Adding Enchantment to Your Homeschool
Hello fellow homeschool moms. I’m Dachelle from Hide the Chocolate. I’m so excited to be here today and I’m grateful to Lara for this opportunity.
Today I wanted to talk to you about Adding Enchantment to your homeschool. We have a relaxed Charlotte Mason Homeschool and one of our joys is to be able to add little sparks of enchantment to our week. So first, what do I mean by relaxed Charlotte Mason Homeschool? Well, I like to think of a relaxed Charlotte Mason Homeschool is what Ms. Mason would have taught had she lived in the 21st century.
Charlotte Mason was a pioneer, a trailblazer, even a trendsetter for education in her time. She looked at education as a lifetime endeavor and children as people who are completely capable of learning and directing their own education. So it is my personal belief that she would have embraced our technology and use it with gusto.
She would have realized that advancements in technology and society should be used to broaden their knowledge of the world. And perhaps she would have added a movie day or maybe even a plant identifying app to her philosophy. One of my favorite quotes is from my mentor Julie Bogart of Brave Writer. She says, “Charlotte, let your bun down and relax Charlotte Mason Homeschool.” Charlotte lets her hair down. She realizes the importance of modern literature and uses tablets and computers to enhance her teaching. And she adds some enchantment to her homeschool because she realizes that education is not in competition with technology, but in partnership.
So what exactly do I mean by enchantment? Well, enchantment is that little spark that keeps your homeschool from getting boring, stale, and even unpleasant. It’s not always a daily activity or even a weekly activity, is instead that little moment of inspiration, of creativity, of magic dust that you throw into your homeschool when it works for you.
Enchantment can be anything you want it to be, but it must work for everyone, including the homeschool teacher. It can be as simple as adding a snack to your studies like science and smoothies. Or as elaborate as planning an end of unit party, like an ancient Egyptian party school. Some examples might be poetry tea time, party school, movie days, gang days, book clubs, baking days, thoughtfulness days, and even ditch the books days.
So what do I mean by these terms? Well, you may be wondering how this will look in your homeschool. Relax. You can make it what you want. But hear what these things look like for us.
So poetry, tea time. We gather around the table with snacks and tea or our favorite drinks and poems. I let the kids pick their favorite poems or sometimes we choose a theme for our tea time. We read our poetry and than we write some of our own. Some ways we’ve made it a little more elaborate is we invite our friends over to the library and there we have a giant poetry tea time, with 20 or 30 children at a time.
We have so much fun with these themed poetry tea times. Party schools, another favorite. You can celebrate finishing your latest read a loud novel or a unit study with a party. You choose foods and decorations that are inspired by your book or your unit study. You can dress up as the characters in the book or in the culture of the time period you can study.
Plan hands on activities to bring that unit study in your book to life. We especially love book clubs. We get together with our friends every month and celebrate a book that we’ve read that month. You could go on an outdoor adventure. Choose a nature book or picture book and head outside. Take your nature journal with you to record your observations and sketch what you see. We especially like to invite our friends over for Nature Book Club, where we read a nature book and then we explore with experiments and fun nature study.
Maybe you could do a Maker Monday or a Tinkering Tuesday. You can let your kids explore with hands on activities like tinker crates or STEM projects, coding or robotics. Or go a different route with baking, cooking, or even cake decorating. Or if you’re more crafty, maybe choose some art projects, some woodworking or some sewing. Any of these things can be fun ways to add enchantment.
But how do you add enchantment? Well, first you should think of what inspires your children. What interests them? What makes them feel creative and energized? What might give them a little boost? Next, decide how you can feed that interest. What activities can you add that will bring joy to your day? What do you have supplies on hand for? What can you plan that won’t leave you feeling exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed?
Then choose one thing. Just the one thing you can add to your day that will add that little touch of magic dust. Don’t try to add everything you’ve thought of all at once or you’re just going to become overwhelmed and stressed out. Slowly add in one or two things at a time. Feel free to change those inspiring things up each week or month. And also, feel free to drop things that don’t bring joy or cause you too much stress. Do what works best for your family.
And lastly, choose a time that you know is best for you. When do you have time to follow that rabbit trail? When can you spend all day making a mess and not be stressed out? What day do you have free to go on an adventure? Choose a time that will give you the opportunity to explore without worrying about deadlines or schedules. But what if it’s still overwhelming? I understand.
Implementing Charlotte Mason was difficult for us in the beginning. I love the philosophy, but it was foreign to me. The same can be said for implementing a relaxed enchanting Charlotte Mason Homeschool.
If you’re a purist, then this may feel like heresy or it may be freeing. Here are some easy steps to get you started. First, start with our free enchantment planner. This planner guides you through the steps I just mentioned. It also provides checklists, enchantment ideas and planning sheets that will help you to easily incorporate one or two ideas at a time, so you aren’t overwhelmed.
Next, choose your one thing. Maybe that’s poetry tea time. Maybe a nature of intro or maybe it’s simply adding a Milkshake Monday. Just pick that one thing to do this week. You can also grab one of our free book clubs at Literary Adventures for Kids. That will help you get started on finding those rabbit trails and grabbing those hands on projects, a little magic dust.
And lastly, don’t get overwhelmed. Enjoy what you’re doing and let your children’s interests guide you. The goal is to inspire learning and creating a victure of education. So start your Enchanting Homeschool today, make memories and enjoy the journey.
Dachelle is a working homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. At Hide The Chocolate she shares her adventures in homeschooling and parenting. She is also the author of dozens of online book clubs for kids from preschool to high school at Literary Adventures for Kids. You can often find her reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. 😉
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