Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I have been homeschooling my two sons for two and a half years now. When I began, I jumped into it quickly and with out much consideration. It felt right and it was something I always had in the back of my mind as an alternative education.

I purchased a couple of math workbooks and grammar workbooks at various stores and jumped in with both feet. My boys were 5 and 7 at the time and were already reading well and ahead of their peers in math. That made it an easy transition for me given the fact that I was the one that taught them to read and set the foundation for math in the first place.

Over the course of the first year, I joined homeschool groups, asked a billion questions of the seasoned homeschool moms and read a whole bunch of books recommending various types of instruction. I read about learning styles, brain wiring, and fine motor skills all of which can effect a child's ability to learn.

I settled on A Well Trained Mind as a guide to education. It is a classical approach, and I like the idea of learning through history and literature. Teaching young children Latin also appealed to me (I had never learned myself).

As I began to follow this approach, I found that it was a bit heavy for my energetic boys. I have a solid two hours of attention span to make use of. Copy work and hours of dissecting sentences was not an option.

I adjusted my curriculum to include minimal textbooks and writing. They recite as much of the work as possible. We do some unit study, and I try to teach as much as I can through real life. I called it Classical lite.

Today, I was perusing a homeschool website. I have heard many people discuss The Charlotte Mason Method. Long ago I asked someone what it was and she must have told me it is a type of classical, like Well Trained Mind. Fine, no need to research, that's kind of what we do anyway.

But today, I thought, I should see what the difference is.

Guess what? I've been doing The Charlotte Mason Method all along. What I call Classical lite, is in essence, Charlotte Mason. The short lessons, reciting, whole language, living books, putting off much writing and grammar until later, plans to study Shakespeare: I was right in line with out knowing anything about Charlotte Mason.

Geeze, I'm brilliant!

I'm off to the library to secure copies of her books. I'm so excited to have an official name for what we do. It makes it so much easier to discuss when I have a label for it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Wow, such neglect! With the run up to the election, my brain was in political overload; and after, just not in a mood to write. I didn't even post much over at Right Wing Chick.

And although my life gets pretty boring at times, I am determined to post more often. Of course, without any comments, I don't know if anyone is reading (hint hint).

Soccer season is about over for the boys. My eldest made playoffs, so that should give me some material.

Promises, promises, I know. But I intend to improve the frequency of my posts!