmanship is beautiful and she has learned so much!
This gentle approach to learning has been so refreshing for us! Before, I thought that finishing EVERYTHING would equate to her learning more, which actually had the opposite effect. She would shut down. The repetition was so daunting to her that she actually would freeze up and forget everything she was doing.
Learning little “nuggets” of facts seem to stick a lot better than cramming a bunch of info in just to get the lesson done.
This fall I will have a 4-year-old who is REALLY looking forward to preschool. I plan on using the Charlotte Mason Style Curriculum that I started using this year with my middle-schooler. I am hoping to instill a love of learning “little nuggets” with her rather than doing a bunch of unnecessary, repetitive practice problems everyday!
So Is It Enough?
Yes! It is absolutely enough! My seventh grader has learned more using this gentle approach than she did when we finished all of the “assigned” worksheets. Next year, we might even add living math to our studies!
A scheduling method of homeschooling called Sabbath schooling saved us from burnout. Click here to read all about it!
What if you don’t love nature studies? Isn’t that a part of the Charlotte Mason Method of schooling? Read my post here that discusses that.