Okay, it’s out. I have a dirty little secret. I love technology AND I’m a Charlotte Mason homeschooler.
I know, I know. Some people may think that you can’t pitch your tent in both camps. How can you be a follower of an educational philosophy from the turn of the last century that embodies the essence of delicious living books while advocating the use of, dare I say it…screens…??!?!
Well, any modern day follower of Miss Mason knows that it’s the perfect philosophy for technophiles for a number of reasons. The most obvious being the proliferation of ebooks.
If there’s one thing that stands out amongst Charlotte Mason types, it’s our love of quality books. Good, well-written, ‘living’ books where the author embraces the passion of their chosen subject and passes it along to the reader. Thankfully, an extraordinary number of quality books are now available as ebooks for free or fairly inexpensively. Check out my previous post where I list reputable free ebook sites. You can’t beat the ability to store and read thousands of books on devices as small as an iPod Touch or a Kindle or an iPad and have them accessible when you need them instead of sitting, hidden behind another book, somewhere on a shelf.
Charlotte Mason also advocated short, focused lessons. And nothing draws a child’s attention like a ‘gadget’. Technology can help a distracted child focus those precious minutes on learning while still satisfying their curiosity. I’ve found that it takes twice as long to drill math facts by ‘hand’ (flashcards) than if I had my child drill with a website. And well-designed sites and apps also chart progress and other interesting stats. Check out Math-u-See’s drill page for distraction-free practice.
Foremost, Miss Mason’s philosophy encompasses education as being an ‘environment’, a ‘discipline’, a ‘life’. I think that by providing your children with an environment that incorporates technology instead of fearing it, the precedent is set for your child’s success in the future.