Month: December 2008

A Note of Thanks by Carroll Smith

2008 has been a busy and eventful year.  Matterialism is coming to fruition creating greed, narcissism, moral confusion and its consequences, a poverty of spirit and a poverty of health and other physical needs for many.  Of course poverty is usually felt by the most vulnerable:  children.  I am writing this short blog for Christmas week to say thank you to all those who have made the ChildLightUSA website, journal and conference possible.  In spite of  all the changes going on in our culture, there is much for which to be thankful.  Here are some of the things that have been accomplished this year at ChildLightUSA and for which we can give thanks. The 2008 conference, while it had some weaknesses, ministered to many through wonderful speakers who worked many hours in preparation to bring to their audience the knowledge they had to share.  There were many discussions and conversations over tea and coffee as well as over meals.  Evening fireside chats went on late into the evening and some even rose early in the …

Memorization “Learnt Without Labour” by Tina Fillmer

My children and I are currently reading Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton Porter. Many Charlotte Mason principles are intertwined throughout this book, especially the recurring theme of poetry. This book gives a glimpse into early colonial education, and the eight-year-old narrator, “Little Sister,” effortlessly weaved poetry into her everyday conversation. I discovered that the Little Sister learned poetry “without labour” which was recommended by Charlotte Mason in Volume 1, pgs. 224-225. ….”Some years ago I chanced to visit a house, the mistress of which had educational notions of her own, upon which she was bringing up a niece. She presented me with a large foolscap sheet written all over with the titles of poems, some of them long and difficult: Tintern Abbey, for example. She told me that her niece could repeat to me any of those poems that I liked to ask for, and that she had never learnt a single verse by heart in her life. The girl did repeat several of the poems on the list, quite beautifully and …

Educational Reform by Jennifer Spencer

Much of our attention in recent months has been given to the politics of the American presidential election.  We have watched speeches and spoofs, seen debates and debacles, and listened to reason and rhetoric until we are mentally exhausted with the effort of discerning the difference between a “maverick” and a “candidate for change”.    Regardless of whether you were elated or disillusioned with the results, the historical significance of this election cannot be denied.   But the topic for this blog does not come from the platform of either candidate.  Instead, it originated with an interest in a job title found on one of the resumes:  “Community Organizer”. Before going to the Senate, Barack Obama spent several years motivating people to step up and do something significant for their communities.  His ability to unify people under a common belief was astounding, as was demonstrated in his record-breaking collection of nickel-and-dime campaign contributions.  Whether or not one agrees with Obama’s ideals, I think there may be something worthwhile for the Mason community to glean from his example:  …