Month: June 2014

The Parents’ Union School by the Hon. Mrs. Franklin, C.B.E.

After Charlotte Mason had published her Home Education she was approached by earnest-minded parents and asked to form the Parents’ National Educational Union.  Sixty years ago there were no magazine articles, lectures or radio talks to help those in whose hands was the training and teaching of the child.  ‘How shall we order the child?’ was echoed along the ages in many a mother’s heart since Manoah first uttered the cry.  Many mistakes were made, battles of will, nagging, spoiling (which can be brought about by over-severity as well as over-indulgence) were all too usual in spite of love and earnest endeavour.  Charlotte Mason put the psychological teaching of the day, often to be found only in heavy and difficult tomes, into language which all could understand, and added her own interpretation of the laws of habit formation, inspiration of ideas, and the ways of reason and of will. Three years after the Union was formed Charlotte Mason founded the ‘Parents’ Review School’, as it was then called.  She felt, and parents felt, that they needed additional …

Notes and Queries by Elsie Kitching

Recently a colleague sent me this article from a 1926 Parents’ Review written by Elsie Kitching.  It contains such straightforward language from Kitching about Mason’s work that I thought the Mason Community might enjoy reading it.  All italicised words are in the original text.  Elsie Kitching is answering questions that we hear asked today. NOTES AND QUERIES. [Continued from page 130.] _________ III. I have read your letter with much interest.  May I say that we quite understand that you do not see your way to adopt a new system in a school which is already doing successful work on the lines for which it was started?  Miss Mason was herself entirely averse to offering a “system”—a set of good plans (or even of bright ideas!) which used in and for themselves should produce certain results, and for this reason she did not care to send the programmes for payment only, but only on condition that they should be carried out in the light of the Philosophy of Education which has been her contribution to the cause of …

Celebrating the Centenary of the PNEU Liberal Education for All Movement 1914-2014 by Margaret Coombs

 What was the Liberal Education for All Movement of 1914? It was the introduction of the Mason Method of educating children mainly by books of literary merit into state-funded schools in Britain just before the First World War. This upper-class model of liberal education had already been tried and tested for 23 years in home schoolrooms and private schools by Charlotte Mason’s Parents’ Review correspondence School (1891) (PRS) renamed the Parents’ Union School (P.U.S) in 1907. Charlotte Mason was a professional teacher. She had been a pupil-teacher in Birkenhead during the 1850s and Mistress of the Davison Infantine School in Worthing from 1861-1873. From 1863 the standards attained by her pupils were crudely measured according to the restrictive ‘payment by results system’ under the Revised Code (1962). Teachers had little flexibility and few books. The liberal education that she discovered in the upper-class Brandreth household in 1868 and from her gentlewomen students at the Bishop Otter Memorial College in Chichester led her on a new and exciting path. After settling in Ambleside in 1891, Miss Mason met Mrs Julia Firth of Seathwaite Rayne, …