Who is Charlotte Mason?
Yes, yes, I've heard of wikipedia. The internets are my friend. But the local library, to which I turned to find some resources on or by Miss Mason, has nothing. So I'm doing what real people do: I'm asking friends to give me the low-down and tell me whether home-education Mason-style is something worth researching.
I've been doing some educational reading lately. Darwin and I were both homeschooled, and as such, have felt no need to find some kind of philosophy to bolster our own decision to homeschool. I know that homeschooling works, and that most fools can do it with a moderate degree of success, and I don't need to justify it to my mother-in-law. We have plenty of ideas about what constitutes a good education and what one ought to know in order to consider oneself "educated".
Now I hear a friend talk about the Montessori method and I realize that I have no idea what Montessori education is. Various bloggers throw out references to the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason, and I don't know what they're talking about. I've read Dorothy Sayers's essay on the Trivium and I like it, but I haven't done much serious thinking about how to implement her ideas.
Part of this lack of research, perhaps, is that my children are still very young -- too young, really for formal school work. I want to be doing something, but I'm finding that at this age formal schoolwork is a frustrating proposition for both mother and child. My oldest is about to turn five, and I'm only just now seeing a real readiness in her to sit and do schooolwork -- a quality that was lacking during our year-long haul through a kindergarten math workbook and the 100 Easy Lessons. I've been working with my 3 1/2-year-old on the 100 Easy Lessons, but I've realized that I want her to read early because reading is important to me. On the one hand she is learning the sounds of her letters; on the other, she doesn't seem quite ready to put the sounds together into words.
I don't want this to turn into a long rambling post, but as Noogs approaches kindergarten age, I want to have the resources to give her what I consider a good education. I've dabbled a bit in educational philosophy; now it's time to get serious about using the resources that are out there.