While I have set forth into this motherhood thing with homeschooling on my heart since the beginning, I will say that I am a novice. I get a little overwhelmed when peers reach out for advice, or I am allowed to moderate groups of homeschooling families. I often cannot see how or why I am qualified to share anything on this topic at all. And then I realize that I should not shy away from the opportunity to encourage and edify. That so long as I am humble and uplifting, I can share what I am learning, even as I am learning it. So here we go, friends! Some thoughts and reflections as we enter our first formal year of Charlotte Mason style home education.
First, it’s like when your children were infants. Remember your first born? How every milestone was waited upon with bated breath? How you watched your friends’ children and saw them doing things and held out and worried and wondered until your baby did those things too? In his or her own time? Apart from atypical development, all children will roll over, crawl, walk, and talk at some point. You just set up the right environment for them to have the opportunity. Tummy time, singing to your baby, toys to engage with, a lovely outdoor walk…..that’s all you could do! Then, it was all up to them to seize the moment when they were ready!
It’s the same way with home education. As I carefully pour over literary choices, curriculums, and resources, as I read and study, as I spend day in and day out reading aloud, providing great material, praying, singing….I am setting up the stage. I am creating the best possible environment for each of my children to develop in their time. I have a four year old who narrates life as he goes. His vocabulary is through the roof and he can tell a story with exceptional detail as we walk for an hour. Sometimes I wonder when he will take a breath! Then I have a six year old who narrates simply and only shares what he is very passionate about. He struggles to narrate books regularly and would prefer to be climbing a waterfall. They will do these things, and even do them correctly, in their own time.
I encourage myself with these thoughts. It is a struggle in our modern situation, to see the children in public school who read chapter books in Kindergarten. I cannot find research that indicates this is beneficial. I am an avid reader myself. One of my greatest goals is to have voracious readers. However, I realize that a love for reading is greater than early reading. I will just be over here putting out amazing books, reading aloud wonderful, living books, and creating an environment for my children to thrive. So, in their own time, when they are ready, they can take their own first steps into the adventure that is a life long love of learning!
Self education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.
– Charlotte Mason