Month: May 2014

A Tale of Two Galleries by Dr. Jennifer Spencer

A lady walks in to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. with a group of high school students. She is confident because, although she knows her kids are itching to get to something super-exciting like the Air and Space Museum, she has spent time preparing. According to her National Gallery Companion Guide, this museum has original artwork by every single artist that these students have studied in the last three years, and this teacher has a map that will lead directly to them. In fact, her book is filled with sticky notes marking the pages where she can find the history of many of the works. The group enters the West Wing. There should be some paintings by da Vinci here. Sure enough, there they are! The students are wowed. The teacher notices that they are not the same paintings in the guide, but she thinks that they probably couldn’t fit pictures and explanations of all of the works in the book. As the group continues to look around, the teacher becomes confused by the map. She …

Mining in the Archives by Kerri Forney

Several years ago at the national Charlotte Mason conference, Deani and Meghan Van Pelt presented a wonderful plenary session on the L’Umile Pianta, the magazine published for the alumni of Charlotte Mason’s teaching college in Ambleside, England. From their work on the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection,[1] they shared their experience of getting to know some of the people involved in the P.N.E.U.[2] through the pages of this periodical. I left the session with a desire to befriend Miss Pennethorne[3] too and with a sense that a gold mine was just beneath my finger tips if I would do the hard work of digging. In preparing for the conference this year, I finally started mining in earnest. It is joyfully ironic to me that what I am now employing in studying Mason and her world is rooted in my understanding of Mason’s own philosophy of teaching history. Her admonition from Volume One to“linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man and is at home in …

Owning the Middle Ages: Teaching History CM Style! – Revised by Mary Gildersleeve

[this is a revision of my original post where I mistakenly stated that Charlotte Mason recommended a four-year cycle through history.  This is a later development that CM proponents have used to balance history for grades 1-12, especially in homeschools.  I apologize for any inconvenience this caused.   – MCG, May 8, 2014] In a post a little over 2 years ago, I mentioned my deep love for history, especially American History.  I mentioned how, had I learned history the way I teach my homeschooled kids, I probably would have majored in history, possibly even going on to a Masters and Doctoral work. Yes, I love it that much. My kids, on the other hand, aren’t quite as enthusiastic.  But they still understand the great benefit to learning history: Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. Edmund Burke, English Statesman/Philosopher (1729-1797) Ancient World (Greece, Rome – we would add Asia and Meso-America) Birth of Christ, later Roman to early Middle Ages Middle Ages through the Renaissance (again, adding in America and other continents) …