I just finished reading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s “For the Children’s Sake” and it is excellent. It is a complete introduction and review of the educational methods of Charlotte Mason, whose methods can be applied in either a school or a homeschool environment. I’m sure most children nowadays would vote to change to it right off after hearing that “school” is to be done by lunch! There is a great importance attached to outside play and discovery, free time and independent learning. As I watch most other 5-6 year olds attending school 6-8 hours a day, I wince. The Mason approach is also very centered on God, recommending the reading of the Bible every day (but not the “preaching” of long sermons to follow!). An early age distinctive is reading to children a lot, from books that are interesting and “living”, not the standard “twaddle” offered in many textbooks. I know I loved reading as a child but I don’t think that my interest in reading to my children comes from that. It’s the “My book first! No mine!” that ensues as each of my children race to grab one or two of their favorites when I announce that it’s reading time – even my hyper boy sits transfixed. I think Mason knew what she was talking about, and Macaulay’s book really brings it home for the modern reader. A thumbs-up! =D
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