What are Charlotte Mason's thoughts on grammar and composition? Listen to this podcast to hear some of her rationale for these subjects, to dispel myths about the Charlotte Mason method and the subject of writing, as well as these moms' experience with teaching these technical and creative written skills.
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"[G]rammar, being a study of words and not things, is by no means attractive to the child, nor should he be hurried into it." (Vol. 1, p. 295)
"Children will probably be slow to receive this first lesson in abstract knowledge, and we must remember that knowledge in this sort is difficult and uncongenial. Their minds deal with the concrete and they have the singular faculty of being able to make concrete images out of the merest gossamer of a fairy tale." (Vol. 6, p. 210)
"But a child cannot dream parts of speech, and any grown-up twaddle attempting to personify such abstractions offends a small person who with all his love of play and nonsense has a serious mind." (Vol. 6, p. 210)
"Our business is to provide children with material in thier lessons, and leave the handling of such material to themselves...They should narrate in the first place, and they will compose, later, readily enough; but they should not be taught 'composition.'" (Vol. 1, p. 247)
"It is not enough that a child should learn how to write, he must know what to write." (Vol. 6, p. 234)
"In fact, lessons on 'composition' should follow the model of that famous essay on "Snakes in Ireland"––"There are none."" (Vol. 1, p. 247)
"If we would believe it, composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been allowed due use of books." (Vol. 1, p. 247)
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), Part V, XIII
An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Chapter 10, Section II: Knowledge of Man: Composition & Knowledge of Man: Grammar
The Bedford Handbook
The Elements of Style
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This episode marks the one year anniversary of this Charlotte Mason podcast. Over the past year, we have received dozens of questions from our listeners and this Q&A is exemplary of the requests we receive and our attempt to address widely varying topics, namely this week: where to find out-of-print living books, the relevance of Charlotte Mason today and the practice of "scaffolding" lessons.