Tuesday, June 17, 2008

~ '08 CM Conference ~

This year’s theme was “From Rewards to Relationships”. All sessions were around developing the relational aspect of a Charlotte Mason education ~ not just the subject relations (Science of Relations) but personal relationships within the family structure. It was amazing to see the hearts of the parents and teachers being turned towards their children. This conference was truly divine providence. I was humbled by the thought that I had not been developing relationship with my own children but spending my time meeting our material needs and demanding excellence in academics. It really was a wakeup call for me but its not too late to change, thank God for that.

There is a lot to talk about so I think I’ll take it in parts ~ this will be part I. Using the questions provided for our processing times, I’ll share some of my thoughts.

*what has been presented at the conference that is challenging you?
There have been several things presented that I would say challenges me but the 2 that stand out the most is Education is an atmosphere and developing my relationship with God. When I began homeschooling, God being the center of it was all I talked about and envisioned would be the core of it. However, the truth be told the relationship part has disappeared and I’ve inadvertently made it another subject ~ very impersonal. I’ve allowed my home and school life to become impersonal, sterile and devoid of life. There is no atmosphere for learning nor developing a relationship with the Lord. The conference helped me to renew my thoughts and to see where I need to make the changes. I’ve been inspired to go deeper in the Word of God and CMs writings. I must find balance in order to do this right for my family and it all begins with me.

*what ideas or practices of Mason do you better understand?
Education is a life, a discipline and an atmosphere. I’ve come to the conclusion that my understanding of these was not as complete as I’d like. I didn’t really comprehend the following:
Education is a life ~ subjective (spiritually)
Education is a discipline ~ objective (physically)
Education is an atmosphere ~ relative (relationally)
~ taken from notes provided in breakout session “Education is an Atmosphere"
It all makes more sense now and how all four pillars (includes Education is a Science of Relations) must be present, working together to have a true CM education.

*how will the concept of relationship change the way you teach/parent from now on?
This conference has challenged me to return to the ways in which I know work and to rekindle the relationships I’ve begun with my children. One of the reasons I began homeschooling was to get to know them and to help them develop a relationship with the Lord. I’ve been sidetracked for quite some time but I’ve made a decision to follow my heart from now on and I will be doing things that create relationships. Some of things I must do are:
1) having tea time
2) read alouds
3) spending time with them individually
4) model for them what I expect rather than telling them what it looks like; and lastly
5) stand in the gap for them, fervently praying for them along with providing an atmosphere that will allow them to grow in favor with God and man (school scripture in action Luke 2:52b).
I see a lot of growth in my children and I know its from building relationships with them in the past 5 yrs but I also know it can be greater and that I need to ensure that I pursue this higher level.

*what ideas or practices of Mason do you want to investigate more?
Narration ~ to fully develop the art of knowing in each student
Education is an atmosphere ~ to nurture, admonish and equip them for their purpose
Education is a science of relations ~ to fully understand how that fits into the entire education and life

CMs writings were far beyond her time and I’m grateful that I have access to the resource at such time as this. I’m excited to be apart of a movement for the betterment of our children and to be apart of a growing community of loving, caring and awesome parents and teachers. I can do this ~ one step at a time.

1 comment:

Grace said...

Oh, Dawn! I wish, I wish, I wish I could've gone!! :) Oh, but the Lord knows, doesn't He? I certainly hope next year's conference will work out with our schedule. June is historically the busiest month in our family, so I'll really have to be purposeful about getting there, but if I beginning planning now... lol ;)

Thanks so much for sharing your notes and thoughts. I'm looking forward to reading the rest soon!