As I embark on a Charlotte Mason journey with my preschooler… to able to grasp her educational outlook and going through her homeschooling six volume series can seem quite extensive to absorb in a short time. The books are meant for snacking on over a period of time, although I wish I could gorge on in one or few meals – take in her entire philosophy in one sitting. But I know that each volume when read piecemeal can provide a steady diet of encouragement and instructions. But this could take years before I complete all six volumes and just about scratch the surface of what she is trying to say. This is why I really love Ambleside Online: besides that wonderful free curriculum that it is, it has systematically organized resources to help me get started on the right note. And all this for free! Comes courtesy of the Advisory, a group of moms that have selflessly put this together, just encouraged by the fact that such an education might influence the next generation! They do benefit from the pooled research and information as they homeschool as well.
Having said all this I, by no means, suggest substituting reading the homeschooling series for all that Ambleside Online has to offer. Actually, the website includes a link to the series and encourages us to read them!
The three links that I found helpful to comprehend and align with her philosophy for a preschooler:
Also going through the FAQ page answered a lot my queries!
From what I get from reading the above links… in the early years, rather than on academics, parents are to zero in on “ many relations waiting to be established….” (vol 6, pp.72-7) as in with the earth, plants and trees, animals and birds, human affinities, and their relationship with God. The rest will come! This seems enormous in itself. Botony, ornithology, socioeconomics etc. all in preschool?? But, all this is to be accomplished through simple interactions.
These years are also to fence my authority as a parent and concentrate on habit formation that of obedience, imagination, cleanliness etc. I hope to explore this area a bit more.
My next goal is ensuring Nathan has a lot of outdoor times so as to let him explore and acquaint himself with natural objects first-hand. Working with concrete objects with the real world rather than the pseudo manipulated kind that of the Montessori approach.
The preschool years, a.k.a. Year 0 – birth to age 6 – is also said to be a great time to get the extras rooted in. Extras include poetry, composer study, classical music, folk music, art study, hymns, foreign language.
Rephrasing a quote from Charlotte “Away with books, tell stories instead during the first few years!” I really find it hard adhering to this entirely. However, I love the idea of narrating bible stories than reading them. But books, I can’t dispense with! Anyway it’s more the panorama of pictures that is the problem not the reading in itself. From what I get, substituting books for outdoor activities is what’s discouraged.
Having got a gist of what I should be doing I hope to chronicle, here a little, there a little, as I go along.