Friday, July 24, 2009

Shaking in my Crocs sandals

I'm looking at my nearly completed plans for this coming school year and I'm scared to death.


I'm worried about how I'm going to keep up with everything! Three kids doing everything individually... that's a LOT of reading I have to keep up on.

I'm worried about trying to teach spelling with studied dictation - last year, I ended up skipping it because we'd run out of time.

I'm worried about not teaching Riley grammar this year, and about not starting Reece in grammar.

I just don't think that I have what it takes to really implement a CM education effectively.


Chef Penny said...

You do, Jen!!! You really do! Just believe in yourself! Look at your word of the year again!

The Glasers said...

You and the children are doing GREAT!!!!! :-)

Niffercoo said...

You're both very sweet and kind.

Is a CM education worth doing if it's done poorly? Or if it's not fully implemented because the teacher can't "get" it well enough, or she runs out of enough time in the day to manage it all? Is CM effective if the teacher has absolutely no clue about nature? I'm reading and it says the teacher points out details in nature. I don't have a CLUE! And half the time I can't find it in a field guide!

It seems like there are so many pieces that need to fall into place for it to be effective. You don't teach grammar every year because during dictation and copywork you are reinforcing grammar. But what if you, as the teacher, don't know what or how to reinforce?

All 3 of the kids are very concerned about spelling right now... which is good. But the other night Austin asked me if door was spelled D-O-R-E. He's 13!! When I said it was D-O-O-R he said, "Huh!" as if that was puzzling to him. But at least he's concerned about proper spelling on his Facebook, which is good.

And today Riley and I had a little talk about adverbs, proper usage, and the thesaurus while we were alone in the van on the way to a birthday party. It was encouraging.

But those moments are rare. I'm sure no Tammy Glaser! ;)

poohder said...

>Austin asked me if door was spelled D-O-R-E. He's 13!! When I said it was D-O-O-R>>

I hate to beat a dead horse, but in Abecedarian, the kids learn all the ways to spell the "or" sound. There's oor, or, ore, oar. They take all the sounds and tell you how to spell them and then reinforce them. It has helped my dd immensely.

BTW, I personally think doing a CM education is worth it as close as you can get it. Heck WE ARE NOT CHARLOTTE MASON, but we can take the best of her ideas that work for OUR kids and run with it. I don't do nature study, I don't do art study, I don't do music, or Shakespeare, or _____, ____ etc.
But I can try to keep the love for learning that she taught. I try to use the best of her ideas that work for us and just call it "good enough." I feel like my children need me to teach them the 3 R's and Bible. The rest we can learn
through their own personal interests. That's the way their gonna remember it anyhow. No matter how hard you try you can't push the kids where their not ready to go. R E L A X girl! Love ya Rhonda

poohder said...

OOPs I wrote their and it should have been they're. See I make mistakes too LOL! Rhonda

Niffercoo said...

Rhonda, I had purchased the Apples Spelling program to use for Austin (it's designed for middle schoolers/high schoolers so it won't insult him as far as looking babyish), but that's not CM at all. That's where I'm at right now. It feels like I need to do all or nothing for a true CM education.

For instance, I used First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind with both of the kids. I really like it. It's memorizing grammar definitions and lists, and I've seen how that helped Austin in his grammar study this last year. But that's not CM either, so I don't know if it's a good idea to use it with Reece.

I have friends IRL who use bits and pieces of CM, classical (WTM), Sonlight... and seem to have no trouble reconciling their eclectic style. But I am afraid that if I don't do ALL CM then I'm going to be doing it wrong, and I don't feel competent to do all CM.

JamBerry said...

Jen, I still struggle with and morph my approaches to and philosophies of education too. But one thing I'm slowly learning over the years happens to be summed up very nicely by something CM said: Children are born PERSONS. I don't think it's so very important what you teach, how you teach it, or when you teach it (within reason, of course--you teach arithmetic before calculus!). What's important is that you remember that you're teaching a PERSON. Likewise, I think it's also important to remember that YOU are a PERSON too, and a pretty terrific one at that. If Austin the Person needs a unique spelling program that isn't very CM on the surface but that matches his interests and learning needs, then wouldn't it actually BE following CM by recognizing his PERSON-ness and using that seemingly non-CM program? I'm NOT a CM expert AT all. But remembering that we're talking about persons, not robots or computers or automatons, makes a huge difference in how I approach my boys' educations. You don't have to insist on a CM approach for the sake of the approach, or deny an approach because it's not in the right CM box either. Remember your kids are persons, each different from the other, and use WHATEVER approach (or part of an approach) supports their personal and unique growth. Again, I'm no CM expert, but it seems to me the most CM-ish thing you can do is to focus on the kids and not the approach, and THAT is EXACTLY what you ARE doing. You're doing GREAT!! Keep on keeping on! (Except for beating yourself up--you can hereby STOP that part of it!)

poohder said...

Jen, I also wanted to say that I think WHATEVER makes your child feel the most COMPETENT is what's best. Remember feeling competent is the BEST motivator. Rhonda