Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where Do I Start?

It seems like the biggest obstacle faced by parents thinking of implementing a CM homeschool is figuring out how to get started.  This is especially true if they are thinking of using Ambleside, because Ambleside doesn’t come in a nice neat package with a teacher guide.  This is magnified by the confusing array of websites and books professing to guide parents in implementing a CM education–in many cases these end up replacing CM’s method with a system.

Carol H., a wise and knowledgable contributor to the Ambleside Yahoo group among others, has a website full of helps for beginning Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, particularly those using Ambleside.

The various CM Yahoo groups can be helpful as well.  Many different curricula can be implemented using CM’s principles, but none will be completely successful if those principles are not understood.  You can’t just follow a teacher guide.  Reading and discussing CM’s volumes with others on one of the Yahoo groups helps clarify what a CM education really is.  The CM Series group always has one or more volumes being discussed.  The CMason group discusses implementation.  The Ambleside Year 0 group discusses applying CM’s methods to preschool and kindergarten (and is more of a general CM group than a specifically Ambleside group).  The Ambleside Online group helps answer questions specifically about implementing that curriculum.

Start where you are, and implement as much as you know.  You can learn as you go, but don’t be afraid to start.

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