Sunday, June 1, 2014

Charlotte Mason Afterschooling

A friend and I were talking Friday. She is a full-time teacher, like me, but unlike me, her daughter goes to public school. My friend wishes she could to give her daughter a Charlotte Mason education, but homeschooling is not a possibility. One solution is to afterschool.

The word "afterschool" has become a verb. Some parents who send their children to public and private schools supplement their children's educations after school, on weekends, and on school vacations.

My first suggestion is to look at what your child is already receiving at school (language arts, math, possibly science, possibly social studies, etc.). The reason I say "possibly" is because language arts and math are tested, which means some teachers teach these subjects to the exclusion of other subjects.

More than likely, your child is not receiving classical music appreciation. Choose a composer to study for twelve weeks, buy a CD, or get one at the library, or pull up a video on YouTube, and listen. Listen on the car ride home, or while doing homework, or during bath time.

If your child is not receiving art instruction, buy your child and yourself sketchbooks and kneaded rubber erasers. Choose one day of the week to be Drawing Day, and stick to it. Give her an everyday object like a fruit or vegetable, or an object she found outside, or an object inside. Give her an apple, a shoe, a leaf, or a lemon. Draw with her.

There are four weekdays left...

Make one day Nature Walk Day. Just go for a walk. Buy the book What Tree is That? published by the Arbor Day Foundation. Find a tree to identify, and follow the book's directions. Repeat next week with a new tree.

Make one day Picture Study Day. Choose an artist to study for twelve weeks, find a new painting by the artist each week (this is a good place to start, and the Met just made its collection available online, and there are lots of paintings available through Wikimedia Commons), and ask your child to tell you about it. Don't tell, just ask questions. What do you see? What colors do you see? What shapes? Are they inside or outside?

Tomorrow, I'll post some ideas for the other two weekdays.

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