Wednesday, July 20, 2011

8th grade Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason is well known for her work with children involving a dedication to educating for enjoyment and practicality. Children are encouraged to learn without undue stress. Miss Mason spent most of her life educating children, educating teachers, refining and writing about her philosophy of education. Interestingly enough the last book that Charlotte Mason wrote edited and revised some of her earlier writings. This is an obvious progression. As she grew and learned and saw her methods put into practice, she also saw areas that needed improving.

Charlotte Mason's philosophies have impacted all of education as we know it today. The idea that young children should only be taught for lengths of time that they could manage...the philosophy that students should study less intense subjects right after more intense ones...each of these have impacted how we educate today. Yet, greater still was Miss Mason's belief that textbooks were written by a group of people and were "technical" therefore losing some of the passion for the subject matter. She encouraged students to learn from books that come alive when read...often referred to as living books.

These methods can easily be applied to educating 8th graders. Using living books would definitely make learning more enjoyable and attainable. Exploring science through nature studies and experimentation would also bring the 8th grader into a more anticipatory role in their education. If you are interested in the Charlotte Mason style of education, be sure to check it more in depth.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Classic Education in Junior High

Classical education has been one of those controversial topics in recent years. But what really is classical education? In the strictest sense it is the study of the "classic" subjects. Latin at its base, classical education branches then into logic, history, mathematics, word meanings, it really can be quite extensive. Yet, for many people not applying it in the strictest sense are wanting a return to the type of education that our forefathers received. The education that made them the great thinkers that they were.

In our day, logic is not a subject, in fact, few may even know what the word means. What type of student are we turning out in our schools. Logic is important, and finds a basis in all subjects. This is the "critical thinking" that many educators are trying to rename and make popular again.

In our situation, we would not be classical educators in the strictest sense. Though we do introduce our children to Latin, and will be using the logic as they get older. We really want to see a return to the deeper education that we saw in America a hundred years ago. Yes, education was hard to come by, and some weren't educated at all. But, those that had the opportunity to get an education usually got a good one. Being well versed in Latin, math, logic, many things that we save for later in college courses they were introduced to in Junior High school and high school.

Take a minute and check out Classical Education you just find that it has merit!