Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nota Bene

Sorry about the massive blocks of quotes, for anyone who is reading this. I know they're hard to read, and I'm trying to figure out a way to get them in there for my reference, without making a mess of the readability of the post.

A couple more notes:

As I mentioned on my other blog, I'm trying to read through Charlotte Mason's Philosophy of Education, and figure out what parts of it apply to our homeschool. I don't want to mess up what we have that's already working. But neither do I want to fall into a default.

I have an opportunity this year -- two "Year 1" children. They are just starting their formal education so I would really like to try to work out a CM-type curriculum for them. When I look back on our past relatively successful couple of years, it is a combination of CM -type "literary" education, plus LCC-type language-focus, and plenty of time and space for other pursuits, that has worked the best.

One of my 2 Year 1 children is what CM politically incorrectly calls "backward". I like the term almost as much as developmentally delayed though, which IS politically correct and implies much the same thing -- a present state which is not necessarily fixed, and also a present state which is comparative, not absolute. So "backwards" in that sense is more optimistic and doesn't judge the child for WHAT he is, just describes WHERE he is, for whatever reason.

I don't care much for "retarded" because that falls into a whole system invented by the French a century or so ago -- they classified "mentally deficient" into several categories, all of them unpleasant-sounding -- moron, idiot, and imbecile. These terms tend to imply what someone IS and also seem to describe a fixed, permanent state. Then people jumped on that to propose eugenics and scientific testing and all sorts of coercive measures. My husband was just talking to me about an article in Wall Street Journal about how delayed children were often put in institutions and often were rarely or never again seen by their parents.

Back to my point -- Charlotte Mason wrote that even "backwards" children could benefit from a humane, liberal arts curriculum such as the one she offered -- in fact, she mentioned several times that a delayed child had just as much right to a humane education as anyone else. This obviously is what I believe too -- and I've seen how much Aidan loves "liberal" learning

There is more about CM and special needs at Special Needs Ambleside.

I forgot the other point I was going to make. Hmm.

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