This continues the study guide on Home Education By Charlotte Mason. A blog series dedicated to provide a study guide companion to a Home Education book study, utilizing certain study guide questions from the appendix. Intertwined with my own personal perspective and opinions. Your welcome to join the Holistic Homeschooling group to learn more about Charlotte Mason’s methods, gain encouragement and support from other homeschooling parents.
Show the Importance of Rest After Meals (answer pg. 23)
Ms. Mason shares her perspective of what occurs after a meal. “Much labour is going on in these organs, and the blood that can be spared from elsewhere is present to assist.”(CM) Ms. Mason proceeds to expand on what occurs if one should exert themselves mentally or physically. “Now, send the child out for a long walk immediately after dinner- the blood goes to the labouring extremeties, and the food is left half digested; give the child a regular course of such dinners and walks, and he will grow up dyspeptic.”(CM)
This is still fairly accurate but it also depends on the intensity of the activity and if it raises your heart rate significantly. When food is being digested increased blood flow is going to that area of the body. If one begins a strenuous walk and elevates the heart rate, then the demands of that vital organ is increased and pulled away from the digestive organ. Yet the body is still attempting to digest the food, with less ability, since the blood flow is being redirected to other vital organs.
I am an avid runner and can never eat before a run. In high school I started this rule, the best I could do was a bit of dry toast before a run, otherwise my stomach was upset. Once however, I had a race with four massive hills in it, I decided I was going to eat a little more than normal. I remember staring up that first hill after the horn went off, thinking I was going to hike my knees up and just barrel up that hill. Next thing I know, I’m doubled over on the ground with a stabbing pain in my abdomen. My teammates carried me off the trail. I should have stuck to dry toast. Moral of the story- stick to Ms. Mason’s advice, rest after meals.
What is the best Time for Lessons? Why? (Answer on Pg. 23)
Ms. Mason advises that the best time for lessons or any sort of mental work, is after a light meal, such as breakfast. Ms. Mason justifies her reasoning with the following explanation. “It follows that the hours for lessons should be carefully chosen, after periods of mental rest-sleep or play, for instance-and when there is no excessive activity in any other part of the system.”(CM)
On What Principle Should a Time-Table be arranged? (Answer on pg. 24)
If your child should grow weary in his/her home lessons then it may be due to a lack of variety in their work. Should your child begin to lose focus or attention, then it may be time to switch to a different subject matter. Ms. Mason explains that schools typically keep a “time-table” visually depicting the varied subjects the child is expected to cover. This isn’t something often provided in a home-setting. Ms. Mason suggets that a time-table is the “secret” to a home schoolroom and the child’s weariness towards lessons.
Show that Brain Activity is Affected by Nourishment
“Again, the brain can not do its work well unless it is abundantly and suitably nourished…”(CM) “We may say with safety that every sort of intellectual activity wastes the tissues of the brain; a network of vessels supplies an enormous quantity of blood to the organ, to make up for this waste of material; and the vigour and health of the brain depend upon the quality and quantity of this blood-supply.”(CM)
I would most definitely agree with Ms. Mason in this regard. Improper nourishment can lead to a whole host of mental and intellectual disorders. Severe malnutrition specifically in stages of fast development can lead to lower IQ’s and in some cases, mental disabilities. The following is an evidenced-based article supporting how proper nourishment can affect brain activity. The role of nutrition in Children’s neurocognitive development from pregnancy through childhood. (Click the title to read)
Under What Conditions Does Food Increase the Vital Quality of the Blood?(Answer pg. 25)
“In the first place, the blood is elaborated from the food; the more nutritious and easy digestion of food, the more vital will be the properties of the blood. The food must be varied, too, a mixed diet, because various ingredients are required to make up for the various ways to the tissues.”(CM)
It is common knowledge that a quality diet is one of a well rounded, balanced, diet. This consists of:
- poultry, red meat, fish, (etc)
- whole grains and breads
- lentils and legumes
- Seeds and nuts
“My plate” is the the current recommendations on how to offer a balanced diet. The link below directs you to more information, it breaks it down to age ranges, and necessary calorie intake.
Give Some Rules to Secure Variety
Ms. Mason offered suggestions on how to secure variety at meals, explaining to serve a meal rotation that would at least last two weeks. She emphasized fish as it contains “phosphorous” a “valuable brain food.” Advances in medical science have determined that it is Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA that keeps the brain functioning normally and efficiently, so fish is a “valuable brain food.” A mother should never say “I always give my children so and so.” In regards to meals, Ms. Mason expressed that children should always have something different than what they are accustomed.
What Have you to say of the Children’s daily walk?
“The children walk every day; they are never out less than an hour when the weather is suitable.”(CM)
I personally believe that daily time outside and nature walks are imperative to a persons well-being-especially children. I have two articles to explain why thus far.
This concludes this study guide for Home Education by Charlotte Mason: Pg. 20-31. Please feel free to share your perspective or a personal story and how it relates to the content. Do you think all of Ms. Mason’s idea are relevant today? What is something new you learned from this section of reading?