1 pointHow do you handle being a full time mom? What do you do when you are stressed or come to the end of yourself? Or if your child(ren) are having a hard day? A facebook post quoting Charlotte Mason drew my attention to these questions the other day: "If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would only have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents." Sometimes it isn’t a manicure or a coffee date we need, but an attending of our own souls with the true, good, and beautiful. This is a schole’ solution. Teaching littles, or having littles along with having to teach older children is HARD! But sometimes we can make it easier if we would do something restful like Charlotte suggests - make cookies together! Sometimes it’s attending to our homes: Organize the garage. That’s still learning. Name all the plants in the yard. If it’s raining outside watch Singing in the Rain! - homeschooling should be about making memories and relationship too. If you have a baby or toddler their should be “school” time that includes PLAY WITH THE BABY/TODDLER TIME! Education IS an atmosphere, a discipline, a life! It should be a lot more “real-life-looking” than what happens at a formal school. Do you struggle with stress and burn-out or how do you handle rough days?
1 pointAre you familiar with Charlotte Mason's approach to spelling? I think your son's experience--memorizing words for a test but not really being able to use them in other contexts--is a common one. As with all things Charlotte Mason, it's not a quick fix--but beginning with transcription/copywork in the earliest grades, she teaches children to visualize a word in their minds before they write it--so that they copy word-by-word, not letter-by-letter. Later, about your son's age, the children do dictation (this is actually still a very common practice in European schools). The children look over a paragraph that is going to be dictated to them, and focus on visualizing whole words in their minds, then write it as it is dictated to them. When I do this with my (homeschool) students, I have them compare their own writing to the original passage, to find and correct their own errors. Over time, this is an effective practice--I know of nothing that works in the short term--but also, in my experience, the kids who are not natural spellers come into their own around age 12/13, and while they may never be great, their spelling becomes more generally correct. English spelling is incredibly difficult and irregular, and I think it just takes longer for some kids to develop the habit of seeing. My own son was an appalling speller--as a fluent reader who would never stumble over "of," he would still write "uv" (really) at 7 and 8. He followed the path I described--becoming a much better speller at age 13 or so--and as an adult, he's fine.
1 pointKatherine, I think the short video that features four seasoned headmaster addressing discipline is well worth viewing if you have not seen it yet. You can view it here: Four Headmasters on Discipline