Month: February 2010

Travel as Education by Gladys Schaefer

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” — St. Augustine Charlotte Mason’s Example Travel changes you forever.  Charlotte Mason knew this and the wealth she gathered from her adventures continues to bless us today. I think of her trip to Florence, Italy.  As she stood in front of a fresco, led there by John Ruskin and his little book, Mornings in Florence, her perspective was changed forever.  Andre Da Firenza painted “The Descent of the Holy Spirit” on the walls of the Spanish Chapel at Santa Maria Novella.  With Ruskin’s help, she came to realize that all of education is the work of the Holy Spirit. From Parents and Children by Charlotte Mason Subjects Divinely Taught––And what subjects are under the direction of this Divine Teacher? The child’s faith and hope and charity––that we already knew; his temperance, justice, prudence and fortitude––that we might have guessed; his grammar, rhetoric, logic, music, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic––this we might have forgotten, if these Florentine teachers had not reminded us; his …

Lectio Divina and Narration by Lisa Cadora

Charlotte Mason’s method of reading entire texts of primary sources passage by passage over time and retelling them so that they are digested and assimilated brings to mind the ancient practice of holy reading known as lectio divina. Both narration and lectio divina are means by which persons are nourished by the living Word of God deep within themselves, resulting in growth, change and flourishing life granted by the Holy Spirit. Lectio Divina –literally, sacred reading, is the practice of reading the Holy Scripture in a meditative way. It requires a different frame of mind than that which one enters into by studying the books of the Bible academically. The stance is more one of receptivity than actively searching out information or moral directives. It is more akin to savoring a delicious meal course by course than hurriedly consuming nourishing food for its nutritional benefits. In his book Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina (1995), Michael Casey explains that when we meet God through the Scriptures in this way, a sacred space is …

CHARLOTTE MASON’S READING by Bonnie Buckingham

Charlotte Mason loved to read the novels of Sir Walter Scott.  I titled this “her reading” as I think about what was by her bedside. Right now I have a book that she probably would have had there at some point, The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott. I have another book that I found at a thrift store by Washington Irving entitled Abbotsford.  This is Scott’s home.  And, it is Irving’s narration of a visit to Mr. Walter Scott (before he became SIR) at the time of Scott’s publishing Rob Roy. Irving’s knock on the door turned into a few days visit for that was Scott’s way: “You think our neighborhood is to be read in a morning, like a newspaper,” said Scott. “It takes several days of study for an observant traveler that has a relish for auld world trumpery.”  Irving writes, “…I found myself committed for a visit of several days, and it seemed as if a little realm of romance was suddenly opened before me.” He was the author of the day …

A Charlotte Mason Co-op by Leslie Noelani Laurio

We just got home from a long, fun day. We picked blueberries and toured a small museum specializing in a local historical statesman. Afterwards, the kids waded in the creek on the museum grounds while we moms chatted about our plans for the upcoming school year, nutrition and books we’ve read recently. As always, we’ve come home from this excursion a little tired from the sun and activity, but without feeling rushed or stressed. The day has been enjoyable and educational. We do something like this every Friday as part of our Charlotte Mason co-op. When homeschoolers hear that I’m involved in a CM co-op, they’re always intrigued and want to know how that’s done. The co-op grew out of our local CM mom’s study group. Some of the moms had been involved in our area’s more general homeschool co-op that’s run similar to a traditional classroom, with parents teaching classrooms of kids out of textbooks, but these moms wanted something different – something more low-key, more like the education Charlotte Mason wrote about. We …