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5 Charlotte Mason High School Ideas That Worked

5 charlotte mason high school ideas

Building Good Habits

“One last word about habit–the point of training children to have good habits is so that they’ll do things without being nagged or scolded. Then the mother isn’t constantly chasing them down with a barrage of commands and reminders. She can leave them alone to thrive in their own way once habit has secured a boundary for them to grow in.” Volume 1, page 134

The forming of good habits continues through the high school years, leading our children to the place where they self-regulate their actions. In our home, our teens were never rebellious or contrary and I think a lot that was because we didn’t have many “rules” to live by. They were guided and corrected in a way to help them build habits that will last them a lifetime. Children with good habits are a joy to be around. Read more about habits: Building Good Habits in High School and Good Habits for Moms.

Living History

“Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” Volume 1, page 280

Incorporate as many avenues of reading and learning as possible, using literature, biographies, speeches, and videos to help your child immerse his learning of a particular time period. High school students are capable of reading a lot of material and if you follow up your reading with some form of narration it will stick better and longer. History will come alive. Read more about my thoughts on this: Charlotte Mason Knew the Secret to Learning Relationships.

Shakespeare and Poetry

“To become intimate with Shakespeare in this way is a great enrichment of mind and instruction of conscience. Then, by degrees, as we go on reading this world-teacher, lines of insight and beauty take possession of us, and unconsciously mold our judgments of men and things and of the great issues of life.”

There were times when it seemed like a lot of effort to add in a Shakespeare play every term but afterwards I would realize how much we all enjoyed the experience. The same was true pretty much for poetry as well. Poetry is not an easy topic to cover on your own with high school students and our tastes in poets varied greatly which added an extra element when planning. But, in the end, I look back on our Shakespeare and poetry studies with much warmth because they did add that extra “something” that made each year a little better. My boys still quote Shakespeare from time to time and I know it will be carried with them into their futures…better for having read it while they were young. Read more: Shakespeare and High School Poetry.

Nature Study

I could talk all day about the value of continuing nature study in high school. I hold those times we were outdoors together as cherished memories. My boys have grown in their knowledge of our local plants, trees, birds, reptiles, weather, and so much more. They are comfortable outdoors and seek opportunities to spend time in nature. They appreciate the changes in the season and are skilled at following a map, planning a hike, and growing things. Dirt is not their enemy. You can read more: Nature Study for High School Students.


Last but not least is the skill of narration that is emphasized in a Charlotte Mason education. Narration is never tiring for my boys and if given a choice they will write a quick summary, give an oral account, or create a follow-up project in place of a test any day. Their notebooks are filled with their individual accounts of their learning. These thoughts are their own connections with their reading and research. I can’t think of a better way to learn for my boys. You can read more: Narration in Our High School.

Reflections on a Charlotte Mason High School – read more of my thoughts on high school.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: A Lot of Letting Go This Week

Yosemite National park April 2012
Glorious April Day Visit to Yosemite National Park

Mr. A, my graduate from last year, made a big step this week. He took his very first “behind the wheel” flying lesson on his way to getting his private pilot’s license. If you have been a longtime reader of this blog you know that he has had this as a goal for many years. He actually took the plane off from the airport and then flew it by himself. I have a total phobia of flying so even thinking about this made me shriek on the inside. He knew this and didn’t tell me ahead of time that he was actually going to fly the airplane at his first lesson…he only said he was going to go talk to the instructor. Good move on his part since I probably would have done one of two things. I would have either thrown myself in front of the airplane so it couldn’t move or I would have been there with my camera to take photos. I’m sure he didn’t need me to do either of those things. Next lesson…this afternoon. Sidenote: He is also up for an internship in aviation maintenance at a local airport. This would be an answer to prayer.

Time for letting go button
Look closely and you will see Half Dome in the distance (left horizon).

Now the second big step, which I am not sure if it was bigger for Mr. B or for me. I drove him to the community college and dropped him off for assessments and a counseling appointment. He is determined to take a few classes either this summer or next year. In a new stage of our relationship, I left him to navigate the big world of the community college on his own. He looked so young (which he is) but he also had a little spring in his step as he walked down the sidewalk to the Student Services building. I refused to question myself. (Did I prepare him enough? Is he ready for this step? Should I have fill in the blank? I am confident that he is ready enough.)

The rest of the week was full of lots of outdoor time. We took a day trip to Yosemite National Park to see the beautiful waterfalls that are flowing this time of year. We were treated to some magnificent wildflowers (which you can see a glimpse of over on my Handbook of Nature Study blog this week). Mr. B and I have been participating in the April GetOutside Photo Scavenger Hunt hosted by Go Explore Nature by taking walks/hikes every single day this week. You can see our photos on the Pinterest Board.  We also worked in the garden pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and planting seeds. Mr. A rode his bike to work this week to save money on gas. We all have spring allergies.

We have three weeks of school left for the year and I am feeling the pull of summer vacation.  

Link up with your Weekly Wrap-Up post at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Spring Nature Study and Art Prints

Spring Art Prints button
Over on my Handbook of Nature Study blog I am offering my latest nature study ebook: More Nature Study Book #3 – Spring Splendor. It is the third in my new series of nature study challenges and is geared for all ages of children, including high school age.

With the purchase of the More Nature Study Book #3 ebook I am offering a FREE Spring Art Prints download with nine spring-themed art prints to view or print for you family (must be purchased by 3/31/12).
More Nature Study Book 3 Cover image
I invite you to click over and see if you can make room for some outdoor time this spring with your family AND some spring paintings as well.

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