All posts filed under: Parenthood

Educating Jem by HollyAnne Knight

HollyAnne Dobbins Knight grew up coming to the Charlotte Mason Education Conference with her mother Deborah Dobbins.  She helped her mother for many years present a session on teaching first and second graders Nature Study.  Now, as an adult HollyAnne Knight shares with us her hopes and dreams for her first born, a son, Jem, who is due to arrive around Christmas. . . .Here is HollyAnne’s post.   So many of  you have watched me grow up from Nature Study sessions at the Charlotte Mason Institute conferences and thru College; it is fun to continue the story. I graduated from Covenant College in the spring, but rather than pursuing my MAT (Masters of Arts in Teaching) as “originally planned,” John and I began to count down to the arrival of our first child. “Jem” is due near Christmas time, so I’m six and a half months pregnant and, of course, wrapped up in all things baby. This includes, naturally, my hopes and dreams for my son’s education. Charlotte Mason said: “Nothing less than the …

Adeline Bell: Pondering Charlotte Mason and Early Childhood by Dr. Donna Johnson

Grandparents have to be careful. Not everyone is as interested in their grandchildren as they are. Cute grandchild pictures and instances of clever grandchild behavior must be shared sparingly. Earlier this year, during a telephone conversation with Dr. Carroll Smith, I mentioned that I was in Arizona spending some time with my granddaughter Ada. I told him how attentive she was to particular stories and books, some of which to me seemed challenging for a two-year old, and that I had been thinking about why this might be the case. Being the good friend that he is, Carroll – rather than moving the conversation on to the business at hand – said he would like to hear more about my thoughts and ideas concerning Ada’s literary development. His interest focused my observations and reflections; since then I have been attentive each time I have had an opportunity to read to and play with Ada. Here are my current thoughts. At the time of my aforementioned conversation with Carroll, one of Ada’s favorite naptime and bedtime …

For the Children’s Sake-Please Stand Aside! by Shannon Whiteside

Implementing Charlotte Mason’s principles into my homeschool in the past several years has been a journey of releasing educational ideas that I once held dear. As I learn more through conferences, books and blogs, I fine-tune my practices to be more in line with Mason’s philosophy and methods. The most recent principle that I have been applying more intentionally is the art of standing aside and letting my children take responsibility for their education. This has been hard for me because I was a classroom teacher for seven years and my job was to be the talking head. I remember the first time I read the following quote, “Whereby teachers shall teach less and scholars shall learn more” (Vol. 6., p. 8). That did not make sense to my educational paradigm. How am I supposed to leave the analyzing, summarizing and thinking to the children? What if they miss something? What if they don’t make the connections? Mason said that “wise and purposeful letting alone is the best part of education” (Vol. 3, p.128). This …

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 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. …

A First-Time Mother’s Perspective By Emily Kiser

I started studying the educational method of Charlotte Mason about 8 years ago, primarily to assist my mother who had always wanted to read the educator’s own words but being blind had no accessible copy available to her.  Neither Braille nor audio version existed and since she was (and still is) in the process of educating my younger brothers at home, in the manner Miss Mason laid out, I was keen to help.  A secondary benefit to studying Mason’s method was as an aid to the 50 or so homeschooling families using the private lending library my mother and I had started.  I tell you all this as a little background information and to set the stage for my own admiration of our great mentor’s ideas. Until last April when I got married, I was a single woman, living at home with my parents and younger siblings, no children of my own, but surrounded by mothers asking my advice on educational materials for their children, listening to and receiving my recommendations for books, certainly, but …