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No, for reals.  I’ve been reading and researching and reading some more, and I think I’ve finally decided upon a general guide that I’ll use as I go forward with our homeschooling.  For us, it’s going to be Mater Amabilis.  This will be our backbone, our guiding star, and it will be altered and supplemented and some of it will be dropped (either right away or as we move forward).  Homeschooling allows us this freedom, thank God, and I intend to take advantage of it.

The other thing it offers us? The ability to give our children an excellent education for pennies of the dollar compared to the public school system, let alone the at this point ridiculous cost of parochial and other private schools.  For this school year at least most of our “books” will be coming from free sources such as our local library, our statewide library lending system, and websites such as Project Gutenberg and the Baldwin Project.  Charlotte Mason doesn’t really “do” workbooks, so there are very few consumables that need to be purchased and re-purchased year after year.  In fact, many of the books we used as ones that will be handed down from year to year, with only the oldest child needing new copies.  For example, eventually, my family will have a complete set of the Saxon Math text books, purchased one at a time, and which can then be resold when we’re done with them or, God willing, gifted to a family who is struggling the way we are right now when we are (God willing!) better off.  You see how this works?  Homeschooling is one of the most economical ways of educating children, with the added benefit that the bigger the family, the more bang you get for your buck.

Now that I’ve made the main decision, I don’t feel as if a weight has been lifted, but replaced with one that is just as heavy.  It’s time for me to stop researching Charlotte Mason and her educational philosophy and start figuring out how to put it into practice in my own homeschool.  Stay tuned as I moved forward on this little Living Books adventure!

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