Back in the beginning of the school year, which seems like yesterday to me... the HSBA did their Homeschool Memoirs meme about "Something New". I've been homeschooling since the month that 9/11 happened in the U.S., so doing something new seems like starting over to me. Familiar routines really make homeschooling flow better, so starting a new path is like becoming a frontiersman and trudging through an unknown forest. I am willing to take the path less known, however... and so this begins my "research phase" of our 'Something New'.
Right now we are finishing up "States and Regions" in our KONOS unit. I have found that as the kids are so much older now (5th and 6th grades), that it seems harder to get the same results from unit studies as it was when they were younger. This makes sense - and seems like it is a natural part of the transition from elementary to junior-high age... even though it is sad for a mom to admit. After we finish this unit, we'll be moving on to the Civil War for the month of November. I'm going to try and fuse a bit of Texas History in also. I'm hoping to attend a living history display about the Civil War as well. After the Thanksgiving Holidays, I'm not sure if I want to spend the few weeks of December on fall and winter season activities and Christmas Crafts... or do a unit on Pottery and Sculpture. I'm sure I'll be needing a while to figure things out so that our new plans don't sink like the Titanic.
Unit studies will always have a special place in my heart... but I think that after we get finished with the schedule we are working on, we'll be doing something different. That something is debatable right now... but I am looking in to the Heart of Wisdom and Charlotte Mason for the most part. I think the kids need a heavier amount of literature and writing as they are older now. I could incorporate both in to unit studies, but my ADD personality tends to get distracted by the endless list of activities, field trips and library books... the plans and co-ops... the food and art. Activities and field trips are great - but the core of learning should be great books and the art of communication (written and oral).
And so... For my own good and for those of you who may be interested in looking in to Charlotte Mason yourself... I'm sharing some links with you. First of all, I'm sharing some general links and book lists... and then I'll share with you a sneak peek of some Charlotte Mason blogs that were nominated at the HSBA for the "Best Homeschool Methods Blog". Not all of them are finalists, but some will be! There's your early Thanksgiving gift for 2008.
CHARLOTTE MASON LINKS
Charlotte Mason Research & Supply Company
Charlotte Mason on Wikipedia
Charlotte Mason Essay by Infed
Simply Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason and Classical Education - essay by S.W. Bauer
Charlotte Mason's Books FREE to read ONLINE
Charlotte Mason Links at A-Z Home's Cool
Charlotte Mason Basics (lots of info/links)
Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival
CHARLOTTE MASON BLOGS
CM, Children and Lots of Grace
By Sun and Candlelight
Handbook of Nature Study
Harmony Art Mom
Higher Up and Farther In
In the Sparrow's Nest
On Our Journey Westward
Heart of Wisdom Blog
Aut-2B-Home in Carolina (CM with special needs)
If you have some other suggestions by way of links or blogs, please leave them in the comments section. I'd love to have a plethora to use in my own research and I'm sure that others who are looking in to CM would also benefit.
So now the cat is out of the bag. Seems even old homeschool dogs can learn new tricks. The question is, how long will it take me to get into a groove after Christmas... and can I manage to do that with a baby added to the mix in March? Time will tell.
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