Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thinking about Charlotte Mason

I've toyed with the idea of using a CM-approach with the 12yo in the past and I'm thinking more and more about incorporating yet again some of the ideas into his daily work. This thought came back to me after I was thinking about what to do about the 15yo's (sorry, 16yo!--birthday is today) and dd's fear of writing in French, especially spelling. The thought had come to me that they should copy stuff. Then I read something which encouraged that idea. Then something else stumbled my way which encouraged the idea again. In the same thing was stuff about the general benefits of copywork. Which then had my brain thinking about the 12yo. And then it popped over to CM. (Yes, my brain is constantly searching for other connections!)

So I'm looking yet again into CM with him a bit more. Specifically, narration and copywork, but possibly also the scheduling, although I think he prefers to have just a large block of a particular subject (like LA) rather than messing around with doing 15 minutes of, say, copywork, then switching to math, then back to phonics, then to science, then to reading, then to social, then to grammar, then to math facts practice... It'd look like a long list of stuff to him. I was going to say--Plus it would require strictly adhering to a schedule and that won't work--but maybe it's not such a bad idea to make sure to institute a time limit. Where are my timers??? We've only got one. I had 3 at one point. He doesn't like timers, but I suspect it's because of the accountability. I mean, if you know the timer was set for 15 minutes and you've got nothing done, it's not such an easy thing to face when you've been trying to convince yourself you do a lot of work!

In any case, this would start after spring break. It'll give me the full week to read, read, read and see if there's more that I would like to incorporate. I suspect that I really ought to have a set amount of phonics work to cover each day. Our routine right now is working fairly well, but he's still not doing quite enough, especially for writing or the thinking behind writing (we've started oral composing). It was like pulling teeth the other day to get him to tell me about his aunt. I was going to write everything down for the paragraph, but he still just gets so stuck in trying to find the 'right' thing to say and is convinced that most of what he has to say is wrong. So this idea of narration, that he reads a little something then has to tell me orally about it and I'll write it down sounds like something useful. I know I'd thought about this before but it somehow never took place. I don't think I had a clear enough image in my mind of how it could work. But since finding a wider variety of things for him to read to me or me to read with him, it seems so do-able now.

This is not an approach I'm at all interested in taking with ds and dd, except for perhaps the French copywork for dd as a way to study written French. I still like too much the exploratory, research and interest-based approach of Montessori.

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