Welcome to week 14, The Child Gets Knowledge by Means of His Senses, Charlotte Mason Home Education Read-Along Series.
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The Child Gets Knowledge by Means of His Senses, Charlotte Mason Home Education Read-along
This week we are reading pages 65-69 of the Home Education volume, The Child Gets Knowledge by Means of His Senses.
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.
****If you need to purchase the Charlotte Mason Home Education volume, it is available in a newer version HERE. (Affiliate link)****
I am using the Original Homeschooling Series, Volume One, Home Education- the pink books. ?
In today’s reading, Charlotte stresses the importance of allowing Nature to be a teacher. A child must experience the world around them through their senses in order to learn. When in nature, a child is able to compare and contrast all that they see and feel at rapid rates because experience is far superior to simply learning by textbooks. Let the child have rich experiences in nature and with his or her world. Let them think through all that their senses are telling them.
Charlotte warns of the danger of overpressuring the child to “learn all the things”. If we will simply allow Nature to do her work, the child will learn in a much more gentle and natural way that will eliminate mental and emotional, and physical pressure that doesn’t need to be there. Surrounding ourselves with the right environment will teach lessons in a non-pressure way.
While object lessons can and do have value, when a child is at home, all that is really needed is to present a “feast for the eyes” in order for a child to learn.
A Child Learns from ‘Things’
We must be careful not to rely solely upon words for learning. We must connect a child with actual “things” in order to have true learning. Which is better, to read about the bees, or to come face to face with them and observe them and their work in all of their glory?
I love when CM says, “And pari passu, with his knowledge of things, his vocabulary grows; for it is a law of the mind that what we know, we struggle to express.” If we will allow our children to come to face with things in the physical, they will inquire for words in order to express what they have observed and learned.
So let us give them experiences, and the words to express those experiences will surely follow.
The Sense of Beauty Comes from Early Contact with Nature
An appreciation of beauty comes from early contact with Nature. Who doesn’t love the sight of ocean waves crashing on the shore? I would venture to say it is a child who has never been to the beach! But take a child to the shore, let them breathe the ocean air, feel the mist of the water on their face and hear the symphony of the waves… they will recognize its beauty and power for the rest of their lives!
A child who lunches with their mom in a meadow on a warm Spring day will take in countless sights and smells and sounds which they will quickly explore and become an expert! And the next time they read a book or intently gaze upon a piece of art that reflects what they have already experienced, they will appreciate it all the more.
Most Grown Men Lose the Habit of Observation
Charlotte reminds us that most grown adults lose the habit of observation, but that you will find that the great artists and writers and talented among us somehow preserved their sense of curiosity and appreciation of Nature and its beauty.
My Takeaway of The Child Gets Knowledge by Means of His Senses, Charlotte Mason’s Home Education
My takeaway from this week is to trust that Nature and physical experiences are good teachers. I can be confident that an afternoon spent in the Natural World is never wasted and my child, as well as me, are richer for it!