All posts tagged: History

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) …

Studying Architecture in the Context of a Charlotte Mason Education by Jennifer Stec

When we began homeschooling, it never crossed my mind that architecture would be a component of our study, and it certainly didn’t occur to me that we would find it to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of our education. We were introduced to the idea of studying architecture four years ago by Kerri Forney, who many of this blog’s readers know as the purveyor of wonderful living books at the annual CMI conference.  We had already started to read Virgil Hillyer’s A Child’s History of the World, and Kerri suggested that his three small books on architecture, sculpture and painting would be a wonderful supplement to our studies. Virgil Hillyer was the Headmaster at Calvert School in Baltimore. A teacher at heart, he was the author of many child’s histories.  He co-wrote the series on art with one of the science and art teachers at Calvert School, Edward Huey.  They worked together for seven years on the series, bringing to a child’s attention the oft neglected works of fine art, sculpture and …

Nurturing a Love of History in the Home and School by Mary C. Gildersleeve

“Education is the Science of Relations”; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of– “Those first-born affinities that fit our new existence to existing things.” from the preface of Charlotte Mason’s Towards a Philosophy of Education [emphasis added] I’ve always loved history.  I’ve always loved reading historical fiction of all different periods.  I’ve always been fascinated by the history in whatever area I am currently living.  Even when I was younger, say upper-elementary age, I would browse the 970s in the public library, pulling books that looked interesting, fun or provocative to take home and read.  I immersed myself in historical fiction and non-fiction of many eras and especially reveled in understanding the who and why of things.  I didn’t love history class.  …

Charlotte Mason Undercover: An Attempt to Implement Mason’s Ideas in a Traditional Homeschool Co-op Setting by Jeannette Tulis

In general I have learned to steer clear of traditional homeschool co-ops as they tend to drive your homeschool schedule, and not where you want it to go! For a number of years I organized a CM style early elementary class for the “extras,” those subjects which all too often get short shrift in a busy homeschool curriculum: picture study, poetry recitations, composer study, hymn singing and nature study.  The moms who have been part of my little enrichment class have learned how these lessons are not at all as intimidating as they once feared. In teaching these lessons to other children I have ensured that my youngest son will be getting the benefit of those lessons as well. If I commit to teach others, that means I will have to teach my own! But this year I agreed to teach the early elementary history class for a local co-op. It was time for me to do my part in the group I was using to furnish my sons with high school level science classes …

The Book of Centuries Revisited Part II by Laurie Bestvater

It has been several months since I first wrote about my experiment with Mrs. Bernau’s Book of Centuries. ( https://childlightusa.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/the-book-of-centuries-revisited-by-laurie-bestvater/)  Since then I have made a template and printed several versions with slight adjustments ending up with a three ring binder filled with 67lb cardstock punched pages.  This has given me and my son something to start with as we become familiar with this “new” model. Overall, we are very pleased with our books and are finding more and more occasions to use them. The one drawback still is the weight and awkwardness of the book—in hindsight, cardstock was heavier than necessary and I have recently printed the template on good quality paper (“Resume paper” with 100% cotton content for longevity but other papers of the weight of sketch paper and suitable for double sided printing would do) and had it  hardbound to try and imitate the Book of Centuries s the P.N.E.U. ultimately sold. (Bernau, 1923) Also since that post, the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection housed at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario has …

The Book of Centuries Revisited by Laurie Bestvater

If I could go back to the early days of my cm discoveries, I think this would be the quote I would most like someone to have impressed upon me: “…there is no part of a child’s work at school which some philosophic principle does not underlie.” (Home Education, 240)  In which case, one thing is not as good as another.  It took me too long to learn that if Charlotte Mason said it or did it, there was a particular reason.  If I looked closely enough, I wouldn’t see a cobbled together hodgepodge of educational practice and ideas but a cohesive philosophy, unity and elegant practice that supported human learning in the most profound ways.  In passing seemingly unimportant phrases in her works or in reading others about her rather than Mason herself, I have often missed treasures. A case in point: I shared at the recent Charlotte Mason Education Centre’s conference my research on the Book of Centuries.  I had read many times in the programmes  that she desired children* to keep a …