Sunday, January 08, 2006

New Year, New Day, New thoughts

Wow! Finally, I have a blog! I have been wanting to do this for some time.

And as a homeschooling mom, it comes at an interesting time -- I am in the process of 'revamping' our homeschooling approach. For the past three and a half years, we have taken a primarily Waldorf-inspired approach. Overtime, I have gained an appreciation of unschooling and made a conscious choice to do 'structured' schooling just three mornings a week.

Now, however, I am in the process of integrating much more of a Charlotte Mason approach to our homeschooling. I read lots of CM material when we first came to the idea of homeschooling about five years ago. I was intrigued with the similarities to Waldorf ideas.

So why am I making the change now, in my son's 3rd grade year? Noah seems to be getting fatigued with the longer, main lesson approach -- you know the body language: laying all over the desk, etc. I am hoping that the switch to shorter lessons will have a positive effect.

The other attraction to CM is, of course, all of the great literature. It seems like a natural fit for us since Noah's favorite thing to do is curl up while I read to him. And, I absolutely LOVE literature. There are SO many good books and although we are 'always' reading great books, I think the CM approach will give us so much more.

My plan is to keep the Waldorf elements that I love and think are key: form drawing, watercolor painting, singing, music (recorder and violin) and handwork. We will still keep a main lesson theme for a block of time, but shorten the length quite a bit. And of course, there is a lot of crossover; for instance, in the use of poetry and narration.

Since I'm a big believer in 'down' time for children -- allowing them to simply 'be' -- I'll make sure Noah still has plenty of time for free play and to enjoy his own pursuits.

As the plan unfolds (and reality sets in -- which it always does!), I will continue to share.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sandi,

I just saw your blog and wanted to welcome you to blogging! You've done a remarkably good job on the aesthetics and it is an inspiring start.

Best wishes for a rewarding year!


twoboysmom said...

Where'd you go?