When we first set out on the homeschooling path, I bounced back and forth between the various educational philosophies that are offered to us homeschool moms. I dabbled in them all: Montessori, Waldorf, Thomas Jefferson Education, Unschooling and Charlotte Mason, but I always went back to Classical. Emma was 6 when we tried Charlotte Mason via Ambleside Online. We did it for about a year and a half but we stopped because I was tired of hearing Emma whine about having to do another narration. I realize now that part of my problem was that I was using the AO booklist as just that; a booklist. I tried many times to read Miss Mason’s own books but they were so dense, I just couldn’t be bothered to slog my way through them. I wish that I had tried harder and I wish that we had stayed with Ambleside.
I have been thinking a lot about next year’s school plans. I have them all tumbling about in my brain and have temporarily set it down in writing. I have been trying to find solutions to some learning difficulties that Caleb is experiencing. I think that learning the CM way just might be the answer to our problems. I wonder if starting him with AO in the beginning of the high school years will be too hard, too much of a change. I wonder but I would like to try it.
If I don’t want a repeat of our CM attempt 8 years ago then I realize that I need to read CM’s own words about her teaching philosophy. I have decided to start with her principles, rather than start with just one book and work my way through it. I have purchased Brandy’s Start Here, a downloadable study on CM’s 20 principles. For each principle, Brandy has given us links to CM’s own words from her books as well as links to other people’s words about the same principle. I have finished the first principle and it has given me much food for thought.
I am looking forward to be given another chance with Miss Mason. I hope that this time will be the keeper.