Month: October 2010

Classical Ideas of Truth, Goodness and Beauty in a Charlotte Mason Curriculum by Jeannette Tulis

Even though I have been following Charlotte Mason’s ideas for nearly 20 years now, I still peek over the educational fence to view other methods of education.  When I see the ideas of the pursuit of Truth, Goodness and Beauty that are proposed through the classical model, the realization hit me upside of my head, “Ah! A Charlotte Mason curriculum has all of that and more!”  I see these are already integrated into Mason’s whole approach to education. Here is how I see the manifestation of these virtues in the some of the elements of a CM lesson plan and in Charlotte’s principles: Truth – I so appreciate Francis Schaeffer’s reminder that all truth is God’s truth. In Christian education, we can present truth to our children, even if the material we are using is not explicitly Christian. There is a resonance in our spirit when we read or see something that matches up with what God says. It is His world and He made it and man in it for His glory. Truth is …

A Well-Balanced Life by Tara Schorr

I have found myself repeatedly coming back to the importance of a balanced life ever since the Eve Anderson Tea a couple of conferences ago. Melanie Walker mentioned her belief that Charlotte Mason was influenced by St. Benedict, and some discussion from the audience that agreed with that sentiment ensued when she was closing. I was haunted! I spent some time that summer reading up on St. Benedict’s life, including the lively biography that Pope Gregory wrote about him. I also picked up a book entitled The Rule of Benedict: Insights For the Ages, which has his rule, and commentary written throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed it all. If Charlotte Mason was not inspired by St. Benedict, she was certainly a kindred spirit! The balance between working with the mind, working with the spirit, and working for productivity, all neatly tied together with the discipline of the schedule is a perfect parallel. I began thinking about the profound wisdom of Mason’s rotation within her schedule to use different parts of the brain, the short lessons, the …

The Charlotte Mason Digital Collection

Over the last few years Deani Van Pelt, Jack Beckman and others have been working on digitizing the Charlotte Mason Archive held at the Armitt Library and Museum in Ambleside, England.  This project was initiated with funds from SSHRC, a Canadian federal funding agency for university-based research and graduate training in the social sciences and humanities.  We have not been able to complete digitizing the entire collection because there were not enough funds to do so.  Thus far thousands of images have been created, but there are many more to make. The digitization of the archive means that each of us will have available online through Redeemer University College Library, http://www.redeemer.ca/charlotte-mason/default.aspx, all of the images from the Charlotte Mason Archive, that is, when all of the images have been taken and processed.  What a privilege this is for all of us.  Currently, you can click on the link above then click on search database. Since there are many documents and artifacts left to be digitized, we need your assistance. There are two ways you can help.  First, to complete …

Echoes of CM in Adler’s Great Books Syntopicon by Leslie Noelani Laurio

I stumbled on Robert Hutchins’ 1951 Preface to Mortimer Adler’s Great Books of the Western World series recently, and was struck by how “CM” it sounded. Is this a case of great minds thinking alike, or mere coincidence? You be the judge; I’m going to present parallel quotes from both with very little comment and let them speak for themselves. For starters, both recognize the need for a well-educated society. Hutchins says education is necessary for democracy. “Democracy requires liberal education for all. We believe that this proposition is true. . . if this is the ideal, we should struggle to reach it and not content ourselves with inferior substitutes until we are satisfied that the goal cannot be attained.” – Robert Hutchins Mason says proper education makes a nation more noble. “Nations grow great upon books as truly as do individuals. . . A noble view of education was as righteousness exalting a nation . . . It rests with us to add to our faith, virtue, and to our virtue, knowledge. It is …

Two Points of View: A Mother and Daughter Look Back by Dr. Donna Johnson

I wish I could devote two uninterrupted years of my life to read, reread, and absorb the six volumes that contain Charlotte Mason’s original writings. It’s embarrassing to constantly be faced with all the things others know about Charlotte Mason that I don’t. I read, see, and hear quotes from various volumes in presentations, writings, and blogposts and wonder how I could be so ignorant. Beyond the embarrassment, I also harbor regret. I claim to have home educated my daughters using Charlotte Mason’s methods. At the time, though, I was basing my teaching on second-hand sources: authors who had read the six volumes and then written how-tos. There wasn’t time to stop, read, learn, reflect, and then start up again. I know that it’s never going to happen. Even if I did have the luxury of some sort of sabbatical, my brain is either too old or too unable to absorb and apply the depth and breadth of Charlotte Mason’s ideology.  In every opportunity I have had to be an educator, I have done the …