10 Ways to Re-establish a Gentle Learning Atmosphere: Spring Cleaning Charlotte Mason Style

I am most certainly not the most quiet and meek person on the planet.  Attaining a meek and quiet spirit is the work of the Almighty Himself, or else it just wouldn't happen for this loud, extroverted daughter of a high school football coach.  My extreme tendencies have a way of spilling into our home education environment.  That most likely goes without saying, but I typically do not go without saying.  Get the point?

Recently, due to much needed rest and quiet moments, I have been pouring over Charlotte Mason's timeless writings during much of my downtime.  The words and wisdom imparted by Ms. Mason never cease to rejuvenate and astound this home educator.  As moms, we so frequently get out of focus by the enamoring of the world that surrounds us.  God has used Charlotte Mason books, on more than one occasion, to anchor me back into His purpose for our homeschool.

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The spring season of cleaning and de-cluttering our home and lives, has officially begun here in our neck of the woods.  What a glorious time to begin a proverbial de-cluttering of our homechool!  I am working our way back to the beginnings of our gentler educational roots as Charlotte Mason homeschoolers.  This is my plan for Spring Cleaning Charlotte Mason Style during our next semester.
10 Ways to Re-establish a Gentle Learning Atmosphere:

1.  Stay at home.  I know this is more than likely stating the obvious, but it is amazing how quickly we get sucked into a lasting case of the "run-a-rounds".  Focusing on the home-port as a staple to home education is a simple detail we all miss, many times.

2.  Set the tone for good works.  A life used by God to serve others is the sure way to re-establish good attitudes and Christ-focus back in our homeschool.

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3.  Make a joyful noise.  Remember to include, daily, the sounds of worship through music.  Choose inspiring worship tunes, sing hymns and listen to classical composers, in order to  fill your home with the sounds of joy.  Music is a powerful tool, use it for good!

"O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded." Psalm 22:2-5 (KJV)

4.  Eliminate outside distractions.  Not every extracurricular past time is worth pursuing.  Stop feeling your home education calendar with co-op, meetings and workshops.  There is a season for these busy good works, but not today.  

5.  Create a safe environment for open and honest communications.  The basis of a beautiful and more gentle education ,for your students and yourself, is re-establishing an environmental honesty for every individual of the family.  Grace is good..

6.  Set a foundation for ideas through living books.  Keep fueling your child's education for right living with a constant stream of beautiful writings from living books.

7.  Manners and positive attitude, yes, they are for mommy too!
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8.  Validate the feelings of your students, and redirect with quiet and "passive authority".  

"A parent loses his opportunity for good to his child, if he fails to have sympathy with this child in that child's weakness and follies and misdoings.  It is in every child's nature to long for sympathy at the point where he needs it most; and when he has done wrong, or has indulged evil thoughts, or is feeling the force of temptation, he is glad to turn to some one stronger and better than himself, and make confession of his faults and failures.  If as he comes to his parents at such a time, he is met with manifest sympathy, he is drawn to his parents with new confidence and new trust.
- H. Clay Trumbull, Hints on Child Training

9.  Let go of perfection and stop comparing, yourself and your children, to others.

10.  Set a standard for open prayer and family worship.  Keeping your children's heartstrings attached to home is essential.  Worshiping and praying, as a family, is the cornerstone in attaining a lasting attachment to the family.

What are your goals for the spring semester?

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

This post is a contribution to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings.

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