Thursday, January 24, 2013

Charlotte Mason

“Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings; treasure-houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to live in.”
~ John Ruskin

The kids made up this game downstairs called "Bulls". They even need Ezra and Scarlet to play it so I found myself alone upstairs with time to finish my Charlotte Mason book. I wanted to write some of the parts I read this morning here. As I re read these parts, I realize it sounds quite idealistic, but without losing sight of the fact that the kids would watch Kung Fu Panda all day if I let them, I found myself inspired nonetheless. I like new ideas to mull over during the day. 

“The child is a person, a human being with a spiritual origin.” Yet most schools govern by a system of treats: grades, prizes, and competitive placing. Charlotte Mason believed this type of motivation to be harmful for learning and dangerous to a child’s character… In order to grade, one must have a grading system: a certain number of completed questions to arrive at a grade percentage… memorization is over-emphasized, and real thinking left behind. The desire for knowledge is crushed by the heavy weight of the system.

Three ways for teachers to motivate children to learn are, the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of ideas. Thus Charlotte Mason’s motto: Education is an atmosphere, a disciple, a life.

Children should be taught to recognize and admire the righteous, the pure, the heroic the beautiful, the truthful, and the loyal in their education life.

We can rely upon living books- books written by single authors who are writing about their favorite subjects rather than textbooks for the classroom compiled by committees. Living books (inspiring biographies, diaries, historical novels, allegorical fiction, nature journals, and sweeping poems ) touch the emotions as enthusiasm seeps through the information, but nothing inspiring can be read between the pure facts and information of dry textbooks.  Living books can lead the way for our awe of God, wonder of nature, interest in history, and the finer, simpler, or noble things of life.

John Wesley said, “An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”