|hydrangeas and phlox|
Time for fall planning! Time to put together the school schedule! New books, new routines, and hopefully no new grooves. Let me explain. By grooves, I mean a stagnant, settled routine. Unfortunately, often the claim of "experience" can set us firmly in a groove. Mason speaks of experience as not necessarily a qualification for being a great teacher. She claims that one year of training in her methods is worth ten years of experience elsewhere for the making of a good teacher.
It is ... disastrous when child or man learns to think in a groove, and shivers like an unaccustomed bather on the steps of a new notion. Vol. 6 p. 104"Experience" meaning the habit of doing things as we have always done them. "Set us going in a groove and there is no further question of right or wrong, of better or worse; we do the thing 'in our own way,' and years of experience make us 'the same, only more so.' "
So in some cases, that lack of experience can be a great boon to those new to the method. I know some twenty-something moms who have decided to pursue this philosophy. Their lack of experience-baggage and the fact that they haven't wallowed in the homeschool methods and curriculum mania gives them an advantage, I think. They are diving in to her works with a freshness and excitement that their children will benefit from. The paradigm shift is moving along quickly and more easily for them.
There are instances where experience is, of course, a good thing. It has to do with keeping that "fresh impulse." Mason says, "experience added to training has its advantages, supposing we are able to keep the fresh impulse of our training through the years."
Keeping fresh impulses, avoiding grooves, and shifting paradigms. How will you accomplish these things this year?
(Quotes by Mason taken from "The Home School," Parents' Review, Vol. 3 1892-1893 p. 279-284)