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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: January, 2017
Jan 27, 2017

This Charlotte Mason podcast episode focuses on listener questions regarding bringing children into the Mason method from other previous school experiences. What are the approaches that help children of various ages transition, what are realistic expectations, and how do we help them adjust to a different way of doing lessons?

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"The success of such a school demands rare qualities in the teacher––high culture, some knowledge of psychology and of the art of education; intense sympathy with the children, much tact, much common sense, much common information, much 'joyousness of nature,' and much governing power..." (Vol. 1, p. 178)

"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, p. 170-171)



I Buy a School, Marion Berry

(Contains affiliate links)
Jan 20, 2017

Term examinations in Charlotte Mason's schools were mandatory. This podcast explores the purpose of examinations, what was covered, and how we evaluate our child's performance.

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"The children write with perfect understanding as far as they go and there is rarely a 'howler' in hundreds of sets of papers. They have an enviable power of getting at the gist of a book or subject. Sometimes they are asked to write verses about a personage or an event; the result is not remarkable by way of poetry, but sums up a good deal of thoughtful reading in a delightful way..." (Vol. 6, p. 242)

"During the examinations, which last a week, the children cover say from twenty to sixty sheets of Cambridge paper, according to age and class; but if ten times as many questions were set on the work studied most likely they would cover ten times as much paper." (Vol. 6, p. 241)

"The terminal examinations are of great importance. They are not merely and chiefly tests of knowledge but records which are likely to be permanent." (Vol. 6, p. 272)



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.

School Education, Appendix II



Sample PNEU Examinations from Programme 93

Sample PNEU Examinations from Programme 95 (click each link to see full Programme and Examination for each Form)
Jan 13, 2017

This Q&A episode of the Charlotte Mason podcast addresses such varied topics as introducing the Book of Centuries, dawdling and disinterested beginners, preschoolers participation, and transitioning students to independent reading.

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"In the first place, never let the child dawdle over copybook or sum, sit dreaming with his book before him. When a child grows stupid over a lesson, it is time to put it away. Let him do another lesson as unlike the last as possible, and then go back with freshened wits to his unfinished task." (Vol. 1, p. 141)

"That the claims of the schoolroom should not be allowed to encroach on the child's right to long hours daily for exercise and investigation." (Vol. 1, p. 177)

"Form IIB has a considerable programme of reading, that is, not the mere mechanical exercise of reading but the reading of certain books. Therefore it is necessary that two years should be spent in Form IA and that in the second of these two years the children should read a good deal of the set work for themselves." (Vol. 6, pp. 181-182)

"This habit should be begun early; so soon as the child can read at all, he should read for himself, and to himself, history, legends, fairy tales, and other suitable matter." (Vol. 1, p. 227)



Made in the ... Books by Christine Price

History of Everyday Things, Quennell

Colonial Craftsmen, Tunis (and all his other books)

A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane (and many of his other books)

What People Wore, Gorsline

(Contains affiliate links)

Jan 6, 2017

Charlotte Mason's morning lessons accomplish much, but this podcast episode focuses on what comes after. What does a mother do with that long afternoon the children should have, how do we manage the activities of life as well as all the occupations Mason insisted should occur outside of school time? This is a thorough discussion of mother's responsibilities, children's freedom and time management, and the purpose of those leisure hours after school books are closed for the day.

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"That the claims of the schoolroom should not be allowed to encroach on the child's right to long hours daily for exercise and investigation." (Vol. 1, p. 177)

"Thus, the morning, after breakfast (the digestion of which lighter meal is not a severe task), is much the best time for lessons and every sort of mental work; if the whole afternoon cannot be spared for out-of-door recreation, that is the time for mechanical tasks such as needlework, drawing, practising; the children's wits are bright enough in the evening, but the drawback to evening work is, that the brain, once excited, is inclined to carry on its labours beyond bed-time, and dreams, wakefulness, and uneasy sleep attend the poor child who has been at work until the last minute. If the elder children must work in the evening, they should have at least one or two pleasant social hours before they go to bed; but, indeed, we owe it to the children to abolish evening 'preparation.'" (Vol. 1, p. 23)

"Five of the thirteen waking hours should be at the disposal of the children; three, at least, of these, from two o'clock to five, for example, should be spent out of doors in all but very bad weather. This is the opportunity for out-of-door work, collecting wild flowers, describing walks and views, etc. (see Home Education). Brisk work and ample leisure and freedom should be the rule of the Home School. The Children's Day will, on the whole, run this: Lessons, 1 1/2 to 4 hours; meals, 2 hours; occupations, 1 to 3 hours; leisure, 5 to 7 hours, according to age. The work not done in its own time should be left undone. Children should not be embarrassed with arrears, and they should have dues sense of the importance of time, and that there is no other time for work not done in its own time. Should the children flag at any time, a day's holiday, a little country excursion, should refresh them." (From Suggestions which accompanied the PNEU Programmes)

"[Referring to the afternoon occupations]...at any time of day, in any division of time, to suit family arrangements; when possible, out of doors." (From Suggestions which accompanied the PNEU Programmes)



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 II: Out of Door Life of Children

List of Afternoon Activities
1