Why do we teach children about history (or literature or any of a number of subjects)? What is the best way to teach these subjects? How do we know if we have taught them successfully? In Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, Karen Glass explains the choices facing all of us who have the responsibility of teaching children. When we choose to present or not present certain topics, even more so when we choose to present topics in particular ways, we are making philosophical choices whether we know it or not. These choices have a profound effect on the way each child views the world.
Karen explains that today's preferred methods of teaching resemble the old story of the blind men and the elephant, as we present children with disconnected bits of information without ever showing them the whole. Without that view of the whole, children do not come to care about the subjects of their studies or to care about the process of learning about the world around them.
There is a better way, and it is not new but yet it is fresh and lively. The original classical educators, back in the distant past, aimed at pursuing virtue through "synthetic" learning. (Synthetic meaning all the parts together, like the whole elephant.) Charlotte Mason, back in the early 20th century, studied the principles espoused by classical educators and found ways to apply them with her own students. Our job is to do the same today, if we want to equip students to pursue truth and virtue. "There is nothing quaint, nostalgic or old-fashioned about a desire to educate in the classical tradition. It is a radical thing to do. We do nothing less than demand that chaos resolve itself into order, simply by saying, 'There is truth and I want to know it.'"
Friday, June 20, 2014
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Sample Term Schedules - See a sample (for each AO year I've scheduled so far) of the schedules I create for my own family.
How I Scheduled Year 3 - Walk through the process of planning Year 3.
How I Scheduled Year 5 - Walk through the process of planning Year 5.
How I Scheduled Year 7 - Walk through the process of planning Year 7 for an 8th grader.
How I Scheduled Year 10 - Walk through the process of planning Year 10.
A Natural Reward - Guest post at Afterthoughts.
Planning Our Ambleside Year - What resources to pull together at the start of the year.
Chart Format Example - See a sample of how I set up the chart-format schedule.
More Chart Format Examples - I added these in February 2015 to provide more recent examples using our current method of organizing our day and our week.
Organizing Our Homeschool - How I set up daily and weekly checklists so the kids can manage their own work.
Categorizing Our Schoolwork - How I organize the assignments into handy categories to make the weekly schedule into a daily schedule.
Balaam's Ass - Encouragement when all does not go as planned.
Parenting as a Recovering Listaholic - The best laid plans. . .
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
This provides frequent changes in activities, something interesting to look forward to, and regular opportunities for logical consequences to reinforce helpful behavior.
What do we have in our treasure chest? I gather items all the time, from stores, garage sales, thrift shops, bookshelves and toy bins at home--anywhere!
- small chalk boards with chalk and eraser
- magnetic Israelites and Philistines with an old cookie sheet to play on
- Magna Doodles
- activity books of various kinds
- View Masters with lots of disks
- I Spy books
- small handheld non-electronic games, like those little mazes with a metal ball to roll around or the ones you fill up with water and press a button to shoot a jet of air
- Mad Libs