Month: September 2011

As For Knowing the Thing Itself by Art Middlekauff

“Well, I don’t say but you may get to know about most things from books, but as for knowing the thing itself, let me be introduced by him that knew it before me!” (Volume 5, p. 123) When I began to read Charlotte Mason’s writings in early 2005, my purpose was to become a more effective homeschooling teacher. I trusted that Mason’s method was effective, but I realized that I had to learn it in order to apply it properly. So began the long process of reading, experimenting, applying, and (slowly) improving. I knew from the start that nature study was an important part of a Charlotte Mason education. This seemed to loom before me as the biggest challenge I would face. How could I follow the Mason method and not do nature study? And yet I knew nothing about nature or how to study it. To the books, then! Surely they will show the way! My first step was to order several guide books: some field guides, and some books about local parks. I …

Masterly Inactivity in the Charlotte Mason Schoolroom by Mary C. Gildersleeve

“WHY, William, on that old grey stone, Thus for the length of half a day, Why, William, sit you thus alone, And dream your time away?   “Where are your books?–that light bequeathed To Beings else forlorn and blind! Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed From dead men to their kind.   “You look round on your Mother Earth, As if she for no purpose bore you;                           As if you were her first-born birth, And none had lived before you!”   One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake, When life was sweet, I knew not why, To me my good friend Matthew spake, And thus I made reply:   “The eye–it cannot choose but see; We cannot bid the ear be still; Our bodies feel, where’er they be, Against or with our will.                                     “Nor less I deem that there are Powers Which of themselves our minds impress; That we can feed this mind of ours In a wise passiveness.   “Think you, ‘mid all this mighty sum Of things for ever speaking, That …