A Charlotte Mason Education, Christianity, Miscellaneous, Parenthood, personhood
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Greetings and Salutations by Gladys Schaefer

A Letter of Gratitude

Greetings and salutations, my dear friends,

This Thanksgiving week I am grateful for the richness and joy that this Charlotte Mason way of life has given us.  Our family has been shaped by the wisdom words that this pioneer of education shared with us almost a hundred years ago.  Truth is timeless.

In An Essay Towards A Philosophy of Education, she writes,

“Education,” said Lord Haldane, some time ago, “is a matter of the spirit,”––no wiser word has been said on the subject, and yet we persist in applying education from without as a bodily activity or emollient. We begin to see light. No one knoweth the things of a man but the spirit of a man which is in him; therefore, there is no education but self-education, and as soon as a young child begins his education he does so as a student. Our business is to give him mind-stuff, and both quality and quantity are essential (p. 26).

I think that her first principle, that children are born persons, is the living idea that has been most life giving to me.  As I have looked at my children, at my students in the classroom, I have fought to understand that they are not to be made over in my image, or in anyone else’s.  God made them in His image, and His plan for their life, not His plan for my life, is the greatest gift I can help them understand.

I am grateful for:

  • My wonderful son, running his own lumber business, and his beautiful and loving wife who chooses to teach second grade students.
  • My talented oldest daughter, running her second half marathon today and her supportive and kind Police Officer husband.  They have given us two perfect grandchildren.
  • My writer/soon to be French chef daughter, proud bride of her Sniper Marine husband (see her article from last week’s ChildlightUSA blog. I cried alligator tears.)
  • My nursing student daughter, studying so faithfully beside her best friend, who spent his summer carrying Christ to others in all parts of the world.
  • My fun-loving college freshmen conquering-the world-daughter, who just got elected as a campus leader.
  • My last-child-at-home daughter, who is capturing the world with her words and her music.
  • My husband, my friend.
  • And most of all, I am grateful to belong to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.

Make your list today, dear one.  Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above.

Our gift to you, this Thanks-Giving Week:


May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he turn his face toward you and give you peace.

© Gladys Brasher Schaefer 2011


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. See Jamie Blog says

    Blessings to you and your family on this Thanksgiving week! Your list is a lovely one. 🙂

  2. GB Paulson says

    I will be writing my Thankful list … thank you for the inspiration, and thank you for the lovely Charlotte Mason quote. I can’t wait to be settled into our new home so I can spend more time reading Charlotte’s education series, which I have not yet finished.

  3. Bonnie Buckingham says

    GREAT song, tell Mollie!
    Look to see amazing things out of her.
    I have my last child at home too, my Emma, after 4 sons.
    It is a beautiful journey, isn’t it!

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