Hello! Welcome to the first week of our series discussing the book Home Education by Charlotte Mason. I'm hoping that these discussions will be really practical and encouraging for all of us! I will bring up some areas of the chapter that I'm trying to implement in my home this summer, and I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Some Preliminary Considerations
This book is fascinating if nothing other than that it was written in another time and place! Were you able to orient yourself to what life was like in England in the 1800's? I could definitely stand to know more about history. It seems like she was trying to convince parents to do something in regard to educating their children. As homeschool moms, this is obviously already a high priority for us already.
I was encouraged by the quote that I put up in the picture above:
"The parent's chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk. or mother's love."
I like her way of looking at life as a whole. Education is not an isolated time of 2 hours in the morning. As parents, we need to be providing our children with good things all the day long and all those things are connected. A big challenge I took away from this whole chapter was about loving my children. As a homeschool mom, I can get caught up in lessons and training, but I need to remember to be loving my kids in a wholesome and nourishing way...as their mom. I am going to be more conscious of that.
I did have a problem with her opinion of children being property of the nation. I'm trying to understand what was going on in her time to make her think like this. Do any of you have any ideas?
"The children are the property of the nation, to be brought up for the nation as is best for the nation, and not according to the whim of individual parents." I had no idea that Charlotte Mason thought this way. I certainly do not agree and I don't think most homeschoolers do either. Can you help me understand?
One other pause before I go on: What do you all think about the more science related things she talked about (brain activity, healthy eating, ventilation, etc.)? I won't take time on this, but it sure is interesting to see how times have changed and how we live so differently now! What things do you see merit in, and which things to you think we understand differently now?
Code of Education in the Gospels
Charlotte Mason mentions some of the passages in the Bible that refer to children. Of course I am familiar with these, but I had never really looked at them all together or in the way that she did. Here is the conclusion that she reaches:
"The chief thing required of grown-up people is that they should do no sort of injury to the children: Take heed that ye OFFEND not --- DESPISE not --- HINDER not--- one of these little ones."
This is something that is going to be on my mind more. It seems like in her day, children we thought very lowly of and she wanted children to be thought of as persons. Today the world is very child centered and most families are as well. I wonder if this is what she had in mind or if we have gone farther than what she envisioned.
Regardless, I will be more aware of times in my day when I might be offending, despising, or hindering my children. All the while being careful to not let "the little trespasses be allowed to pass." Does anyone else find this challenging? How do you most effectively train your children to do right without turning in to a sergeant who is disciplining all day long? Ms. Mason classifies allowing your children to do wrong as offending them. I thought that was a very interesting way of thinking about it.
Conditions of Healthy Brain-Activity
I love this quote! Ms. Mason talks about how our brains need exercise to work well just like our bodies do. My son struggles with this. He gives up easily on anything that looks like it might take a bit of effort. I desire so much for him to 'do what is right at the sacrifice of ease and pleasure.' I really hope she talks more about this later on in the book. I really want to work on this idea this summer. I want my children to be hard workers and to love putting effort into things because of the beautiful result that will follow. Do any of you have tips for this?
I had a friend tell me about a website called 1000 Hours Outside. Have you heard about it? The idea is to have the goal of spending 1000 hours outside this year. Pretty neat! They reference Charlotte Mason as their inspiration. Check it out if you need some extra encouragement in this area. Or if you want to have some sort of accountability or more encouragement here, let me know and we can try to come up with some ideas!
Conclusion of Part 1
Ms. Mason said that she spent so much time talking about these physical matters in this first part because even though they are the 'lowest round of the educational ladder' it is a necessary step to all the rest. I am looking forward to where she goes from here! She says that the rest of the book will sketch out a method of education that is based on these principles .
"Any sketch I can offer in this short compass must be very imperfect and very incomplete, but a hint here and there may be enough to put intelligent parents on profitable lines of thinking with regard to the education of their children."
Thanks for reading along this week! What did you think of this chapter? Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead). I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well! Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!
Next week we will be talking about part 2 of Home Education by Charlotte Mason. If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you grab a Kindle version for under $2, a paper back, or read it for free on Ambleside Online!
Classical Mamas Read Link-Up
Did you write about Home Education by Charlotte Mason on your blog? Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)? Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)? I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!
I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions. If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.
Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).