Thursday, November 15, 2007

Homeschooling Holes

This question was recently asked of me and I thought it was a great question: "I wondered how you know that your children won't leave homeschooling with holes in their education?"

I first need to explain a little about how we home school. We follow the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason, an educator who died in the early 1920s in England. She believed in learning through living books as opposed to textbooks. So, our curriculum has a very heavy literature base. On the right panel I have listed the books the kids are currently reading; it changes every couple of weeks. Apart from phonics, math, and classical music (which I didn't list there), that is our curriculum. That said, here is my explanation for overcoming the fear of "holes":

The goal of covering material for tests should not be allowed to get in the way of relations being made with God, man, and the universe during the early years of school life. Rather than feeling it is our duty to pass children through a system, it should be our duty to ask ourselves how our children can acquire knowledge. . . we accomplish this by letting the
children fill in the "holes."

Our knitting the net of subjects makes a sort of hammock: though it has holes, it will uplift and support its owner. While we knit, the children fill in the holes. By means of self-education they acquire genuine, long-lasting knowledge--the real stuff. [Public] education has become "a gigantic sausage machine--the pig going in at one end and coming out educated pork at the other." Are we all to learn a little about all the same things, for example, and express the same opinion of them?

We owe it to our children to stimulate in them a wide range of interests in their elementary years. It should not be "How much has our child covered?" but "How much does he
care?" and "About how many things does he care?" The children go beyond just becoming interested in someone or something. They develop a deeper understanding --a greater appreciation--when relations are formed.

~"A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola, pg. 36-37

I don't know about you, but through my public and private education I developed very little interest in the subjects I was learning. I memorized what I was told to learn and spit it back out on a multiple choice test. W.B. Yeats said:

Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.

This is my hope for our home school. Rather than love of learning, what I learned in my years in school was how to cram. I left school with plenty of holes and I'm confident my kids will as well. My goal is that they love knowledge and learn how to learn.

5 comments:

Nealy said...

How do I spell success?
R-E-S-O-U-R-C-E-F-U-L

If you are anything, Ginger, you are resourceful! That's a GREAT learning tool!

You know that question, "If you could share a table with anyone past or present, who would it be?"? Add Charlotte Mason to my list!

Becky said...

Thanks, Ginger. You've inspired me on to more research.

: ) Becky

meeshelly said...

ginger!! i need to visit your blog more often. you have so encouraged my heart this a.m. i love to read and have devoured many a book....now i have so many words in my head i find that it is hard to add more, physically, i find it hard to concentrate which is sad because i LOVE to read. (the word of the Lord for me has been, "i have a lifetime of advice and i can try to spend a lifetime walking those things out...)(i can STILL read Bible, amy carmichael and madame guyon....) i've read "about" charlotte mason method aka karen andreola...and i have implemented many things into our homeschool in that way from the very beginning...but i haven't "read" THE cm books and sad to say when i attempt to, i can hardly concentrate anymore....so to read "your" version by way of blog and to read little snipits of cm has really blessed me beyond! I can "glean" from your reading!! you have NO IDEA what a treasured gift i consider this to be. thank you, mi

Bugofmany said...

I love the hammock analogy! May I copy your "Homeschool Holes" post? I remembered your blog from the CL message board.(& RGT board? I'm "tiggerandbug") I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for sharing.

Bugofmany said...

I love the hammock analogy! May I copy your "Homeschool Holes" post? I remembered your blog from the CL message board.(& RGT board? I'm "tiggerandbug") I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for sharing.