In fall of 2011, tutors began organizing an elementary “arm” of the Schaeffer Study Center High School Tutorial, which we have named “Charlotte Mason Elementary Tutorial.” Our first classes met in August of 2012. This tutorial is, as you might guess from the name, built on the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason. We meet 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:00-12:30) and on those two days, students work together with their tutors. The other 3 days of the week, students work with their parents at home following a syllabus provided by the tutors. If you would like more information about Miss Mason please see direct links to additional information found on our site.
What we are (and what we are not)
WHAT WE ARE: We are a tutorial program for homeschooling families, and as such are a partnership between tutors and parents. The tutors will provide families with a weekly syllabus. On two days each week, the tutors and students will meet together to work through reading/literature, math, language arts, science as well as nature study, a study of two or three artists, composers, and poets, as well as one of Shakespeare’s plays. Each year students will read through a section of the Bible together as well. Parents commit to work through a year’s course of study at home with their children on the other three days of the week.
WHAT WE ARE NOT: We are not a school, but a true hybrid of classroom and home instruction. Though the CMET tutors provide a weekly syllabus, we consider the parents to be the primary teachers, not merely homework supervisors. This means that parents will enroll with the supervising agency of their choice: either a Church Related School (recommended) or their local public school system. They will then be responsible to that agency for any required testing. Parents will also be responsible for assigning final grades and reporting attendance and grades to the agency they have chosen.
WHAT WE ARE: A support for homeschooling families.
WHAT WE ARE NOT: A replacement for homeschooling. We are not a 2-day school — that is, it will take five days to complete each week’s work: two days at Charlotte Mason Elementary and three days at home with parents.
WHAT WE ARE: A comprehensive curriculum. Parents are committing to follow a set course of study for thirty weeks. While we all understand that occasionally ”life” will happen, parents are committing to making sure that their students arrive at their tutorial classes prepared for the day’s work.
WHAT WE ARE NOT: Enrichment. An enrichment program is designed to “enrich” the “basics.”
WHAT WE ARE: A tutorial. In a tutorial program, tutors will work in partnership with parents by providing a syllabus listing daily assignments, and periodic assessments of student’s progress. Tutors are paid by the parents for the time they spend teaching each week.
WHAT WE ARE NOT: A co-op. In a co-op, the parents will divide the teaching up among themselves and in a sense, “barter” their time. Parents in a co-op generally commit to take a turn teaching a certain subject, or completing a certain set of tasks for a period of time. At CMET, parents are not required or expected to attend classes with their students. CMET parents do make a commitment to teach their children 3 days a week, in cooperation with the CMET tutors.
WHAT WE ARE: A Charlotte Mason approach to education. Key to a Charlotte Mason education is a profound respect for the mind and imagination of children. Education is not recitation of dry facts, but a feast of living ideas; it is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. Student assignments will include narration, copy work, studied dictation, nature study (nature journals), outdoor time, habit training, and living books. What it will avoid at all costs: twaddle (those things that talk down to children and insult their intelligence and personhood).
WHAT WE ARE NOT: Classical approach. Classical education has many variations, but most commonly a classical education is divided into three stages:
- Grammar Stage (K-6th grades): focuses on the memorization of basic facts
- Dialectic or Logic Stage (7th-9th grades): focuses on the classifying of facts
- Rhetoric Stage (10th-12th grades): focuses on the communication of facts.
While both a Classical and a Charlotte Mason approach to education will tend to have very similar book lists, the way the material is presented in Charlotte Mason education will differ and not be rigidly tied to the categories of grammar, logic, & rhetoric.
WHAT WE ARE: Entirely convinced that the following things are what Francis Schaeffer described as “true truth”:
God eternally exists in three persons (Father, Son, and Spirit) and that the Lord our God is one (Deut. 6.4), having the same nature, attributes, perfections, worthy of worship.
Man was created male and female, perfect and good, in the image of God, but through disobedience, fell into sin; that through man’s fall, death entered the world and all mankind became subject to its effects. (Gen 1:26, 2:17; Romans 3:10-19/Psalm 14.1-3; Ephesians 2: 1-3) And that all are in need of redemption.
Jesus: That In the fullness of time, Jesus came according to the promises given in the Law and the Prophets, (Hebrews 1:1-4) That He is, in the words of the Nicene creed, “very God of very God, begotten, not made,” fully God and fully man “by whom all things were made.” That He “died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to [Peter], then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time”(1 Corinthians 15:1-6); that by grace we are saved, through faith, not according to our works (Ephesians 2:8-9) but according to His work on the Cross for us (Colossians 2:11-15). that having received His salvation, we are eternally secure in it (Eph. 1:13-14, Phil. 1:6), that His kingdom never ends.
The Holy Spirit: that He is “the Lord, and Giver of Life, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified: who spoke by the prophets,” our Comforter whom the Father has sent to teach us all things (John 14:26), and lead us into all truth (John 16:3).
The historic creeds: Lest we leave anything out — please, see the historical creeds of the church (The Apostle’s, The Nicean, and The Creed of Chalcedon, which we fully subscribe to.
The Scriptures: The events recounted in the Scriptures are true and occurred in real historical time, in real historical places, to real historical people. That they are complete (Psalm 12:6-7, 2 Peter 1.21) and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3; 15) and reliable. It is important that parents understand that our commitment to the true truth of the Scriptures means that we assume a literal interpretation of a text unless the text, itself, signals that another reading is called for (Psalm 17:8 “under the shadow of his wings”). We believe that the Genesis accounts of Creation, the Flood, the Tower of Babel are historically true, that the events described in the Scriptures happened in real time, in real places, to real men and women. This will have implications for the way we approach science and history.
While not every text and book we use in the classroom will have been written by men and women who share all of these convictions, every book will be approached in light of a worldview that is consistent with these beliefs.
We do not require that parents or students sign a specific statement of faith, We do intend to be respectful of the differences of belief that may exist among our students and we have no desire to undermine parental authority. Parents should be aware (and should be comfortable with the fact) that all the tutors will teach from an explicit, unequivocal Christian worldview.
What We Are Not: Worldview neutral.
Click here if, having read this far, you’re still interesting in applying for a spot for your child at the Charlotte Mason Elementary Tutorial.