Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Children are born Persons!

Children as they are.––And children have not altered. This is how we find them––with intelligence more acute, logic more keen, observing powers more alert, moral sensibilities more quick, love and faith and hope more abounding; in fact, in all points like as we are, only more so; but absolutely ignorant of the world and its belongings, of us and our ways, and, above all, of how to control and direct and manifest the infinite possibilities with which they are born.

Charlotte Mason, Vol 3, pg 172
One reason I use CM's methods is because of this.  If you have ever been around a 20 month old,  you see the intelligence in them.  The other night my niece, who is 21 months old,  heard the sound of a ring falling on the floor during church.  She plays with her daddy's ring sometimes during the sermon,  and when she heard the ring,  her sweet head popped up,  she grinned at her daddy through her pacifier, and pointed to his ring, and them the sound.  She knew exactly what that sound was and knew she made that sound sometimes when she dropped her daddy's ring. 
We don't have to  open the minds of our children and pour information and facts into it. They glean so much from their experiences and surroundings.  But we must give them the opportunities to have these experiences, whether through walks in the woods,  music,  art work, biographies of great men and women all through history,  a lesson in the unalterable truth of math,  great works of fiction, lyrical poetry  and ultimately the greatest work that includes all of this,  God's Word, the Bible.  How much more will they learn through this method, than filling out worksheets and coloring in bubbles on a test. 

Cutting open turtle eggs after finding a dead turtle.  It STINKS!
If you and your children are sick of "school",  give a biography a try, or look up an artist and just observe some of his works.  Talk about what you read or saw,  draw a picture of what you remember.  And enjoy learning life through real experiences.
Here are some tools we are using right now in our home school.  We are reading a biography of Jame Madison by Jean Fritz.  I have understood more about our government during the early years than in any history book.  And I am not too sure things are as bad as they were then.  "DID YOU KNOW"  (famous words at our house) .   My youngest is learning about the Great Lakes area through the reading of Paddle to the Sea by Holling C.  Holling.  My oldest is reading American history in a book by Paul Johnson.  We just talked about the difference between an Englishman and an American in the year 1776.  Have you ever though of what made the difference, especially if it was between two families that came over on the same boat at the same time from London? 
These are just a few ways my kids are "experiencing" the years surrounding the beginnings of our nation.  We could have bought a textbook from some company and read right through it.  But honestly,  how much do YOU remember from this type of learning? 
Give a book a try.  You may find you like it.  And if you need some help finding a book for a particular historical time period,  here are a couple of web sites to help.
Ambleside Online

Tanglewood Education
thanks for reading,