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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Charlotte Mason's View of Children and Their Educational Needs, A Bullet List

charlotte mason parent reviewThis is not intended to be comprehensive, but it is a quick summary, a jump start, and it was, for me, a useful exercise.  I share it because it might help some.  But ideally, you should start reading and make your own bullet list.

Actually... it's a cheat-sheet.  I compiled it the easy way.  Keep reading...

Children, according to Miss Mason:


  • Are born persons
  • have an affinity for God
  • Have both good and evil tendencies,
  • have powers (strengths or abilities) common to all
  • Need a bracing, not too stimulating, atmosphere;
  • Must live under wider natural conditions
  • Should not be burdened with too many decisions
  • should not 'run wild,'
  • They are beings of large discourse,
  • They may not be all alike, but they are all persons of infinite possibilities
  • Have imagination
  • Have judgment
  • Have power of attention
  • Should know something of their own capacities.

  • Require much and various knowledge, and that comes best in literary form because they must read to know.  They must be put in touch with great thoughts, and should read many books. They grow upon ideas. They  experience what they hear and read. Eventually, they should learn follow arguments and detect fallacies

Children also have some shortcomings... some weaknesses that need strengthening... some areas that are lacking. 
  • What they are *not* is informed.  I.E. they are ignorant.  However, while born ignorant, they are not born without the power and appetite for knowledge.  They are waiting for the call of knowledge- and, in fact, have an appetite for knowledge, and can more readily deal with knowledge than we typically give them credit for, although they also do not generalize well.
  • Although they often are able to begin a school education at five, conscious mental effort is undesirable until six
  • In addition to the knowledge given them, they  need physical and mechanical training;
  • Should be given the sense of 'must,'
  • Must be given principles of conduct
  • Must have responsibility of learning
  • must think fairly;
  • must form good habits
  • must know what religion is
  • Must  see life whole;
  • must learn science of proportion;
  • should be chastely taught and should be taught how to watch their thoughts (this is the Victorian phrasing about self-control and sex-education, btw)

  • They are  hindered by apparatus of teacher ; made apathetic by spiritual malnutrition, and they are bored by talk.  Their intellectual capacity is belittled by most approaches to education. They should not be treated as intellectual ruminants. They are not merely products of education or environment, and are not incomplete beings waiting to be completed by their education and environment.
How did I come up with these?  I collected them from the index of volume 6- who knew what wisdom could be found in an index?

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