Many years ago I read a fascinating book that meant my entry gate to Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, and that book was When Children Love to Learn. It painted a reality for some that seemed such a high and unreachable ideal to me, yet I yearned to get there. Not only did I wish my children will, one day, love to learn, but I wanted myself to find love in learning, in teaching, in my future as a homeschooling mom.
Forward just a few years, and meet my ten and eight year old daughters. They have come to a time when they, when all of us at home, do love to learn. In these few years, they have developed various interests in different activities, ideas, pursuits.
Does that mean we all look like the Von Trapp family in the Julie Andrews movie?, -or any other idyllic image this conjures in your mind? Nope. Some days, some moments, there are tears, others there is some resistance. All in all, though, there are numerous expressions of love and delight in our daily lessons and doings.
I was going to title this post “a different way of doing Ambleside Online, or Charlotte Mason” because we have not fallen into the patterns I have read others have experienced with their children in some academic areas. Sometimes my girls are taking longer to get to some learning platitudes, others they surprise me with their passion and maturity. It has never been easy for us, (not that I imply others have it all perfected or under control), or being honest, I have made this more difficult than needed, with my impatience and demands. If I choose to look at the bright side of life, there is much around to be grateful for, blessings and joy without measure. If I could change something, I’d be more calm from day one, and I’d trust and nurture this way of life, I’d be more patient and understanding. I’d enjoy and celebrate the family we are from the beginning, and trust that they care for their education as much or more than I do.
At times, this mom gets a bit tired too, but then she follows Miss Mason’s advice, and refreshes herself doing something she enjoys. And as days progress, we are all finding more and more out there to learn, live, and love. Not in vain Mason said that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.
The picture is of my girl’s soft toys, Pearl and Tedwaldo.