Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Are We Prepping Them For?

A friend who blogs at Cafe of Grace wrote an article called I Need Jesus. Her thoughts and the poem she shared spoke to my heart. I've had these same thoughts: Why am I rushing through our school agenda? Why am I stressing about them learning? What am I preparing my kids for exactly? High test scores? Those are fine, but is that the ultimate goal for our life? In our homeschooling journey, I do care that my kids get an education. That will not be neglected. But I choose not to make academics or sports or one overarching interest the main focus of my children's life.

This poem helps me to step back and reconsider what is most important.

THE WINNER (by Jennie Belzer…..2004?)
I thought I would teach my child to be a winner
Think and plan, remember all the rules
be strong and conquer
play the game and win.
But the winner was not kind
and he cared not for the one he trampled upon.
I thought I would teach my child all the right answers.
Read and read and don’t forget
score high, and higher still
and impress the ones I need to impress.
But the one with knowledge was puffed up with pride
and when the time came to give the only answer
that mattered, he was lost.
And so we set out together to learn how to love.
I stood with him at the end of the line,
we served quietly while others were giving out
all the right answers,
we lost some games and learned how to look into the
eyes of our opponent,
we beat our breast and cried out for mercy because we saw
the we were sinners,
We wrapped a towel around our waists and learned
how to wash feet,
and no one noticed us;
we became nothing
and we realized
we were winners.
*Thank you, Anastasia, for allowing me to share your post and Jennie's poem.*

Monday, February 18, 2013

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival Feb 19, 2013

Welcome to the festival of ideas surrounding a Charlotte Mason life! Chapter 4 of Volume 6 was the focus of thought, so you'll read some quotes from that chapter interspersed throughout as well as the wonderful posts shared by like-minded friends. Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing in these ideas that inspire our education and life!

Authority is Proper 
"Every king and commander, every mother, elder sister, school prefect, every foreman of works and captain of games, finds that within himself which secures faithful obedience, not for the sake of his merits but because authority is proper to his office. Without this principle, society would cease to cohere."

Blossom at North Laurel Home and School gives her thoughts on Proper Use of Authority including rebellion toward schoolwork.

Obedience Delightful and Reposeful 
"No doubt it is pleasing that children should behave naturally, should get up and wander about, should sit still or frolic as they have a mind to, but they too, must 'learn obedience'; and it is no small element in their happiness and ours that obedience is both delightful and reposeful." 

Bobby Jo at Where the Blacktop Ends shows us how she gets her little ones out in the snow to be nature detectives in Winter Tracks.

Megan at The Winding Ascent gives her thoughts on Government through the Desires: Unhealthy Competition and Other Ruinous Things We Learned on the Playground.

Adults are also Under Rule 
"The higher the authority, the greater distinction in obedience, and children are quick to discriminate between the mere will and pleasure of the arbitrary teacher or parent and the chastened authority of him who is himself under rule." (emphasis mine) 

Tammy at Aught-2B-Home in Carolina shares a needed post on Awe called Feeling Pressed for Time. *This post was on-topic for the last CMBC and was unwittingly overlooked by our friendly blog carnival administrator. (But we love and appreciate our Amy at Fisher Academy!)*

Hungry Minds Absorb 
"Hungry minds sit down to such a diet with the charming greediness of little children; they absorb it, assimilate it and grow thereby in a manner astonishing to those accustomed to the dull profitless ruminating so often practised in schools. When the teacher avoids hortatory methods, his scholars change position when they have a mind to; but their mind is commonly to sit still during a lesson time because they are so intent on their work that they have no desire for small divagations;"

Carol at Journey-and-destination gives us her personal Reading Challenge. You'll enjoy her synopsis of each book she's currently reading.

Lynn at How the Sun Rose shares a delightful way that simple math leads to a beautiful design with Skip Counting Number Wheel

I Just Like This View of "Too Much Athletics" :-) 
"...athleticism, on the other hand, if unduly pursued, by no means promotes mental activity." 

Nebby at Letters from Nebby shares her thoughts on Authority and Attention.

Many Relations, Large Room 
"...but [children] come into the world with many relations waiting to be established; relations with places far and near, with the wide universe, with the past of history, with the the social economics of the present, with the earth they live on and all its delightful progeny of beast and bird, plant and tree; with the sweet human affinities they entered into at birth; with their own country and other countries, and, above all, with that most sublime of human relationships––their relation to God."  

Jessica at Under the Willow Oak gives a bit of simple but important advice: Begin As You Mean To Go On.

Celeste at Joyous Lessons shares beautiful pictures of her families nature time with Valentines and Vacation.

Generous Curriculum 
"With such a programme before his pupils only the uninstructed teacher will put undue emphasis upon and give undue time to arithmetic and handicrafts, singing, acting, or any of the hundred specifics which are passed off as education in its entirety." 

Brandy at Afterthoughts shares An Antidote for Theological Naïveté which gives much to ponder concerning where our theology comes from.

God is Our Ultimate Authority 
"The conditions are,––the teacher, or other head may not be arbitrary but must act so evidently as one under authority that the children, quick to discern, see that he too must do the things he ought; and therefore that regulations are not made for his convenience. (I am assuming that everyone entrusted with the bringing up of children recognises the supreme Authority to Whom we are subject; without this recognition I do not see how it is possible to establish the nice relation which should exist between teacher and taught.) The other condition is that children should have a fine sense of the freedom which comes of knowledge which they are allowed to appropriate as they choose, freely given with little intervention from the teacher. They do choose and are happy in their work, so there is little opportunity for coercion or for deadening, hortatory talk." 

Dewey's Treehouse gives us Illegal Moves: "If we are in a position of authority and expect obedience from those under us, while still recognizing that this position is not ours because of our personal superiority, then we'll treat those under us, even children, especially children, with the respect due to them as persons." (You'll love the cartoons!)

Angela at Joyous Lessons gives us good advice about Reading for Older Children: "Give them solid lessons in reading, build habits as regards books, and you will have a child who loves to learn, regardless of what life throws their way."

Help Establish Attention by Not Repeating 
"To this end the subject matter should not be repeated. We ourselves do not attend to the matters in our daily paper which we know we shall meet with again in a weekly review, nor to that if there is a monthly review in prospect; these repeated aids result in our being persons of wandering attention and feeble memory. To allow repetition of a lesson is to shift the responsibility for it from the shoulders of the pupil to those of the teacher who says, in effect,––"I'll see that you know it," so his pupils make no effort of attention. Thus the same stale stuff is repeated again and again and the children get bored and restive, ready for pranks by way of a change." 

Barb at Harmony Fine Arts at Home gives a helpful tutorial on using Google Art Project Part 2 Museum View.

Children Truly Can Understand 
"We depreciate children in another way. We are convinced that they cannot understand a literary vocabulary so we explain and paraphrase to our own heart's content but not to theirs. Educated mothers know that their children can read anything and do not offer explanations unless they are asked for them..." 

Silvia at Silvia Cachia shares her view of Problems and Solutions: "When I see my life as a set of problems to which I have yet to find the right solution for it to be perfect, I not only leave God out of it, but I also decline my authorship (submitted to Him), or my responsibility, and I go to others for advice."

Amy at Fisher Academy International shares her Nature Study Monday.... Rocks! and Thoughts on Authority and Docility.

Self Education Regarding Museums and Such (See page 77 to read more of this story)
"It will be noticed that the child is educating herself; her friends merely take her to see the things she knows about and she tells what she has read, a quite different matter from the act of pouring information down the throats of the unhappy children who are taken to visit our national treasure houses." 

Tammy shares her unique perspective on getting kids to find solutions for themselves at Aught 2-B-Home in Carolina with When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemon Batteries!

Good Education Gives Many Interests 
"But many of our young men and women go about more seriously maimed than these. They are devoid of intellectual interests, history and poetry are without charm for them, the scientific work of the day is only slightly interesting, their 'job' and the social amenities they can secure are all that their life has for them. The maimed existence in which a man goes on from day to day without either nourishing or using his intellect, is causing anxiety to those interested in education, who know that after religion it is our chief concern, is, indeed, the necessary handmaid of religion." 

Michelle at The Holistic Homeschooler gives thoughts on habit training at 4 Habits to Teach Your Child.

Laura at Windy Hill Home School shares her son's experience with school this year with AO Year 2, Term 2 Review.

The next Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival will be:
March 5 
on the Sacredness of Personality (Ch5)
at Living CM in California
Submit posts to: charlottemasonblogs at gmail dot com.