Month: March 2014

Lessons from a Long Season by Maura Timko

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecc 3:1 It’s been a long, cold winter in the Great Lakes region of the US. In Ohio, where I live, it has been a season of record cold and snowfall. There have been so many school cancellation days, our state government was forced to add more, so as not to extend the school year beyond the middle of June. The Vernal Equinox was last week. Yet, I see neither bud nor flower in my little yard. Even as I am writing, the snow continues to fall in great, blowing swirls. This time of year, I always find myself saying, “Enough, already!” I am so weary of winter. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecc 3:11 Some seasons are bright and flowering, others rainy, green and filled with newness. Another season may have the pale beauty of a world washed in white, or of a vibrant, multi-colored quilt stretched across the woods. The Word of God tells me that …

Charlotte Mason Downunder by Jeanne Grant Webb

In July of last year, my 11 year old daughter and I were privileged to be able to travel from our home in rural Australia to the United States. During our month long stay, we travelled from the beaches and deserts of California to peaceful Tennessee.  We visited the prairies of Minnesota, the dairy country of Wisconsin, the beautiful New England State of Massachusetts, and the wonder that is New York City. And in all those places we met up with Charlotte Mason educators. These families introduced us to the delights of America. We visited Disneyland.  We ate fish tacos and hot dogs and barbeque and grits and Reuben sandwiches and Chicago pizza and hamburgers as big as your plate.  We drank Starbucks coffee, and sweet iced tea and delicious Californian wine. We saw for the first time sweet little hummingbirds and a glorious cardinal and a prairie alive with wildflowers. It was a magical trip. Yet despite all of the wondrous differences we encountered on our journey, my daughter and I were struck more …

The Power of Living Books to the Orphan Who Grew Up to Be an Engineer and President by Andy Smith

I have recently become acquainted with Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) through reading his (1962) book Herbert Hoover On Growing Up:  His Letters from and to American Children and was struck with the similarities of things dear to him that were also dear to Charlotte Mason.  They both had a high regard for the mind of the child.  In School Eduction Mason says, The fact is, we undervalue children (p. 171).  Herbert Hoover wrote in the forward to his book:  If we appraise them as they appear in the press and in the abundant statistics of crime, we would believe that children of today are a bad example of this species (p. 9).   He goes on to say  . . . I have developed some ideas of what goes on in children’s minds.  They are not born evil.  They are endowed with a cheerfulness and a surplus of dynamic energy and a self-starter which demands exercise at any moment.  They are bundles of affection.  They are ambitious, joyous, and anxious to take part in the serious business of the world.  They have more awareness of …

Charlotte Mason at the Dinner Table: Feeding Children is an Atmosphere, a Discipline and a Life By Anna Migeon

“No pains should be spared to make the hours of meeting round the family table the brightest hours of the day.”            Charlotte Mason in Home Education One of Charlotte Mason’s favorite parallels for education is eating; she often uses the concepts of feeding, appetite, or digestion to illustrate her principles. Her main teachings—the importance of building good habits, of creating an atmosphere of respect and of presenting a broad, varied feast—apply as well to feeding children as to teaching them. I discovered Charlotte Mason education when my children were small, in the late 1990s; by then I had already noticed how big a problem picky eating was in the U.S. The more I explored Mason’s teachings, the more they enriched our family life, and the more I realized how directly her principles address the problem of picky eating. Though bad advice abounds on feeding children, as in educating them, true authorities on feeding children consistently confirm Mason’s teachings. I began a blog with advice for parents of picky eaters in 2008. …