Comment 1

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 morning for discussions over breakfast or a bird walk.  There was beautiful music, astronomy, nature study, and activities by the river.  Many individuals offered their time free of charge to provide words of advice and wisdom to those who needed help or encouragement.  Fathers, mothers, principals, teachers from regular public schools, from charter schools, and private schools, parents from home schools and co-opts, university professors, people from Canada, the USA, and the UK as well as one teacher from Korea—all participated together to learn how one might get a better view of education and how one might change the paradigm of education in this country and around the world.

There is also the website to give thanks for.  The website manager has done a wonderful job of keeping new information posted as I have sent it to him.  New mp3 files have helped inform our educational practice.  It is right and good to give thanks to the individuals who have allowed us the privilege of sharing their expertise online with all of you.  Along with the mp3 files there is the journal.

A thank you should go to all those who have written articles and edited articles for the journal.  The effort of these writers and editors have made another way to disseminate information to those interested in Mason.  There are, of course, many people to thank for their untiring work to keep the journal coming out every quarter.

The blog has been truly enjoyable to us all.  There have been so many interesting concepts and ideas put forth for each of us to ponder and to consider.   The various writers have provided many insightful and helpful writings that have encouraged and motivated us to keep going and working towards our goal.

Without mentioning names, I am thinking of so many who have volunteered time in one way or another.  Each one knows who he or she is.  This blog is to say thank you to each of you for your continued commitment to this effort to put forth the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason.  Your willingness to write, edit, answer questions, spend time with people is much appreciated.  I have made many referrals to various numbers of you to help those who are struggling in one way or another.  You have made our year more enjoyable and the load lighter for many because of your willingness to share your time, energy, and knowledge with all of us.

Thanks to all of you from ChildLightUSA.

This entry was posted in: Miscellaneous


Carroll Smith has spoken on various topics related to Charlotte Mason. Currently he teaches at Gardner-Webb University and enjoys working with children, teachers, college students, and Charlotte Mason Institute. He was a teacher and a principal for 21 years before coming to Gardner-Webb University where he has been for six years. Having grown up in eastern North Carolina, he attended East Carolina University for his undergraduate degree and his master's in school administration. He completed his terminal degree and wrote his dissertation on Charlotte Mason at Virginia Tech. Carroll enjoys reading, gardening, and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra, and their two young adult college-age children, Corban and Anna, enjoy living, working and playing in North Carolina.

1 Comment

  1. willowspring says

    Carroll, it would be remiss of me and all of us if we did not turn around and thank YOU! You have worked tirelessly (and also worked when you’ve been dog-tired) to keep the vision for Childlight USA alive. We appreciate your endless hours of effort whether through the conference or helping others better understand how to teach a certain subject or just talking to me on the phone or via email about how I can better serve. Thanks so much from all of us in the Charlotte Mason community.

    I also want to let everyone know that we now have nonprofit status. If you are interested in donating to Childlight USA, your gift is tax-deductible, and we can use it to fund scholarships for the conference or to pay to bring in speakers we thought we couldn’t because travel costs were too expensive.

    This year, a few of the teens are working out plans for some teen activities that will take place during the conference. Last I heard, their lofty plans even included a costume ball in that room where we have the Eve Anderson nature study tea every year, with a dance instructor who will teach folk dances. (It may end up being me, so hold onto your hats!) If your teen is interested in attending the conference along with you, he or she can get in on the planning by contacting my daughter Hannah at annyoth@yahoo.com. They have a Jane Austen book club going on, too. They’re reading a novel each month and discussing it online via a message board. She can give you the details. It’s exciting to me to see our children who have grown up on Charlotte Mason-styled methods coming into their own, living for God, admiring the beauty of and nourishing His creation, and enjoying great works of art, music, and literature together.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, too!


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