Education as Heritage
A journey into our past to understand our present and to envision our future
Presented by Silvia Cachia
Asking the hows of Charlotte Mason’s principles is a necessary part of our role as teachers. Understanding the whys at the base of those principles and practices is a must. Not all of us are called to be Charlotte Mason scholars, but, in Charlotte Mason’s words,
Parents must reflect on the Subject-matter of Instruction. … [T]he parent, also, should have thought out this subject, and even when he does not profess to teach his children, should have his own carefully formed opinions as to the subject-matter and the method of their intellectual education. (Vol 1, pg. 169)
I must know about how and why my children need to be taught, but there is something at the base of all this, a concept I have been exploring for quite some time: heritage. Heritage is our history; it is responsible for how we came to be the moms and teachers we are now, it is a very large part of who and what we are, and understanding it, will help us determine what we will become.
We are individuals and do not all have to be Charlotte Mason look-alikes. In looking at our heritage and taking a real look at who we have become, we are given a lot of freedom to navigate the “hows” of how we implement our CM education.
We don’t have to struggle to do it all, we don’t have to change who we are. We are only called to have faith in this method, and try our best based on who we are now, at this present moment.
In the presentation, I will explore the difference between copying others, comparing ourselves to others, or desiring to be like others, and contrast those with the healthy alternatives of being inspired by others, establishing relationships with others, and desiring to improve ourselves. We need to look at who we were in the past, anchor ourselves in the present, and, looking at the future, do the next right thing (as my dear friend Carol says).
Charlotte Mason and the Older Child
Presented by Karen Canon
‘Is a Charlotte Mason education rigorous enough?’ ‘Does a CM education prepare them for university, a career, life?’ ‘Do I have enough (time, experience, know-how) to teach high school subjects?’ In this workshop, we will look at some myths surrounding homeschooling the older student and see what Charlotte Mason had to say. We will look to Charlotte’s principles – for, a teen is a person, too. And, we’ll explore what a CM education can look like in the teen years and how to assess your students.
Presented by Sarah Lancaster
Ah, schedules. Is there any word which calls up such a range of emotions? Some people love them, while others are more likely to run screaming from a color-coded spreadsheet. Thanks to the magic of scanning and the internet, we have detailed copies of the P.N.E.U. school schedules to learn from, but how much can a busy homeschool mom really glean from these classroom samples? How do we go from a list of curricula to a daily plan? And how do we find a balance between structure and stress, teaching the child versus checking the boxes?
In its simplest form, a schedule is merely a framework for our day. Schedules are not the boss of us. They are tools to give a structure and help us move forward confidently. While we may not be replicating the P.N.E.U. plans, as home educators we can take Miss Mason’s principles and personalize them to fit our own family’s needs. In this workshop we will start by investigating the principles of scheduling that Miss Mason laid out for us. We’ll look at the attitudes, beliefs, and fears that drive us as teachers and parents. With a firm foundation of the heart, we will then look at quite a few different options for planning our days, in a range of detail and flexibility. Every parent will find something here, spreadsheet fan or not.
Nature Study and Dry Brush
Presented by Heather Lee
It is impossible to teach everything pertaining to watercolor or nature journaling in a session, so I have a very narrow goal. My goal is that you will leave the session unafraid of the paints and eager to experiment and learn more. We will learn the basics of color mixing, and time permitting will learn to paint something simple from our observation of nature.
Presented by Dawn Rhymer
Principle 14: As knowledge is not assimilated until it is reproduced, children should ‘tell back’ after a single reading or hearing: or should write on some part of what they have read. —Ms. Mason
Do you narrate? A Charlotte Mason Education is not just for our children, but for us as well. For you to educate your children using Ms. Mason’s methods, you must first self-educate. What better way to educate ourselves than to use those principles which we are using for our children?
In this hands-on, or should I say “narrations-on,” workshop, we are first going to look at incorporating narration into our own lives. Why should we as parents narrate? How can we as parents narrate? We will have some examples to look at, some ideas to suggest, and some time to try it on our own. We will also see how narrating ourselves helps us become better at telling stories, something Ms. Mason emphasizes we should be doing on a regular basis with our children.
Then we will transition to helping our children become better narrators. We will cover the steps of narration, discuss some of the common pitfalls, and have lots of time for Q&A.
How full is the life?
Living Education and Becoming Fully Human
Presented by Jennifer Taylor
The question is not,–how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education–but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?
—Charlotte Mason (vol. 3, ch. XVI, p. 170-171)
Charlotte Mason advocated for “a liberal arts education for all”, an education centered on God’s man, God’s world, and God Himself. How then, does this philosophy of education form a fully human, fully caring child? This session will explore Mason’s key educational principles as well as the nature and qualities of a living, liberal arts education and how it uniquely lays a foundation for becoming fully human.