Sunday, June 29, 2008

Children's Hour

I made this form based on Cindy at Dominion Family's "Morning Time" (this is her old site -- I can't seem to get to her wordpress one right now -- I really hope it isn't down for good since it is a treasury, even though she isn't actively blogging anymore).

I am calling it "Children's Hour" firstly, so I don't totally plagiarize Cindy; and secondly, because Charlotte Mason several times talked about a "Children's Hour" that wasn't directly associated with "school" but rather, with family life.

The form is basically for filling out what I want to be focusing on in each subject area.

I also have this Memory Notebook outline that I made last year based on Trivium Academy's, combined with Cindy's ideas. I already mentioned it here. Also, this Memory Book which includes more links (but is under construction right now). If you don't have MS Word 2007 but want to access the files please leave a comment or email and I'll put up a PDF or doc version.

Quote from Home Education:

Particular Knowledge.––But we are considering lessons as 'Instruments of Education;' and the sort of knowledge of the world I have indicated will be conveyed rather by readings in the 'Children's Hour' and at other times than by way of lessons. I know of nothing so good as the old-fashioned World at Home by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby (for lessons) for children between six and seven.

From Formation of Character

In connection with this subject let me add a word about story-telling. Here are some of the points which make a story worth studying to tell to the nestling listeners in many a sweet "Children's Hour";––graceful and artistic details; moral impulse of a high order, conveyed with a strong and delicate touch; sweet human affection; a tender, fanciful link between the children and the Nature-world; humour, pathos, righteous satire, and last, but not least, the fact that the story does not turn on children, and does not foster that self-consciousness, the dawn of which in the child is, perhaps, the individual "Fall of Man." But children will not take in all this? No; but let it be a canon that no story, nor part of a story, is ever to be explained. You have sown the seed; leave it to germinate. Every father and mother should have a repertoire of stories––a dozen will do, beautiful stories beautifully told....

So from these bare hints I am picturing that she intended something informal -- a sharing of the heart and mind of the mother with her children.... a sharing of family culture, so to speak. I don't want to make it formal or stiff or compartmentalized to a certain literal "hour" but I thought if I centered the idea around a particular "hour" of the morning, we might be able to move from there out into the whole day and life. Hope this makes some sense.

Waldorf calls it Circle Time but this has always sounded so Kindergarten-y to me. Still, some of the Waldorf circle time ideas may work well here.

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