Month: July 2012

Knowledge by Dr. John Thorley

‘Knowledge . . . is the product of the vital action of the mind on the material presented to it’ (CM, School Education, 224) Once again I am writing this blog just a day or two after returning from Greece, where each July for many years now I have had the pleasure (and it really is a pleasure when you have enthusiastic students) of teaching Homer in his original Greek to an international group of students from all over Europe. I now have the help of a Greek teacher, Antony Makrinos, who actually works at London University. This year we all read parts of Iliad book 6. From the whole Iliad this is the one book where for a while Homer pauses from the war raging on the plain of Troy, and he describes Hector’s return to the city to see his mother Hecabe, his brother Paris with his wife Helen, and his own wife Andromache and his little son Astyanax. Now all Homer is great stuff, but I didn’t fancy a whole week and …

Savage or Manly? by Art Middlekauff

A few years ago when I was preparing a presentation for a Charlotte Mason conference, I surveyed the covers of books about Charlotte Mason. Most of the covers had a picture of a woman teaching a girl – presumably a mother and a daughter. Some of the covers skipped the mother and only showed the girl. But I can only recall one book that had a male of any kind on the cover. An early and well-known book about Charlotte Mason was subtitled, “Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning.” Judging these books by their covers, one might conclude that a Charlotte Mason education is a “soft” alternative to other forms of education, designed primarily for gentle mothers to teach gentle daughters. Now I have nothing against mothers and daughters – I am married to one and the father of the other – but what does that leave for me and my boys? I was pleasantly surprised recently to find that this perception of a Charlotte Mason education is nothing new. It turns out …