Recently I’ve had the desire to delve deeper into the methods of Charlotte Mason. In my Charlotte Mason Style homeschooling group I have started an online book study of home education volume one. This is a beginning post in a series as a companion study guide. It will also be written to aid as a companion study guide for individual readers, feel free to comment if you would like to discuss specific topics any further.
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Ms. Mason states that children are a public trust. What follows?
I will contend that I did not completely agree with Ms. Mason’s stance that children are a public trust. First, children belong to God and then to their parents. They are not land or property to be owned by the government. Ms. Mason follows this with, “The children are, in truth, to be regarded less as personal property than as public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the very most of them for the good of society.” Slightly twisting my perspective, we are raising our children to benefit society and so in that way children are a public trust. However, if the context was written to mean that children are physical property to be owned by the public or government body, then I respectfully disagree. I stand by the notion that my children belong to God.
What questions does Pestalozzi put to mothers?
Pestalozzi’s question is in reference to mothers, “how shall this heart, this head, these hands, be employed? To whose service shall they be dedicated? Much was discussed in this passage but the best phrase as a quoted response is, “Maternal love is the first agent in education.” The responsibility of raising our children for the good of society is not equally divided among parents. Much of the responsibility is dependent on the mother as she has the sole direction in the most formidable years. Additionally, Ms. Mason writes that as mothers become more educated, they will of course see how important that the education of their children under six should not be trusted with anyone else. That motherhood is a profession all of its own and catch this- done with diligence, regularity, and punctuality akin to working men.
Food for thought? How many mothers now a days share this perspective? I will say this is a very convicting passage, one that is further shaping and positively fine tuning my personal mothering philosophy. I draw inspiration from Pestalozzi, that I am qualified by the creator himself to mother my children- What could ever be more empowering?
What is Mr. Herbert Spencer’s argument for the study of education?
If one wants to be a shoemaker or law maker one needs a long apprenticeship. Yet parents require no previous education or experience to raise their children. Mr. Spencer promulgates that parents should with anxiety, strive to learn the “hard and fast rules” to achieve parental success.
How do parents usually proceed?
Parents tend to regard their children as a blank page, set on firm determination to figure out what should be written on the pages. Yet parents soon discover their children have personalities and characteristics of their own. They are left to their own devices and encouraged to find their own way, the parents Just need to supply the experience and the child will adopt it.
What is the strenuous part of a parent’s work?
”But this philosophy of let him be, while it covers a part, does not cover the serious part of a parent’s calling; does not touch the strenuous incessant efforts upon lines of law which go producing of a human being at his best.”
To some degree children should be allowed to explore without the hovering of their parent. However, it takes dedicated parents, focused on the immense work that it takes to shape the character development and habits of their child.
Point out the opposite characters of a system and a method.
A method is the visualization of an end goal, achieved through a step by step progress. It is a fluid approach that is relaxed and occurs naturally. A system is dedicated to measurable results and is achieved by adhering to specific standards. It is important to emphasize again that a method is striving towards progress and a system is a process set to achieve specific standards.
As I was reading the concept of a system and compared it to a method, my mind began to drift to current common core state standards. Many parents are opposed to the poorly constructed common core system. I have been personally opposed as it groups children all together and has them set to collectively achieve an objective set by specific standards-and the standards are not that high. By subjecting our children to be educated systematically, we are merely treating them as subhuman akin to robotic mechanical machinery. It is in this systematic approach that the individuality of a person is snuffed out and with it goes creativity, progress, differing ideas, and innovative thinking.
What are the three commandments of the Gospel code of education?
“Adults should do no sort of injury to the children: Take heed that ye offend not-Despise not -Hinder not-one of these little ones.”
Again, regarding children, the three commandments of the Gospel:
- do not offend
- do not despise
- do not hinder
This brings to mind the current culture surrounding children as a whole. It seems the idea of children being burdens has gradually slipped into our culture. If one thinks that this notion is obsured, ponder a moment when the majority of children return to school after a long summer vacation. It seems parents everywhere are jubilant and parading their freedom across social media as their little burdens return to the brick and mortar school.
My husband and I have personally experienced on two separate occasions our children be regarded with gross disdain. We took our children out to a family restaurant for dinner. One time a single women’s face became washed with great distaste when she realized she was going to be seated near our table. She huffed and puffed during our entire meal, especially when my toddler spoke in his squeeky voice.
Another time, it was a couple being led to be seated near us, again that realization occurred. The women actually asked to be seated somewhere else. They were relocated two seats further way. Apparently that wasn’t enough, as they soon left but not without sending a glaring glance in our direction. She huffed in disgust and bustled out the door. Before you make the assumption that perhaps my children were misbehaving and acting like rabid animals. I will admit they have their moments as all children do. However, these two incidents actually occurred when they were behaving quite well.
As Christian parents we need to guard our hearts and minds from these influences. Going forward I will reflect on the points that Ms. Mason made about the three commandments of the Gospel: offend not, despise not, hinder not.
This concludes the study guide for Home Education pages 1-13. The study guide question were ascertained from the appendix of Home Education and are not a complete list of all questions.
What are your thoughts on what you have read so far?