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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Finding Your Charlotte Mason Rhythm

Finding Your Charlotte Mason Rhythm #charlottemason #homeschooling #hyggeschooling #delightdirected

Written by Talvi McCuskey.

Thinking about beginning any foreign feat can be a daunting task. When I first realized that I would soon have to begin formal schooling for my oldest child, I was quite scared. After all, I had never done this whole home education thing before.

The weight of my child’s education resting solely on my shoulders felt like a heavy burden. I had an idea of what method I wanted to pursue to teach her. But as with most things in life, there was a gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

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Finding Your Charlotte Mason Rhythm #charlottemason #homeschooling #hyggeschooling #delightdirected

When I was in high school, I took French classes and really enjoyed them. However, when I went to France on a class trip, I realized that knowing French vocabulary and actually speaking French to French people are two totally separate skills. Similarly, knowing the methodology for homeschooling and actually grinding it out day after day is an entirely different ballgame.

Fortunately, I have always loved to read and learn and grow. It was during one of these mental growth spurts that I stumbled upon a philosophy of homeschooling called the Charlotte Mason method. The fundamental tenet of this approach struck quite a chord with me.

Present learning as a feast. Provide excellent food for thought, enticing a child to want to learn and to internalize knowledge. 
This is in rather stark contrast to the public school’s system of attempting to teach a child so that he will retain the information just long enough to obtain a passing score. This is, of course, a generalization. But there's some definite truth in it.

By necessity, large schools cannot foster a love of learning in a huge classroom because test results are what will determine funding. The more children do well on normative assessments, the more taxpayer dollars a school will receive. Consequently, traditional schools have to focus on the memorization of facts instead of the forming of ideas. The Charlotte Mason method, on the other hand, is the antithesis of this exam-driven model, shunning formal tests altogether.

Finding Your Charlotte Mason Rhythm #charlottemason #homeschooling #hyggeschooling #delightdirected

This unconventional, whole-child approach to school, somehow made total sense to me. That's not to say that it was or is easy. In fact, the task of implementing it was at first rather overwhelming. But, little by little, I made small incremental pivots in what we were doing until our daily routines and curriculum choices aligned withe the twenty basic principles of the Charlotte Mason method.

Now each day, I take step-by-simple-step. To the best of my ability, I read living books to my daughter, help her with her reading, writing, arithmetic, and offer a feast of ideas.

I have immersed myself in this world, and it has paid off. My daughter has learned, little by little, and I've learned not only to trust the process but also to enjoy it.

Not surprising, my younger children have gotten into the rhythm of school time as well. They listen to the books I’m reading aloud, work on their own simple projects, and will, no doubt, have a smooth transition to more formal learning when their times come.

Finding Your Charlotte Mason Rhythm #charlottemason #homeschooling #hyggeschooling #delightdirected

Finding my rhythm in the Charlotte Mason method has often reminded me of those college days in France: When I first arrived I was immersed in the language. I had to improve and learn quickly in order to survive and understand what was going on around me. After three months, my ability to comprehend and speak the language was forever altered, in the best of ways.

And so it goes with the educational philosophies of Miss Mason. At first, her methods might seem like deep waters to jump into, especially for those who are only familiar with a traditional textbook approach to learning. But once you take the leap and find a rhythm that works for your home, a Charlotte Mason education will alter the way you think about schooling and offer a very rich and rewarding way to learn and grow, both for you and for them.

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