I love seeing his thoughts come out on paper. I love that he can ascribe letters to what’s on his mind now. Boiling it all down to words he can spell all by himself. More than the crudely formed symbols and charming pictures, I love that these words are written of his own initiative. He takes a moment from all important bug catching, bike riding, Lego building, soccer playing, brother wrestling, noise making mayhem, and sits down to write in his spare time. Of his own volition, letters build words, string together into sentences, and on to form paragraphs. Miracle of miracles, haltingly he reads and writes. Of caterpillars and Christopher Columbus, crab catching and shelter building, he muses prosaically.
This is why I tread lightly the dance. Not wanting to drill the joy and wonder from learning, still desiring to equip them with all the tools they will need. Let them play, lay before them a feast of knowledge, skills and reason, then when the time is right . . .
What use is a man with a mind full of facts if he has no desire to make his mark? What good is a man full of fire if he has not the tools to light a spark?
So many days I feel I am only stumbling along. And then there are the days when all systems are go, we are firing on all cylinders and I perceive that at the end of a long, beautiful journey we may just make it to the moon and back. Anything might be possible. The days when the school room is bathed in light, building blocks click, and phonics rings out a harmonious melody. Yesterday it was conference day, and there were murmurs that the steps to the dance are going well. IT in all it’s indescribable wonder is there and we will hang our hats on that immeasurable success as we run and trip, march slowly along and dance!
“The question is not, — how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education — but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?” ― Charlotte Mason, School Education: Developing a Curriculum