Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Charlotte Mason Education: Short Lessons

Finally, the next installment in my discussion of Charlotte Mason. Short lessons for younger students (15-20 minutes per subject) is a great way to develop your child's attention span, or as Charlotte Mason calls it, a "habit of attention." I've found that with a short lesson, my daughter can more easily be fully engaged and focused for the entire lesson. Whereas with the longer lessons we attempted last year, it was very difficult for her to keep her focus, which made me feel as though I needed to nag her quite a bit in order to get through each lesson. School time is much more pleasant for both of us when there is little to no nagging involved!

I've started using the short lesson concept with myself too. I often feel as though there's not enough time in my day to get through everything on my "to do" list. So instead of trying to finish all of my "to do" items every day, I do short amounts of these tasks at a time, spreading the task out over a day, or even over the span of a week or longer. This helps me not to feel overwhelmed by the things I need or want to get done, because I know they will get done eventually, a bit at a time. It also keeps me from getting bored with one particular task, and it allows me to fit in things I don't normally think I have time to do -- like scrapbooking. Usually scrapbooking seems like a huge, overwhelming task, since I'm always behind. But if I sit down and do 15 or 20 minutes of it a few times a week, the job doesn't seem so large, and eventually I'll get caught up. Or at least, I won't get as far behind as usual!

I'm using this method with most everything on my to do list. I do laundry a load at a time, here and there, instead of doing it all at once and having it take up my entire Saturday. If I have a lot of phone calls to make, I do one a day over the course of a week. And I'm fitting in things I love to do but don't always have time for. A 1/2 hour of cross stitching in the evening now and then. Sneaking in 15 minutes of reading while my son is busy playing. I'm feeling much more relaxed because of it, and interruptions don't bother me as much. Try it out for yourself and see if it works for you!

1 comment:

SmallWorld at Home said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Very cool to meet another homeschooling poet! I'm not sure there are many of us around! ;-)