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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: Page 9
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.
Dec 13, 2015

The subject of history brings groans to some and yawns to others, but Mason considered it the pivotal subject in her curriculum. Listen in as these moms discuss some of Charlotte Mason's beliefs about the teaching of history and why it is centrally important to the subjects that give the "Knowledge of Man" and provides much, much more than a knowledge of dates and facts of wars and famous events.

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“Not what we have learned, but what we are waiting to know is the delectable part of knowledge.” (Vol.3, p. 224)

"Next in order to religious knowledge, history is the pivot upon which our curriculum turns." (Vol. 6, p. 273)

"But to read English history and fail to realise that it is replete with interest, sparkling with episode, and full of dramatic incident, is to miss all the pleasure and most of the instruction which its study, if properly pursued, can give." (vol. 1, pp. 290-91)

“[H]istory is an entrancing subject of study,” (Vol. 1, p. 292)

"[I]t seems to be necessary to present ideas with a great deal of padding, as they reach us in a novel or poem or history book written with literary power." (Vol. 6, p. 109)

"For the matter for this intelligent teaching of history, eschew, in the first place, nearly all history books written expressly for children; and in the next place, all compendiums, outlines, abstracts whatsoever." (Vol. 1, p. 281)

"[O]ut of a whole big book he may not get more than half a dozen of those ideas upon which his spirit thrives; and they come in unexpected places and unrecognised forms, so that no grown person is capable of making such extracts from Scott or Dickens or Milton, as will certainly give him nourishment. It is a case of,––'In the morning sow thy seed and in the evening withhold not thine hand for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.' [Eccl. 11:6]" (Vol. 6, pp. 109-110)

“Now imagination does not descend, full grown, to take possession of an empty house; like every other power of the mind, it is the merest germ of a power to begin with, and grows by what it gets; and childhood, the age of faith, is the time for its nourishing. The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times––a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story books. Their lessons, too, history and geography, should cultivate their conceptive powers. If the child do not live in the times of his history lesson, be not at home in the climes of his geography book describes, why, these lessons will fail of their purpose.” (Vol. 1, p. 153)

"It is a great thing to possess a pageant of history in the background of one's thoughts." (Vol. 6, p. 178)

"To us in particular who are living in one of the great epochs of history it is necessary to know something of what has gone before in order to think justly of what is occurring to-day." (Vol. 6, p. 169)

"It is not too much to say that a rational well-considered patriotism depends on a pretty copious reading of history, and with this rational patriotism we desire our young people shall be informed rather than with the jingoism of the emotional patriot." (Vol. 6, p. 170)

"[A]void giving children cut-and-dried opinions upon the course of history while they are yet young." (Vol. 1, p. 288)

"I will not press my point by urging the moral bankruptcy which has been exposed to us during recent years as co-existent with, if not caused by, utilitarian education." (Vol. 6, pp. 282-83)

“He who reads history in this way, not to pass examinations, nor to obtain culture, nor even for his own pleasure (delightful as such reading is), but because he knows it to be his duty to his country to have some intelligent knowledge of the past, of other lands as well as of his own, must add solid worth to the nation that owns him.” (Vol. 4, pp. 74-75)

"[T]hat the history we teach may be the more living, we work in, pari passu, 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, p. 67)

“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.” (Vol.6, p. 274)

“The co-ordination of subjects 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. . .we should read such history, travels, and literature as would make the Spanish Armada live in the mind.” (Vol. 3, p. 231)

“Every nation has its heroic age before authentic history begins: these were giants in the land in those days, and the child wants to know about them. He has every right to revel in such classic myths as we possess as a nation…” (Vol. 1, p. 284)

"Much that has been said about the teaching of geography applies equally to that of history." (Vol. 1, p. 279)

"It is a great thing to possess a pageant of history in the background of one's thoughts. We may not be able to recall this or that circumstance, but, 'the imagination is warmed'; we know that there is a great deal to be said on both sides of every question and are saved from crudities in opinion and rashness in action. The present becomes enriched for us with the wealth of all that has gone before." (Vol. 6, p.178)



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 XVIII

School Education (Volume 3): Appendix II, notes pertaining to history lessons and sample exam questions and answers

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

Dec 4, 2015


We think of school as paper, pencils, and books, but Mason's delectable feast included innumerable other learning opportunities. We try to hit the highlights here of the vastly underrated world of things that can be considered critical to the well-rounded education.

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“The children I am speaking of are much occupied with things as well as with books, because 'Education is the Science of Relations,' is the principle which regulates their curriculum; that is, a child goes to school with many aptitudes which he should put into effect. So, he learns a good deal of science, because children have no difficulty in understanding principles, though technical details baffle them. He practises various handicrafts that he may know the feel of wood, clay, leather, and the joy of handling tools, that is, that he may establish a due relation with materials. But, always, it is the book, the knowledge, the clay, the bird or blossom, he thinks of, not his own place or his own progress.” (Vol. 6, p. 31)

“At the same time, here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit, without further help or knowledge of hers.” (Vol. 1, pp. 44-45)

"At any rate he should go forth well furnished because imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold." (Vol. 6, p. 43)

"The work is arranged on the principles which have been set forth in this volume; a wide curriculum, a considerable number of books for each child in the several classes, and, besides, a couple of hours' work daily, not with Books but with Things." (Vol. 3, p. 271)



 

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 (Vol. 3), Chapter 21

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Vol. 6), Book I, Sections II and III



 

The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)



 

Example of a P.U.S. Time-table

Dec 1, 2015

Whether in homeschooling, public or private schooling, the teacher finds that the appeal and wonder of narration that Charlotte Mason employed is not without its challenges. This episode addresses commonly asked questions and confusion surrounding the implementation of narration to offer some practical solutions to difficulties you may encounter in the classroom.

Nov 20, 2015

Homeschooling with Charlotte Mason's method is truly a joy when employing her foundational, and unique, use of narration. This episode unpacks the basics of why children make excellent narrators and learn abundantly through building that skill, as well as some basics of how to begin and make use of "telling."

Nov 13, 2015


If you desire to use living books in your children's education, but are not confident of your ability to discern which books are "living" and which are not, this episode contains the practical information you need. Criteria for determining if a book is living are described carefully, examples read, along with ways to identify and eliminate twaddle from your bookshelves.

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"[T]he boy who has not formed the habit of getting nourishment out of his books in school-days does not, afterwards, see the good of reading. He has not acquired, in an intellectual sense, the art of reading, so he cannot be said to have lost it; and he goes through life an imperfect person, with the best and most delightful of his powers latent or maimed." (The Formation of Character, pg. 291)

"I am speaking now of his lesson-books, which are all too apt to be written in a style of insufferable twaddle, probably because they are written by persons who have never chanced to meet a child." (Home Education, pg. 229)

“This sort of weak literature for the children, both in any story and lesson books, is the result of a reactionary process. Not so long ago the current impression was that the children had little understanding, but prodigious memory for facts; dates, numbers, rules, catechisms of knowledge, much information in small parcels, was supposed to be the fitting material for a child's education. We have changed all that, and put into the children's hands lesson-books with pretty pictures and easy talk, almost as good as story-books; but we do not see that, after all, we are but giving the same little pills of knowledge in the form of a weak and copious diluent. Teachers, and even parents, who are careful enough about their children's diet, are so reckless as to the sort of mental aliment offered to them, that I am exceedingly anxious to secure consideration for this question, of the lessons and literature proper for the little people." (Home Education, pgs. 176-77)

"[H]ungry souls clamouring for meat, and we choke them off, not by shutting up schools and colleges, but by offering matter which no living soul can digest. The complaints made by teachers and children of the monotony of the work in our schools is full of pathos and all credit to those teachers who cheer the weary path by entertaining devices. But mind does not live and grow upon entertainment; it requires its solid meals." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 90)

“They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told.” (Parents and Children, pg. 263)

"A book may be long or short, old or new, easy or hard, written by a great man or a lesser man, and yet be the living book which finds its way to the mind of a young reader. The expert is not the person to choose; the children themselves are the experts in this case. A single page will elicit a verdict; but the unhappy thing is, this verdict is not betrayed; it is acted upon in the opening or closing of the door of the mind." (School Education, pgs. 228-229)

"The 'hundred best books for the schoolroom' may be put down on a list, but not by me. I venture to propose one or two principles in the matter of school-books, and shall leave the far more difficult part, the application of those principles, to the reader. (School Education, pg. 177)

"So much for the right books; the right use of them is another matter. The children must enjoy the book." (School Education, pg. 178)

"As for literature--to introduce children to literature is to install them in a very rich and glorious kingdom, to bring a continual holiday to their doors, to lay before them a feast exquisitely served. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child’s intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 51)



 

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 VIII

School Education, Chapters XVI and XXI



 

Geronimo, Catherine Welch (our "not living" example)

The Story of Geronimo, Jim Kjelgaard

Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi

Little Britches, Ralph Moody

Plutarch's Lives

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham

Principia, Isaac Newton

Of Other Worlds, C.S. Lewis

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver

(Contains affiliate links)



 


The blog post that Emily wrote explaining her "L-I-V-I-N-G" anagram for determining living books:

L-I-V-I-N-G Books

Nov 6, 2015

 


Living books are the heart of a Mason education. Education is a life, and living books are the food the mind requires for its nourishment. Liz, Emily, and Nicole share excerpts from some living books to demonstrate the power of living ideas. They discuss some reasons why living books are the richer road to engaging a child's imagination, inspire and feed their thirst for knowledge, and why textbooks do not.

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"A corollary of the principle that education is the science of relations, is, that no education seems to be worth the name which has not made children at home in the world of books, and so related them, mind to mind, with thinkers who have dealt with knowledge. We reject epitomes, compilations, and their like, and put into children's hands books which, long or short, are living." (School Education, p. 226)

"In literature, we have definite ends in view, both for our own children and for the world through them. We wish the children to grow up to find joy and refreshment in the taste, the flavour of a book. We do not mean by a book any printed matter in a binding, but a work possessing certain literary qualities able to bring that sensible delight to the reader which belongs to a literary word fitly spoken. It is a sad fact that we are losing our joy in literary form. We are in such haste to be instructed by facts or titillated by theories, that we have no leisure to linger over the mere putting of a thought. But this is our error, for words are mighty both to delight and to inspire. If we were not as blind as bats, we should long ago have discovered a truth very fully indicated in the Bible––that that which is once said with perfect fitness can never be said again, and becomes ever thereafter a living power in the world. But in literature, as in art, we require more than mere form. Great ideas are brooding over the chaos of our thought; and it is he who shall say the thing we are all dumbly thinking, who shall be to us as a teacher sent from God." (Parents and Children, pgs. 262-63)

“Again, we have made a rather strange discovery, that the mind refuses to know anything except what reaches it in more or less literary form. It is not surprising that this should be true of children and persons accustomed to a literary atmosphere but that it should be so of ignorant children of the slums points to a curious fact in the behaviour of mind. Persons can ‘get up’ the driest of pulverised text-books and enough mathematics for some public examination; but these attainments do not appear to touch the region of the mind.” (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 256)

“Once more, we know that there is a storehouse of thought wherein we may find all the great ideas that have moved the world. We are above all things anxious to give the child the key to this storehouse. The education of the day, it is said, does not produce reading people. We are determined that the children shall love books, therefore we do not interpose ourselves between the book and the child. 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.” (Parents and Children, pg. 232)



 

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, Chapters XV and XVI

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter VII



 

The Silent Storm, Marion Marsh Brown and Ruth Crone

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth, Herman and Nina Schneider

A Tree for Peter, Kate Seredy

The White Stag, Kate Seredy

All About the Planet Earth, Patricia Lauber

(Contains affiliate links)

Oct 30, 2015


One thing leads to another, it is said, but the powerful interrelation of knowledge and experience Mason identified is the process we must recognize and capitalize on in teaching. She called it the "science of relations" and this episode is an animated discussion that not only defines what Mason meant, but is packed with descriptions of how these three women have observed the process at work in their children's lives. This truly is the exciting aspect of teaching, observed in themselves and their children.

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(11) But we, believing that the normal child has powers of mind which fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, give him a full and generous curriculum; taking care only that all knowledge offered him is vital, that is, that facts are not presented without their informing ideas. Out of this conception comes our principle that,--(12) “Education is the Science of Relations”: that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts; so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything. “Those first-born affinities that fit our new existence to existing things.” (Preface to the Home Education Series)

"The mind can know nothing but what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put by the mind itself." (Parents and Children, pg. 218)

"A small English boy of nine living in Japan, remarked, 'Isn't it fun, Mother, learning all these things? Everything seems to fit into something else.' The boy had not found out the whole secret; everything fitted into something within himself." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pgs. 156-57)

“Much of what we have learned and experienced in childhood, and later, we cannot reproduce, and yet it has formed the groundwork of after knowledge; later notions and opinions have grown out of what we once learned and knew. That is our sunk capital, of which we enjoy the interest though we are unable to realise.” (Home Education, pg. 154)

“At the same time, the child's capacity for knowledge is very limited; his mind is, in this respect at least, but a little phial with a narrow neck; and, therefore, it behooves the parent or teacher to pour in only of the best.” (Home Education, pg. 175)

“You will see at a glance, with this Captain Idea of establishing relationships as a guide, the unwisdom of choosing or rejecting this or that subject, as being more or less useful or necessary in view of a child's future. We decide, for example, that Tommy, who is eight, need not waste his time over the Latin Grammar. We intend him for commercial or scientific pursuits,––what good will it be to him? But we do not know how much we are shutting out from Tommy's range of thought besides the Latin Grammar. He has to translate, for example,––'Pueri formosos equos vident.' He is a ruminant animal, and has been told something about that strong Roman people whose speech is now brought before him. How their boys catch hold of him! How he gloats over their horses! The Latin Grammar is not mere words to Tommy, or rather Tommy knows, as we have forgotten, that the epithet 'mere' is the very last to apply to words. Of course it is only now and then that a notion catches the small boy, but when it does catch, it works wonders, and does more for his education than years of grind. Let us try, however imperfectly, to make education a science of relationships––in other words, try in one subject or another to let the children work upon living ideas. In this field small efforts are honoured with great rewards, and we perceive that the education we are giving exceeds all that we intended or imagined.” (School Education, pgs. 162-63)

"Children can be most fitly educated on things and books." (School Education, pg. 214)



 

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, chapters VII, XVII, and XVIII

Towards a Philosophy, Introduction and chapter I



 

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham

America Moves Forward, Gerald Johnson

Rip van Winkle, Washington Irving

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, Marguerite Henry

The Romance of Chemistry, Keith Irwin

Madame How and Lady Why, Charles Kingsley

The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)

Oct 23, 2015


If education is not information, what is it? How do we as teachers feed the whole person's natural desire to know? Emily, Nicole, and Liz discuss the tools to implement in education, the motto Mason took for her teachers: "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life," defining, discussing, and providing real life instances of these instruments put into practice.



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4. These principles are limited by the respect due to the personality of children, which must not be encroached upon whether by the direct use of fear or love, suggestion or influence, or by undue play upon any one natural desire. 5. Therefore, we are limited to three educational instruments--the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas. The P.N.E.U. Motto is: "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life." (Preface to the Home Education Series)

"The child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which rule their own lives." (Parents and Children, pg. 247)

"Parents and teachers should know how to make sensible use of a child's circumstances (atmosphere) to forward his sound education." (School Education, pg. 182)
"Attention is hardly even an operation of the mind, but is simply the act by which the whole mental force is applied to the subject in hand...For whatever the natural gifts of the child, it is only in so far as the habit of attention is cultivated in him that he is able to make use of them." (Home Education, pgs. 145-146)

"A single idea may be a possession so precious in itself, so fruitful, that the parent cannot fitly allow the child's selection of ideas to be a matter of chance; his lessons should furnish him with such ideas as shall make for his further education." (Home Education, pg. 174)

"In the early days of a child's life it makes little apparent difference whether we educate with a notion of filling a receptacle, inscribing a tablet, moulding plastic matter, or nourishing a life, but as a child grows we shall perceive that only those ideas which have fed his life, are taken into his being; all the rest is cast away or is, like sawdust in the system, an impediment and an injury." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pgs. 108-109)

"A time-table, written out fairly, so that the child knows what he has to do and how long each lesson is to last." (Home Education, pg. 142)

"A Child gets through their morning lessons without any sign of weariness." (Home Education, pg. 142)

"It is only as we recognise our limitations that our work becomes effective: when we see definitely what we are to do, what we can do, and what we cannot do, we set to work with confidence and courage; we have an end in view, and we make our way intelligently towards that end, and a way to an end is method. It rests with parents not only to give their children birth into the life of intelligence and moral power, but to sustain the higher life which they have borne." (Parents and Children, pg. 33)



 

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: Lessons as Instruments of Education

Parents and Children, chapters IV, VII, and XXII

School Education, chapter XIV

Towards a Philosophy of Education, chapter VI

Oct 16, 2015


Charlotte Mason has a unique view of the student and the way in which he learns. This episode focuses on the role of the teacher and how his responsibilities and approach to teaching likewise take on a different perspective in her method. Nicole, Emily and Liz begin with a comparison of traditional teaching qualifications versus Mason's requirements for teachers, concluding with the life-changing help every teacher has at her disposal.

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"We may not despise them, or hinder them ('suffer the little children'), or offend them by our brutish clumsiness of action and want of serious thought; while the one positive precept afforded to us is 'feed' (which should be rendered 'pasture') 'my lambs,' place them in the midst of abundant food." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 81)

"[Y]ou may bring a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. What I complain of is that we do not bring our horse to the water. We give him miserable little text-books, mere compendiums of facts, which he is to learn off and say and produce at an examination; or we give him various knowledge in the form of warm diluents, prepared by his teacher with perhaps some grains of living thought to the gallon. And all the time we have books, books teeming with ideas fresh from the minds of thinkers upon every subject to which we can wish to introduce children." (School Education, pg. 171)

"[T]he great recognition, that God the Holy Spirit is Himself, personally, the Imparter of knowledge, the Instructor of youth, the Inspirer of genius, is a conception so far lost to us that we should think it distinctly irreverent to conceive of the divine teaching as co-operating with ours in a child's arithmetic lesson, for example. But the Florentine mind of the Middle Ages went further than this: it believed, not only that the seven Liberal Arts were fully under the direct outpouring of the Holy Ghost, but that every fruitful idea, every original conception, whether in Euclid, or grammar, or music, was a direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit, without any thought at all as to whether the person so inspired named himself by the name of God, or recognised whence his inspiration came." (Parents and Children, pg. 270-71)

“Let this be the mother's key to the whole of the education of each boy and each girl; not of her children; the Divine Spirit does not work with nouns of multitude, but with each single child. Because He is infinite, the whole world is not too great a school for this indefatigable Teacher, and because He is infinite, He is able to give the whole of his infinite attention for the whole time to each one of his multitudinous pupils. We do not sufficiently rejoice in the wealth that the infinite nature of our God brings to each of us.” (Parents and Children, pg. 273)

"[W]e perceive that the great work of education is to inspire children with vitalising ideas as to every relation of life, every department of knowledge, every subject of thought; and to give deliberate care to the formation of those habits of the good life which are the outcome of vitalising ideas. In this great work we seek and assuredly find the cooperation of the Divine Spirit, whom we recognise, in a sense rather new to modern thought, as the supreme Educator of mankind in things that have been called secular, fully as much as in those that have been called sacred." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 173)



 

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), Chapter 25

School Education (Volume 3), Chapters 1-3

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Chapters 5 and 10, section 2



 

Mornings in Florence, John Ruskin

(Contains affiliate links)



 

The Descent of the Holy Spirit Fresco here and here

Oct 12, 2015


Charlotte Mason's first principle of education is that "Children are born persons." This sounds simple, but Emily, Nicole, and Liz examine the complexity of this view and why it is unique in existing educational models and practices. They each share personal and practical examples of the difference such a concept makes for a child being educated in Mason's method.

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"In a word, we are very tenacious of the dignity and individuality of our children. We recognise steady, regular growth with no transition stage...put the first thing foremost, do not take too much upon ourselves, but leave time and scope for the workings of Nature and of a higher Power than Nature herself." (Parents and Children, pg. 232)

"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?" (School Education, pgs. 170-71)


 

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 I, Chapters 1-7

School Education (Volume 3), Chapters 4 and 8

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Chapters 2 and 5

Oct 9, 2015


Emily Kiser of Living Books Library describes the purpose for this podcast series. Each of the three members of this discussion group introduces herself and explains how she became a homeschooling mother. Since the goal of this series is to explore the ideas of Charlotte Mason, each mother also shares how she became interested in Mason's educational method. Finally, a discussion of why schooling with a philosophical outlook is crucial ensues.


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"But knowledge is delectable." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 89)

"We spread an abundant and delicate feast...all sit down to the same feast and each one gets according to his needs and powers." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 183)

"There are four means of destroying the desire for knowledge:––
(a) Too many oral lessons, which offer knowledge in a diluted form, and do not leave the child free to deal with it.
(b) Lectures, for which the teacher collects, arranges, and illustrates matter from various sources; these often offer knowledge in too condensed and ready prepared a form.
(c) Text-books compressed and recompressed from the big book of the big man.
(d) The use of emulation and ambition as incentives to learning in place of the adequate desire for,and delight in, knowledge." (School Education, pg. 214)

"The reader will say with truth,--'I knew all this before and have always acted more or less on these principles' and I can only point to the unusual results we obtain through adhering not 'more or less' but strictly to the principles and practices I have indicated." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 19)

 

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 Preface to the Home Education Series, found at the beginning of each volume

An Educational Manifesto, (PR Article)

 

For the Children's Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

(Contains affiliate links)

 

www.sabbath-mood-homeschool.com Nicole Williams' blog where you can find ideas for teaching living science as well as information on how to schedule your Charlotte Mason lessons

www.livingbookslibrary.com The blog and website for Living Books Library--lots of living book recommendations, hints on developing a reading culture in your home as well as audio versions of Charlotte Mason's Home Education Series and living books for sale

Picture Study Portfolios A complete resource for Picture Study written by Emily Kiser--instructions on how to teach picture study, an artist biography, eight full-page laminated art prints, and notes on each painting

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