All posts tagged: personhood

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 …

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 …

Grandparents as a “Living National Treasure” by Linda Fern

Japan has a popular term for persons who are certified as “preservers of important intangible cultural properties.” They are called Living National Treasures.  The term isn’t stated in the law, but it has become familiar to all.  The “intangible cultural properties” in Japan include mastery of artistic skills in art, drama, music, and crafts. It is a bold proposal, but couldn’t grandparents aspire to the title?  Years of experience, growth in all areas of life, developing and honing mastery in one or more specific areas that enable us to share with our grandchildren must surely qualify as holding “intangible cultural properties.” Perhaps your childhood mimicked that of our children—camping trips, hiking, learning to fish and hunt, visiting historical sites, museums, engaging in nature—wildflowers, birds, trees, animals—and because of that a Charlotte Mason education is an extension of ‘normal’ for you.  Perhaps you didn’t experience most or any of the above, and that’s what you want—a relational environment rich in knowledge and experience—and you want your parents (the grandparents) to affirm and enlarge that environment and atmosphere. …

Golden Nuggets and the Grand Conversation by Dr. Jennifer Spencer

This blog was originally posted by Dr. Spencer for the Willow Tree Community School. I have written before about how all of the pictures that we post here can be a bit misleading. Of course, we do stay busy with activities that keep our hands and bodies working, and we do spend a great deal of time outside compared with other schools. A picture can capture all of those things very well. What it cannot capture is the inner-working of the mind. Anyone who has looked at our book list knows that we read. Copiously. Widely. And the books we read are challenging. We cover a lot of ground in a term, but the word “cover” can also be misleading. That word could imply that there is simply a list of “stuff” that the students have to read and do–answer a question here, write a paragraph there–and that is the end of it until we finish (and forget?) that list of “stuff” and start the next one.  This is what many people think of when they hear the …

Some Thoughts on The Sabbath of Learning by Carroll Smith

I think that many of us who study the works of Charlotte Mason understand that her founding principle of education was the personhood of children. She says in the preface to the Home Education Series, “The central thought, or rather body of thought, upon which I found, is the somewhat obvious fact that the child is a person with all the possibilities and powers included in personality.”  The little phrase “ body of thought” aptly conveys that  there is much to say about personhood.  Understanding who we are as image bearers of God is truly a “body of thought” and cannot be easily defined or stated in a few words. However, one idea about personhood that I wish to introduce to you and explore briefly in this blog is the “Sabbath of Learning,” a term I’ll use to describe the need of children, as image bearers, to have time to process their learning. The “Sabbath of Learning” idea came together as I was reading the work of two writers:  the Jewish Rabbi, Abraham Heschel and …