laying down rails for yourself

Charlotte Mason Support Group Meetings for 2018-2019

*Call it what you will: Mother Culture, Professional Development, or Mom’s Night Out but mark these dates on your calendars now!*

Dear Parents, if you are within driving distance of Bradford, laying down rails for yourselfOntario, please feel welcome to join us for this year’s Charlotte Mason Support Group meetings.  The purpose of our group is two-fold: 1) to read and discuss an educational book that will aid us in teaching our children at home using Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy and methodology, and 2) (even better 😉) to support one another as we survive this crazy home school life!

If you are unfamiliar with Charlotte Mason, then let me provide a short introduction:  Miss Mason was an English educator in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  She believed in the full potential of all children to learn and thrive which was a monumental in a time when children should be “seen and not heard” and when they were only taught in accordance with their social class.  She believed that all children were innately intelligent, inquisitive, creative, and able in so many ways simply because they were made in the image of their Creator God. 

As such she thought that they should be given a liberal (as in broad) education regardless of their background.  She taught that there were three tools or modes of education:  Education is a Atmosphere (Don’t create an artificial environment for learning but encourage a love of learning from all aspects of life), a Discipline (Habit building, character training, virtues are key!), and a Life (Academics should be broadly studied as the sum of all life and not just a few isolated and unrelated subjects). 

She pursued these ideals by focusing on what she called living books which were quality literature written by people who were passionate about their topics rather than textbooks that we dry and filled only with facts.  She encouraged narration and much outdoor time.  She taught that students should get in touch with God through His Word, with His creation through nature walks and the study of natural history, and with mankind through the humanities: arts, music, literature, poetry, and so much more.  She believed in short lessons and much free time for children to digest their learning and to pursue worthy interests.

If this style of education resonates with you, please feel free to join us at my home in Bradford.  We meet every 4-6 weeks on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:30pm.  You are welcome to pop in anytime after 7pm to visit or to check out the Maple Tree store so that we can start promptly for those who have babysitters to get back to.  RSVP for address information.

The book that we are working through for the first part of this year is “Laying Down the Rails for Yourself” by Sonya Shafer.  http://mapletreepublications.ca/product/laying-down-the-rails-for-yourself/ These books are available for purchase at our meetings through Maple Tree though you are welcome to just visit for an evening or two if you like to check us out to see if we are the encouraging group that you need, no purchase or registration needed. 

Please note that while Charlotte Mason’s philosophy was founded on her Christian faith, all home educating parents are welcome to join us regardless of faith background or of relative adherence to her methodology. 

We would be glad to have you pen these dates in on your calendar and join us this year.

September 20 – Chapters 6-8
October 25 – Chapters 9-11
December 3 – Chapters 12-14
January 10 – Chapters 15-16
February 21 – Chapters 17-18
March 21 – TBA
(Saturday, April 6 KWCHEA Conference, Kitchener)
April 25 – TBA
(May 3& 4 OCHEC Conference, Ancaster)
June 6 – TBA
(Friday June 7 TEACH Book Sale, Brantford)

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon!

Blessings on the beginning of the school year,

Cori

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