Why Short Lessons Work in a Charlotte Mason Education

How many times, during a home schooling day, have you found yourself still trying to plug along to get every subject done, that you feel “has” to be done before you can end your school day? Before you know it, it is 3:30…4:00…5:00… And suddenly you realize that not only is your spouse on the way home, and supper is not done, but you never even remembered to get it out of the freezer, let alone start it?!

Plus added to this, your house has become an upheaval in the meantime, the laundry you started before school this morning is still waiting to be thrown in the dryer, or hung on the clothesline. Your kids are grouchy and just want to go outside to play. You have a headache and can’t wait to just sit and do absolutely nothing but stare at the television. But, in drives your spouse, honking cheerfully as he sees his children playing outside. He has had a long, hard, hectic day at the office, and he is so looking forward to a nice home cooked meal. He walks in, looks around, sees the upheaval of things and then has the nerve to ask, “So what’s for dinner?” At this point, all you can do is sit down and cry. Your husband is at a loss as to what is wrong, let alone what he can do, or should do, to help in your situation. To top it off, he is afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, no matter how carefully he tries to word things. Did ‘school’ get done today? Yes, it did. Thank God for that! But was it done cheerfully, with anticipation, looking forward to what tomorrow will bring? Sadly, your answer would have to be an emphatic “NO!”

Well there are specific reasons why Charlotte Mason felt strongly that it was imperative that children be given “short lessons” in a variety of subjects throughout each day. Not only is it a ENORMOUS help to the parent in not becoming overwhelmed, but it also helps you, the parent, to be able to maintain a calm, peaceful learning environment, giving you ample time to get your daily household necessities accomplished. However, ultimately, it is for the sake of your children.

Miss Mason has three simple, basic reasons for short lessons where children are concerned. Firstly, the idea that there is only so much time to get the math lesson done, or his reading finished, keeps the child’s comprehension levels fixed and alert. Secondly, your child has only so much of an attention span for any one subject that he can absorb, without going in to overload. And thirdly, your child gets through his morning routine without getting bored, tired or exasperated.

Now, what better reasons are there than these to continue to learn and follow more of Charlotte Mason’s wonderful, yet simple lessons, that can be used in our personal, every day lives? Go to Charlotte Mason Made Easy website to see more about simple and short lessons.

Home School Methods – What Do Parents Use to Homeschool?

There are as many ways to home school as there are people out there that home school. Basically most people will range somewhere in the broad spectrum between “school-at-home” and “let the kids play all they want and they’ll learn what they need to know”. You need to know your style and the temperaments and learning styles of your children to be able to come up with an educational philosophy that you can both live with.

Children can learn with workbooks and they can learn with games. Some children love to work through a textbook and don’t want to be bothered with games while other children may complete a workbook but not remember anything they did.

There are all kinds of terms that are used to describe the styles of home schooling such as Eclectic, Classical, Unschooling, Traditional, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and Unit Studies.

Homeschooling does stretch a parent but it doesn’t have to bend them out of shape. Each parent needs to evaluate what type of learning methods they feel comfortable with in teaching their children. Some people wouldn’t feel comfortable using anything but a structured curriculum that tells them exactly what to say. While others would feel very stifled to have to be tied to a curriculum that told them exactly what they had to do.

Homeschooling is mostly about relationships. If you have a great relationship with your child or work on relating with your child, you will be able to work through any curriculum struggle by communicating.

Children need some boundaries in their day. They may not learn anything by playing around all day, but then they may not learn anything by completing a workbook page either. They need some structure that they are required to follow and be held accountable if they step outside those boundaries. When you have some “have tos” in your life it builds character and makes the unstructured times more fun.

Teaching Online – Home Schooling Book Review

If you are considering teaching online, or if you are a homeschooling parent and would like to have your kids learn online while at home then maybe you need to do a little bit of research. Maybe you need to consider what’s out there, and the various hybrid courses and technology issues which surround the world of Internet courses and online teaching.

The other day, there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed why there never needed to be any poor weather days that prevented school. If the inclement weather was so bad that the school buses couldn’t run, or the blizzard made it impossible to get to school, then each student could learn at home on their own computer. The article made some compelling arguments, and I found similar points of contention in a book on the subject.

In fact, I’d like to go out of my way right now to recommend this book to you, and it is a book that I do own of my personal library. The name of this book is; “Teaching Online – A Practical Guide” (College Teaching Series – Second Edition) by Susan Ho and Steve Rossen, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA, (2004), 339 pages, ISBN: 0-618-29848-7.

There is a great overview of online teaching and what it’s about, and although it is written from the perspective of the institutional educator, it surely helps parents understand what they are dealing with when they choose which courses, online syllabuses, and information they wish their children to read and learn. Teaching in an online classroom is not easy, but those that have the skill and talent to pull it off, are the most desired and sought after instructors.

Why not pick up a copy of this book so you can familiarize yourself with low-tech and high-tech solutions used in Internet education. You can also find discussion forums where you can interact with teachers, and how they use whiteboards, chatting features, and instant messaging to make the online classroom feel at home. Why not learn what the teachers go through when they put together their training programs, and how they prepare themselves for their students.

It seems to me as a parent I want to know how the online teaching system works, what type of software and hardware works the best, and how the teachers are going to interact with my kids. You need to know these things up front, it’s very important, and that’s why a recommend this book to you. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.