Monday, May 14, 2007

my latest passion--charlotte mason education

i know, i know, i just can't seem to stay on any one topic. well my latest passion is charlotte mason education...we'll see where it leads. i've actually been fired up about it before...but lately i've really dug down and learned enough to start using it. i have decided that all the reading on all the different education styles is interesting, but it is just delaying me actually put any to practice. so i'm going to dive into CM and see where it takes us.

what i really love about CM is that it really seems to encompass so many of my beliefs in education...i find it just fascinating! not only that, but it is relatively inexpensive to practice (most books you can check out from the library) and fairly simple to understand the concepts. there's not a hugely deep philosophy to dive deeply into. its very straightforward. the best i've read on the subject were 2 books written by catherine levison: a charlotte mason education and more charlotte mason education (almost finished with this one). ms levison writes so straightforward and i find it very thought provoking and intriguing.

CM is a literature based education. and being the bookworm that i am, i'm all over that! CM would prefer that children get to know deeply and intimately fewer "topics", vs lightly knowing a huge array of topics. the depth of understanding is the key to a good education in CM. but yet CM still advocates for a liberal education...across many topics.

the only thing, so far, that i don't like about CM is the christian aspect. but so far i'm thinking it will be pretty easy for me to eliminate that aspect...there are so many "living books" out there that i do not have to use the ones that are christian biased. being that i am not christian, i'm not interested in teaching this perspective at this time. i'm ok with them learning about christianity, however, alongside islam, judaism, buddhism, hinduism, paganism, and all the other wealth of beliefs out there. i have been fascinated in the world's religions for years. i'm ok with them learning about them all. but do not want a focus on just one...so perhaps i may use some of the christian books that CM recommends, if i can find other books to balance it.

anyway, i am very excited to be reading all i can on CM right now and find so much of what she believes to be right on with my beliefs! i read somewhere recently that CM didn't believe that children were repositories of knowledge...that you cannot just pour facts into them and expect them to stick. this is response to the classical education view that young children need to be taught to memorize facts that they don't understand because they will be able to then draw on them later when they develop to the point of understanding...i just have a problem with lots of memorizing...some, sure...but i just don't feel right about memorizing in large quantities...particularly knowing they cannot yet understand it. so when i read CM's response to this it was like, "YEAH!" i totally agree that its important for a deep understanding of concepts in order for it to be processed and made part of them. otherwise its just all wasted time. which i feel much of my own education was. wasted time. so much attempted to be crammed into me that just didn't stick (because of the way in which it is "taught")

anyway i have a screaming child now (tyren) so i better get back to mommyhood and i'll write more later when i can.

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