Monday, August 15, 2011

The Gentle Art of Learning

I've been doing a lot of reading this month in preparation for another homeschool year. We're beginning our third year this week.  My little one even said she is really looking forward to it. That in itself is an answer to prayer. But I digress.

There is really a lot of information available right now on curriculum, learning styles, scope and sequence, etc. Its a lot to take in.  So I thought I'd slow down and read a general homeschool overview of Charlotte Mason. Karen Andreola has a lovely book called A Charlotte Mason Companion. I'm by no means an expert on Charlotte Mason. I know she was an educator in the 1800's in Great Britain who had some innovative ideas for the school setting, and she ended up in the famous Lake District. (Of course, this reminded me of Beatrix Potter of Peter Rabbit fame.) Charlotte was dissatified with the state of education in London, and "created" an attitude of gentle learning in her classrooms. She also taught nannies and parents techniques that could be used in the home. All details aside it is an interest bit of reading and incorporates her views on the importance of biblical knowledge and heart issues.

All that said, I remember when I first considered the idea of homeschooling. My husband had been interested long before me, but he patiently waited until I took to the thought. Well, the first thing I did was read practically everything I could get my hands on about home education. Just general books really.

I have read so many excellent books about home education. I know it's not everyones cup of tea, but if it is yours I encourage you, even along your journey, to go back and read some of those wonderful books. They are such an encouragement to me. Here are a few of my favorites.

Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson
The Field Guide to Home Schooling by Christine Field
Real Homeschooling by Rhonda Barfield
Homeschooling: the Early Years by Linda Dobson
So You're Thinking about Home Schooling by Lisa Whelchel  
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
A Love That Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar


Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to Have a Heart for Your Kids

Just finished a lovely book by Rachel Carman (affiliated with Apologia Press). I heard Rachel speak recently at our home educators' convention, and she was so funny and delightful I wanted to know more. She is the mother of seven, and shares her journey from self-centered to others-centered. Not that she claims to have arrived.  Good thing...none of us could relate, could we?  She has a down home sense of humor, and is very insightful as well. She grew up in a preacher's home, and thanks the Lord for her godly heritage. What a blessing!

The thrust of her message is contained in this acrostic from her book How to Have a Heart for Your Kids.

H - Have a heart for the things of God
E - Enrich your marriage
A - Accept your kids
R - Release them to God
T - Teach them the truth

We love our kids, but it does us good to remember who they truly are in light of eternity. They are living souls that have been entrusted to our care...imperfect, growing, learning, beautiful, delightful, and full of wonder. Let love cover a multitude of sins (or irritations), and help us to walk joyfully with them as they journey heavenward.