Welcome to week 8 where we will dive into Out-of-Door Life for the Children, A Growing Time, in Charlotte Mason’s Home Education volume. I try to publish one of these posts per week, though life at home with two very active little girls has been a challenge!
I’ve got to say though, I am REALLY enjoying this mother culture project that I have chosen for this year! Because I am taking my time going through this volume, I can tell that I am absorbing her teachings way more than I ever did in the past. It’s been very refreshing for me.
Out-of-Door Life for the Children A Growing Time
This week we are reading pages 42-44 of the Home Education volume. If you would like to see the rest of these posts all in one place you may view them HERE. And don’t forget to download your free worksheets to go with each reading! If you are interested in a Charlotte mason “curriculum”, our favorite resource is Ambleside Online.
I.– A Growing Time
Meals Out of Doors
Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.
I have seen this quote so many times over the years and it always conjures up the most delightful images in my mind. My reality, however, hasn’t always been so pleasant! We live in a state where bugs are relentless from Summer through Fall. We do spend a good amount of time out of doors in the Spring before humidity takes over and as often as we can in the cooler Autumn days. I like the idea of eating meals outside, and now that we have a beautiful wrap around porch, I have been hunting for the perfect table and chairs in our local flea markets so we can enjoy at least tea outside. I’ve considered investing in mosquito netting for at least a portion of our porch so we could be out there more, especially in the summer.
For dwellers in towns and suburbs
How much time daily in the open air should the children have? Charlotte answers that children should be given a full 6 years of a ‘quiet growing time’ where children are not confined to the pressure to ‘be good’ and ‘perform’. This, I think, is our first glimpse of how Charlotte came to the conclusion that formal lessons should not be introduced until the child turns six years of age. Until then, the children are to be free to experience life and outdoors first hand, learning naturally along the way.
Possibilities of a day in the open
Do not send them; if it is anyway possible, take them;
Charlotte calls on mothers to JOIN their children outdoors for up to 6 hours on every tolerable day. She seems to admit that she knows this isn’t practical for the mothers, but that it is what she believes is the best for the children.
She goes on to describe what must be done during these hours outside if we can secure them:
- They must be kept in a good mood so that they can enjoy their time outside
- they must be let alone to observe, ponder, think, experience the outdoors
- they must have an hour or two of vigorous play
- and last, but not least, a lesson or two must be gotten in
Interestingly, she suggests AGAINST the reading of storybooks and telling tales during this time. This is NOT a time where mother should ‘entertain’ them. They must be ‘let loose’ to do whatever comes to their own minds. She even says that a mother’s silence at this time is “purposeful”. Even the baby gets to absorb with all her senses the natural world around her.
My Takeaway of Out-of-door life A growing time for the children
If I can figure out the bug situation, I really want more outside time with the kids. I love the ‘don’t send them, take them’ direction. I am actually looking forward to Spring now! Your turn: What was your takeaway this week?
Don’t forget your week 8 printable!