Month: June 2008

The Patient Gardener by Jennifer Spencer

No metaphor can capture all truth, but I think you will enjoy and understand the message of this one. Once upon a time, there were two farmers.  The first farmer had many acres planted in rows and rows of corn as far as the eye could see.  In the springtime, enormous machines would plow the fields, making long, straight lines in the soil.  Then other enormous machines would drop in the seeds so that they were all just the right distance apart. The young plants were fertilized in order to grow a tremendous number of the largest, most robust ears of corn you could ever see.  Later, large airplanes would dust the corn with poison to kill the insects that might be lurking, waiting to harm the crop.  Finally, a tractor would come and cut down the corn while many workers moved quickly to get the harvest loaded onto huge trucks.  The farmer was very proud of himself.  “This corn will travel all around the world.  Look how much man can accomplish in just one …

Transitioning from School to Life by Leslie and Tim Laurio

Well, you did it. After twelve years of school–maybe even homeschool–your child has finally graduated. Congragulations! Now what? For some students there’s no question, because they already have a job or apprenticeship or college lined up. But what about those who don’t? What about a daughter who wants to get married and raise a family, and isn’t planning for a career? What about a son who doesn’t know what he wants to do? Is this a time for them to take a vacation and live a life of leisure until something better comes along? Charlotte Mason devoted an entire section to this question in the fifth volume of her series (“Some Studies in the Formation of Character,” starting on page 236). She was talking specifically about girls coming home from boarding school, because that was a common scenario in her day, but the principles and suggestions apply to any graduate who’s in the period between school and adult life. Students coming out of public or private school may need more time to develop their characters. …

Delight in Music Appreciation by Tina Fillmer

Charlotte Mason implemented music appreciation in the P.N.E.U. around 1897 after she heard that Mrs. Howard Glover played to her little child the best music that she found to be interesting. “She (Charlotte Mason) realized that music might give great joy and interest to the life of all, and she felt that just as children in the P.U.S. were given the greatest literature and art, so they should have the greatest music as well.” CM Vol.6 p.217. When I first began educating my children, my mindset was 180 degrees from Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy. The thought of my children experiencing joy in their educational endeavors did not cross my mind. As a child in school, I was taught to be focused on information and passing the test. Fortunately, I have experienced a huge paradigm shift in my way of thinking, thanks to Charlotte Mason. Ms. Mason stated “The question is not, -how much does the youth know? When he has finished his education – but how much does he care? And about how many orders …