"A child of any age should be a well-read person for his age." - Charlotte Mason
|some books we enjoy|
There is something that, as the years go by, I find myself repeating over and over to others. And that is this; I would much rather see families choose fewer books and live with them properly than an entire list from any curriculum that results in box- checking for having read the book.*
I occasionally share my schedules with those I mentor. That feels safe to me because I can qualify why I do what I do with the philosophical foundations intact. Inevitability, the person looking at is is rather stunned. Why? Because it appears to be a much lighter load than they were anticipating. Yet some have mentioned that my children are the best-read people they know. Indeed, Mason states that "A child of any age should be a well-read person for his age." (from The Story of Charlotte Mason, p. 116) So how do those two things exist at the same time - well-read children and a lighter schedule? I think it has to do with how those books are used.
In order for me to properly introduce a book to my child (scaffolding), attentively listen to narrations (administrating), appropriately engage in fruitful discussions (grand conversationing), I need to choose fewer excellent books. My brain simply doesn't have the time, knowledge, or energy to properly engage with dozens of titles every single day. The result of assigning too many books is either burnout or box checking.
"You mean occasionally people have a problem with this even in a Mason paradigm?"
No, I mean people often have a problem with this in a Mason paradigm.
So when I plan my school year, I write up an ambitious and glorious rough draft of the books and things I think would be great for that child that year. Then slowly, over the course a a few days, I pare things down, down, down, until the schedule breathes and flows with ... life. Try it. You'll know when you have it right for your family as there will most likely be peace in your heart.
|freshly rearranged history section in library|