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.
I haven’t decided yet if out-side time or living books are my favorite part of the Charlotte Mason method. Being a nature enthusiast really makes me lean towards nature studies, nature diaries, nature walks-well all things nature. With all of that considered, yes out door life is my favorite part of Ms. Mason’s Methods. Which has made this section of the reading quite enjoyable. This section of the reading I found to be rather compelling and intend to complete the study guide thoroughly.
I. A Growing Time
1. Why is Out-Of-Door life for young children especially important in these days?
”For we are an overwrought generation, running to nerves as a cabbage runs to seed; and every hours spent in the open is a clear gain, tending to the increase of brainpower and bodily vigor, and the lengthening of life itself.” -Charlotte Mason
”Overwrought generation” Ms. Mason you have no idea. It is amazing how much this applies to the current generation of children. Was she able to see into the future? The diagnosis of ADHD, ADD, and Sensory Processing Disorder are becoming more common. When you think of it, from a young age the majority of children are in full-time school-indoors. In comparison to Ms. Mason’s recommended 4-6 hour out of door time per day- 20 minutes of recesss is a drop in the bucket. To add to it, IPads are being used in the classroom, plus the access to phones and T.V.’s at home. The use of electronics has really become an overuse. Children need that time outside for a healthy sensory system to develop, for their bodies to get enough physical exercise and expend their energy. It really is no wonder that our children are less healthy then they once were.
What Are The Gains Of Meals Out Of Doors?
“Besides the gains of an hour or two in the open air, there is this to be considered: meals taken al fresco are usually joyous, and there is nothing like gladness for converting meat and drink into healthy blood and tissue. -Charlotte Mason
It seems that there is much to gain by eating meals outside, beside the extra hours, one gains the joy and peace that comes with being in nature. What a blessing it is to receive this while also drinking a hot beverage, snack, or meal while outside.
What might be accomplished by dwellers and towns in suburbs?
”In this time of extraordinary pressure, Educational and social, perhaps a mothers first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the week and part of it’s been for the most part out in the fresh air.”(CM)
For dwellers and towns in the suburbs this can be accomplished by:
”A journey of 20 minutes by rail or on the bus, and a luncheon basket, will make a day in the country possible to most towns dwellers; and if one day, why not many, even every suitable day?(CM)
Ms. Mason points out that it is difficult for children in the suburbs to reap the benefit of living in a country setting. However, she does not permit this to be an excuse rather suggests how a town dwelling mother can adapt.
What of Story-books or tale-telling on such occasions?
”In the first place, it is not the mother’s business to entertain the little people: There should be no story books, no telling of tales, as little talk as possible, and that to some purpose. Who thinks to amuse children with tale or talk at a circus or a pantomime? And here, is there not infinitely more displayed for their delectation? Our wise mother. It arrived, first sends children to let off their spirits in a wild scamper…”
I humbly confess that I am unwise. Prior to having children, my husband and I would read together outdoors. This is just a lovely habit that has carried on still when we had our children. Now, I spend quite a bit of time out of doors with my own children. They let off their energy, at times I merely watch and read a book of my own that I brought along. Eventually, they come back to my lap to also read. I’m having trouble seeing the harm in this and I think we have found our own way to incorporate Ms. Mason methods into our life. It is important to note that she does advise against it, so if you want to strictly adhere to her methods I am making sure to point this out. Maybe overtime this will change for us, but for now if we read outside, I’m just happy that we have read.
Give an example of ‘sight seeing.’
Ms. Mason discusses how a mother sends her children off to explore and make observations. When they return, they are excited and can not wait to share what they have seen. “There are beehives.” “We saw a lot of bees going into one.” Eventually the children describe nearly everything worth mentioning and in that lies their lesson.
“This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing invaluable work; she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses of an object at the right moment, when they ask, “what is it?” “And what is it for?” And she is training her children in truthful habits, by making them careful to see the fact and to state it exactly, without omission or exaggeration.” (CM)
What five or six educational uses may be made of ‘sight-seeing’?
- Training their powers of observation
- training their powers of expression
- Increasing their vocabulary
- increasing their range of ideas
- training her children in truthful habits
This concludes the study guide for pages 42-47. What do you think of outdoor time, is it that important? I particularly appreciate how insightful the educational uses of sight-seeing is, I am now aware of the benefits and plan to implement them into our outside time. How about you?