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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: 2016
May 27, 2016

This podcast episode on the Charlotte Mason method of education focuses on some listener questions, notably, what to do about dawdlers, how to motivate apathetic students, and a couple of particulars about implementing history lessons.

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"Education is a life; that life is sustained on ideas; ideas are of spiritual origin; and, 'God has made us so' that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. The duty of parents is to sustain a child's inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food." (Vol. 2, p. 39)





Carry On, Mr. Bowditch



String, Straightedge, and Shadow



The Story of Geronimo



I Buy a School



Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze



The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind



Stillwell and the American Experience in China

(Contains affiliate links)
May 20, 2016

This podcast episode's focus describes Charlotte Mason's inclusion of art and music in her essential curriculum. How has our cultural and educational background prejudiced us to favor core subjects over "fine arts" and how did Ms. Mason view these subjects. Further, how are these subjects included and implemented in the week's feast--especially if the mother is unfamiliar or even fearful of tackling this unknown territory?

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"We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture." (Vol. 1, p. 309)

"They are never copied lest an attempt to copy should lessen a child's reverence for great work." (Vol. 6, p. 216)

"A great promise has been given to the world––that its teachers shall not any more be removed. There are always those present with us whom God whispers in the ear, through whom He sends a direct message to the rest. Among these messengers are the great painters who interpret to us some of the meanings of life. To read their messages aright is a thing due from us. But this, like other good gifts, does not come by nature. It is the reward of humble, patient study." (Vol. 4, p. 102)

"As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it." (Vol. 6, p. 216)

"[F]or though every child cannot be a great performer, all may be taught an intelligent appreciation of the beauties of music, and it is a wicked shame to clang the doors of music, and therefore of endless channels of delight and inspiration, in a child's face, because we say he has "no ear," when perhaps his ear has never been trained, or because he never will be able to "play."" (Miss Pennethorne's PR Article)

"Hearing should tell us a great many interesting things, but the great and perfect joy which we owe to him is Music." (Vol. 4, Book I, pp. 30-31)

"Use every chance you get of hearing music (I do not mean only tunes, though these are very nice), and ask whose music has been played, and, by degrees, you will find out that one composer has one sort of thing to say to you, and another speaks other things; these messages of the musicians cannot be put into words, so there is no way of hearing them if we do not train our ear to listen." (Vol. 4, p. 31)

"Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score, to be sung with the voice or played on instruments, and so full are these musical compositions of the minds of their makers, that people who care for music can always tell who has composed the music they hear, even if they have never heard the particular movement before." (Vol. 4, p. 31)



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, Part V, Chapter XXI

School Education, p. 239

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter X, Section II: f

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, Marguerite Henry Stories of Favorite Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla More Stories of Favorite Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla
Stories of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla The Ring and the Fire, Clyde Robert Bulla I, Juan de Pareja, Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
Opal Wheeler's Composer Biographies Millet Tilled the Soil, Sybil Deucher Art for Children series by Ernest Raboff
Elizabeth Ripley's Artist Biographies Spiritual Lives of Great Composers, Patrick Kavanaugh I, Vivaldi, Janice Shefelman


(Contains affiliate links)



Emily's Picture Study Portfolios

Riverbend Press Artist Prints
May 13, 2016

This Charlotte Mason podcast focuses on time management: how do we get organized to spread this feast of innumerable subjects, how do we fit everything in, and how do we manage multiple children at various levels with differing needs and subjects. Practical tips, resources, ideas, and time-tested wisdom is abundant in this conversation.

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Our Podcast Episode that talks about the Habit of Attention

Nicole's step-by-step guide to preparing your CM schedule

A Form by Form breakdown of which subjects are studied when and what lessons those subjects include at each age level

Liz, Emily, and Nicole can help you create your own schedule and/or custom curriculum

May 1, 2016


This week's Charlotte Mason podcast celebrates the role of mothers in their children's education. Ms. Mason had plenty to say to us as mothers and we share our own experiences as mothers in an effort to encourage you. This one's for you, Mom.

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"The children are, in truth, to be regarded less as personal property than as public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the very most of them for the good of society. And this responsibility is not equally divided between the parents: it is upon the mothers of the present that the future of the world depends, in even a greater degree than upon the fathers, because it is the mothers who have the sole direction of the children's early, most impressible years." (Vol. 1, p. 2)

"We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession––that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours." (Vol. 1, pp. 2-3)

"We allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and 'spiritual' life of children, but teach them that the Divine Spirit has constant access to their spirits, and is their Continual Helper in all the interests, duties and joys of life." (Charlotte Mason's 20th Principle of Education)

"I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." (Vol. 1, p. 44)



I Buy a School, Marion Berry

The Story of Charlotte Mason, Essex Cholmondeley (We are in no way suggesting you buy this book for the current price! Linking solely for your information)

(Contains affiliate links)



Grace to Build Retreat

Liz's talk on Mothers (audio download)

ADE Podcast Episode that describes the Great Recognition further

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

(Contains affiliate links)



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)
Mar 27, 2016

Charlotte Mason's education is not just for children. This podcast is a discussion of three mothers who have found that Mason has influenced them in ways they never could have dreamed when they took up her methods. Listen to discover all the ways the delectable feast can nourish you, the teacher.

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"The mother cannot devote herself too much to [nature] reading, not only that she may read tit-buts to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations. And not only the mother, but any woman who is likely ever to spend an hour or two in the society of children, should make herself mistress of this sort of information; the children will adore her for knowing what they want to know, and who knows but she may give its bent for life to some young mind designed to do great things for the world." (Vol. 1, pp. 64-65)



Find a Charlotte Mason group in your area

Find a Charlotte Mason Retreat in your area

Charlotte Mason Institute National Conferences

Charlotte Mason Institute Regional Conferences

Other Charlotte Mason Endeavors Near You

Grace to Build Retreat

Living Education Retreat

CM West Retreat

More Upcoming CM Conferences on the West Coast

Simply Charlotte Mason Seminars

Audio Download of Liz's Plenary at Grace to Build Retreat last year: "Mothers: The Living Books Our Children Read"

Charlotte Mason Institute Collaborative Blog

Fisher Academy Blog

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival Link Up

Sage Parnassus
Mar 18, 2016

This podcast addresses common questions that arise as parents and teachers pursue knowledge of the Charlotte Mason method. Whether specific small questions, or large philosophic ones, they are common to most of us and Nicole, Emily and Liz attempt to draw from the deep well of Mason's own writings, as well as their experience in applying that wisdom, to meet the most frequent perplexities head on.

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"[H]e knew that that which he beheld of lowly living and service and suffering was 'glory.'" (Scale How Meditations, p. 49)



The Phantom Tollbooth,
Norman Juster
The 21 Balloons,
William Pene du Bois
My Side of the Mountain,
Jean Craighead George
Old Yeller,
Fred Gipson
Where the Red Fern Grows,
Wilson Rawls
Harry Potter Series,
J.K. Rowling
Rascal,
Sterling North
Deathwatch,
Robb White
Read-Aloud Handbook,
Jim Trelease
The Living Page,
Laurie Bestvater
(Contains affiliate links)



Scale How Meditations (see page 49 for quote discussed)

A Delectable Education, Episode 4: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life
Mar 14, 2016

Charlotte Mason is extraordinary in the arts and humanities, but does her method really work for science, especially in an age when science is king? This podcast will address all the aspects of teaching science that put most average parents in a panic at the high school level and you will find yourself eager to get on with it.

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"Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life.––We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking––the strain would be too great––but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?" (Vol. 3, pp. 170-71)

“Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value.” (Vol. 6, p. 224)

"Geology, mineralogy, physical geography, botany, natural history, biology, astronomy––the whole circle of the sciences is, as it were, set with gates ajar in order that a child may go forth furnished, not with scientific knowledge, but with, what Huxley calls, common information, so that he may feel for objects on the earth and in the heavens the sort of proprietary interest which the son of an old house has in its heirlooms." (Vol. 3, p. 79)

“The essential mission of school science was to prepare pupils for civilised citizenship by revealing to them something of the beauty and the power of the world in which they lived, as well as introducing them to the methods by which the boundaries of natural knowledge had been extended. School science, therefore, was not intended to prepare for vocations, but to equip pupils for life. It should be part of a general education, unspecialised, in no direct connexion with possible university courses to follow.” (Sir Richard Gregory, quoted by Charlotte Mason in Vol. 6, p. 222)

"So much attention is now given to the practical and systematic study of science in schools that the valuable influence of descriptive scientific literature is apt to be overlooked. An intimate knowledge of the simplest fact in nature can be obtained only through personal observation or experiment in the open air or in the laboratory, but broad views of scientific thought and progress are secured best from books in which the methods and results of investigation is stated in language that is simple without being childish.
"Books intended to promote interest in science must differ completely from laboratory guides, textbooks, or works of reference. They should aim at exalting the scientific spirit which leads men to devote their lives to the advancement of natural knowledge, and at showing how the human race eventually reaps the benefit of such research. Inspiration rather than information should be the keynote; and the execution should awaken in the reader not only appreciation of the scientific method of study and spirit of self sacrifice, but also a desire to emulate the desires of men whose labors have brought the knowledge of nature to its present position." (From The Wonders of Physical Science by Edward Fourlier, used in PNEU)



The Mystery of the Periodic Table

For the Love of Physics

(Contains affiliate links)



Read-Aloud Revival Episode with Dr. Pakaluk

Nicole's Website with loads of information on living CM science

*NEW Living Science Study Guides--Nicole guides us through a term or year of Middle School Biology

Keeping a Science Notebook

Living Science Ideas scroll down for a subject by subject list of living books
Mar 4, 2016

This podcast episode explores the ideas and objectives Charlotte Mason considered necessary for the study of science for grades 1-6. Listen to hear clear guidelines to follow, book suggestions, and practical applications for teaching science.

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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, Chapter XVI

School Education (Volume 3), Chapter 21, Part II

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Chapter 10, Section III



Eyes and No Eyes
Series
Among the...People
Series
Margaret Waring Buck
Books
Glenn Blough Delia Goetz James Herriot
Burgess Animal Book Burgess Book of Nature Lore Burgess Bird Book
Otus Major Luna
Backyard Birds of Summer Backyard Birds of Winter Nature Reader
Madam How & Lady Why Life & Her Children Storybook of Science
The Sciences The Stars JSB of Rain, Hail, Sleet & Snow
Climate Maps Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Books Soap Science


(Contains affiliate links)



Nicole's Elementary Science Page at SabbathMoodHomeschool.com
Feb 26, 2016

Charlotte Mason did not consider nature study to be optional. This podcast is an interview with a mother with eight children who took Mason's words to heart and exerted the effort to make it happen. Listen to her experiences and practical hints for being a successful mother of young naturalists.

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"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." (Vol. 1, p. 42)

"I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." (Vol. 1, p. 44)

"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." (Vol. 1, p. 61)



Natural History Clubs from The Parents' Review via the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection:

"Our P.N.E.U. Natural History Club"

"Natural History Club"

"P.N.E.U. Natural History Clubs"

"The Educational Value of Natural History"

Charlotte Mason Institute National Conference

Grace to Build Retreat

Feb 19, 2016

This podcast episode explains Charlotte Mason's use of nature lore books and how they expand outdoor nature study work. Listen for lots of hints of our favorite such books.

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"Our main dependence is on books as an adjunct to out-of-door work...In [these] books the children are put in the position of the original observer of biological and other phenomena. They learn what to observe, and make discoveries for themselves, original so far as they are concerned. They are put in the right attitude of mind for scientific observations and deductions, and their keen interest is awakened." (Vol. 3, p. 237

"The real use of naturalists' books is to give the child delightful glimpses into the world of wonders he lives in, reveal the sorts of things to be seen by curious eyes, and fill him with desire to make discoveries for himself." (Vol. 1, p. 64)



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.

The Charm of Nature Study, Parents' Review Article



Eyes and No Eyes Series, Arabella Buckley or online here.

Madam How and Lady Why, Charles Kingsley or online here.

Life and Her Children, Arabella Buckley

The Storybook of Science, Jean Henri Fabre or online here.

Winners in Life's Race, Arabella Buckley or online here.

We Were There with Charles Darwin on the H.M.S. Beagle, Philip Eisenberg

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard

John Muir Books

John Burroughs

Autumn Across America, Edwin Way Teale

Life of the Spider, Jean Henri Fabre

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly

The Grasshopper Book, Wilfrid Bronson

Robert McClung Books

Olive Earle Books

Millicent Selsam Books

Charles Ripper Books

Alice Goudey Books

Girl of the Limberlost, Gene Stratton-Porter

The Keeper of the Bees, Gene Stratton-Porter

A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold

William Long Books

Treasury for Children, James Herriot

All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot

Rascal, Sterling North

(Contains affiliate links)

Feb 12, 2016

This podcast episode explores the reasons Charlotte Mason gave for the necessity of a child's education to include a vast familiarity with the outside world. Beyond discussing why nature study is critical to knowledge of God, the benefits to personal growth, and its fundamental effects on future academic success, many practical suggestions for accomplishing this essential study are discussed to encourage your family's implementation of and regular involvement in nature study.

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"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." (Vol. 1, p. 61)

"When children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air." (Vol. 1, p. 63)

"Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun––the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for? Besides, life is so interesting to him, that he has no time for the faults of temper which generally have their source in ennui; there is no reason why he should be peevish or sulky or obstinate when he is always kept well amused." (Vol. 1, pp. 61-62)

"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." (Vol. 1, p. 42)

"The first buttercup in a child's nature note book is shockingly crude, the sort of thing to scandalize a teacher of brush-drawing, but by and by another buttercup will appear with the delicate poise, uplift and radiance of the growing flower." (Vol. 6, p. 217)



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 II

School Education (Volume 3), pp. 236-238

"The Charm of Nature Study" by G. Dowton, an article from the Parent's Review



The Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Comstock

The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)



Charlotte Mason Digital Collection

Nature Journal Examples {Here}, {Here}, and {Here}

John Muir Laws' Nature Journaling site

Examples of Bird and Flower Lists

PR Article on the benefits to language from Nature Study

Feb 5, 2016


Our discussions on the subject of history resulted in an onslaught of questions. This podcast episode slowly and carefully addresses the most common and frequently asked history concerns, misunderstandings, and points of confusion we have received about Charlotte Mason's approach to teaching this subject.

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"We introduce children as early as possible to the contemporary history of other countries as the study of English history alone is apt to lead to a certain insular and arrogant habit of mind." (Vol. 6, p. 175)

"The flowers, it is true, are not new; but the children are; and it is the fault of their elders if every new flower they come upon is not to them a Picciola, a mystery of beauty to be watched from day to day with unspeakable awe and delight." (Vol.1, p.53)


 

Colonial Living, Edwin Tunis

Frontier Living, Edwin Tunis

Our Island Story, H.E. Marshall

Winston Churchill and the Story of Two World Wars, Olivia Coolidge

Most Gracious Majesty: The Story of Queen Elizabeth II, Elinor Parker

The Battle of Britain, Quentin Reynolds

The Story of Edith Cavell, Iris Vinton

(Contains affiliate links)


 

Check out Leah Boden's Periscope, The Charlotte Mason Show

Jan 22, 2016

The scope of the subject of geography matches the size of the world it covers and Charlotte Mason's approach to this subject is likewise vast and multifaceted. This podcast episode discusses the purpose of geography study, the variety of resources used for learning, and gives a broad overview of the progression throughout forms I to VI.

Jan 18, 2016

The Bible is the most authoritative and ancient of all books and Mason considered its lessons to be the supreme lesson, leading most directly to knowledge of God. This podcast explores why she was of this opinion, why we must not neglect its lessons, and how those lessons should be presented.

 

Jan 15, 2016

Since it's impossible to cover every aspect of a subject each week, questions arise in our listeners' minds. Many of you are sending us your questions and in this podcast we attempt to thoroughly answer a few of these based on the wisdom of Charlotte Mason and our experience in using her method. This is the first of several sporadic Q&A sessions we will post.

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The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman

Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry

(Contains affiliate links)



Addall Used Book Search Engine

Living Books Library's Book Sale Pages

List of living books libraries around the country

Another list of living books libraries

Ten Books you can read in Ten Minutes a Day

Liz's Annual List of Books She Read
Jan 14, 2016

 


Beyond the books, what are some tools that are useful in putting history into living color for a child? At what age should we begin to use a timeline, or should we use a timeline at all? How do we implement the book of centuries? Listen in as we wrestle with some of the things that make history lessons come alive.

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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), pg. 292

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), pg. 177

Miss Beale's Parents' Review Article on "The Teaching of Chronology"

Parents' Review Article on making and keeping a Book of Centuries



 

The Living Page, Laurie Bestvater

(Contains affiliate links)



 

Laurie Bestvater's Book of Centuries

Another Book of Centuries from Riverbend Press

Bernau's Article on the Book of Centuries With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

Beale's Article on the Teaching of Chronology With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

H.B.'s Article on the Teaching of History With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

Biggar's Article on How to Make a Century Chart With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

Jan 13, 2016


When we are clear in the direction we are headed in our children's history studies, know the time period and the order and the streams to cover, what books will we use to explore those unfathomable numbers of events and characters in history? Is a spine necessary? What is the real value of a biography? How much should we be concerned about the historical accuracy of the account we are reading? Explore these ideas with us in this episode.

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"[B]ut let the mother beware: there is nothing which calls for more delicate tact and understanding sympathy with the children than this apparently simple matter of choosing their lesson-books, and especially, perhaps, their lesson-books in history." (Vol. 1, pg. 289)

"We know that young people are enormously interested in the subject and give concentrated attention if we give them the right books." (Vol. 6, pg. )

"The knowledge of children so taught is consecutive, intelligent and complete as far as it goes, in however many directions." (Vol. 6, pg. 158)

"In Form IV the children are promoted to Gardiner's Student's History of England, clear and able, but somewhat stiffer than that they have hitherto been engaged upon." (Vol. 6, pg. 176)

"Of all the pleasant places in the world of mind, I do not know that any are more delightful than those in the domain of History. Have you ever looked through a kinetoscope? Many figures are there, living and moving, dancing, walking in procession, whatever they happened to be doing at the time the picture was taken. History is a little like that, only much more interesting, because in these curious living photographs the figures are very small and rather dim, and most attentive gazing cannot make them clearer; now, History shows you its personages, clothed as they were clothed, moving, looking, speaking, as they looked, moved, and spoke, engaged in serious matters or in pleasures; and, the longer you look at any one person, the more clearly he stands out until at last he may become more real to you than the people who live in your own home." (Vol. 4, pg. 36)

"The fatal mistake is in the notion that he must learn 'outlines,' or a baby edition of the whole history of England, or of Rome, just as he must cover the geography of all the world. Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age." (Vol. 1, pg. 280)

"Literature is dangerous--except when taken in large doses." --Martin Cothran (quoted here.)

 

America Begins, Alice Dalgliesh

America Builds Homes, Alice Dalgliesh

And There Was America, Roger Duvoisin

Land of the Free, Enid LaMonte Meadowcroft

D'Aulaire Picture Biographies

Gerald Johnson's A History for Peter: America is Born (Volume 1)

America Grows Up (Volume 2)

America Moves Forward (Volume 3)

Dorothy Mills' History Books, Reprints available as well

Paul Johnson's Histories

Barbara Tuchman's Histories

Basic History of the United States, Clarence Carson

The Silent Storm, Marion Marsh Brown and Ruth Crone

Isaac Newton, Harry Sootin

(Contains affiliate links)

 

A wonderful resource with reviews of living books series, See especially Messner Biographies, Signature Series, Garrard History Series Books, and Landmark Books

Jan 12, 2016


Merry Christmas! As we celebrate the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we took a break from discussing history to bring you a special episode. Art Middlekauff shares with us a lesser-known, but very important work by Charlotte Mason herself--her poetic reflections on the Life of Christ entitled, The Saviour of the World. We hope this episode, and more importantly, these poems, will bless you and yours today and in the year to come.

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You can find Art Middlekauff's blog here

The Savior of the World (online)

Hardback reprints of Volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5

Paperback reprints of Volumes 1, 2, and 3

This post describes an app to read an online Bible with links to the corresponding Saviour of the World Poems

In Memorium

Jan 11, 2016


In Mason's day, the subject of history was covered differently from our common approaches to that subject today. How do the records show she managed the study of ancient through modern history in all the age levels? More important, how can we follow her principles and keep history study relevant to our day? Emily, Nicole, and Liz attempt to distill these truths in an orderly conversation that will reveal a rich feast of history for a child.

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"The early history of a nation is far better fitted than its later records for the study of children, because the story moves on a few broad, simple lines.” (Vol. 1, pg. 281)

“We are not content that they should learn the history of their own country alone; some living idea of contemporaneous [meaning existing or occurring in the same period of time] European history, anyway, we try to get in; that the history we teach may be the more living, we work in, pari passu [meaning side by side; at the same pace], some of the literature of the period and some of the best historical novels and poems that treat of the period; and so on with other subjects.” (Vol. 3, pg. 67)



History Rotation Diagrams we at A Delectable Education have put together to clarify the rotations and "streams" of history study through the school forms

Charlotte Mason Digital Collection

Sample "Forms" Schedule from the P.N.E.U.
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