I first learned about Charlotte Mason and the classical method when my daughter was still in preschool. I liked Charlotte Mason’s attitude toward the children and their learning. The absolute most influential thing I read that made the biggest impact on the way I STARTED homeschooling was the nature walks and the drawing notebooks. I had been drawing since I was a child and that really spoke to me. As I sat staring at two large stacks of Bob Jones textbooks and workbooks that I had borrowed to look through and consider in getting my young child started on the path to homeschooling, I suddenly realized in living color the sharp contrast. So, I returned the textbooks and we went out on field trips. We walked to the library and visited any and every museum available. We watched planes take off and visited festivals and listened to books on tape and read every night and memorized scripture and sang songs and watched Wishbone and made gifts and baked and tasted and discovered and experimented.
I wanted to keep the same attitude when we did hit the books, and in large part we did that, and what it resulted in was teaching what was ‘at hand’. Lesson plans were loosely made and loosely followed. If I suddenly realized they would benefit from reading something or learning something, I would introduce it. Sometimes it would catch and sometimes it would need to be lying around for awhile before it would get read or learned. I leave a lot of stuff ‘lying around’. On a trip last week, I asked the boys to pack for themselves for a couple of days. When we arrived at our destination, I realized that our 10yo had only packed his backpack full of action figures. I asked him what he thought I meant when I said ‘pack’. He said he thought *I* would bring his toothbrush and change of clothes. I said I would check and see if grandma and grandpa had packs of toothbrushes in the bathroom and my 15yo son said, “Could you see if they have any underwear?”. Ha! So, he didn’t pack either. Well, what was in that heavy backpack? It contained his bible, a notebook, some pens and Strongs Exhaustive Concordance.
So, leave lots of great stuff lying around. Pick it up, read and share…don’t stress.