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About This Club

<p>For those that embrace Charlotte Mason's teachings or philosophy and practice them in their homeschool journeys.</p>

  1. What's new in this club
  2. I would probably call this sort of thing something like the "decorative arts". So not fine arts, so much, but toward making the environment around you more appealing. It's fairly common for artists to do fine art but also "craft". So for example, I used to know a fellow who was a scrimshaw artist, whose work generally needed to be done on old ivory. Ivory is expensive and not that easy to fine, so if he got a nice large piece - often a walrus tusk, he spent quite a lot of time making an original piece. If you bought one, it was completely unique and also very expensive. He also used to do quite a few smaller pieces, usually on old piano keys which he mounted in a nice frame. These are smaller and cheaper, and the pictures while not identical, were more alike - there were a few general themes he would use for these though he varied them to keep it interesting for himself. You could buy one of these for a much lower price, but he made and sold a lot more of them and they accounted for more of his income. He made a pretty standard differentiation between these things - the former group was fine art, and the latter craft. I think they are both very valid. The only kinds of "craft" I don't really like are the ones people know are essentially meant to be thrown away, they are just busywork.
  3. I’ve read them but could check in and reread some if you have enough interest.
  4. I was thinking about Mimm's book club from the Hello thread here. Is anyone interested in reading through Mason's works a little at a time, and commenting - kinda like the Book A Week thread?
  5. It would be amazing if the pinned science threads on the HS board could be updated.
  6. I like the bigger picture of developing respect for the physical world, and competence. The cooking dd has done with Guesthollow's Kitchen Chemistry has been very good for developing kitchen skills and a wider appreciation of what our foods are made up of. She made pizza almost completely from scratch last week - making the dough, the sauce, the cheese. Who knew cheesemaking would be so interesting? Household repair is an interesting idea - we could have a go at it together. I wonder where would you put craft projects that aren't really art but aren't useful either? For example, dd likes to makeover dolls. It's sort of art, but using a variety of crafting techniques; the result is decorative rather than practical.
  7. I like your list of updated skills. Dd is very interested in learning digital drawing, which would fit in there, I think.
  8. Paper sloyd sounds like fun. I just got Patty Paper Geometry for this summer. Dd is very interested in crafting, so does a lot on her own outside of school.
  9. I tend to see handcraft in terms of developing respect for the physical world, and competence. Part of that is about things like manual dexterity. I think there are a lot of things that could be included, but I would put some boundaries around them. I likely would not include things that are actually useless, I think it's important that they ultimately have a sense of being a thing that would be used - not some sort of make-work craft destined for the bin. (Now, it might not turn out at first, that is a different story.) I'd also not include things that are too abstracted from the physical, as I would consider those to be more like academic work. For teenagers, in some way that is maybe an ideal time to do some of these things, as they are much more able to deal with manual dexterity or reading directions or pay attention to detail. There are a lot of options - jewellery making, carving, carpentry, building stone walls, gardening, rug hooking, engine and motor related things, soap-making, cooking. I'd also include lots off home repair type stuff, how to repair things around the house, regular maintenance like calking, electrical work. I'd also suggest that these kinds of skills aren pretty integrated with many of the academic subjects really. People are always talking about getting kids into things like engineering, but at this level I think learning how to repair a pump is a heck of a lot more revealing than some kind of academic course for high school students.
  10. I'm sorry that does seem to limit your options quite a bit.
  11. Personally, if you do anytime soon, I’d think to post it on the General Ed board. Some of the btdt people who are done launching, but that still hang around here and have valuable experience, don’t seem to go on the HS or College board much if at all. I think it would have more visibility on General and not get buried as fast among questions.
  12. I see handicrafts as having two functions: strengthening fine motor skills and building life skills. Sometimes an activity fulfills both functions (ie sewing on buttons), but often I choose and teach "handicrafts" that primarily apply to one or the other. I teach my boys braiding, not because I think they will necessarily use it a lot in their daily lives, but because it requires fine motor coordination between their hands. I teach finger knitting because it is a great fine motor exercise and it keeps idle hands busy without requiring tools that can easily get lost or dropped. My oldest has gotten very interested in making paracord bracelets, and I greatly encourage that activity not because I think it is a life skill, but because it requires dexterity, planning, and perseverance. I even think of playing with Lego or playdough as "handicrafts" in the sense that they are mentally stimulating activities that also strengthen fine motor control. As for activities that teach valuable/marketable life skills, I am willing to stretch the definition of "handicraft" pretty liberally. I think of coding as a modern day "handicraft". I would also put photography into that category - cooking, painting (both the fine arts kind and the paint a room kind), graphic design, making stop-motion movies, child care skills, playing a musical instrument, wilderness survival - pretty much any skill that requires long term practice to develop and perfect and which could, hypothetically, be valuable professionally or in daily life in the future. Wendy
  13. I think a lot of the handicrafts are still worth it. My oldest boy is still glad he learned to sew and knit and has definitely used that in his adult life, but I'm also glad we put an emphasis on other skills each year as well: knot-tying, mosaics, pottery, weaving...I don't want to focus on handicrafts as vocational skills, exactly, but I do want them to be things that round out life, you know? I have paper sloyd scheduled for next year's first semester, mostly to give a hands on application to geometry, strengthen attention to detail, and create all sorts of fun projects he can use in real life. I don't expect it to be vocational/life skills at his age, but to develop the path toward that by giving him the underlying skills he will eventually need.
  14. So what are your thoughts about handicrafts as updated to 2019? Yes, we should get really good at sewing? Or, no, it was a vocational/life skills focus and we should update it to ___ (insert your favorite life skills list here)?
  15. Yes - where I fear most is where I trust God least. The further we deviate from the expected college prep path the harder it gets. I am very grateful for resources like Ambleside Online, that show a strong and also CM high school plan. It gives me a place to start from, as I talk to dd and put together courses for her. OP, regarding CM elements to keep and to abandon: Elements to embrace: Spreading things over four years, so working on health and exercise, for example, through all the four years and not just as a one year class. Reading excellent literature, several works concurrently. So dd reads a Shakespeare play, a poetry book, and her assigned literature book most days. The first semester was ancient epic lit., and now she's reading modern world lit. We discuss her reading extensively and she writes short papers (my interpretation of narration in high school). In history she also has several threads going at once - at the moment an ancient history overview, an Egypt study, and the history of science. Similarly in Bible studies she reads the OT, the NT and Psalms as well as a commentary every week. Nature studies - I think this is a vital part of high school for dd. I don't have it figured out yet - any ideas to share? Elements to abandon: I am trying to figure out integrated science, but it is looking like we will have to go a more traditional route with one lab science course a year. I am a CM newbie, so I am still working it all out. I haven't thought through the citizenship track - I know Mason had a book she wrote that the students read, as well as lots of British history. I'd like to have a US focused version, not just one year of government and economics. And I am wondering about handicrafts - in fact, I think I'll start a new thread about it.
  16. Help me, Aethelthryth the Texan, you're my only hope! I am caught up a tree freaking out! Just kidding (grin) Should I seize my courage in both hands and post a question like this - either my original question above or your what-was-your-experience question - on the high school or college board?
  17. Good point about the utility of focusing on one topic in high school, when depth of study is becoming important. And I would double-like "make it good is the most important thing" if I could (grin). I'd love to hear any recommendations you have for curricula/courses, and for significant books and nature study. I loved your comments on the philosophical/spiritual underpinnings of nature study in the other thread. I will sneak Law's Guide to Nature Drawing back into dd14's reading pile, but are there any other resources you've liked?
  18. This is encouraging - thank you! Do you have recommendations about high school science curricula that you think could work for a CM-approach inclined student?
  19. Without getting too specific, I'll just say I think sometimes on the bolded you have to take those things with a grain of salt on the HS boards here. The wants and desires of where children go to college, what they major in and everything else varies an insane amount- as does how much of it rides on the parent vs the student....... I also think there is a difference in general outlook between people who are seeing college acceptance as the end game and it a personal culmination of success, versus people who think where their dc go to college only plays a minor role in a life. That's about all I'm going to say to not stick my foot in it since this is an open club! What I wish more people did was come back after full launch- like after college and after the kid is out on their own, and share how it all turned out, what they're glad they did, what mattered/didn't and what they wished they'd done differently, because I doubt it ever turns out as planned, and I also doubt that it all ended up being as big of a deal. I say that now, but then periodically I get caught up in a tree freaking out and needing to be talked down, LOL. It usually happens after I've spent to much time on the High School boards here. 😂
  20. Well, CM does often have students working on more than one topic at a time. But I'd not have said it was strictly necessary, at all levels at all times. Sometimes there is a need for more concentration one thing for a tim, especially for older students.. There isn't anything in her principles that suggests this is a fundamental. I actually find the idea of doing only one science a year odd, and for the matter the way American high schools seem to divide up math with one major things a year - geometry say. When I was in school, math was a lot more mixed together, and people did one to three science courses, depending on their interests. In grade 10 I did integrated science and biology, in 11 I did chemistry and oceanography, and in 12 I did another of biology. But for CM, I'd look at doing whatever makes sense for coursework over the three o four years, be it a canned program or outside class, being good is really the most important thing. And I'd make sure there was reading significant books and nature study as well.
  21. I think the trust stuff is a huge part of this educational philosophy, and it really does relate very directly to the idea that children are persons, who by nature seek truth and love. Fo parents, this can end up being almost a test of faith.
  22. The last of the other local homeschoolers just started public school! There is the possibility of an influx of them every summer, though 🙂 Relatively isolated military base.
  23. With all apologies to everyone who knows more than I do, average freshman courses aren't overly onerous. [I want to say they ain't sh^t, but I won't because you're all so nice 😄]. Appropriately difficult, yes, but that's not the same thing. I do not understand why people write as if you have to be doing college work at 16 or else you won't be ready for college at 18. It's true that a lot of incoming freshmen aren't ready for average university work, but I don't think they come from diligently working UP through a well-suited course of study. Truly learning- internalizing- the material in such a way that they won't easily forget it, nor fail to integrate it when they learn something new, as they go. There a lot of ways to begin college unprepared, but I don't think not doing college work in high school is one of them by default.
  24. I wonder if there is ANY path anyone could ever take that wouldn't require compromise one way or the other. I know people who have rigidly stuck to their ideals and plans, straight through. Rigidity gets a bad rap, imo. These people's kids were fine. I'm thinking here of people we know whose kids went to boarding school, but it applies to any academic conviction. They BELIEVED it was the absolute best, so they made it happen for their kids. The "compromise" of that choice comes on the back end. A young adult who has been in boarding school for 4+ years has had a unique experience. Not *everything in the whole world* is open to them. It's exactly the same if you prioritize a goal over a process. In that case, though, the compromise comes on the front end. I'm a sojourner, I think. Chance that no one could have orchestrated has played a huge part in my life, to extremely positive effect. Concentrating on the goal over the process, for me, is just as likely to end in some sort of failure as some sort of success. And in the meantime, I will have compromised what I felt was important in that moment, and the gamble isn't worth it to me. Other people are very, very goal-oriented. Of course, it's not all or nothing. Having **no goals whatsoever** isn't healthy. But imo it's ok for goals to be both more vague and held more loosely than some people are willing to concede, if you choose to prioritize the process. Goal-orientation sounds more percipient, because there is a concrete subject to discuss. Process-orientation is a long slog. There isn't all that much to discuss. "I'm doing this, for now..." lol. But compromise between what we want and what we are able to get is inherent in all of it.
  25. Since we're not close to high school, I was just going to read along here. But this quote reminded me of something. Last year, I decided that I am not educating my kids for anything in particular. Previously I had been trying to educate them such that they could go to nearly any university. But that's not on me. Not really. I'm not some awful person actively holding her children back. Re-reading some of CM, particularly the "children are people" bits, Hunter!, and a consecution of personal events led me to internalize the answers to these questions: Am I doing my best at providing the education my kids need right now? Am I maintaining a healthful balance between the various aspects of our lives, given our circumstances? Do I TRUST that my kids will grow up to be people who will, with more or less sound judgement, be able to find their own way in the world (as we all must, regardless)? Am I doing what I can, while I can, to help shape their judgement? .... In that case, then, why am I so stressed out about their futures? Their futures don't belong to me. I still look to the future. How can we not? And I have the vague hope that by the time they are in 11th grade, they will be well-prepared to start making their own determinations about what they need to do next, as Bluegoat says here. And I figure, if they aren't ready at that point, we can just keep going down a pre-planned road... the same one most high school kids in America go down. Really, almost everyone is at least fine almost all the time. But, again, I don't know mothering teens from getting slapped in the face. So these thoughts are totally irrelevant musings! It was just a load off, for me personally, to think them. And I am operating under the impression that CM wouldn't really encourage "trying to predict the future" as a wise strategy when approaching adulthood.
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