Friday, March 09, 2007

Choosing Schoolbooks

"Guard the nursery (schoolroom); let nothing in that has not a true literary flavour; let the children grow up on a few books read over and over, and let them have none, the reading of which does not cost an appreciable mental effort. This is no hardship. Activity, whether of body or mind, is, joyous to a child." -Charlotte Mason

one step at a time...


  1. Anonymous9.3.07

    HI Linda,

    Your blog is so encouraging! I can always find some little tidbit to keep me going down this CM journey.
    I know you have a son,though not of complete school age yet. I was wonder if you have noticed a difference between him and your daughters?If so how have you adjusted your teaching to benefit that difference? I know personally even though my DD is only 3.5 I can see a direct difference in her and my 8 yo DS. I've heard boys can be very diffrent and tend to mature more slowly than girls especially when it comes to learning. I would be curious to know your experince in this with your years of teaching many different students. Do you expect the same performance from boys as you would girls? I wonder if with the CM type of learning if boys would progress a little more slowly. What is your opinion?


  2. mommaofmany9.3.07

    Thanks for that quote! I have an enormous library, and am slowly boxing up the twaddle, and removing it. This is a kick in the pants...hurry, Momma, hurry! Get rid of it!!!

  3. Hi Kirstie,
    My third daughter is very different from my oldest two. She is extremely active-extremely! My four year old son is also quite active but she is even more so.

    While teaching in the public school system, I found that boys tended to be more active than the girls but there were often exceptions to that generalization. Some boys sat so quietly and wrote beautifully while some little girls were jumpy and very sloppy. I have heard that boys' fine motor skills tend to develop more slowly than girls. This would not change my expectations of perfect execution in copywork. I may have to expect LESS writing but not less perfectly formed letters.

    I expect the same high standards behavior wise from my son as I did my daughters- and he is showing even at four years of age that he is capable.

    I think it helps to start the habit training when they are very young. If you start when they are older, though not impossible, it is certainly more difficult to train those habits. It takes a strong, firm and yet gentle mama.

    I do think a mama needs to be sensitive to her children's differences when teaching them. For instance, my middle daughter has always been able to sit still for long periods of time, but my jumpy third daughter cannot. She needs to learn to do this, (although I don't expect she will ever be just like her sister in this area) but I ease her into it as painlessly as possible. I keep the lessons short and varied allowing for movement. However, while writing she must not leave her seat or chat. I absolutely forbid it. I remove all distractions from the room such as other siblings, too. But she only sits for 10 or 15 minutes, so it stretches her but not unduly. If I read aloud, she tends to interrupt. I just hold up my hand and forbid her to interrupt. If she does, then I refuse to read, the clock ticks and she misses part of her break or lunch time. This nips it in the bud real quick.

  4. As another mom who doesn't have easy access to lots of English books, this is one of my favorite CM quotes. It's comforting when I feel sorry for my children, who won't be able to devour as many books as they might want. :-)