Month: November 2008

If You Want to Build a Ship by Laurie Bestvater

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery The 2009 ChildlightUSA conference will take the theme of Beauty in a Charlotte Mason Education and I have been thinking about what that means. In what has become almost a cliché, it often seems to an onlooker that a Charlotte Mason education is about Victorian lace, fine china, Stravinsky waltzes and coloured pencils.  As Van Pelt and Rusby Bell so aptly pointed out at last year’s conference, as one goes deeper into Mason, one begins to have with her the “Great Recognition” that what we really want to do in education is to trace the workings of the Holy Spirit in all the fullness and glory that that implies. …that God the Holy Spirit is Himself, personally, the Imparter of knowledge, the Instructor of youth, the Inspirer of genius…every fruitful idea, every original conception, whether in Euclid, or …

Naked and Blue at My Back Door by Sandy Rusby Bell

Several years ago I opened my back door to call the children in for a snack. I was greeted by my seven, five and two year olds, all completely naked and painted blue. We had recently been reading about how Julius Caesar fought the Celts in Britain. Susan Wise Bauer told us that the Celts “were tall, muscular, warlike men. They were so proud of their height and strength that they went into battle naked! They wore only metal collars and tall metal helmets that made them look even bigger. They carried heavy iron swords and wooden clubs. And they painted themselves blue all over, because they thought that the blue lines would magically protect them from swords and arrows” (Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times, p 276). Embarrassing as this incident was, living as we did on a corner lot in the suburbs, I knew my children had truly made the story their own. And almost seven years later, they can still describe it in great detail. When I speak with other …