Thursday, October 10, 2013

A CM school day...

A friend of mine facilitates a CM group and gave the description below of what a school day might look like.  Lovely example, so I asked her to share with you.
Thank you Vanessa for your Guest Post:

As I was preparing for our Charlotte Mason Study Group’s annual “Intro to CM” meeting a few months ago I decided to just describe a day – how better to explain it.  I would just walk through a day and this is what I ended up having for the discussion.
Does your day sound like this?  Start the day by spending the first 15 minutes reading the Bible, having your child copy a short passage from Our Island Story, reading a poem by Walter de la Mare together and then seeing how much you can recite from memory.  Then you spend a few minutes admiring a painting by Raphael telling each other what you ‘see’ in the painting.  You go sit on the couch and read about King Harold and the Battle of Hastings, finding the spot on your map of England so it is clearer why this battle is so important to English history (and ours since we are England’s children).  After listening to your child tell you what they remember from the story you just read, you head outdoors for a bit because the weather is beautiful.  The breeze is blowing, you see cicada shells, and you notice that the leaves are changing colors, which trees your child wonders?  Well, let’s look in our tree field guide.  Maybe you’ll find a leaf or an autumn flower to take indoors to sketch later that afternoon.  You have your Burgess Animal Book with you and so you read the next chapter to see what Mother Nature is going to teach Peter Rabbit today in school.  After a peaceful time outdoors you head back in for a math lesson or game and read a chapter of Seabird before lunch.   
So what have you just done?  You’ve accomplished 3rd grade for a day.  You’ve covered language arts, spelling, grammar, poetry, world history, geography, nature study, natural history, art appreciation, penmanship and will do more nature study in the afternoon while sketching.  You might even add in literature if you read a chapter of Wind in the Willows this afternoon.   
If your day isn’t like this, you may want to consider CM’s philosophy of a liberal education.
CM Education is much more than the 3R’s.  Charlotte said it’s an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.