Bringing Back "The Atmosphere"

Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.

What is a Charlotte Mason Education without the “Atmosphere”? Without the Atmosphere, books being read become a mere list, and in the process much is lost.  

Change of sched 1

Having an infant, a rowdy 3 year old, an eager 5 year old and a curious 7 year old is quite a challenge at 8:30 in the morning, when all are clamoring for my attention. One wants to be nursed, another jumping up and down, pretending he’s a monkey, another one wants to be read to, and the other just wants  peace and quiet to do his own reading, narration and math. I try my best, but I end up raising my voice and all-harassed because of what seems like a multitude of multi-tasking. Though lessons get done before lunch, all are done with an atmosphere of tension. I realized I’ve been feeling stressed more than usual, and all so I can tick those tiny boxes and get over with the day. I’m always in a rush to do things - targeting efficiency rather than the living experience.

This CM method of learning that I believe and love is slowly evolving into something “wooden" in our house, all for the sake of “efficiency”. And so, clearly there are things that must change. 

Change of sched 2

There is a need to re-arrange the schedule in order to lessen the tension, to bring back the atmosphere of fluidity in learning - to not settle for mere “efficiency”. This realization is God-sent. We all needed the change and the change wasn’t rocket science. It was merely moving all the “Riches”* from late afternoons to mornings after breakfast, and having the meat of the lessons after lunch when the 3 year old and the infant are asleep.

Change of sched 3

That simple.

But. it. changed. everything. 

Definitely a eureka moment for me.

Change of sched 4

Why didn’t I think of this before? Because I treasure my quiet afternoons. I held on to it for years. This and the children's early bedtime are the reasons why I always had extra energy to do the things I enjoy. 1-3pm was *Mine* - my sacred time that I always looked forward to. I get to read, write, sew, bake, knit, etc. But I realized, at this point in our family season, “me” time should give me space to relax. Instead it adds to unnecessary stress. So, I say goodbye to my so-called sacred 1-3PMs, but welcome back a rich, fulfilling day of #SimplyLearning :) Definitely worth it.

Change of sched 5Change of sched 6

With this new rhythm of our day, we actually get more things done and the 3 year old gets to participate the whole morning and not be left out. My attention is given to all because we are all doing and enjoying the same thing. Even the baby is singing with us and “learning" Spanish along with us. Very Stress Free because all are invited to join the Feast.

 

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*Riches are the things we do in addition to our lessons. They add to the wealth of the experience and I just can’t imagine #SimplyLearning without it. 

This Banquet is served in rotation throughout the Week:  

Nature Study/Journal

Composer Study

Art Study

Drawing

Paper Sloyd

Baking

Handicrafts

Tea Time


While these are served on a Daily basis:

Bible/Journal

Living Memory Work

Hymn

Verse

Poetry

Spanish

Filipino

Free Reads 

 

I used to stress about getting the “Riches” done before the 3-year-old and baby wakes up from afternoon nap. Which only gave me about an hour or so! Now, we have the whole morning to enjoy it :) The meat - math, science/natural history, geography, history, and literature  - are now all done in the afternoon, 5-10 minutes maximum per subject (we believe in short lessons!) And we’re done by 2:30 or 3 :) perfect!!

 

 

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