This post first appeared on my own blog in September 2013 and again February 2014. I think it’s worth repeating here.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. My favorite poem begins that way. Today I am going to count the ways that I love homeschooling but more specifically the ways I love a Charlotte Mason education. In absolutely no particular order other than what came to me as I sat to write this.
1. Science of relations. This took me a while to understand when I first heard the term. And it is even possible that I don’t have it down quite yet.
“Education is the Science of Relations”; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of–“Those first-born affinities
“That fit our new existence to existing things.”-Charlotte Mason, Volume 6, page 154, (Principle #12)
“Our deadly error is to suppose that we are his showman to the universe; and, not only so, but that there is no community at all between child and universe unless such as we choose to set up.”
“Of the three sorts of knowledge proper to a child, the knowledge of God, of man, and of the universe,––the knowledge of God ranks first in importance, is indispensable, and most happy-making.”
Religion –a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.-dictionary.com
“We allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and ‘spiritual’ life of children, but teach them that the Divine Spirit has constant access to their spirits, and is their Continual Helper in all the interests, duties and joys of life.”
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (free for Kindle)
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
This Country of Ours by H. E. Marshall
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne (free for Kindle)
Washington: The Indispensible Man by James Thomas Flexner
“We, believing that the normal child has powers of mind which fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, give him a full and generous curriculum; taking care only that all knowledge offered him is vital, that is, that facts are not presented without their informing ideas.”-Charlotte Mason, Principle #11 (which is followed by “Education is the science of relations”, #1 of my reasons above)
“As knowledge is not assimilated until it is reproduced, children should ‘tell back’ after a single reading or hearing: or should write on some part of what they have read.”
“Children must learn the difference between “I want” and “I will.” They must learn to distract their thoughts when tempted to do what they may want but know is not right, and think of something else, or do something else, interesting enough to occupy their mind. After a short diversion, their mind will be refreshed and able to will with renewed strength.”
“Children must learn not to lean too heavily on their own reasoning. Reasoning is good for logically demonstrating mathematical truth, but unreliable when judging ideas because our reasoning will justify all kinds of erroneous ideas if we really want to believe them.”