It's kind of neat to have my children so spread out in age, because it's very confidence boosting to see how our educational methods are working at each age and stage. For instance, I get to see that the Charlotte Mason methods have created a graduate with a wonderful love for literature and the fine arts. Maybe she would have discovered these things with a different method, but would she have the extensive knowledge that she has of the great composers, artists, and literary masters at her age if we had not used this gentle art of learning?
Abbey doesn't currently love the arts as much as Melody does, but she has researched so much about the animal kingdom, all by herself, that I am starting to wonder if I would insult her with a more formal life science or biology class. Introducing the living books approach to our little school, has taught her to look much more deeply into the things that interest her. Instead of pouring over textbooks, she reads books and articles that are written by experts about the subjects that she loves.
Tarja, at age three, will listen to a story, and even interject to tell me what she thinks is wrong with the story. For example, today, she pointed out that there are no mermaids in A Midsummer Night's Dream. How did she even know that A Midsummer Night's Dream is a story of fantasy with fairies and magic, but lacks a mermaid? Until she made her objection, I thought that she was just playing with her dolls while her sisters listened. Charlotte Mason says that we should not read stories that are "twaddle" to our preschool aged children, and Tarja is living proof that we can, indeed, introduce fine literature at early ages.
It is so much fun to see education at work in the lives of the Three Princesses, and very rewarding to be able to see results from one age group to the next.