Charlotte Mason and the Way of the Will

I have many resources from Simply Charlotte Mason.  It’s a website that has been invaluable to me as a homeschool mom.  As I was browsing my Kindle today I stumbled upon a resource I’ve had from Sonya Shafer (of Simply Charlotte Mason) for a while now- The Way of the Will With Charlotte Mason.

I came to the teachings of Charlotte Mason after a few years into our homeschooling lifestyle.  I had begun with a much more formal, traditional style schooling and was becoming frustrated and discouraged by it.  A friend who was just entering the world of homeschooling with her kindergarten aged daughter introduced me to Charlotte Mason.  I read all of her original works from Ambleside Online.  I also read quite a few books about Charlotte Mason, especially The Charlotte Mason Companion.

One thing I realized again and again as I read the works of Charlotte Mason: her principles of teaching are not just true for the classroom, they are really parenting truths.  Charlotte’s focus on habits and developing the will of the child are crucial concepts for us as parents. It’s kind of ironic because Charlotte was unmarried and had no children; and her methods of education were written for classrooms- albeit special ones- not homeschoolers.
Of course as homeschoolers, we often realize that life really is our classroom.  Our learning (hopefully) is more authentic and less forced.  So it would make sense that principles that make for good teaching also make for good parenting.
Reading through this book today impressed me once again of the importance of being deliberate with my children.  I am thankful that we learned early as parents the importance of shaping the will of our children.  We don’t always do a good job.  In fact I was fairly convicted as I read today.  But, when we are consistent in doing those things to shape and strengthen the will of our children, I can see the results.
I highly recommend reading Charlotte Mason- and any other works about her- even if you don’t use her methods as a homeschooler.

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