Atmosphere is an important part of homeschooling. It is something I need to take a more active role in creating. There is so much I am still learning as a home school mom. Most of it is not academics. I'm learning [but need to put into more action] how education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life, says Charlotte Mason.
It is not merely a carved out time of day when we focus on academics. That is a small part of formal lessons. But I want more exploring and excitement. I need to be more prepared in some aspects. Even for my preschoolers, who need "back ups" in case of melt downs.
Some ways we can cultivate such an atmosphere is by
- Providing an environment of thought We pass on ideas through books on history, inventions and discoveries in science, biographies of great men and women, poems, symphonies, paintings, plays, Psalms and all other wonderful things we can come up with.
- Making the house a home Children need mothers at home in order to make it a home. This is difficult because society puts much pressure on women to work outside the home and belittles the role of a mother at home. Creating a home includes keeping house, making meals, and putting lovely touches to freshen up a house into a home. She provides much love and patience, which also creates the atmosphere of home.
- Putting Jesus in the center Contrary to popular belief, this doesn't just happen. It takes some planning and effort to put God in the center of our lives. He should encompass everything we do, which in turn should blanket our children. Reading the Bible aloud is a crucial discipline that every Christian family should cultivate. The power of His written word will come to life for our children...not because of how we read, but because of how He leads.. He moves through His Word, but we must be the tool to bring it to our children.
- Keeping communication open Vital in the early years because it becomes even more so as our children become teenagers. They need to know they can come to us to talk, as children, and we'll listen. They need to know we are never too busy to hear them out. Even if what they have to say, in our eyes, isn't important. To them, it isimportant. Open communication also includes having discussions which are open and the child is free to give his opinion on a subject. We can shape opinions when needed, but must at least hear them out.
Every look of gentleness and tone of reverence, every word of kindness and act of help, passes into the thought-environment, the very atmosphere which the child breathes.