Saturday, July 12, 2014

Learning and Living....A Charlotte Mason Study Group

Learning and Living Box Front

As many of you know, I've dabbled in some of Charlotte Mason's methods in our homeschool.  Earlier this spring, I felt a calling to deepen my understanding of Charlotte's methods though I was unsure how to proceed.  I contemplated starting a CM Study Group, but didn't know if I wanted to tackle the task.  However, I felt after seven years of homeschooling, I was ready to dig deeper and advance to the next level...whatever that may be.  
A short time later, Simply Charlotte Mason's new DVD series, Learning and Living - Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Way was released.  After much thought and prayer, I decided to go ahead and start a CM Study Group utilizing the series as a jumping point.  Last night, I had the privilege of meeting with a dozen other lovely ladies, homeschooling mamas, like me, to kick off our study.  What a treat!

After a bit of social time and introductions, we watched the first DVD in the series, "Meet Charlotte and Her Methods". It covers a brief history of Charlotte Mason's life and an overview of some of Charlotte's methods.  Sonya Shafer does a bang up job of presenting the material.  There are points to pause the DVD for group participation in Charlotte's methods.  Shafer's passion for Mason shines through.   I really appreciated how she presented Charlotte's student motto, "I am , I can, I ought, I will" attaching scripture to each phrase.  

Some of the methods covered are:

Narration - The telling back of a reading in the child's own words.  Shafer gives two opportunities for viewers to practice this method.

Book of Centuries - This method of each student keeping a timeline book, where they can add people and events that interest them as they learn, has intrigued me for some time.  After reading Laurie Bestvater's book, The Living Page, Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason, I wrote a post here on my ah-ha moment regarding the BOC.  

Copywork - Giving children a living idea to practice handwriting by allowing them to copy a passage from their reading.  

Poetry Study - Reading beautiful poetry that sparks living thoughts and ideas.

Prepared Dictation - Charlotte used this method to teach spelling.  Again, Shafer allows seminar participants to practice this method.  

Picture Study - used for art appreciation.  We practiced this method by studying a Millet print for a short time, until we could see it in detail in our mind.  Picture study gives the child an idea of an artist's style.  

I'm looking forward to our next CM Study Group meeting where we'll learn more about narration and the use of "living books".  We plan to gather every two weeks throughout the fall to complete the DVD series.  I will post a follow-up here after each meeting.  If you are interested in learning more about the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, I highly recommend the Learning and Living DVD series.    

For further thought, you may consider reading a four part series I wrote in the spring of 2012 regarding a Charlotte Mason Education....

Part 1 - Who was Charlotte Mason?
Part 2 -  Basic Methods Used in a CM Education
Part 3 - Why did I choose Charlotte's methods for home educating our children?
Part 4 - Q & A

1 comment:

  1. I have thought about purchasing this also and doing the same as you by getting together a group of woman with like minds about Charlotte Mason Methods. I love Sonya Shafer and have attended a few of her seminars/workshops.