This Q&A podcast episodes focuses on Charlotte Mason's counsel for exams with many students, combining many students in one book, and what to accomplish during school breaks.
The Savior of the World, Charlotte Mason's seven-volume poetic rendering of the Gospels, was part of the Bible lesson in her curriculum for forms III-VI. Liz, Emily, and Nicole become the students as their guest teacher, Art Middlekauff, leads an immersion class to demonstrate how the Savior of the World was incorporated in a lesson.
This week's episode of A Delectable Education podcast reviews what Charlotte Mason had to say about Sunday school. Since many listeners write to ask about the application of Mason's method in their church programs, we tackled the why, what and how of implementing a living education for children outside our home.
Charlotte Mason included a category named "Sunday Reading" on her programmes and this week's podcast discusses the purpose for this set-apart reading. In addition, there are plenty of suggestions for what to read, so listen for great titles and ideas for including them,
as well as check out the lists in the show notes.
For the Children's Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
The Imagination in Childhood, Charlotte Mason (Parents' Review no. 27)
Imagination as a Powerful Factor in a Well-Balanced Mind, E.A. Parish (Parents' Review, no. 25)
This A Delectable Education podcast Q&A episode addresses how Charlotte Mason viewed the history of other countries, whether her feast in high school was "only for girls," and some specifics about written narration.
"And now the boy will probably leave the home schoolroom for the Preparatory School, either day or boarding, and, as I am dealing with the early training of children, I will not follow the time-tables of the home schoolroom through Classes III. (eleven to fourteen or fifteen) and IV. (fourteen to sixteen or seventeen). Must the entrance to the Preparatory School mean the abandonment of many of these subjects, and the teaching on quite other lines? I do not believe that this is in any way necessary. I have not been dealing with any special system nor advocating any special fad. I have tried to lay down certain more or less accepted educational principles, and have tried to show how these should be carried out from infancy up to the home schoolroom, and thence up to the Preparatory School. These principles are briefly the furnishing of the mind with living ideas on which to grow and develop, instead of trusting to the memory to assimilate only a daily pabulum of facts; the offering of opportunity to the mind to exercise itself in various directions, the formation of good habits which will go towards the building up of character, and the belief in the intrinsic interest to furnish the necessary stimulus for learning." ("Liberal Education" PR Article)
"Many Preparatory Schoolmasters are shortening the hours of work, and are including in their curriculum nature lore, handicrafts, art teaching, and better methods of language teaching. Some only are making use of the books recommended in the programmes of the Parents' Union School and enrolling themselves on the P.N.E.U School Register. [For particulars of the Parents' Union School apply to Miss Mason, House of Education, Ambleside.] That the reform is not more rapid, is, I believe, due to the fact that such methods of teaching are not calculated to inspire confidence in the parents, who may not have had the opportunity of studying educational problems. More showy and more direct results are often demanded, and hence the true educationalist is hampered." ("Liberal Education" PR Article)
"We cannot, moreover, hope for satisfactory results in the four years, which the boys usually spend at their Preparatory School, unless the ground has been well prepared, and not in a slovenly, amateurish manner. Just as the best teachers are required in the bottom of the school, so parents must prepare themselves for the training of character, the formation of habits, and the inspiration of ideas, and must be willing to seek out and to pay adequately nurses and governesses who are trained to cope with the real needs of the children. We have almost forgotten the days when through ignorance of the laws of health the children's bodies were under-nourished and otherwise neglected. We may hope that the days are also rapidly passing away when "lessons at home with a governess" means mind and soul starvation. With reform in the foundation, we may hope for some reform and progress all the way up the educational ladder." ("Home Training" PNEU Pamphlet)
"We are astonished to read of the great irrigation works accomplished by the people of Mexico before Cortes introduced them to our eastern world. We are surprised to find that the literature and art of ancient China are things to be taken seriously. It is worth while to consider why this sort of naive surprise awakes in us when we hear of a nation that has not come under the influence of western civilization competing with us on our own lines. The reason is, perhaps, that we regard a person as a product." ("Children are Born Persons," PNEU Pamphlet)
"Let him know what other nations were doing while we at home were doing thus and thus. If he come to think...that the people of some other land were, at one time, at any rate, better than we, why, so much the better for him." (Vol. 1, p. 281)
"Our knowledge of history should give us something more than impressions and opinions." (Vol. 6, p. 171)
"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)
An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book II, Chapter 2
A Liberal Education in Secondary Schools, Parents' Review Article
The Home Training of Children, Parents' Review Article
Subjects by Form
This week's podcast episode discusses Mason's purpose for music in her curriculum feast. before the "non-musical" teachers ignore this subject for school, let us carefully explore why so much music training, appreciation, and practice is included--for the children's sake.
“Does it, or does it not, make any appreciable difference to a baby to be in a home where music is part of the every-day life, where it is put to sleep with simple songs, where cheerful little musical games are introduced in their natural place, where it is led to find rhythmical expression in dances and songs, and where it hears much beautiful sound which it docs not attempt to account for or understand ? I think that all teachers of experience will agree that it does make an enormous difference, and that it is possible to pick out from a roomful of children, by their very bearing, those who come from homes where music exists.” (Holland, "Music as an Educational Subject" Parents' Review)
"Some of the most important habits for a child to acquire, are (1) observation ; (2) concentration ; (3) imagination ; and (4) reasoning. ... [and Music] trains simultaneously, as no other single subject does, ear, eye, and hand, it awakens and naturally develops the imagination, and insists upon concentration and reasoning." (Holland)
" Music is the language of the soul, but it defies interpretation. It means something, but that something belongs not to this world of sense and logic, but to another world, quite real, though beyond all definition. ... Is there not in music, and in music alone of all the arts, something that is not entirely of this earth ? Whence comes melody ? Surely not from anything that we hear with our outward ears and are able to imitate, to improve, or to sublimise. . . . Here if anywhere, we see the golden stairs on which angels descend from heaven and whisper sweet sounds into the ears of those who have ears to hear. . . ." (Holland)
"Training of the Ear and Voice is an exceedingly important part of physical culture, which began with basic enunciation, and French lessons. She also pointed out that that every child may be, and should be, trained to sing through carefully graduated ear and voice exercises, to produce and distinguish musical tones and intervals." (Vol. 1, p. 133)
"If possible, let the children learn from the first under artists, lovers of their work: it is a serious mistake to let the child lay the foundation of whatever he may do in the future under ill-qualified mechanical teachers, who kindle in him none of the enthusiasm which is the life of art." (Vol. 1, p. 31)
"Intelligent love of music is one of the great joys and privileges of life, but it is denied to quite half the community, and I would argue that the cultivation thereof is in its way quite as important as technical instrumental instruction, as it is one of the greatest factors in elevating mankind." (A Musical Baby, Mrs. Glover, Parents' Review)
The Child Pianist--Teacher's Guide (Curwen Method)
Listener's Guide to Musics, Scholes
Second Book of Great Musicians, Scholes
*The Planets, Sobel
The Growth of Music, Colles
Elements of Music, Davenport
Studies of Great Composers, Parry
Enjoyment of Music, Pollitt
Musical Groundwork, Shera
Sabbath Mood Homeschool's Middle School Astronomy Guide
This podcast episode describes why, to Charlotte Mason, art was a living, breathing part of life and, hence, the curriculum. How do we open the doors to beauty and truth found in art as teachers? When and how do we progress in an orderly fashion? This episode also includes guidance for the mother with little art background herself.
"But any sketch of the history teaching in Forms V and VI in a given period depends upon a notice of the 'literature' set...and where it is possible, the architecture, painting, etc., which the period produced." (Vol. 6, pp. 177-78)
"For taste is the very flower, the most delicate expression of individuality, in a person who has grown up amidst objects lovely and befitting, and has been exercised in the habit of discrimination. Here we get a hint as to what may and what may not be done by way of cultivating the aesthetic sense in young people. So far as possible, let their surroundings be brought together on a principle of natural selection, not at haphazard, and not in obedience to fashion. Bear in mind, and let them often hear discussed and see applied, the three or four general principles which fit all occasions of building, decorating, furnishing, dressing: the thing must be fit for its purpose, must harmonise with both the persons and the things about it; and, these points considered, must be as lovely as may be in form, texture, and colour; one point more––it is better to have too little than too much." (Vol. 5, p. 232)
"It may not be possible to surround him with objects of art, nor is it necessary; but, certainly, he need not live amongst ugly and discordant objects; for a blank is always better than the wrong thing." (Vol. 5, p. 232)
[By eleven children should give] "orderly descriptions of pictures and training in this must begin gradually some years before. By an 'orderly' description is meant one in which the principal objects and their positions are mentioned first, so that a listener who has never seen the picture gains a general idea of their arrangement. Then the details are given, not haphazard but on some given plan...Although there is no teaching of composition, work along these lines prepares the way for its appreciation later on." (Picture Study, E.C. Plumptre, PNEU Pamplet)
"There is no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, but the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. 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. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman." (Vol. 6, p. 213)
Modern Painters, John Ruskin
Art For Children series, Ernest Raboff
The Renaissance: A Short History, Paul Johnson
Story of Painting, H.W. Janson
Emily's Picture Study Portfolios
Picture Study, PNEU Pamphlet
Picture Talks, K. R. Hammond, Parents' Review, Vol. 12, No. 7, pp. 501-509
Drawing was an essential component of the Charlotte Mason feast of subjects, and this podcast episode describes her purpose for including this skill. If drawing intimidates or paralyzes you because of your own feelings of incompetence to instruct, Emily offers practical tips for opening the world of expression through drawing for your children of all ages.
"It is only what we have truly seen that we can truly reproduce, hence, observation is enormously trained by art teaching. Personally, I believe every living soul can learn to draw from actual objects, if the eye has not first been vitiated by seeing copies of them." (Miss Pennethorne, PR 10)
"This is what we wish to do for children in teaching them to draw--to cause the eye to rest, not unconsciously, but consciously n some object of beauty which will leave in their minds an image of delight for all their lives to come." (Vol. 1, p. 313)
"Art, when rightly directed, is educational, for it trains not only one faculty, but all the faculties together; it trains the hand and the eye, and it trains the head and the heart; it teaches us to see and to see truly; it teaches us to think--that science can do; but it teaches us also to admire and to love; it disciplines the emotions." (Mr. Collingwood, The Fesole Club Papers)
"...the great benefit of "brushwork" being that it can be made quite a moral training in exactness and decision." (Mrs. Perrin, "Brush Drawing", PR 4)
"Children should learn to draw as they learn to write. The great point is that they should be encouraged, not flattered. With no help and encouragement the child gradually loses his desire to draw." (Mrs. Steinthal, "Art Training in the Nursery", PR 1)
"There are two great points that must be remembered if we wish to make our system of art teaching...successful. The first is, always keep the children interested. Next, let us understand that drawing is not only learnt with a pencil and a piece of paper....The chief value of drawing is that it trains the eye to see things as they are." (Mrs. Steinthal, PR 1)
"...we must be careful not to offer any aids in the way of guiding lines, points, and other such crutches; and also that he should work in the easiest medium; that is, with paint-brush or with charcoal, and not with a black-lead pencil. Boxes of cheap colours are to be avoided. Children are worthy of the best." (Vol. 1, p. 313)
"The first buttercup in a child's nature note book is shockingly crude, the sort of thing to scandalise 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)
"Drawing is nothing to do with talent, but can be done with observation, intelligence and application--or by seeing, remembering and expressing and is a fundamentally educative subject." (Juliet Williams, "The Teaching of Drawing and Its Place in Education", PR 34)
School Education (Volume 3), p. 205
Ourselves (Volume ), Book I, Part II, Chapters II and V
An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter X (f)
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards
Drawing Lessons, Florence Monkhouse (PR Article)
Brush Drawing, Miss K. Loveday (PR Article)
The Teaching of Drawing and Its Place in Education, Juliet Williams (PR Article)
Brush Drawing, Mrs H. Perrin (PR Article)
Fesole Club Papers, Mr. W. G. Collingwood
This week's Charlotte Mason podcast Q&A episode covers questions about transitioning through morning lessons, meeting state requirements for kindergarten, and handling the needs of a gifted child.
This podcast episode explores how a Charlotte Mason education can be enhanced by joining with others to explore nature. Nicole Williams interviews Marcia Mattern who shares practical ideas for how to make the most of our field work together from her years of experience in leading groups.
This podcast episode describes Charlotte Mason's purpose for "object lessons" in spreading the feast. What is an object lesson, how is it to be conducted, how does a teacher prepare for it and other questions related to drawing our children's interest deeper into nature study are the focus of this week's discussion.
Nature study is one big, beautiful part of a Charlotte Mason education. This podcast explores what is meant by “special studies,” and where it fits into the entire scheme of knowledge of the world outside. What is meant by field work, nature lore reading, and the nature journal, and how does a parent who is ignorant of nature inspire an interest in the student?
This podcast faces the reality: a Charlotte Mason education is rewarding--but enormous! It is normal to become weary, worried, and woeful at times about the immense and multitudinous tasks of educating our children, not to mention feeding, clothing, and caring for them daily. The ADE mothers have been in the trenches and share strategies and wisdom for running the race without giving up.
This podcast episode explores Charlotte Mason's Home Education series, the six volumes written to thoroughly explain her educational principles and practices. Join Emily Kiser in an interview with Morgan Conner as they describe the value and special characteristics of each volume individually, and where to begin in our own journey through the information-packed pages so essential to our knowledge and success as home educators.
When we embark on the homeschool journey, many of us feel inadequate to teach because of our own lack of education. Once we start, however, our enthusiasm for learning ourselves is usually kindled. But how to find the time, what to study, and which areas are most fruitful for us are the questions this episode will address as the ADE ladies review Mason's own Mothers Education Course and what she felt were the essential areas of study for a mother and teacher.
What kind of feast did Charlotte Mason spread for the oldest students? The high school years often cause anxiety in the homeschool teacher, but with the slow and steady progress in the lower forms, a Mason educated child is going to tackle them with relish. What was included in the upper forms, what changed, and what stayed the same?
Charlotte Mason carefully laid the foundation for the upper years in the lower forms. What are the differences in subjects and practices once students enter the middle form and are working toward the high school years? This podcast will survey and summarize Form III.
Charlotte Mason had definite ideas for why the children should learn, as well as what was to be learned at every stage of school education. This episode provides an overview of the last two years of the "elementary years," or the top of the second Form.
Charlotte Mason's students moved to a new "form" at age 9 or 10. What makes Form II different from form I in the subject content and skills? This podcast discusses the wider room experienced by students entering the upper elementary school years.
Charlotte Mason's young students had an abundant feast. This episode summarizes and reflects on the aspects of the subjects included for the upper part of the first form of school. What do they move on to after that first introductory year?
Charlotte Mason wanted children to set good intellectual habits, and these begin in the first year of formal lessons. A. A. Milne said, "Now we are Six," Mason said, "Now it's time to read," and this episode will describe the scope of the first year of school and its lessons.
Charlotte Mason advice to your frequently asked questions, this time on narration with non-Mason students, required standardized state testing, and the long-awaited, "What do we do in the summer?"
Charlotte Mason was a proponent of the instruction in Sloyd. What is it, and when and how is it taught? Emily interviews guest Brittney McGann, who has researched the topic and practiced this subject in her home and has many practical tips to share and resources to recommend.