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Catherine prefaces the book by stating that this book, her book, is not intended to replace a reading of CM’s six volume series. Rather ACME offers brief summaries of CM’s philosophy and methods. Catherine does not offer an all-in-one curriculum schedule, her writing is not prescriptive. However, as you learn about CM – the approach and methodology you’ll be equipped to build-your-own CM inspired education.

We are encouraged to pray about our homeschooling choices, book selections and children’s futures.

The CM education is able to be fully cusomised for your family, your worldview, your convictions. Some people are very strict when it comes to book selections, others are slightly more liberal. Catherine rejected all Dicken’s work because she had read A Christmas Carol which features a ghost. She realised that she was missing out on treasures such as David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. Since then, she has learned how to censor a chapter of a book rather than dismissing it completely – taking what is good and godly from literature, praying about each choice.

Have you ever wondered why there is no such CM curriculum straight from Miss Mason or the PNEU schools?
There is a very good reason for it. The school program was reassessed each term! This didn’t mean that the whole book schedule was changed but it was reassessed. Some books in a CM school would have taken 2 -3 years to complete! Miss Mason wanted her school to be kept fresh and didn’t wish the curriculum, the students, the material or the teachers to become stagnant.

Incorporating the Approach
Everyone is different. Some like to dive in, head first whilst others like to dip their big toe and test the waters. I am a head first diver! However, that’s not always the best approach as you can end up with your head under water, gasping for breath. I now recommend that people ease in slowly. That’s how we’ll go through this book. I’ll try and post a new chapter on Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday. This will give you time to read, research and try out the new idea.

What a CM Inspired Education looks like…
You’ll notice that I use the term CM inspired a lot. This is because I am not a CM purist. I was caught up in being a CM purist and I tried to change my family to fit in line with a CM education. I was in bondage for many years. After coming through the other side, I know consider myself to be inspired by CM’s methodology. A small change in wording but it means the difference to me.

How can CM inspired families look so different?
There are structured homeschool schedules and very relaxed homeschool families who have been inspired by the CM methodology. There is no one right way to homeschool. Some people are naturally more structured whilst others are not. Rather than become CM purists, I would like to see us learn from the CM philosophy but allow ourselves and each other the freedom to be ourselves.

The Homeschool Journey
Catherine offers us an anaolgy. Some people are in the fast line, speeding along the highway on this road trip. Doing 160kph past the beautiful sights, not really enjoying the journey, perhaps even heading for a crash. You need to slow down.

Others are on the road trip – but have reached that part of the journey where it is long, tedious and monotonous with nothing but dry, red sand for miles on end to look at. Keep going- soon there will be waterfalls, mountains, flora and fauna to admire.

Then, there’s the another type of homeschooler. Their car isn’t out of the garage yet! There’s many reasons why you haven’t started your engine… but it’s time. Time to start the journey. Little steps, one at a time… start the car, buckle the seat belt and back out of the garage.

You can have well-educated children and enjoy the journey too.

Discussion Topics

  • Do you have a ‘study buddy’? Would you like to?
  • Where are you in the homeschool journey? Speeding along at a ridiculous rate? Driving through the Hay Plains? Or is your car safely tucked away in the garage?
  • Feel free to ask questions or post your own observations.

Recommended Reading

A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-to Manual More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual The Original Home Schooling Series by Charlotte Mason