Why add yet another blog to the billions out there? And why blog about a Charlotte Mason education when there are others far more expert than I? The short answer is that Charlotte Mason lived about a hundred years ago, and while her educational principles remain the same, the world has changed, and we have access to lots of more up-to-date material than what she used. The internet, for example!
We are loosely using the resources and schedules at Ambleside Online to homeschool our children. The hard work put into that free curriculum is amazing, and has made it easy for me to get started without starting from scratch. It has its weaknesses (for our family and goals), but I love to tweak, so I’ve made lots changes to fit the curriculum to our family. I’m hoping to use this blog to keep track of all my changes (and the reasons for them), and do a yearly wrap-up of what worked and what didn’t. And maybe it will be helpful for other homeschoolers.
One goal of AO was to make the curriculum cheap and accessible by using mostly public domain texts. Another goal was to re-create as nearly as possible the type of education Charlotte Mason provided her students. Neither of those are my goals, so a lot of my tweaking reflects my attempt to modernize some of the content (especially history and science), and to use books I prefer over some of the free, vintage books. I’m using “modernize” loosely; lots of our books were published in the 1950s and 1990s 🙂 And lots are from the 1800s.
Many homeschool curricula these days revolve around history. For us, it’s not the center. My academic tiers are skill subjects first:
and then all other content subjects are second tier, have more or less equal value, and may depend somewhat on the interests of the child. For example:
- Music theory
- Public speaking
- Art appreciation
- Test-taking skills
- and so on
So I want our children to develop strong abilities in the first three areas, and then to have at least a taste of all the other areas. This is for ages 6-12…I haven’t planned much past that…yet. 🙂