I read The Charlotte Mason Companion back when I was considering homeschooling in the winter of 2002. I have no memory of why I purchased it, so I can't honestly say what drew me to CM philosophy initially.
However, I also bought The Well-Trained Mind and Charlotte Mason was pretty much relegated to habit training. Then, in the summer of 2008 I felt that our homeschool journey had taken a wrong turn. In 2008-2009, I used WinterPromise with both my middle son and little son and began to read and re-read CM. I tried to incorporate more CM not only into my parenting but into our homeschool as well. 2009-2010 and fall 2010 we had a more CM year.
Unfortunately, in the spring of 2011 and this school year my educational choices have gotten lost again. Honestly, I haven't done a very good job of resisting the urge to add more and more to our lives. I want to take a step back and find CM again. I want the educational confidence that CM projects rather than some sense of urgency that my child should perform.
It's funny, but when it comes to parenting I have no problem with habit training or seeing my child as having been born a person. When it comes to education, I get caught in the trap that if my child doesn't meet some imagined goal (higher test scores, the best college whatever) that my homeschool is a failure.
I know that if a family uses the "best" products and spends hours pushing and prodding a child to achieve academically, it doesn't mean they will end up with an self-teaching, academic genius in high school or a homeschool graduate at an Ivy League college. I totally get this. In our homeschool I still get caught up in the urgency of achievement rather than having that peaceful confidence that is CM.
Looking forward to next school year!