Thursday, June 14, 2012

Classical vs Unschooling and that Middle Ground

In the previous post I mentioned that there were aspects of both classical and unschooling that I found appealing, in spite of them being "diametrically opposed." Ultimately, I found that Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education is that middle ground I was seeking, essentially the best of both worlds. I love Charlotte's insistence that a child is a thinking person, not some empty vessel to be filled up. Albeit, an imperfect person that needs guidance in developing good habits. It works well for us to have some structured routine, with short lessons during the mornings, providing a feast of ideas. But much time is left in the afternoons for the child to further explore what has captured his interest, exploring nature, learning handicrafts, music, or more reading of his choosing.

I just ran across this article, Charlotte Mason and Classical Education, that nicely compares and contrasts these ideals. She concludes that while Charlotte was a classical educator, her primary goals centered on character building (instilling good habits) and maintaining that innate love of learning that unschoolers hold so precious. So yes, there is a middle ground that can incorporate aspects of both philosophies. If you are interested in learning more about Charlotte and her philosophy, here are a couple of sites to begin with:

Simply Charlotte Mason
Ambleside Online

If you have done some reading on the various methods and philosophies, which ones do you find most appealing? What fits, or looks like it will fit, best with your family?

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