I have a friend. Let’s call her Laura, because, well, because her name really is Laura. We met many years ago in a Charlotte Mason study group and have recently renewed our friendship, meeting together in tearooms. It’s been a wonderful way to set time apart and focus on each other. She and her family are preparing to move to Ireland as missionaries. Her friendship renews and challenges me and I always leave the tearoom with a spring in my step and a list in my mind of a number of new adventures I want to add to my life journey.
Laura is an avid reader and I have long benefitted from her guidance in the best of living books, both old and new. She seems to have a special insight into the market and is able to find the best of the best. I love finding the books Charlotte Mason used in her curriculum. Ambleside Online has also been a lifeline as I’ve used their guidance in planning our school days, both as a teacher in a private school setting and in our family’s home education. Laura however, has helped me find new books that we think Mason would have loved.
In our latest discussion, over some delicious lavender scones and Irish tea, she mentioned her copybook.
“Copybook? “ I asked. “Like the Mason copybook we had our children doing?”
She nodded yes and went on to explain that she has kept one for years. She shared a quote that has impacted her life. I, of course, was intrigued and frankly, a little jealous.
“Why didn’t I pick up on that and make myself a copybook when my children were in grade school? Oh, well,’ I thought ‘Grace, grace. I can do that now.”
Today, a week after our lunch, I’m off to purchase the prettiest blank books that I can afford and our living room high school will join the journey of copybooks. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for all that Mason offered me. Much good has been done. My students have relationships with the best of living books, we love the birds that visit our feeders just off of our glassed-in sunroom and today they will begin saving quotes. Words of meaning will be preserved in their best handwriting, in a beautiful book that will accompany them into their dorm rooms and maybe into their own homes in the distant future.
I am grateful for friendships. I include Charlotte Mason in that group. She has enriched my existence in many ways and continues to beckon me towards living a more authentic life.
Would you consider joining us in this voyage? If you are reading this, you might well be on the way. Look back at the writings and teachings and example of Mason. Sometimes the best place to begin is at the beginning. What else might we have missed? I’m off now. Mason’s last book, Towards a Philosophy of Education, and I need to spend some quality time together.