As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything. -A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh, page 111
Our homeschool uses some Charlotte Mason (CM) principles.
While I am far from a CM expert, I summarize Miss Mason’s streamlined educational process as 1) connecting children as directly as possible to ideas themselves, 2) utilizing great attention to move ideas into long term memory and 3) connections between ideas are created by the student, not teacher or textbook, developing the strength of the mind. The methodology designed by Miss Mason is generally very child friendly, and generally Biblically sound.
I say “generally”, because there are a few points of divergence between Miss Mason’s curriculum methods and my own ideology. A very presumptuous and bold ascertation, I am sure anyone who has any knowledge of the modern CM movement is thinking. More on my points of divergence at a later time, and rest assured, I will try to defend my position 😉
Now, on to our Adventure. (Since that I just brushed the honey off of my nose…you might want to put on your Big Boots).
When delving into any great adventure, it seems useful to lay out the goals of the said adventure upon the very beginning. Well, I figured the same was true for our homeschool. As such, I decided to corner Hubby during a long car ride home from another state in order to hash out the objectives of our homeschool- which really turned out to be our goals for parenting our children. This was not a light undertaking- good thing the children slept through it, (too much cake, doughnuts and swimming at Grandma’s).
Here’s what we came up with:
1) to instill a thorough, working knowledge of the Word of God into our children’s minds Deut 6:7-9 We would be much happier if God’s Word made it into their hearts, but that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. I will content myself with my job of, “You shall teach them diligently to your children” and pray without ceasing for each of them. As we see this goal, it requires apologetics. It needs a thorough knowledge of history to understand the context of Scripture and to see God’s working throughout all time. It takes intricate language skills to read Scripture properly and to present it to the world. It demands in-depth mathematics and science to apply God’s Word in the real world (and if you don’t believe that examine the ministry Answers in Genesis!).
2) to develop a great sense of modesty Phil 2:3-5. This concerns humility in how one sees and presents oneself; propriety, really, but not in clothing specifically, but in speech, conduct and thought. See a sampling of my thoughts on modesty here This goal encompasses the basis for work ethic, relationships, moral standards, chivalry, financial integrity, stewardship and so much more!
Upon looking at these goals, we realize they are just our means to providing the necessary instruction and discipline for our children to live out the words of Jesus “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37+39).
In the future, as if that isn’t vague at all, I will explain why a CM education supplies the path towards our goals in most, but not all, cases.