We are starting back to school the day after Labor Day. I am glad that recently I finished the book For The Children's Sake by Susan Schaefer MacCauley. It really broke down the Charlotte Mason style of education in a way that gave me some new eyes for our upcoming school year. I love the gentle approach to learning that Charlotte Mason education provides. Some of the things that I appreciate are the way this approach help children develop their own thinking and ideas, the sense of wonder and excitement that this style provides, and the value of the child as a person instead of someone to shape and fill up with ideas. I love the Living Books that we read and the hands on learning as well as life learning. Mostly though I really like that the family is considered the most important place for children to develop. It seems in society we tend to look for our children to develop so many other places than home. I believe t his thinking hurts families. Since family is the backbone of our society then it hurts society as a whole.
We are going to have a motto this year for our school: I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will. I think there are some issues my children have that this motto will help correct. I am is their identity in the Lord. I can are the many things they are capable of doing. I ought are the habits, routine, and things that they ought to be doing. The I will is developing a willing spirit in the things that need to be done.
So this week I will finish the bulk of my canning, get the house back in order, and get us geared up for a great school year where we travel around the world exploring other countries and cultures. Now to set things up so that Charlotte Mason's three elements of education are in the best shape possible. I am setting up our educational Atmosphere, set up are Disciplines (schedules, routines, chores, etc), and be prepared to share Life in ways we never have before. It will be a good year. For anyone reading who has started this year already or is still preparing for the year please share what you are doing this year.