A Relaxed Method
Prior to beginning home educating my children, I did quite my own research on the different educational methods available. I really felt drawn to the Charlotte Mason method, and later on to the Classical method. We did one year of Charlotte Mason inspired boxed curricula through Sonlight, and joined a Classical Conversations Community. I also realized that both can be applied together. When I learned about Charlotte Mason, I was inspired and relieved, when in an epiphany moment, I realized education could be relaxing, un-pressured, and at the same time, meaningful.
A Peace of Mind Source
When a homeschooling mom works, especially outside the home, it adds quite a bit of stress to the question:
“Am I educating my child well?”
I have always worked outside the home. During the first four years of our homeschool journey, I had plenty of time to add all sorts of crafts and projects to our schooling, since I only worked part time on the weekends. For the last almost three years however, I’ve worked full time. First working evenings and currently working the night shift.
I saw a need to take a break from our Classical Conversations community, in order to get used to our new lifestyle and routine. In the two year process of adaptation, we adopted the Charlotte Mason method fully and it gave us peace of mind.
Living Books to the Rescue
We dwelled in books mainly, and enjoyed our discussions. We learned about ancient cultures through fictional stories and conversational narratives.
Testing for reading comprehension and book reports became fun and simple when conversations about the narrative took place. While reading together, my children could narrate what was happening in the story. Nothing is better than your child enthusiastically narrating her favorites parts of a story.
Also, when handwriting was not at their peak of development, my children would narrate their reports, and the oral explanation helped them remember history and science with little to no issues.
Resting while Learning
I felt restful, as I laid on a picnic blanket in the backyard. As they explored and drew their observations on their science journals. Science became fun, when lead through conversation utilizing living books like Apologia Science.
It mesmerized me to see how they were able to connect nature to our living God.
Copywork was done by the use of spiritual resources that did not just aid my children in their handwriting, but in learning applicable bible verses about proper behavior. This was done with no pressure and their abilities flourished.
Music was learned through piano and guitar classes, as well as by worshipping and rehearsing with their dad.
A Combined Method
We have since returned to Classical Conversations, and while we love the structure that it provides us, we still enjoy utilizing resources that follow the Charlotte Mason way, making an ideal blend (in my opinion) of the best of both worlds; and by gifting me the flexibility and grace to properly home educate my children while I work full-time.