Friday, September 19, 2008

Education as an Atmosphere or The Schedule and the Dwaddler

In thinking about the atmosphere of my home it is inevitable that the subject of scheduling comes up. This time of year I am busy building a skeleton of our schedule for next year. While I have always just naturally held to some sort of schedule I think you will be surprised by my thoughts.

Without a doubt scheduling is a tool. Like any tool it can be wielded with skill or it can clumsily cause destruction. There are men who can build furniture with kits and tablesaws and there are men who can build cabinets with a couple of handtools. We each have 24 hours in our day. A schedule will not give us more time. Sometimes a schedule can even steal that time.

If the atmosphere of your home is rich and varied, not filled with computer time, television, movies and gameboys, then you can build an atmosphere of learning without the help of a schedule. I have to admit that in many ways a rigid schedule is a crutch that makes a mother feel more productive. The truth is that you can lead your children to the subject at hand but you can't make them learn. That is why creating an atmosphere of learning is a greater tool than a schedule.

Some of you are like me and feel safer with some sort of schedule in place and some of you tend more toward the bohemian. I believe the key to successful home education is not in the schedule but in the atmosphere of the home.

The real issue that Charlotte foresaw was not scheduling but dawdling. Now there is a major problem for all and sundry. Whether your child is scheduled from sun up to sun down or whether he is free to pursue his own interest the enemy of true learning is dawdling. Have you ever had a child that could do his math in 30 minutes one day and take 4 hours the next? Yes, Ha, now you think I am going to tell you how to cure the child but this blog post is already over long so I will leave you with the dawdler and suggest perhaps rereading Charlotte's Ourselves.

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