Month: July 2013

Memory Work in a Mason Education by Shannon Whiteside

There seems to be two extremes in education today when it comes to the role that memorization plays in the instruction of children.  On the one hand, modern education disdains the idea of rote memory and says that it takes away one’s creativity. However, this philosophy is inconsistent, because students are then asked to memorize names, events, definitions, and spelling words for a test. And the next day, much of that information is forgotten anyway. On the other end of the spectrum, the renewal of classical education has brought memorization to the forefront as a primary method for teaching elementary-age children. I am quite familiar with classical education, since I spent over ten years involved with that model. I must admit it is quite impressive to hear children recite the names of important people, dates, events and places. Parents are impressed with the “knowledge” their children have, the children are proud of what they “know,” and everyone seems to be happy. I am not here to demean the modern or classical education model, but I …

What Should Children Narrate? by Carroll Smith

In the last several blogs we have discussed some key points about narration.  1)  It has been used since time began.  For centuries people have narrated stories of events in their lives (history) to the next generation.  In fact, one author told us that the various forms of literature genres in use now were formed many years ago before books were so prevalent.  2)  Oral language is basic to life and is the precursor for reading and writing and narration develops oral language.  3)  Narration is the act of knowing.  In other words, our mind (the spiritual component of the physical brain) is not an empty sac to be filled, but rather a living organism that feeds on ideas.  It grows by its intake of spiritual food (ideas), not by being force-fed with facts, lists, etc.  As Husband and Mason have reminded us, the mind answers questions put to the mind by the mind itself not by questions that come from without.  That is, there is only self-education.  4)  Elsie Kitching reminded us that children …