I have started term and we are well under way now. I have decided to treat myself to a set of Charlotte Mason books to help me with what she called the "Gentle art of learning". Many homeschoolers use her lovely approach with their children. If she had been a Catholic I think we would be looking at making her a saint.
She believed in what she called 'living books' and encouraging children to read and narrate about what they have read. I have used this approach a lot with my two older children and it has been an immense help with overcoming their dyslexia.
She had a profound understanding of the way children both learned and behaved and shaped her views on education on that.
She recognised the special role and dignity of the mother and her place as primary educator of her children alongside the father of the child.
Her method gives both mother and child a love of learning and an interest in stories and in the beauty of God's creation. Her whole curriculum outlook is Christ centred. He is not a perifery subject, relegated to assembly prayers and RE.
Even at the begginning of the 20th Century when Charlotte was writing she saw the damage state interfernce in education was causing-and that was before the horrendous dumbing down and banality of the National Curriculum and the appalling standards offered in GCSE subjects.
I have one child in school at the moment and am praying I can have him home.
I had to undo a whole lot of damage with the two I pulled out and my oldest son has survived rather than gained from school.
My younger son's girlfriend has left the school I pulled my daughter out of. It is a 'good Catholic' school with high academic achievements and is even listed in the top schools lists. But it teaches Icons and hands out Holy Communion to all the pupils at compulsory Mass. It has teachers that are rude and bully the ones with difficulties and the girls there are abusive to one another on a regular basis.
My daughter's friend still attends and hates it. She bides her time until she can get out.
My son's girlfriend has gone to college now-glad to have left the culture of spite behind. She retains her Catholic faith thanks to her parents who are quietly devout.
Charlotte Mason puts CHrist and Scripture and moral teaching at the heart of her 'school'. She is not in the business of making kids look good acedemically but in making them fit for heaven.