Welcome to the Charlotte Mason Home Education Read-Along Series Week 2! This week’s portion is found in pages 6-12 in the Home Education of Ms. Mason’s Original Home Schooling Series.
Charlotte Mason Home Education Read-Along Week 2 – A Method of Education
I really enjoyed this week’s reading because CM touches on some of the core reasons we decided to home educate so many years ago. She says that if humans were machines, then a system would be all that was needed for education. Of course, our children are NOT machines, are not designed for a simple “mechanical” response, and a cookie-cutter system of education won’t truly teach a “self-acting, self-developing being”. This is why a METHOD, instead, is needed.
She defines a method as being:
A way to an end and a step by step progress in that way. A method should be natural, easy, yielding, unobtrusive- simple as in the ways of Nature herself and yet be: watchful, careful, all-persuading and all-compelling.
Charlotte compares the ‘old methods’ to the emerging ‘new methods of raising and educating children and she calls out parents who are heading the direction of, or have already succumbed to, a form of “child-worship”. She explains that catering to a child’s every whim or to always strive to work things for their good is likened to playing God and not of man.
To me, this seems like such a TALL order, as I am one who usually overthinks things. I am hoping that I will not complicate this method and reduce it to a mere system.
That term “child-worship” made me cringe a bit because I realize that more often than not, I have probably fallen into this category as a parent and educator. When we rely on just systems to teach and train instead of a method, we run the risk of not bringing about true education of the individual child. She acknowledges that systems can quickly bring about results in certain fields of education, but that we must not treat the whole of education as a system. This is a hard thing to wrap the mind around, especially if, like me, you grew up being educated in a system, such as public school.
I am quickly encouraged though that Charlotte assures us in her writings that if we will only lay ahold of the few principles that she is getting ready to introduce us to, it will be “as easy and natural to act upon them as it is to act upon our knowledge of such facts as that fire burns and water flows”. I am eagerly looking forward to that!
The Child’s Estate
Oh, this section! I mean… WOW. My eyes filled with tears when I read:
“And first, let us consider where and what the little being is who is entrusted to the care of human parents. A tablet to be written upon? A twig to bent? Wax to be molded? Very likely; but HE IS MUCH MORE–a being belonging to an altogether higher estate than ours...”
Charlotte seems almost to plead with parents to consider, with utmost importance, the Gospel and its sayings about children. Those parents would do well to meditate on them and search their meaning. A child, first and always, belongs to God. We are only temporary stewards. I felt such a stirring in my own spirit at her words. Am I treating my children as I should according to the Good Word? Do I wake up daily “seeing” them in their God-given identity and position, do I operate, with the right perspective, in my God-given role?
Code of Education in the Gospels
We end this week’s reading with a unique perspective regarding the education of children. Given by Christ Himself in the Book:
Take heed that ye OFFEND not—DESPISE not—HINDER not—one of these little ones.
These three laws, or codes, Charlotte says, should govern our approach in education. That, in knowing what we may not do, we can, only then, approach a method of education rightly which will lead us to what we SHOULD do to educate the children.
I realize, again, the tall order with which I am to fulfill. How carefully I must proceed with “these little ones”!
How did you do with this week’s reading?? Share your thoughts on the Charlotte Mason Home Education Week 2 below in the comments!
Until next week!
Free download for week 2 questions!
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