Friday, August 1, 2014

High School Sciences (A Charlotte Mason Approach)

(Biology with Living Books & Labs update shown below)

Who knew the average person was supposed to really LIKE sciences? Especially in high school. Sure, there are some people who have greater interest and are gifted in understanding science, but why can't we all appreciate those subjects? Because we learned it from dry and boring text books and memorized stuff that we didn't connect with anything we knew or cared about overall... When our approach changes from turning out little scientists (and mathematicians) to a focus on fostering an appreciation for the beauty and joy found in these disciplines, we end up with students who LIKE science (and even math). It's in the approach and methods...

I made a discovery several years ago-I was compartmentalizing our studies and following some traditional/system style approaches in certain subjects. I was somewhat skeptical and unsure of how to change how we approached those high school sciences. I decided to try and apply the same approach and methods we used in most other areas of schooling and try it out. I was pretty sure we were going to have some different results and like the outcome and our journey along the way much better. WE DID!

There is much to learn about Charlotte Mason's Educational Philosophy. I have blogged about many topics and you can find out more by looking at the labels and reading through the past posts. There is also a quick review of principles linked on the left side bar.

I have the Living Sciences page for you to take a look at the high school science guides we used. For those of you who have already used these, the Biology with Living Books & Labs Guide has been updated - cleaned up and reformatted with links and is overall much more user friendly now! Click on the link and download it free. Let me know if you use them and tell me what you think. I would love any feedback or would be happy to answer questions as you go. Remember, I am not a trained scientist and rely on the authors to share their knowledge, mind-to-mind with me and my students! I have been through the guides a few times though :-)

Here's what the biology looks like-it's linked through the High School Science w/ Living Books Page:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Faith in Future Grace...

satisfies us with the joy set before us" (338).  John Piper discusses throughout his book, Future Grace, the idea of what it means to actually LIVE daily life as Christians with the foundational understanding that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him". 
The challenge is not merely to pursue righteousness, but to prefer righteousness.  The challenge is to get up in the morning and prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures as the main place where we see the gospel of the glory of Christ. 
An internal preference manifests in external pursuit which comes from the gospel of the glory of Christ.  My source of power to meet that challenge and my motivation is found in the Living Word and being saturated in the Word of Scripture about him! 

Technology Blips (user error)

Ooops! User Error!

So, knowing I was going to have a busy couple of months, I took a few late nights to write several blog posts for future days as scheduled postings.  Well, I have a ton of drafts that should have been posted automatically while I was away.  I am guessing that when you edit a scheduled post it changes the status back to draft-it's the only thing I can figure out, and I have generally found that any technology blips are usually user error!

Here is a good lesson!  Watchful awareness is better than assumptions based on what should be happening :-) I will attempt to reschedule my drafts to publish over the next month!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The air we breathe

I was thinking about the Atmosphere of our homes and the Discipline of Habits and I began wondering about how the atmosphere around us brings us ideas to consider in the natural way of things - just in living life.  I think Charlotte Mason calls it something like thought life and that we breathe it in just like we breathe air.  I began to pair this with how our ideas affect our behavior, the conduct of life.

I saw this example in Future Grace (Piper) today that reminded me of habits, atmosphere and the conduct of life...
There is the whole area of family conditioning.  If parents reward a child for whining, and give in to the manipulation of a child's moodiness, then that child will be trained that a good pout will get pity.  And thirty years later, the mastery of his moods will be twice as hard.

The habits that are formed 'thoughtfully and deliberately' are not tossed about by the waves of outside influence that come if they are based in the Atmosphere of Ideas, many worthy ideas found in many worthy books.  Ideas lined up against the Truth of Scripture that must surround us like the air we breathe and be more constant than the waves that roll.

Interesting, those of us with an understanding of a Charlotte Mason Education Philosophy recognize some foundational principles in educating our children, yet, I think it just applies to persons.  All of us...  What am I doing today to cultivate an Atmosphere, a Discipline and a Life of Truth and Grace?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Conference After Thoughts

What a lovely Home Education Conference we enjoyed with this past weekend!  I always enjoy speaking and teaching.  It gives me an opportunity to meet new friends and encourage others in their homeschooling adventure! 

For newbies especially, one tip I try to clearly emphasize is that you can't go learn to 'do this' or 'do that', then begin in the fall with the expectation everything will be just as you planned!  Nothing in life ever works that way! We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps.  What a relief that it doesn't depend on me to make all the right decisions & do it all perfectly!  Remember friend...

Be patient, learn as you go, check your expectations, and depend on God's unfailing GRACE!