Sunday, October 20, 2013

The L'Harmas Charlotte Mason Retreat: All You Wanted to Know?

1. Irony: a Charlotte Mason weekend was the first time I a) helped navigate the drive down to Kingsville with a GPS, and b) plugged my iPad into the free WiFi in the hotel so I could send an email home. Welcome to the 21st century.
(photo found here)

2.  The Windsor/Essex Charlotte Mason Education group outdid themselves (is that ungrammatical?) in making everybody feel welcome, providing wonderful homemade food, and turning a church foyer into an amazing CM environment full of wooden apple boxes, books, and nature collections.  Education is an atmosphere...
3.  The leaves of the Manitoba maple don't look like any other maple leaves I've ever seen.  (What we learned during nature time.)  I also found out that you can confuse it with poison ivy!  (We don't have Manitoba maples in our part of Ontario.)
4.  People, people, people.  People from the U.S. and all over Southern Ontario (oh, and I forgot, one from Quebec).  People I knew, but mostly people I didn't...or at least hadn't met in person.  People I am very glad to have talked to and hope to connect with again.

5.  We had lots of talk about Charlotte Mason and notebooks...notebooks as kind of organic things that reflect individuality and choice...if a student is allowed to make his own choices about what gets included, and if the notebooks have value, are kept, treasured, reflected on.

6.  I had been thinking about cloisters since last week, ever since we started the "Romanesque" chapter of Architecture Shown to the Children.  Then suddenly, Friday night, one of the speakers mentioned quiet, peaceful, sacramental spaces...physical ones or inner ones...maybe a place where we listen for the divine voice?  If the majority of the educational world is an anxious, busy place, then maybe a Charlotte Mason-inspired approach of living ideas and leisure could be compared to a garden sanctuary like the one pictured above.

Just a thought.

7.  Can we do this again next year?


Jeanne said...

If you do do it again next year, can you let me know? I'll try to be there. I bought Laurie's book this morning. Can't wait to read it.
So glad you were able to go. Jealous, though. Really jealous.

Mama Squirrel said...

Jealous, from someone who's been to both Disneyland and Israel this year? Oh Jeanne! But I will let you know if I hear anything about a 2014 sequel.