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A Delectable Education Charlotte Mason Podcast

Through twice monthly conversations, three moms who have studied the Charlotte Mason method of education and put her ideas into practice in their homes join together to share with one another for the benefit of listeners by giving explanations of Mason's principles and examples of those principles put into practice out of their own teaching experience. These short discussions aim at providing information, support, and encouragement for others by unfolding the myriad aspects.
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A Delectable Education Charlotte Mason Podcast
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Now displaying: April, 2016
Apr 29, 2016

This podcast episode focuses on answering more listener questions about the Charlotte Mason method on some widely varying topics including Bible, narration, and unit studies.

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"Another point, the co-ordination of studies is carefully regulated without any reference to the clash of ideas on the threshold or their combination into apperception masses; but solely with reference to the natural and inevitable co-ordination of certain subjects. Thus, in readings on the period of the Armada, we should not devote the contemporary arithmetic lessons to calculations as to the amount of food necessary to sustain the Spanish fleet, because this is an arbitrary and not an inherent connection; but we should read such history, travels, and literature as would make the Spanish Armada live in the mind." (Vol. 3, pp. 320-21)

"English History is always with us, but only in the earliest years is it studied alone. It is not, as we know, possible always to get the ideal book, so we use the best we can find and supplement with historical essays of literary value. Literature is hardly a distinct subject, so closely is it associated with history, whether general or English; and whether it be contemporary or merely illustrative; and it is astonishing how much sound learning children acquire when the thought of an age is made to synchronise with its political and social developments. A point which I should like to bring before the reader is the peculiar part which poetry plays in making us aware of this thought of the ages, including our own. Every age, every epoch, has its poetic aspect, its quintessence, as it were, and happy the people who have a Shakespeare, a Dante, a Milton, a Burns, to gather up and preserve its meaning as a world possession...Civics takes place as a separate subject, but it is so closely bound up with literature and history on the one hand and with ethics, or, what we call every-day morals, on the other, that the division of subjects is only nominal." (Vol. 6, p. 274)



A Delectable Education, Episode 8: Narration, the Act of Knowing

Bonnie Buckingham
Apr 22, 2016

Charlotte Mason had two essential tools to offer children to help them regulate their own behavior. This podcast thoroughly addresses the subject that most matters in the classroom: guiding our children in acting and thinking rightly. Nicole, Liz, and Emily unfold Mason's principles of self-control, self-management, and right reasoning.

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"There are two guides to moral and intellectual self-management to offer to children, which we may call 'the way of the will' and 'the way of the reason.'" (Principle 16)

"The way of the will: Children should be taught, (a) to distinguish between 'I want' and 'I will.' (b) That the way to will effectively is to turn our thoughts from that which we desire but do not will. (c) That the best way to turn our thoughts is to think of or do some quite different thing, entertaining or interesting. (d) That after a little rest in this way, the will returns to its work with new vigour. (This adjunct of the will is familiar to us as diversion, whose office it is to ease us for a time from will effort, that we may 'will' again with added power. The use of suggestion as an aid to the will is to be deprecated, as tending to stultify and stereotype character, It would seem that spontaneity is a condition of development, and that human nature needs the discipline of failure as well as of success.)" (Principle 17)

"But there are few subjects on which those who have the education of children in their hands make more injurious mistakes [than training the will]." (Vol. 1, p. 318)

"“Your arrival at a right destination does not depend upon your choice of a good road, or upon your journeying at a good pace, but entirely upon your starting in the right direction.” (Vol. 4, p. 64)

"The way of reason: We teach children, too, not to 'lean (too confidently) to their own understanding'; because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration (a) of mathematical truth, (b) of an initial idea, accepted by the will. In the former case, reason is, practically, an infallible guide, but in the latter, it is not always a safe one; for, whether that idea be right or wrong, reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs." (Principle 18)

"Reason, like all other properties of a person, is subject to habit and works upon the material it is accustomed to handle." (Vol. 6, p. 147)

“Perhaps we shall best use this wonderful power of reasoning, commonly called our Reason, by giving it plenty of work to do, by asking ourselves what is the cause of this and that; why do people and animals do certain things. Reason which is not worked grows sluggish; and there are persons who never wonder nor ask themselves questions about anything they see.” (Vol. 4, p. 65)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Ourselves, Volume 4

Formation of Character, Volume 5, Part I, section I

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, Volume 6, Book I, chapter 8-9

Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery Little Britches, Ralph Moody The Living Page
(Contains affiliate links)
Apr 15, 2016

This Charlotte Mason podcast focuses on the subject of citizenship beyond the study of Plutarch. Are Mason's ideas about the state and the citizen outdated or irrelevant for our students today? This discussion focuses on the subject that studies government, economics, and moral responsibility in the Mason feast.

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"The honour due to our country requires some intelligent knowledge of her history, laws, and institutions; of her great men and her people; of her weaknesses and her strength; and is not to be confounded with the ignorant and impertinent attitude of the Englishman or the Chinese who believes that to be born an Englishman or a Chinese puts him on a higher level than the people of all other countries; that his own country and his own government are right in all circumstances, and other countries and other governments always wrong. But, on the other hand, still more to be guarded against, is the caitiff spirit of him who holds his own country and his own government always in the wrong and always the worse, and exalts other nations unduly for the sake of depreciating his own." (Vol. 4, Book II, p. 121)

“Children familiar with the great idea of a State in the sense, not of a government but of the people, learn readily enough about the laws, customs and government of their country; learn, too, with great interest something about themselves, mind and body, heart and soul, because they feel it is well to know what they have it in them to give to their country.” (Vol. 6, p. 187)

“It is probable that the education of the future will recognise, as its guiding idea, Matthew Arnold's fine saying, that "The thing best worth living for is to be of use." Every man and woman will be a candidate for service beyond the range of his or her own family.” (Vol. 5, p. 447)

"[In Form I] Children begin to gather conclusions as to the general life of the community from tales, fables, and the story of one or another great citizen." (Vol. 6, p. 185)

"[In Form II] Citizenship becomes a definite subject rather from the point of view of what may be called the inspiration of citizenship than from that of the knowledge proper to a citizen, though the latter is by no means neglected." (Vol. 6, p. 185)

“There are few better equipments for a citizen than a mind capable of discerning the Truth, whether it lie on the side of our party or on that of our opponents. But this just mind can only be preserved by those who take heed what they hear, and how.” (Vol 4, p. 154)

"Civics takes place as a separate subject [from history], but it is so closely bound up with literature and history on the one hand and with ethics, or, what we call every-day morals, on the other, that the division of the subjects is only nominal." (Vol. 6, p. 274)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Ourselves (Volume 4)

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), pp. 185-189



The Citizen Reader (Used by Mason in the PNEU, Form 2)

Uncle Eric series by Richard Maybury

Gerald Johnson's Books on the government: The Presidency, The Cabinet, The Congress, The Supreme Court

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Audio Version of Charlotte Mason's Ourselves (Volume 4)
Apr 8, 2016

Nancy Kelly is an experienced Charlotte Mason teacher who joins us on this podcast to discuss the teaching of Plutarch. You will enjoy her helpful tips and inspiring wisdom.

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"We take the child to the living sources of history––a child of seven is fully able to comprehend Plutarch, in Plutarch's own words (translated), without any diluting and with little explanation." (Vol. 2, p. 278)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Parents and Children (Volume 2), pp. 278-79


Loomis translation (For Teacher Prep) North's Plutarch (Heritage Press Edition) Stories from the History of Rome
Fifty Famous Stories Retold Nancy's Favorite Retelling

(Contains affiliate links)



Anne White's Study Guides (free online--scroll down to individual Lives listings)

Nancy's 3-Part Blog series on Plutarch

The Great Courses on Plutarch
Apr 1, 2016

Charlotte Mason thought Plutarch an invaluable source of knowledge and moral wisdom in the subject of citizenship. This podcast explores who he was, why Mason thought so, and how the study of the lives he described would inform and enrich our children.

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“In the same way, readings from Plutarch's Lives will afford the best preparation for the study of Grecian or of Roman history.” (Vol. 1, p. 286)

“[T]he principle being, that, whenever practicable, the child should get his first notions of a given period, not from the modern historian, the commentator and reviewer, but from the original sources of history, the writings of contemporaries.” (Vol. 1, p. 285)

“Perhaps nothing outside of the Bible has the educational value of Plutarch’s Lives.” (Vol. 3, p. 236)

“[The Lives] stand alone in literature as teaching that a man is part of the State, that his business is to be of service to the State, but that the value of his service depends upon his personal character.” (Vol. 3, p. 280)

“...an early education from the great books with the large ideas and the large virtues is the only true foundation of knowledge--the knowledge worth having.” (Vol. 6, p. 308)

"We take the child to the living sources of history––a child of seven is fully able to comprehend Plutarch, in Plutarch's own words (translated), without any diluting and with little explanation." (Vol. 2, p. 278)

“We read him his Tanglewood Tales, and when he is a little older his Plutarch, not trying to break up or water down, but leaving the child's mind to deal with the matter as it can.” (Vol. 2, pp. 231-232)

“[Plutarch] hath written the profitable story of all authors. For all other were fain to take their matter, as the fortune of the countries whereof they wrote fell out: But this man being excellent in wit, learning, and experience, hath chosen the special acts of the best persons, of the famousest nations of the world.” (Thomas North as quoted by Mason in Vol. 6, p. 274)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), pp. 286-87

School Education (Volume 3), pp. 152, 235, 280-81, 286-89

Ourselves (Volume 4), Book I, Chapter 2

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Section II, "Morals and Economics"


Stories from the History of Rome North's Plutarch The Plutarch Primer (Publicola)
Plutarch Project, Vol. 1 Plutarch Project, Vol. 2 The Children's Plutarch
Plutarch retold by Weston Plutarch retold by Kaufman Ten Famous Lives

(Contains affiliate links)



Stories from the History of Rome (free online)

Anne White's Study Guides (free online--scroll down to individual Lives listings)

The Children's Plutarch (free online)

Weston's Plutarch (free online)

Kaufman's Plutarch (free online)
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