We have an education that isn’t forced. An education that is guided by what each child is
interested in. Our home school is a place where learning is something to get excited about
and busy work is unheard of. We practice a living education: where life and learning are one.
(Above- we love using art stands to hold open our books! The book above to the left is Nature’s Anatomy.
When I first joined Instagram, I noticed right away that many of my fellow nature lovers often referenced
Charlotte Mason. I googled the name and became fascinated by her idea of a living education.
It sounded very similar to what our family already did.
Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason was a British educator in England at the turn of the
twentieth century. Her revolutionary methods led to a shift from utilitarian education
to the education of a child upon living ideas. Wikipedia
We already used living books versus formal textbooks, and we spent plenty of time outside learning
about nature. Hmm….perhaps this could be a good fit for our family? I purchased
For the Children’s Sake from Amazon and began to learn more. The main idea
that I walked away with was a beautiful way of saying what I already believed ~
Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense
number of interests. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing
of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking – the strain would be too great –
but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go,
whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest.
Ambleside is a wonderful Charlotte Mason Curriculum that many families have found helpful.
Personally, I wanted even more of a living education than what was offered here. Meaning,
I wanted it to fit the life WE were living.
We learn about the FIBONACCI SEQUENCE
after examining a pine cone found on our afternoon walk.
We studied mountains and volcanoes when the kids had a
dozen questions after reading through The 50 States book.
Then using the same book we painted the State bird and tree from a state of their choosing.
We read a “living book” book that references Africa and then we may pull
out the materials and begin to study the country.
Why study a “suggested” Bible verse from a list when you can memorize one that
fits with what your family is currently going through? Why go
through a set list of vocabulary words when you can study words that you come across naturally
through books and experiences like we did here. Our education is based
upon what we are naturally experiencing in life.
The drawing book above is Draw. Write. Now – we have the entire set and use them frequently!
We love to bring our learning outside as much as possible!
This type of schooling is not for everyone. Some people simply need structure and schedules. We
are doing what feels best for our family right now, but this is going to look different for everyone.
I don’t have lesson plans or charts. I don’t have a list of what I want to accomplish this year in schooling. We have
a handful of go-to school supplies and books, a flexible guide for our days, and the rest we make up as we go along.
Sure, some days I worry that they aren’t getting enough “school,” but for the most part I have peace that our gentle,
interest based approach to learning will pay off, and our living education will give my children everything they need
to be successful adults and follow their dreams. Stay stay tuned, our “day in the life of” post is almost complete.
Although, everyday is so different this will at least give you an idea of our days and what materials we use along the way.
In the mean time, you may enjoy this post, on homeschooling creative and unique learners.