All posts filed under: Practical Application

Natural History: Implementing Special Studies by Nicole Williams

Nature study conjures up such lovely images: children dazzled by a field of wildflowers, peering under rocks in a streambed, or showing their pressed-flower collection to an admiring grandparent.  It ranks up there with artist study and music appreciation for its beauty and life giving rejuvenation. A Charlotte Mason education can be quite rigorous, but nature study time is when we can all relax and let the learning happen naturally. See the full blog at:  https://wp.me/p3bD5Y-uQ

Mason’s Role in the Beginnings of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides

The following letter by Lady Baden-Powell is an introduction to an explanation given by her husband, General Sir Baden-Powell about the beginnings of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides.  It is interesting to note the role that Charlotte Mason played in these new organisations. A Greeting from the Lady Baden-Powell, G.B.E. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, May 6th 1951. DEAR MISS MOLYNEUX, May I offer my best wishes to you all on the celebration of the ‘Diamond Jubilee’ of the Parents’ National Educational Union School. What a great occasion this is for everyone concerned, and it is perhaps rather specially happy that you are having this big event at the same time as the ‘Festival of Britain!’ I shall be so glad later on to see the ‘Jubilee Number’ of your Magazine, and it is very nice of you to plan to include in it the short article that my husband wrote for you some years ago, as Founder of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Movements. He was a man of action, …

Taking Our Time by Amy Fiedler

“We can’t make a child hear God’s voice, but maybe we can place the child in the place where we know he takes walks.”   I can still remember hearing this spoken at the ChildlightUSA Conference (now Charlotte Mason Institute) in 2012 during a lecture given by Art Middlekauff.  What a beautiful idea—that through his own creation, God could speak directly to my children, without my mediation.  Having just been introduced to Mason and her philosophy, these were the parts of a CM education that were keeping me up nights, anxious to begin and embrace a new way of life and learning with my children. It’s funny, though, what an introduction to Charlotte Mason will do to a person.  Or, maybe it’s just me.  In 2012 when I started my “paradigm shift,” and the reordering of the life of my family, I’m not sure I began with a realistic perspective on what it really looked like to make such a transition.  I wanted it all.  And I wanted to know it all.  And do it all.  This …

Business vs. Desire by Maura Timko

The following blog appeared originally on the Great River Facebook page as part of a discussion about the use of digital tools in the family. It was suggested to CMI as a read that would be of interest to the Mason community.  This blog was prompted by a question to Maura Timko from Janet Pressley-Barr regarding screen time and battles related to screen time in Maura Timko’s home.  Here is her response. Janet – I cannot answer your question briefly. I will not go into detail about what our screen time looks like now, because my boys are so much older. That is another conversation! But I can talk about how screens were handled in my home when my boys were much smaller. I think it will be more relevant to the group. Recalling the days when my boys were in elementary school, I imposed very strict limits on their screen time. (I love how Jenn Stec places the responsibility to turn off the screens directly with the child – well done!) In our home, we had a …

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 …

Seeing Children as Persons by Melody Poli

Homeschooling my children is a humbling experience. It should be. I was brought low when reading Mason’s ideas about the Sacredness of Personality.   This idea slapped me awake, and I saw my shortcomings. But, what immediately followed the realization of my shortcoming was the hope that I could see coming by reading Mason’s words. I put my fist on these ideas and made them hold still while I understood what to change and slowly the shift in my understanding began. In the case of my husband and me, homeschooling was not a glimmer of a thought until my firstborn was 5. For the conviction to be upon us both was confirming and we ventured forth in complete ignorance. Anyone can teach! The answer to that is NO! Thank God Charlotte Mason tells us to get out of the way and let the children sit with the masters; and this wise advice has probably saved my children from much stress and burn out. Even so, we are home, together, a lot, and I am scaffolding children …

Nature Study Field Trips for All Ages by Deborah Dobbins

“Nature Knowledge the most important for Young Children. –It would be well if all we persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” Charlotte M. Mason, Home Education, volume 1, p 61. Within a short distance, you may find a world of nature waiting to be explored. While I share briefly about some recent excursions, you may think of similar opportunities within your locality. Day-trips do not require much planning other than selecting your site, date, checking the hours …