No, I’m not forsaking Charlotte Mason for something else. But I am going to reveal three areas where I don’t follow Miss Mason’s advice. Here are the confessions of an eclectic CM adapter.
CM says — study one poet each term.
Jimmie says — UGH! One poet an entire term? Can’t do it. Won’t do it. One artist, no problem. One composer, doable. But an entire term of Robert Louis Stevenson or Robert Frost is enough to make me lose my mind. I want variety in the poetry area, so we read a daily poem from an anthology.
2. Reading Aloud
CM says — once a child is old enough to read to himself, the bulk of his education should come from reading. A child who can read should read. And he should not be coddled by an adult reading his material out loud to him.
Jimmie says –I continue to read novels aloud to Sprite, and not just the fun ones but our academic texts as well. Sprite is a competent reader, but she still gets more out of my reading aloud. She’s only ten, and I think that we have plenty of time for the transition to her reading everything on her own. If I had a house full of little ones clamoring for attention, I’m sure I’d not be able to invest so much time in reading to Sprite. But God gave me only one. And I’m still reading outloud to this one.
CM says — Teach children practical handicrafts such as knitting, crochet, basket making, weaving, etc. Silly, meaningless crafts are to be avoided.
Jimmie says — Bring on the glitter, sequins, Elmer’s glue, and fuzzy pom poms. We love crafts whether they are practical or not. Fanciful, purely creative projects are fine in my book. And I believe that the creativity and imagination that are inspired through these types of crafts will serve Sprite well all her life. If they lead to more practical, “grown-up crafts” that result in wearable socks and usable baskets, then that’s wonderful. But if they lead merely to a creative outlook on life and an adult love of the feel of rubber cement on your hands, then that’s okay too.
So there you have it, Miss Mason. I hope you’re not too scandalized to hear that I disagree with you. I overall greatly admire your philosophy, but I have to go with my own insights and opinions above your recommendations, however revered they may be.
I know that there are very, very few CM purists out there. Most people who call themselves Charlotte Mason homeschoolers are actually much like me in that they pick and choose what works best for them. And since the education of their children falls on their own shoulders, that’s exactly what they should do.
Anyone else have a homeschool philosophy confession to make?