Dear Friends,

Welcome to Norman James Academy!

My name is Pam Asberry. I own and operate Asberry School of Music, located inside my home in Dacula, Georgia (in the Hamilton Mill area). I also have 33 years of experience as a home schooling parent. (That's 13 years with the first child, 12 years with the second, and 8 years with the third; obviously, some of those years overlap!)

One of the first books I read on the subject of home schooling was "For the Children's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. This book introduced me to the work of Charlotte Mason, an educator who lived at the turn of the century. Although Charlotte Mason lived many years ago, her ideas were ahead of her time. Her emphasis on using great books—she called them "living books"--in place of textbooks and workbooks was what really caught my attention. Although "For the Children's Sake" did much to help me formulate a vision for home education, it is not exactly a "how-to" manual. I struggled for several years to overcome my public school mentality, experimenting with various curriculum materials and educational methods, eventually dumping most of them. Instinctively, however, I always used great books as the framework for whatever we were studying, and eventually I found my way back to Charlotte Mason. I began following her suggestions for using so-called "living books" as the basis for all school subjects--especially language arts, science, art, and music--and wound up using her methods almost exclusively. I found that the more I was able to let go of the institutional model of education, the more successful and happy our school days were.

This website began as a place to share some of what I learned, both from personal experience and from others who benefited from Charlotte Mason's approach to education. You will find lists of recommended resources, links to related websites, articles I have written, and ordering information on a couple of publications we produced.

My days as a home school mom have ended; my oldest son is attending photography school in Atlanta, my middle son is finishing his senior year as a joint enrolled student at a local junior college, and my youngest son is in public school as an eighth grader. I am happy to report that all three are thriving academically, and feel that home education prepared them well for the work they are doing now. I hope this website will help you to meet with success with your own family's home school endeavors.

Wishing you well,

Pam Asberry