Dearest friends. I am back. And with so much to share. Life has been busy.
We left off at our Erie Canal project. I was unable to finish documenting in this space due to killing my computer. Not to mention, having a baby, packing up a home, and moving into a new one... and a construction zone at that! We enjoyed many different lessons within our Erie Canal project. But mostly, it created within ME a heavy heart. Comparing Charlotte Mason with Reggio Emilia stirred my soul. I have long been a believer in the Reggio Emilia, project based learning philosophy. Almost two years ago, I randomly went to a Charlotte Mason homeschooling meeting. (Whom I had never before heard of. Odd, being that I served in the field of Education for 15+years.) And I must confess, it grabbed hold of me. Completely. Friendships formed. Mentors provided. And I was smitten. And still am. The writings of Charlotte Mason, which can be found HERE, have truly changed my life. But after deciding to homeschool using Charlotte Mason's methods, I let go of all my Reggio inspired teaching strategies. When this Erie Canal passion took hold of Isaak, it came back instantly. And I knew it was for a reason.
The Mr. and I have had many a discussion on this homeschooling thing. We both want it. We both believe in it. BUT, we also knew that we needed to be providing Isaak with more. More of what I simply couldn't provide homeschooling on our own. As parents, it is our duty to know this. And then to go forth in seeking out and providing what it is that is missing. Now as I entered this Erie Canal project, and sought to compare the Charlotte Mason and Reggio Emilia teaching methods, it was evident. COLLABORATION! Isaak needed opportunities to collaborate with others. This did not mean that we would be leaving our Charlotte Mason ways behind. We had to find a way that we could have the best of both worlds. Charlotte Mason styled homeschooling with opportunities to collaborate with peers in a project based way.
Great, we found out what we wanted. But how would this come to life? I brought this, as a prayer request, before some women at church. Immediately, an opportunity sprang forth. I was then informed, there was to be a brand new public Charter School opening in the fall. It would be a project based learning environment. It would have mixed age classes for collaboration. AND... it would meet just two days a week. The other days would be homeschooling! With the freedom to choose how. Enter Alleluia chorus. Wait! Not so fast. Students were given spaces based on a lottery system. We did not get in. We were number 37 on the wait list. Enter confusion. Not sure what exactly God had in mind here. But praying He would open or close doors as it is to be. And then... the letter. We had a space. We are in. And Isaak begins going to school August 25th. But wait! There's more. We have been part of an amazing homeschooling group this past year and a half. Did I say AMAZING? We meet every Tuesday to explore divine nature. To recite poems. And every so often for talent shows, bake sales, science classes + more. Would we have to give up this group in order to go to the school? We asked for the Monday, Thursday schedule... but would we get it? Yes. Of course we would. Because God is good. But wait! There's more. Our new school also offers electives for the students. Not only are they completely in line with Charlotte Mason's ideals for study, these two courses will be taught at our church. Yep. Rad. So Isaak will also be taking a Visual Arts course as well as a Home Economics course. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
You can check out the school HERE.
And I will now be sharing how we are implementing our Charlotte Mason homeschooling as we collaborate with a project based school.
And so, as we make this transition,would you lift our family and the school up in prayer?