How does your program use both Charlotte Mason and Classic Homeschool methods?
Yes, our program does incorporate many of the best methods and ideas brought into homeschooling.
While much of our methodology is based upon the ideas and ideals of Charlotte Mason, we also include ideas and perspectives of merit from other approaches. We hope to “marry” them into one substantive and joyful approach that stands apart from other curriculums.
It may be helpful to remember that one of the ways in which the classical approach differs from the Charlotte Mason method is that the CM method advocates joy and exploration in learning, while the classical method is a more regimented methodology, having identical learning goals for all students and reaching those goals through methods such as memorization, challenge and argumentation, and oral presentation. While in this way, these methodologies cannot be reconciled while adhering strictly to both, we embrace the joy and exploration of the CM method while keeping many of the principles of the classical method, but reinterpreting them in a more “joyful” presentation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the methodology of the classical approach, and then look at what we’ve taken from this approach that fits classical goals, if not the strict methodology.
The classical method of homeschooling is attractive to many parents for several reasons:
It places an emphasis on stages of development of the mind and use of knowledge.
It teaches toward these stages of development (grammar, dialectic, rhetoric) and changes the approach as students progress through their education.
It spends time working through great books and classical literature, often including a study of the Greek language.
It embraces a chronological approach to learning, keeping this as a primary guide for how programs are assembled.
It often advocates teaching history in three four-year cycles throughout a child’s education (Ancients, Medieval, Early Modern, Late Modern). Thus, the repetition of the history is an important cornerstone in classical learning.
How does WinterPromise incorporate these ideas into its curriculum?
WP programs change in their approach and requirements as students progress through our curriculum year by year to meet changing educational goals. However, this is not attained by adhering to methods such as memorization, argumentation and oral presentation, but by a wider variety of learning avenues, including narration, creative writing, educational notebooking, timeline building, service to others, oral sharing in real-life settings, practical skill development, and so on. We also provide assignments tailored for various learning styles, to reach children differently based upon their own unique way of learning about their world. For more information about how the program changes, see another FAQ, “How Does This Program Change from Level to Level to Meet the Changing Needs of Students?” WP also incorporates great books and classical literature, as this is key to the Charlotte Mason method. We do not include a study of Greek, simply because we offer so many other learning avenues and opportunities; however, this can easily be added if a parent would choose to make it a part of their children’s regimen.
WP programs, within themselves, basically use the chronological approach, although when it better serves the student to follow a theme or civilization for awhile, strict chronological adherence takes a back seat to presenting the material in a way that makes it more memorable (and, we find, often more enjoyable) for the student. For instance, most of Egyptian history is studied together and followed in our Ancient World program before returning to the “main” timeline thread of our program and resuming with the world history thread. We feel that to adhere too strongly to strict chronological order can confuse students in some cases, and leave them feeling they are not following the progression of individual civilizations or movements in history very well.
Hideaways in History – A one-year look at world history from a “story” perspective, adding the joyous fun of re-creating places in time, inspired by the childhood fun of “playing tent.”
Children Around the World – A look at world history, but country by country, something that emphasizes the repeated movement of nations from agrarian settlements, to connected towns, to feudal states, to modern nations.
Adventures in the Sea and Sky – A look at world history through the history of transportation, which allows students to see how key developments in ship making, navigation, air travel and space exploration affected pivotal events in world history and influenced movements such as the age of exploration, merchant trade, colonization, nation-building, and more throughout the ages.
You’ll never have the “been-there-done-this” feeling with WP.
So, WP seeks to incorporate the principles and goals of the classical method, but reinterprets some of them to create a spirit of joy and discovery that is a hallmark of the Charlotte Mason method.