- who will embrace Truth as revealed in the person of Jesus and trust Him as Savior and Lord of their lives.
- who are relevant, engaging culture and their peers for the purpose of wining others to Christ.
- who have the ability to intelligently defend their faith, both in speaking and writing, but do so with great respect.
- who are well educated, entrenched in the classics, so they may pursue future endeavors they may feel God calling them to without hindrances from any educational lacking.
- who are emotionally healthy, prepared for meaningful and fulfilling relationships with spouse, family and friends.
- who are physically fit yet understand that "for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." - 1 Timothy 4:8
In contrast, one of the great benefits and blessing of homeschooling is that we are responsible for and able to educate the whole child: mind, body and spirit. When we started our journey to homeschool one of the first books I read was The Well Trained Mind. TWTM resonated so much with many of the things I had in mind for my children and provided the education I wish I had. We eagerly started on our journey using Susan Wise-Bauer's book as our road map.
Yet, I had begun feeling in recent months that while I was happy with much of the education I was providing for Thatcher there were holes - very big holes. We are so busy for so much of the day that while I am challenging his mind the focus on body and spirit is sorely lacking. I know this is not the case in many families pursuing a classical education, but it definitely is for us. The severity of Thatcher's ADHD means that lessons that take a typical child 20 minutes take us two or three times that much time. There is little time each day for anything other than academics.
I began to think about and research our options. I remembered several things I had always read about Charlotte Mason's educational theories, many of which are very intriguing for me. Short lessons, educating the whole child, nature studies and her focus on character development and habit training were things that stuck in my mind - and honestly just about all I knew about a CM education.
I have decided to seriously study up on Miss Mason's theories to decide if we need to change our trajectory in regards to educating my children. I love TWTM but is there a better way to meet our educational (mind) goals without sacrificing meeting the other goals I have for my children, especially now with our formal diagnosis of Asperger's?
I have started reading Volume One of Miss Mason's work in modern English from Ambleside Online. It's free! In the small amount I've already read, I have clearly seen that while TWTM is in line with my head CM aligns more with my heart. I will post my thoughts as I work my way through the series.