Train up a child in the way she should go, and when she is old she will not depart from it.
I have reviewed all of the different types of home school curriculums out there and last week I have finally decided on the right ones for our daughter: Charlotte Mason and Classical methods. For a year now, I have been all over Pinterest looking for activities, reading the different methods of homeschool curriculums, searching for organizational tips and guidance. Now September is here and we are definitely doing this! So here is what I learned from the two methods I have chosen.
The Charlotte Mason is a wholistic approach to homeschool that takes into account the mind, body, soul and life experiences of a child as a person growing in her environment, and that is why I am in love with it! The curriculum is named after the British Nanny and Educator Charlotte Mason. The motto of this method is “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life.” The curriculum is based on living books not textbooks, nature-based education, life skills and habits, grammar, handwriting, spelling and story telling, and bible scriptures – Everything that I wanted in a school for my daughter. She loves nature and she is fearless when it comes to outdoor adventures. Since she was two years old, I used to take her on 30 minutes, at times 45 minutes walk around our neighborhood in New York, and she was never tired. In fact, she would cry when we have to get back in the house. I never had to bring a stroller, she just kept walking besides me like a tiny little lady on the sidewalks, and she loved it! So we still go on nature walk on a daily basis. She is curious about nature, she loves writing and reading life books, and learning bible verses. Because we are a multilingual family, we were looking for a bilingual school that can also teach her French, but it is so much better to learn at home. Whenever we are out walking, her face expression when she sees the trees, flowers and hills makes me feel like I have a little twin <3. She was born to be a Charlotte Mason’s student!
Wards Berry Farms, Sharon MA.
The classical method has a lot to do with the way I was raised. I grew up in Haiti where our educational system is archaic in terms of memorization, manual and structure learning and lots of literature study. I had classes on music notes, French, Creole and English literatures, poems recitations, morning prayer devotion, and lots of handwriting. Although we did not have a lot of technology and practicum, we learned a whole deal of everything. I like the structural aspect of the Classical method and the emphasis on world literatures, most specifically the “great books”. A great website I found with so many details on Classical Homeschool type is the Classical Christian Community. I like the basic foundations of this style because of the focus philosophy of life, the self and the world. I can already see my daughter and I spending time browsing the library for the next great read! She loves that just as much as I do. We spend at least 1 hour every evening reading 2-3 short story books. I am so excited about continuing to do that. My plan is to use the classical method and add my own modern mix to that.
Now, this is my first child and I have never done homeschool before, but I love learning new things so I am super excited! My plan is to try it for preschool since there is no harm in that and if all goes well, I am preparing the best argument to convince my husband that we keep her at home. I will be happy to share some of my folders/binders that I have been working on in future posts and the workbooks I selected. The truth is she has been learning a lot at home. She is turning 4 soon and she already knows how to write her name and other words, she knows our names, where she lives, she reads sight words, she knows the major sections of the brain, other body parts, she can spell any words in front of her, she counts until 50, past 30 with help, she knows all of the shapes and colors, she has memorized up to 5 bible verses, her morning and night prayers and 50% of psalm 23, and she speaks 3 languages – 2 fluently, so she is getting there.
As someone who has studied child development, I am so excited about shaping her brain and teaching her about the history of our Caribbean culture, take her to the local farms and connect with local groups for playtime. I have followed so many homeschool hashtags on Instagrams and pages on Pinterest so I never run out of things to do with her. I am nervous about adaptability to our daily schedule, but I just need to do trial and error. I am a little lax when it comes to daily discipline and structure, but I know her dad is a great reinforcer of rules , so I hope this gives her the right mix for a great learning atmosphere at home.
I am open to recommendations from other homeschool parents out there. If you are one, please share your tips here. Love and Light.