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Making the move from WTM to Charlotte Mason... anyone else?

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Guest jeffandjenplus10

I think every homeschooling family develops their own very eclectic style at some point. I'd say that our very CM style in the early years has paved the way for more in depth studies in a more classical method with our children once they hit somewhere between 11 and 13 and are reading and writing well. So, maybe you aren't really "jumping ship." You are just in the harbor now (CM) and will be ready for the open ocean later (WTM) when your kiddos are older!

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I was a CM mamma for years.....until I had to work 40 hours plus homeschool. We went to a more workbook approach but kept reading tons and used many CM type learning experiences ( outdoor play, nature study, art study, music, etc. ).


What I found, is CM studies are a method and not curriculum, or book list, dependent. Methodology says....short lessons for little ones...increasing in time as they get older, real books, real art, real nature, real hands on handicrafts etc. All subjects are narrated, by all students, everyday. Narrations can be oral, written, drawn, painted, or otherwise presented.


Anyway, even though we wswitched up some books....our CM type roots are deep....and we are now heading back to our sewn composition books over our stapled workbooks.....


Good luck, and enjoy this time with your kids. Try not to get overwhelmed....remember, CM wrote and developed her curricula and theories with nannies in the nursery and teachers in school situations in mind. The families she had in mind had nannies, housekeepers, maids etc. as homeschooling moms we usually do not have these things, plus we are burdened with our kids entire education. I found when I threw myself into learning along with my kids, I had less of a burden....when I tried to be the end all be all of their life...I burnt out and couldn't function in any of my positions...loving mom, housekeeper, nanny, maid, chauffeur etc.

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I found when I threw myself into learning along with my kids, I had less of a burden....when I tried to be the end all be all of their life...I burnt out and couldn't function in any of my positions...loving mom, housekeeper, nanny, maid, chauffeur etc.


Can you explain a little more what you mean about the difference here? I am trying to learn along with my kids in several ways- not only am I reading a lot of "how to teach" type materials (John Holt, among many others) but I am also trying to read about the subjects themselves to brush up on my weak areas. Is this what you are talking about, or do you mean more letting myself get immersed in the same things my chidlren are? (i.e. the wonder of nature, doing art projects alongside, or...?)

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I can't wait to watch the videos! Thanks for the links as well.


BTW, I just love how many people in this thread have the truth/goodness/beauty focus and mentality. I feel like it's a much better goal than "skills/marketability". :-)




In one of the vids--10-13? Perhaps? I can't remember now, but anyway, he 'sounded' just like Mr. Kern talking about 'to attend' and the habit of attention. And that we become what we attend to.


I may have to listen to them again.


And, you can open an umbrella? school under them, so for those of us thinking about one day opening up a CM school...

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When I was beginning to home school, I tended to focus on the differences. Looking back, I see those differences as being more about differing arrangements of a set of common ideas. I credit CM with providing the initial inspiration that stayed with us all the way through. I also credit Christine Miller with providing useful guidelines for actually doing (as opposed to reading about) trivium studies, and SWB for making it possible for us to continue through high school. CIRCE, Memoria Press, and Classical Writing are also on my list of important ingredients for a classical homeshool. I never really abandoned any one approach, but we did tweak over time as circumstances changed.


Our experience has been that the classical approach meets college prep expectations--and then some for academics. :D So, I don't feel that compromising classical standards for high school is an issue. I do think it sometimes appears that way, because over on the HS board many people are too busy to participate in philosophical threads anymore. A lot of posts are coming from folks who go online while wearing their guidance counselor hat. For those who do continue through high school, most have found an academic mix that works, and they simply implement it. What is new ground for those taking their first child through high school is the applications process--that tends to generate lots of posts about whether or how a given program or sequence will play out for college admissions.


That said, I do NOT want to discourage anyone who's not yet settled into a comfortable groove in high school from posting about those issues. We had to "change gears" a couple of times during high school and I got excellent advice on the HS board.

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