A friend of mine recently had her house professionally decorated. It looks amazing. While I’d never turn down assistance from a professional decorator, I think I’d have a hard time giving up my eclectic style. Our house is decorated with a mix of things – interesting pieces I bought when I lived and traveled overseas, antiques I inherited, furniture passed on to us from various family members, and the this and that we’ve accumulated over time. It fits us, and it goes together fairly well and I don’t feel bad about reorganizing when I need a change.
This week we started preschool again and it occurred to me that I teach in much the same way that I decorate. It’s hard for me to answer “what curriculum are you using” questions because I pick and choose from all sorts of resources, guided mainly by my love of good literature, my affinity for classics, and the influence of books I’ve read about classical education and British educator Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. As with decorating, I know what I like when I see it, everything basically goes together, and everything is beautiful (to me at least!), useful, and on purpose.
Charlotte Mason’s motto, “Education is a discipline, an atmosphere, a life” appeals to me because our homes are always centers of learning. Whether your child goes to school at a brick-and-mortar institution or in your living room, as a parent you are always teaching. With kids aged four, three, and one, our preschool is really an extension of our regular home life. My main goal for the year is the same one I laid out for this decade: that Hannah, Jack and Sarah would have tender hearts and love to read. We’re just a little more structured about it during the school year.
If you click on the “Preschool” tab in the header you can read more about how our educational efforts have changed and progressed, and this year I’ll plan to share a little bit here and there on different aspects of what we’re doing for school. Just know that I’m by no means an expert. My hope is that those posts will be interesting and useful even if you’re not homeschooling, and please know that I would never want to imply that everyone should do everything exactly the same way we do. I think it’s fun and instructive to see what other families are up to even if our focuses and goals are somewhat different.
If you have specific thoughts or questions you’d be interested to read about related to our homeschool, feel free to share them in the comments. Then be sure to come back so you can chuckle at the newbie mistakes I stumble into!