Thursday, December 28, 2006

Now. Where were we?

So, Christmas is over. Our anniversary is over. New Year's is this weekend, and while we really don't have any big plans (okay... any plans at all...) it's the next "holiday" before school starts. Actually, I'm glad for New Year because it buys me some time to get my act together before we plow ahead in school. Today as I was working around the house in an effort to restore some sort of order after the Christmas-gift-splosion and find a place for all of the debris loot gifts, my mind was jumping ahead to next week when we will hopefully get back into some of our school routine. We've been out of it for too long! But, I must confess that the idea of "school" is one big, jumbled mess in my head right now. My plans in my computer need to be thought through (again), lots of cutting and pasting needs to be done and I need to re-evaluate what we're doing this spring. As I was musing through all of that this morning, my mind went back to a simpler time (schoolwise) back when my kids were in preschool and the early grades. At that time I was really interested in Charlotte Mason's philosophy. In particular, I loved reading Karen Andreola's book, A Charlotte Mason Companion.

A while ago I pulled Andreola's book off the shelf in the schoolroom and flipped it open to a page where I had almost highlighted all of the text. What caught my eye, and what used to be my everyday goal of my homeschool was this:

Be sure that your children each day have:
  • Something or someone to love
  • Something to do
  • Something to think about

How... simple! And how I think I've lost sight of this. As they have gotten older, and the curriculum has, of necessity, gotten more demanding, I think I've lost some of the simplicity of my approach in those early years.

In applying the above three goals to our days I want to concentrate on:

  • Something/someone to "agapao," demonstrate love to.
  • Something to actively do (not just watch or click)
  • Something to think about (or think "through")

So... as I go forward with our plans for the new year, I'm going to reread parts of Andreola's book and try to "Masonize" our studies as I did in years past. If you've never studied her approach or read her books, I encourage you to read "A Charlotte Mason Companion" or read some of the websites dedicated to her philosophy. (A great place to start is the FAQ's here. I am particularly drawn to the booklists on this site.)

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