I had heard "Charlotte Mason" in passing but never really took the time to research her or her methods. I don't like to put myself in a box. I like flexibility and eccentricity. I felt that to get into a single method or "genre" would be limiting. But one fateful night when I was reading blogs I came across the words "Ambleside Online" and was hooked immediately. The way Charlotte Mason encourages strong minds and great character is exactly everything I'd have hoped for as a growing child and how I'd like my kids to learn. It leaves so much room for flexibility. It's not an online school (no assignments or grades to turn in) but a community and a free curriculum that other parents have devoted countless hours in creating and piecing together.
Our first day of school started out with Bible reading and poetry. Then we did our other readings, copywork and art. We were done before 9:30. I sat there, dumbfounded, because last year we were doing school work well after lunch because of dragging feet and having too much work. Honestly I feel like we have a bigger workload this year with more difficult subjects/reading but the way it's all laid out makes it fun and makes it a breeze (thus far; I'm sure we'll have "those days").
We did miss our math curriculum this week, though. I ordered it late so I'm sure that'll tack on maybe 30 minutes? I'm not sure yet but maybe even less than that. One major thing that Charlotte Mason stressed was: QUALITY, not QUANTITY. We are taking an entire year to read a single book, to chew on it and weigh it and learn it. Of course the kids can whip through other "free read" books as fast as they want, I'm only speaking of the scheduled readings. And wonder of wonders kids begin to live the books they read by acting them out and using their imaginations and showing that they are retaining the information.
So far we're all loving it! They get their work done, we have tons of time to play outside, bake, build blocks and get imaginative. I have time to cook meals, get some of my business work done without stressing about finding time (like I did last year! And I get cranky if I don't find my work time!), clean and *play with my kids*. Isn't that part of why homeschool is magical? The special time we get with the kids?
Silas and Mommy hanging out on the porch:
He's such a goofball! He just started making this face at me!