Thursday, October 25, 2007

This is from the e-newsletter of Living Books Curriculum, a homeschool company that offers products based on the methods British educator Charlotte Mason used to help children learn in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Charlotte Mason said that a method implies a mental image of the object. In other words, what you picture and think on tends to come to pass. Do this: picture in vivid detail what your child is like grown. What are the qualities, the character traits, the activities you would like to see your child doing? Write all this down in full. Yes, it will take effort, but you will only need to do this once. When I did it, it produced a radical readjustment of my thinking. Good thing, as I was locked into traditional educational methods and could only imagine my daughter "doing well" in college. When I got the full Technicolor picture of character, life skills, enjoyments, spiritual growth, and "doing well" in college; then, Charlotte Mason and her method began to makes sense as the only way to achieve such a wonderful goal.

I don't know that I agree that the Charlotte Mason method is the only way to get there — friends who home educate their children in other ways seem to be doing well — but I really appreciate the idea of thinking of Addy's and Dori's futures in full detail, well beyond just doing well in college. For me, homeschooling is definitely harder than sending them away to school, but this thought makes it all worthwhile.

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