Friday, December 19, 2014

Who Was Charlotte Mason

"Charlotte Mason was a British woman of the last century who founded the House of Education in Ambleside, England, in the beautiful Lake District.  She was born in 1842, an Anglican woman and a pioneer in educational reform.  She founded the Parents National Educational Union (PNEU), perhaps the first homeschool support group ever.  She also published the Parent's Review, a periodical written to guide parents who were educating children at home.  

She seemed to love mottoes, and her motto for the parents of PNEU was: "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life."
She wrote volumes about the three educational instruments: the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas."

The above quote is taken from a book I have been reading,  Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss.  I am very intrigued by Miss Masons educational philosophy.  It really strikes a chord with me, and I have been trying to implement into our daily routines and rhythms.  

William Butler Yeats said that "Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire."

What a great way to put it.  I think that there is a need for text books and in-depth study.  I think there are times when you just need to sit down with your pen and paper and get your lessons done.

But, I find that a lot of times the pushing and prodding that comes with trying to get our children to finish their lessons could be avoided if we implement Miss Masons way of teaching. 

When a child feels a part of what their learning, they forget that they are doing "school."  Playing 'store' with real money teaches a child math skills that they will need when they are older.  How many times do we go to the store to have a sales clerk not be able to count back our change?  What good is it if they read it in a book, but have no real knowledge of how to put it into practice?

"I don't consider education from the perspective of filling buckets because I don't consider children from that perspective.  When I look at a child, I see a living, breathing person made in God's image, for whom God has a plan".  Elizabeth Foss

I know that raising our children is not a one size fits all approach.  It can't be.  God has entrusted us each individually to raise our children the way we see fit.  How awesome is it that there are so many ideas and methods out there!  Our children are individuals, and we can pick what works for them.

With that being said,  I have 5 little ones under the age of 7.  I love that this style of learning goes beyond the subjects we teach.  Sally Clarkson calls it "home centered learning."  I want our home to have an attitude that learning isn't something we turn on and off like a water spigot.  

In future posts I would like to look a bit more in depth at her methods, and share with you how we are incorporating her ideas into our everyday.

I wanted to share a few books with you that have really helped me understand the basics, and have given me a whole lot of inspiration!

One of my favorite authors is Karen Andreola.  She has really taken what could have been an overwhelming amount of information and put it into small bits that I could handle and implement easily.  All three of these books are wonderful.

You can visit her blog here.

If you are using Charlotte Mason's methods in your home?   What are your favorite resources? 

Follow Sunshine by Channon's board Learning the Methods of Charlotte Mason on Pinterest.

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