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    #16
    Thanks, RuthAnn! It does make your experience clearer to me. Partially out of my own laziness and partialIy out of desperation, I (embarrassingly often) want to switch to something that looks more like exposure and allowing kids to make connections on their own, and not necessarily as disciplined as Charlotte Mason taught. As much as I am happy with the content and method of MP, putting it into practice is not easy for me. There are steps I want to skip. Not many days get "completed" as I'd like them to. I'm working on being satisfied with what gets done. I have posted about my struggles with this before, and your post caught my attention because you have experienced for yourself an outcome of particular methods. I realize that these methods play out differently in each family, but it motivates me when I hear about why doing things more traditionally does or can make a difference down the line. When other homeschooling families seem to experience success without the extra work involved in something like MP, I begin to doubt whether I should stay this more difficult course.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Emily
    2019-20
    DS--9, 3M/4M
    DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
    DD--5, MP K
    DS--3
    DS--1

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by RuthAnn View Post
      Emilylovesbooks,

      One of the ideas that Charlotte Mason teaches is that the teacher shouldn't get between the student and the book. Instead, students need to be allowed to connect with the material in the way that clicks for them. Now, I may have missed something, started too late with my older 2, or just not implemented Charlotte Mason correctly, but I didn't see my children making connections on their own. They didn't magically retain content because I let them read and narrate instead of having them read, reread, review, study and master the material.

      I just "fact checked" the above paragraph with my oldest child, and she agreed that this is an accurate description of the issue.

      The other problem with this way of education, at least for my family, was that it lead to laziness because my kids knew they wouldn't see the material again. Trying to "test" my students' retention in content areas using the Charlotte Mason method left me feeling overwhelmed and flustered, so it often didn't happen. I tried so many different Charlotte Mason flavored curricula trying to find the "magic bullet" that would teach ME how to effectively teach my children, but I always felt like I didn't quite get it. Now, looking at my oldest son struggle in college because he never learned how to study makes me wish I would have stopped trying to learn this child centered way of education.

      As far as the "fruits" of exposure, I was lead to believe that deep down all children want to know, so if you set the table with a wide feast, they will come and nourish themselves with the food they need. Again, it didn't play out this way in my family, and all my efforts to include all those extra subjects left me frazzled and aggravated because my children could care less about them. They just wanted to know what they had to do so they could get done with their school.

      Now, I know that some people successfully homeschool using the Charlotte Mason method, but it hasn't been a success for my homeschool. In fact, I would say that the subjects that my children are currently successful in are the ones where I stuck to my more traditional roots.

      Hope this helps make things a little clearer.
      RuthAnn,

      First, I'm so glad you enjoyed the conference! I've been to the main Sodalitas and Teacher Training in KY but the regional conferences haven't been close enough for me to attend (not that KY is exactly *close* to TX geographically).

      I just returned from a different conference this weekend for folks from my particular faith and the CM movement has taken hold in a major way. Let me just say, for the record, that I have no qualms about what other families do in their homes. Different strokes for different folks...but I must say that I ran into so many people who love this "method" when the kids are little but find that it's just not working as they get older. Your description embodies what I was seeing but could not put my finger on.

      The older kids run into issues because they've "narrated" to parents but haven't always developed the writing - and sometimes critical thinking - skills they need to discuss the material they've read. Math becomes problematic because many haven't mastered or memorized the concrete, basic facts necessary in order to build more abstract concepts. Children naturally begin to gravitate toward the subjects that come more naturally for them and away from those that are more difficult. Because they have not been tested, there is no way for these poor parents to know (and catch) any potential gaps in their children's learning. One mom tearfully told me this weekend that she just can't do something like MP because her child will rebel. Another said that classical education just looks hard. I got the feeling that CM is being treated more like child-led learning than a solid method for mastering material. Again, please understand I'm not picking on Ms. Mason or the people who choose to follow her path with their children; rather, I think it takes MORE diligence and hard work to stay on track with something like that than it does to follow a daily routine that is laid out for you. That is a lot to ask of a mother of multiple children.
      I like that things like memorization, drills and review, along with both oral and written activities are built in for me so that I can constantly assess and regroup, if needed. Both my children and I know their strengths and weaknesses.

      It feels as though there is less discipline involved. As with anything, if we wish to attain mastery, we must be diligent and disciplined. And often, we need to become skilled at things we don't necessarily enjoy (housework, anyone?). One of the speakers this weekend talked about this very thing. He is a professor and said that students must be prepared to wrestle with subjects or concepts or ideas they don't necessarily like, because this is good preparation for life. Nobody knows where our lives will take us, so we must be prepared to be flexible and to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. The ability to write well, communicate well and learn well are the keys to being successful, no matter your life's path. Those skills don't develop naturally; they must be taught and then diligently honed. There is definitely beauty to be found in such diligence and a joy that comes from a difficult job well done.
      Mary

      DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
      DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
      DD8 - SC level 2

      Comment


        #18
        Relatively new here too! (Going on year 2 with MP, but 14th homeschooling ).

        RuthAnn, you described what our family experienced as well. Our homeschool has benefited so much from studying literature more in depth the MP way. I wish we had used MP with the oldest. It would have made AP English Lit so much easier.

        There are are so many benefits we are gleaning from MP. But, you know, I’m not sure I would have seen them had I not tried other approaches. I am happy God led is to MP. It fits the goals for our homeschool.

        Kristen

        Comment


          #19
          Emily,

          I am so glad my experience can help encourage you to stay the course. Anything you do is going to have its hard days, so it's great to be reminded that what you're doing is effective, even if it is sometimes difficult. I started back today, and although I got some pushback from my kids who are not used to this kind of education, I was calm and confident because I KNOW this path will lead us to success if we persevere. YAY! It feels so good to feel so sure.


          Mary,

          Thank you so much for confirming my experience. I am sorry to hear that others are still caught in the mire, but like Kristen said below you, sometimes that's what we have to go through to see what really works.

          I agree wholeheartedly with what you said below. Even though I did have to prepare, organize, and study for the day today, I knew what was expected of me and of my children. I think we all do better when the guidelines and expectations are clearly laid out.

          I got the feeling that CM is being treated more like child-led learning than a solid method for mastering material. Again, please understand I'm not picking on Ms. Mason or the people who choose to follow her path with their children; rather,
          I think it takes MORE diligence and hard work to stay on track with something like that than it does to follow a daily routine that is laid out for you
          . That is a lot to ask of a mother of multiple children.
          I like that things like memorization, drills and review, along with both oral and written activities are built in for me so that I can constantly assess and regroup, if needed. Both my children and I know their strengths and weaknesses.
          Kristen,

          Thank you for jumping in to say that you have been there, too. It's easy to feel like so many years have been wasted while I was figuring this homeschooling thing out, but God never wastes anything. He will use my experiences to humble me and keep me leaning on Him, and to encourage others as you all are doing with me.

          Thanks so much, everyone, for the warm welcome and for contributing to this conversation. It means so much to know that I have this group to "talk" to since no one near me in real life uses MP.

          In His love,
          RuthAnn

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by RuthAnn View Post

            Mary,

            Thank you so much for confirming my experience. I am sorry to hear that others are still caught in the mire, but like Kristen said below you, sometimes that's what we have to go through to see what really works.
            Absolutely! Oh gosh, I didn't start with MP, either. In fact, after cobbling together my own little classical curriculum (using everything referenced in The Well Trained Mind...yes, pretty much everything she suggested), I tried Simply Charlotte Mason (the online scheduling thing), thinking it would be easier. It wasn't. And I always wondered if I was doing enough, despite the fact that every second of my spare time was spent researching, prepping and/or logging in lesson plans.
            I had used MP's lit guides and science and liked what I saw, so I figured the rest of their curriculum might be as good. Now, years later, I'm glad I'm here...but I doubt I would have recognized or fully appreciated just how good it is had I not experienced difficulty before. <3

            Mary

            DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
            DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
            DD8 - SC level 2

            Comment


              #21
              Yes Mary! Sounds so familiar. I really am so pleasantly surprised how all the subjects work so well together in the MP cores. After so many years of putting it together myself I just never thought (as you said) daily diligence in something already laid out could work for us.

              I still pull together our own things for highschool with lots of MP thrown in as well. Would love a Spanish form series (for so I love the Latin form series). Haha!

              Kristen

              Comment


                #22
                Hi - Welcome RuthAnn! - I logged on to welcome you - we're in our first year of MP core as well - and here I find this post is full of interesting and thoughtful comments as well as greetings!

                I'm wondering if Leigh Lowe's presentations at the winter conference are posted anywhere. Can they be purchased? I bought the Sodalitas 2018 videos and they were so helpful and encouraging. Reading through this thread, it sounds like there was lots of mid-year encouragement and help going on at the conference, which would be great to listen to.

                I too find that although I wish I had settled on MP earlier (my boys are 11 and 10), I learned a lot in my wanderings and like Odysseus, fell into any number of tramps. However, perhaps it makes MP that much sweeter. When I get really worked up because my boys are behind or ahead of grade level and I think I have to work some magic about their lessons, I remind myself that it's already been taken care of and my duty is to show up and trust what's been gifted to me through MP and not let anxiety and fear steer our ship. For me, MP isn't just about a quality education for my sons, it's about good habit formation and diligence and faithfulness for all of us.

                Thanks for everyone's sharing!
                Monica

                Comment


                  #23
                  For me, MP isn't just about a quality education for my sons, it's about good habit formation and diligence and faithfulness for all of us.
                  YES!! This exactly, Monica!

                  We were doing our Latin today, and my 11 yo daughter said, "This is too hard for me. I don't get it." I told her that's okay because she doesn't have to understand it all today. Before I would have backed off, questioned myself, and wondered if I was making the wrong decision by having her learn Latin. Eventually, I would have given up because I had bought into the idea that learning shouldn't have to be hard, but you know what? A little hardness isn't going to hurt them, in fact, I think that's exactly what they need.

                  Oh, and btw, I don't think they recorded Leigh's presentations at the Winter Regional Conference. They were breakout sessions that were held in a smallish classroom, and I didn't see anyone recording during any of those smaller sessions. Sorry.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by RuthAnn View Post
                    Oh, and btw, I don't think they recorded Leigh's presentations at the Winter Regional Conference. They were breakout sessions that were held in a smallish classroom, and I didn't see anyone recording during any of those smaller sessions. Sorry.
                    Yes, unfortunately we did not have any recording equipment with us. I wish I had a different answer for you!
                    Michael
                    Memoria Press

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Thanks RuthAnn and Michael - I have since found a talk by Leigh Lowe's in the Sodalitas 2018 collection (I somehow missed it a few months ago). This is was just what I was looking for - her insights into family and homeschool were practical and encouraging. I think the February slump has hit us early this year, and so I want to fill my ears, and my head and heart, with encouraging words as I settle in for the new year. This is a great forum to meet my goals - Many thanks!

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by KikaMarie View Post
                        Thanks RuthAnn and Michael - I have since found a talk by Leigh Lowe's in the Sodalitas 2018 collection (I somehow missed it a few months ago). This is was just what I was looking for - her insights into family and homeschool were practical and encouraging. I think the February slump has hit us early this year, and so I want to fill my ears, and my head and heart, with encouraging words as I settle in for the new year. This is a great forum to meet my goals - Many thanks!
                        I, too, had missed listening to Leigh Lowe's talk in the Sodalitas videos! Thanks for pointing this out! I went back and found it tonight, and it was what I needed right now.
                        2019-20
                        DS--9, 3M/4M
                        DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
                        DD--5, MP K
                        DS--3
                        DS--1

                        Comment

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