Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quoting Miss Mason: Ideas

Many of us are in planning mode for the new school year or have already begun lessons again. In the past, I have sometimes, in my eagerness to plan a great year, made things too 'schoolish', adding worksheets, vocabulary assignments, study guides and other tempting items. Inevitably, my sweet children become ugly and rebel. "Mom, what are you doing? Why are we doing this? This is so boring and these questions are so silly?" Then I come to my senses and scrap it all again. I think the following statement from Miss Mason is something we all would do well to remember while planning those morning lessons. Don't you think so?

“It is not too much to say that
a morning in which a child receives no new idea
is a morning wasted,
however closely the little student has been kept at his books.”
Vol. 1, p. 173

one step at a time...


  1. What a great reminder! Thanks. And just when I was being tempted by some workbooks!

    I hope you and your family are well. Has it cooled down yet?

    Your new bookstore is great! It has been very helpful. I have used it to order books for this year. It must have taken quite some time to put together. Thank you.

    Take care.

  2. Anonymous16.8.07

    Thank you, this is wonderful.

    I have a question for you. I am a homeschooling mom with young children (oldest is seven), and although I love learning and also love to read, I had a very poor experience in public school and I feel that despite graduating with a nice average, I hardly learned a thing. I feel confident of my ability to teach my children well, but I so long for a more enriched experience that I see others having (those who are honestly better educated than myself.) I know that I can self-educate, but I don't really know where to begin. Extra time is hard to come by, and I want to spend it where it will benefit me the most. I am quite clueless on most history subjects, famous authors, artists, poets, everything. Where would you suggest that I start? Is there some kind of structured plan I could follow to gain more familiarity with the basics?

    Your blog has been such a blessing to me, thank you for sharing.


  3. We started our new school year on Monday with my husband commenting that our 9yo dd's schedule looked 'heavy.' After four days, I can now tell it's too much, though there are no worksheets other than math to cut out, no vocabulary assigments, etc.

    I have to teach certain subjects this year according to state law, but I don't want to give up a thing from AO. I've got tweaking to do...

    Linda, you have a fourth grader this year, right? Will she still be done with all school work before noon? Are my dd and I unreasonable to think we can get in a 'full day' of school before lunch? If you've posted about this before, could you link to it, please?

    Enjoying your blog...

  4. Stacy, it has cooled off this week to the low nineties. This is much better. Thanks for asking and thanks for the tips. ;-) Worked on the lists this summer.

    Hi Bethany,
    You sound like so many of us. I think most of us have learned as we taught our children. My life has been so enriched in this way. I highly recommend perusing the Ambleside site. Even if you choose not to use their booklists, (mine are similar, but with my own flavor and history rotation) they offer a wealth of information and websites that help mothers to learn about famous artists, composers, scientists, historians and the like. I feel that is a great starting point. I love the history choices too. They are so engaging, using rich language rather than the dumbed down books of today. My next best friend is GOOGLE. If I want to know anything, I look it up.

    Dear Sarah,
    my fourth graders began their studies at 8:30 and finished by noon or 12:30 with a 20 to 30 minute PE break in there. Now that I have them do all their work in four days so that Fridays can be group days, my fourth grader has just a couple of books during the week that she reads for 20 minutes AFTER lunch during her one hour daily quiet time. At 4:30 she has piano practice daily. We don't do handicrafts in the morning either.

    I feel it certainly can be done and would not have it any other way. If your state requires subjects such as PE and health, citizenship, these do not need to be approached lesson style, imo, but there are ways to document this using real life experiences. Email me, if you have a more specific question and I'll try to help pinpoint possible areas that you could trim. okay?