Month: October 2008

Charlotte Mason’s Prescription for Modern Social Ills by Tara Schorr

One doesn’t have to look far to see the devastating effects that modern society has had on relationships.  Divorce rates are through the roof, and that is for the decreasing number of people who still choose to get married in the first place.  People can hop from friend to friend, church to church, or club to club with a consumer mentality that approaches all of life like a wine-tasting party.  Try it, get whatever enjoyment out of it that you can, spit it out, and then critique it as you move on. God’s purpose for creating us was for fellowship.  We have a need for intimacy with God and to be united with others in love as a part of the fabric of our beings.  The consequence of the current lifestyle is a wake of brokenness, inability to trust, feelings of isolation, and searching for fulfillment in unhealthy ways. Thus, it is critical that our children be equipped to enter into God’s plan for relationships. I have heard that teens these days are so lacking …

Reflections on Visiting a Mason School by Carroll Smith

I visited a Charlotte Mason school this past week.  How does one express all the complexities of education viewed at a school like this one?  It was truly refreshing and life-giving.  Hopefully you will see more of it in the next issue of the journal.  There are many things to discuss about it:  relationship, engagement, beauty, children in an emotionally healthy environment, challenges for students and faculty, and the list could go on and on. Jurgen Moltmann talks about the interpenetration of the members of the Trinity.  One day I hope to write about this in a book connecting the model of existence provided by the Trinity to a model of education.  In terms of relationship, this little school is seeking to live the inter-relationships that are needed in a learning community or among any group of people for that matter.  Teachers at this school don’t dismiss the thoughts and ideas of their students, rather, they seek to understand and to really listen and engage with them.  Laurie Bestvater who is helping me develop a …

COMPOSING POETRY: UPPER GRADES by Bonnie Buckingham

Charlotte Mason used examination questions in 7th through 12th grade such as “Write twelve lines (which must scan) on ‘Sir Henry Lee’ or ‘Cordelia’ or ‘Pericles or Livingstone’” (Philosophy of Education, Vol. 6, p.193), or “Gather up in blank verse the impressions you have received from your reading of Tennyson’s poems” (p. 202).  Last year as I composed a term examination for my 9th through 12th grade literature students, I pondered how to apply these types of questions for my students and how the PNEU teachers got the sort of writing they did from their students. As I dug into “Composition” from Vol. 6, I found some guidance into her method of writing examination questions. For Form II (9 through 12 year old) there is a rich curriculum of poetry with composition becoming “an integral part of their education in every subject”  (p. 92 and an example of work on p. 195).  For the next Forms III and IV (age 12-15) Charlotte Mason writes:  “Exercises in scansion are as necessary in English as in Latin …