Charlotte Mason was and still is a 'Visionary' for the Home Schoolers today, transcending her time and era to ours. Many People use her ways of teaching today and it is very prevalent especially in the Homeschooling Community. I'll be it, not everyone follows her ways to the 'T,' but many adapt it to suit their needs while observing her wonderful Teaching Style.
So why do I think she could have been Dyslexic?
She was a visionary, literally! Her classroom and pupil were ideal in a method called, The Charlotte Mason Method which she strived very hard to establish.
- Atmosphere, which consisted of 1/3 of the child's education. A person simply absorbing their environment to gain understanding, clarification, and interpretation.
- Discipline, where good habits consisted of 1/3 of their education. Building of one's character was deemed crucially important.
- Life, living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts.
How much of these ideals are lost in today's education?
Living Books have passion and feeling. Living books have reasoning.
Character building has reasoning and feeling.
Spelling was used with great books that communicated ideas NOT dry facts.
She wanted the kids to learn outdoors and understand God's creation.
Its like she got what Dyslexic's were about. I can't help but think I would have thrived under her teachings. This screams a big 'Hello" to my right brain thinking!
So why does she get it and so many others don't?
I pondered that for a bit and came up with my own conclusion. Either she had so many students that clearly showed the signs of Dyslexia and she whole-heartedly listened to the way her students needed to be taught. Or, she knew how to teach the students the way they could learn, because SHE was Dyslexic. If so, she thoroughly understood what method her pupils needed to be educated by, so they could learn properly!
Of course there is no documentation of Charlotte Mason being Dyslexic and it is a provocative statement, I understand. But I can't help my imagination.
However, I still wonder; Why she got it and teachers now-a-days have a hard time even recognizing that Dyslexic's need to be taught any other way then the conventional cookie-cutter way? Why her students soared later in life through the academic world but now kids are desperately struggling? Why I just light up when I hear how she taught?
It is fun to think about, but nonetheless she has inspired me greatly in how I teach and will continue teaching my children forever. This idea might not be a dry fact, but great for musing about :D
Tell me what you think and if you love Charlotte Mason or use any of her teaching methods for your Dyslexic learners!
You can also read more on Charlotte Mason here:
The Correlation of Nature-Study with Language Work
In the book, Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock she says so precisely,
"Nature study should be so much a part of the child's thought and interest that it will naturally form a thought core for other subjects quite unconsciously on his part."
She goes on to say,
"A boy once said to me, 'I'd rather never go on a field excursion than to have to write up for English,' a sentiment I sympathized with keenly; (as do I) ulterior motive is sickening to the honest spirit. But if that same boy had been a member of a field class and had enjoyed all the new experiences and had witnessed the interesting things discovered on this excursion, and if later his teacher had asked him to write for her an account of some part of it, because she wished to know what he had discovered, the chances are that he would have written his story joyfully and with certain pride that would have counted much for achievement in word expression.'"
So often our learners need to know the WHY behind it all. They see the whole picture and need to imagine and fill in the blanks for themselves.
Something I have recently adopted into our home learning is a Nature Walk. Now, with five kids, this doesn't always work out as planned. We were supposed to take the whole morning once and my youngest, who is two, decided he was crankier than normal and needed an extra, very long, morning nap, which threw those plans out the window. By the time we actually left, it was getting dark out and cold. Not the best environment to go nature seeing. But, nonetheless, we had a great time!
So much creativity came out of this day for us all. We did see some Canadian Geese, Mallard ducks, and a Crane which swooped through the blue tinted fog and into a thick treed area. It was beautiful!
There were no turtles or otters and this is what we were hoping to see, but all in all, it fosters a love of learning, discovering and a raw awe of God's Creation. Not to mention how much more writing seems to come easily when asked for something that interests them from a new discovery.
Even if it is only a few sentences. That is better than nothing, plus the more they do it in a multi-sensory way, the better it is neurologically for those connections to be made. I encourage you to bring a note book there so when they see it, they can write right away, if it's not too cold like it was for us. Or a drawing book so they can remember what they learned and then write about their own drawings!
Learn, Write, Discover the Nature Way
Our Family loves listening to Adventures in Odyssey.
This is great for Character study and Bible memorization. You can link your bible verses to the lesson of the day etc. We listen online because the radio that would most likely play, doesn't do it on days we can listen-in. They are great for Clean Family Fun. What I like most about this radio drama, is that it stimulates children's imagination and thinking skills while keeping God the main subject with heart pulling stories. Often times, I am the one that is crying at the end of the drama and the kids are looking at me blank, blinking their batted lashes and thinking I am the weirdest thing yet! But I love it anyway....hey, at least they know I am a real person ;D You can listen for FREE online at www.whitsend.org
Another Great resource for some OLDER Children radio Drama is Radio theatre from the same company who does Adventures in Odyssey, Focus on the Family.
I say Older Children because of the realistic portrays of these Radio Dramas. Also, it could really help them in developing a better understanding of some of the book studies they have been doing etc. For instance in Oliver Twist, if your child has read the book, he can follow up with a Radio Drama, or maybe this could replace a book for your child.
You can google an audio book; Here is a quick link for free ones for Oliver Twist:
I personally adore these Radio Dramas and look forward to listening to them all the time.
You can listen online for FREE here:
Here is one that I just recently found;
This is a missionary-based adventure. Super Great for fostering a love for God's work! You can couple this with stories of missionary's and timeline them in a timeline book for socials. I really love this series too and it is fairly new. You can just check the website out for a FREE episode here: http://www.brinkmanadventures.com/
I just stumbled across this one,
I am sure it is wonderful. Unfortunately, I don't know much about it though? I believe some also come in Spanish...you can tie this one into a Spanish lesson! Here's the direct link: http://www.insight.org/pawsandtales/
I guess there is another one called the Lamp Lighters as well!
Encouraging ART :D
I love this! I guess his daughter asked him to specifically colour it in as a barred rock and chic. I think this, not only shows how much he loves his children and wants a part of him to be there when he is gone off to work, but it also fosters a love of art; a love of learning, creativity, unity within a family etc.
I especially like the use of animated-type of artwork here. It brings the artwork to life. How proud his children must have been to see their work come to life like this :D I bet my kids would love for me to do that. YOU know, I might give it a try...probably won't look as nice though .
Something to note: Going along the theme of fostering a love of learning, that we Home Schoolers really try to advocate, he mentioned also that his kids will keep an invention journal that they go over every week as well. Creativity, Invention, Graphic Artistry, Artistry in any sort is often times the strength of a Dyslexic Learner. What a way to help encourage our children in their strengths! I am going to try and do this. Let me know if you do too!
I fly out of state to work 10 days out of each month. When I go, the kids give me pictures they've drawn. I color them on the plane and give the pictures back to them when I return. Nothing fancy. The kids love them. My wife wants me to put them up.
OK So I did it! I coloured in one of my children's pictures and wanted to share it with you :D He was so happy that I would take the time out and do that for him. He starting dancing on the spot when I told him.
Here is the before pic
Now I told you earlier that mine won't be as good lol and I was faithful to this saying. I did use this as an opportunity to show my son what shadows are and blending with pastels. I have no doubt in my mind that he will try to use some of those concepts because he is my little graphic artist and drawer. Those are great tools for layering, depth and perception.
I encourage you to give it a try and send me your pics too. I would love to see them!