Saturday, October 18, 2014

Home Education Support and Encouragement

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22: 6

Six years ago near the end of the school year, my husband and I made the decision that our two youngest children would leave the public school system and we would embark once again on the home education journey come the end of that summer.  Though we had schooled the oldest of these two boys at home his first grade year, I had felt overwhelmed and relinquished that responsibility back to the public schools for the four intervening years.  Both of our older children had been public school graduates and had done well; but we desired a different path for the two youngest. 

I was blessed from the beginning to have two wonderful mentors and advisors through our local Christian school, our umbrella school.   I also had several friends and close acquaintances who educated their children at home.   The one thing missing from my support system was anyone who was using the methods of Charlotte Mason.   

I first learned about Miss Mason's teachings during that earlier homeschooling experience and was drawn to her methods.  Early in our second beginning, an acquaintance mentioned the Ambleside Online website.  I had never heard of it; it took me a while to actually tap into it.  I think we were into our second consecutive year at home before I began implementing any of the many resources offered at AO.  

Over the next couple of years, I utilized more and more of the Ambleside Online website until finally we were using the curriculum.   It took an extended stay in California for the birth of my third grandchild for me to find a Charlotte Mason support group just 100 miles up the road from me in the tri-cities area where I grew up- one of the many reasons I love the internet!  I attended only one meeting, but that group, via email, still offers all sorts of support and encouragement to me on a weekly basis.  

Within a few months of finding that group, I tapped into a feature of the AO website which helped me find like-minded people in Knoxville.   After a couple of meetings at a local restaurant, five of us formed a local Charlotte Mason support group.   This group meets once a month to discuss Miss Mason's writings

With both my boys in high school now, I have the oldest students represented in the local group.  I have never professed to be an expert on Miss Mason, her writings, or Ambleside Online, though I do enjoy sharing my experiences with others.  But I am not, nor will I ever be, an expert. But because of others who have studied Miss Mason's writings extensively and implemented an educational program based on her methods and ideas, I, and my sons, have been blessed and our educational path has been greatly enriched. 

That is why I am thrilled to announce the forthcoming book of Ambleside Online co-creator, Karen Glass.  The book, Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition!, is slated for release on October 25.   I cannot wait to read what Karen has to share.   The book has been reviewed by several women whom I admire and  whose writing I have enjoyed and learned from through their blogs, letters, visits, and classes.  Having access to the written words and wisdom of other Charlotte Mason home educators has been the greatest source of help and encouragement to this mom.  Happy reading!

Pressing On in Him,


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