Saturday, 28 June 2014

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life"

Charlotte Mason was a 19th century educator. Much of what she has to say on education seems to fit well with our family life. Her motto 'education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life' is something I aspire to for our own home education. 'Atmosphere' refers to the setting in which the child is brought up. 'Discipline' is the formation of character habits. 'Life' refers to the provision of living ideas to teach the academics, rather than dry facts. 

Charlotte wrote 7 volumes outlining her education philosophy. So far I've only read volume 1, but in the meantime have been doing lots of reading and research into implementing a Charlotte Mason education. For example, Charlotte encourages a lot of outdoor time, particularly in the early years - I love this idea and we're trying to get outdoors as much as possible. Children learn so much from being outside and in nature, not least they learn early observation skills needed to form the basis on which later science learning can be applied. Charlotte also encourages 'living books' to teach ideas, leaving the 'twaddle' behind. I might write more on that another time. 

Here we are earlier this week enjoying our outdoor time 

Monday, 23 June 2014

#100homeeddays: day 27

I am loving this sunny spell we're having at the moment. We're spending loads of our time in the garden which is lovely. Just the other day I moved some furniture around out there and the table is now in a much better position to be used regularly. Today, we did some of our strawberry project work while watching the first day of Wimbledon. 
The kids then had great fun jumping off the decking steps! I love these action shots! 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

#100homeeddays: Day 26

Keeping Daddy company in the workshop 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Home education #100homeeddays

Eden's 4 now, and due to start school in September. Until 9 months ago we'd never given her education any more thought than she would go to school, as is the 'norm'. Then back in September last year over the course of a few weeks, we ended up having a number of random chats about home education with various people - it just kept coming up in the conversation. We began to read up and find out all we could about educating this way. We applied for a school place anyway while we were making our decision. When April arrived and we found out which school Eden had got into, it was one of the top schools in the area. But we'd already made our decision to home educate by that point, and then was the time to 'go public'. 

There are many many reasons as to why we've decided to educate the children at home; but I guess what it boils down to is this: we like the freedom and flexibility that home education offers and we feel it suits us as a family and our lifestyle at this time. We're really excited about this adventure! 

I've started taking part in an Instagram initiated home ed project, tracking what life is like educating at home, using the hashtag #100homeeddays. I'm actually on day 25 already, and thought I should start recording here on the blog too - better late than never hey! 

So here is day 25: bedtime stories. We try to choose classics for bedtime, we've read the complete Beatrix potter collection and Winnie the Pooh - both of which we have beautiful editions of, and are currently reading this one, which has lovely illustrations and the stories are just the right length for bedtime. 

As it's my first home ed post I'm going to add one from yesterday too - this is the kids in the garden playing with magnifying glasses and practising their observation skills in the process. 

Every day we're discovering that home education is a lifestyle and learning happens all the time, it doesn't start at 9am and stop at 3:30. The key is facilitating the learning process - through providing the materials and holding discussions as the opportunity arises. It is very early days for us at the moment in our home ed journey but we're so excited about these special years ahead of us.