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Home Education

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Home Education consists of six lectures by Charlotte Mason about the raising and educating of young children (up to the age of nine), for parents and teachers. She encourages us to spend a lot of time outdoors, immersed in nature and handling natural objects and collecting experiences on which to base the rest of their education. She discusses the use of training in good Home Education consists of six lectures by Charlotte Mason about the raising and educating of young children (up to the age of nine), for parents and teachers. She encourages us to spend a lot of time outdoors, immersed in nature and handling natural objects and collecting experiences on which to base the rest of their education. She discusses the use of training in good habits such as attention, thinking, imagining, remembering, performing tasks with perfect execution, obedience, and truthfulness, to replace undesirable tendencies in children (and the adults that they grow into). She details how lessons in various school subjects can be done using her approach. She concludes with remarks about the Will, the Conscience, and the Divine Life in the Child. Charlotte Mason was a late nineteenth-century British educator whose ideas were far ahead of her time. She believed that children are born persons worthy of respect, rather than blank slates, and that it was better to feed their growing minds with living literature and vital ideas and knowledge, rather than dry facts and knowledge filtered and pre-digested by the teacher. Her method of education, still used by some private schools and many homeschooling families, is gentle and flexible, especially with younger children, and includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, conveying wonder and arousing curiosity, and through reflection upon great art, music, and poetry; nature observation as the primary means of early science teaching; use of manipulatives and real-life application to understand mathematical concepts and learning to reason, rather than rote memorization and working endless sums; and an emphasis on character and on cultivating and maintaining good personal habits. Schooling is teacher-directed, not child-led, but school time should be short enough to allow students free time to play and to pursue their own worthy interests such as handicrafts. Traditional Charlotte Mason schooling is firmly based on Christianity, although the method is also used successfully by secular families and families of other religions.


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Home Education consists of six lectures by Charlotte Mason about the raising and educating of young children (up to the age of nine), for parents and teachers. She encourages us to spend a lot of time outdoors, immersed in nature and handling natural objects and collecting experiences on which to base the rest of their education. She discusses the use of training in good Home Education consists of six lectures by Charlotte Mason about the raising and educating of young children (up to the age of nine), for parents and teachers. She encourages us to spend a lot of time outdoors, immersed in nature and handling natural objects and collecting experiences on which to base the rest of their education. She discusses the use of training in good habits such as attention, thinking, imagining, remembering, performing tasks with perfect execution, obedience, and truthfulness, to replace undesirable tendencies in children (and the adults that they grow into). She details how lessons in various school subjects can be done using her approach. She concludes with remarks about the Will, the Conscience, and the Divine Life in the Child. Charlotte Mason was a late nineteenth-century British educator whose ideas were far ahead of her time. She believed that children are born persons worthy of respect, rather than blank slates, and that it was better to feed their growing minds with living literature and vital ideas and knowledge, rather than dry facts and knowledge filtered and pre-digested by the teacher. Her method of education, still used by some private schools and many homeschooling families, is gentle and flexible, especially with younger children, and includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, conveying wonder and arousing curiosity, and through reflection upon great art, music, and poetry; nature observation as the primary means of early science teaching; use of manipulatives and real-life application to understand mathematical concepts and learning to reason, rather than rote memorization and working endless sums; and an emphasis on character and on cultivating and maintaining good personal habits. Schooling is teacher-directed, not child-led, but school time should be short enough to allow students free time to play and to pursue their own worthy interests such as handicrafts. Traditional Charlotte Mason schooling is firmly based on Christianity, although the method is also used successfully by secular families and families of other religions.

30 review for Home Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a wonderful book not only for educators, but for parents! I found the last part about the will invaluable not only for my children, but for MYSELF.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mystie Winckler

    Own. I attempted this book several years ago, but I didn't make it passed the talk at the beginning about airing, vulgar servants, and other particulars to Victorian London. This time I skimmed through the beginning and was rewarded by the meaty and edifying second half. I liked the title: Home Education: Training and Educating Children under Nine. Yes, under nine we are assuming are best suited to learning at home under their mother's care rather than at school under a master. Miss Mason posits Own. I attempted this book several years ago, but I didn't make it passed the talk at the beginning about airing, vulgar servants, and other particulars to Victorian London. This time I skimmed through the beginning and was rewarded by the meaty and edifying second half. I liked the title: Home Education: Training and Educating Children under Nine. Yes, under nine we are assuming are best suited to learning at home under their mother's care rather than at school under a master. Miss Mason posits that children can and should give full attention to their work in short bursts, rather than drawn out "desultory" reading and thinking. With short but intense chunks of work done in the morning, alternating types of application required (10 minutes of listening to quality reading, then narrating, then 10 minutes of a discipline like copywork or math, then 10 minutes again of reading and narrating, etc.), a full and quality education can be had in a couple morning hours, leaving the majority of the day open for hobbies, out-of-doors, and free play, which are productive and necessary activities for children. From this book I have a better idea of how to secure attention (it comes from the child knowing he will be accountable to relate the information in his own words, every time), how to draw out a narration, and how to instill habits of order and "easy living." I also feel reassured that a solid, meaty education can be had with only a couple hours a day spent in lessons. Quantity of time and work does not a quality education make. A quality education is made with quality books and quality thinking, done in short bursts of complete application. I am sorry I wrote these books off for so long, but grateful I went ahead and purchased and read them before forming much in the way of school-time habits. Now, granted I am accustomed to reading older British books, but still I don't think the language was difficult at all, nor would it be a hurdle to anyone who is comfortable with Austen.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Reading this as my oldest is soon turning 9, I feel that I could have done things differently. Mason was very wise and lots of her writing makes sense and are sound. Parenting and teaching does not come with a manual but this is the closest it comes to an instructional manual as it gets .

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    Will return to this again. First read took a loooong time to digest. Read second time through with book club. Gleaned so much wisdom & was able to apply more with older children.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    I started reading this book because I had read of some homeschooling methods that were based on Charlotte Mason’s books on education. She wrote Home Education in 1886, and as I read I was amazed at how much of what she says is still applicable today. There have been changes in science and in the world, but since the chief object of her book is how to educate your children; children are much the same as they ever were. They are born into the world and need to grow and learn about the world around I started reading this book because I had read of some homeschooling methods that were based on Charlotte Mason’s books on education. She wrote Home Education in 1886, and as I read I was amazed at how much of what she says is still applicable today. There have been changes in science and in the world, but since the chief object of her book is how to educate your children; children are much the same as they ever were. They are born into the world and need to grow and learn about the world around them. As I read, I found that my opinion of this book grew as well. I think it is one of the best parenting books I have read. So many of the books today are from a secular worldview, and the Christian books are usually only on spiritual ideas, without the honor and respect of science and natural laws that Mason has in her views. She is very good at starting her ideas at the basic, logical beginning, and working from there. She is also very good at not giving too specific of advice (as every child is unique, so techniques for handling each child would vary), yet her advice is helpful and very specific about some things. The section on habits is worth reading, whether homeschooling or not. This section helps establish a way of thinking about the issues you are facing with your children, and why they are constant daily battles. If a child is in a habit of doing something, the only way to cure that habit is to replace it with a different, good habit. Good advice that I need to apply in my own life. Some of my favorite quotes, from over 100 years ago and still true today: “On fine days when it is warm enough to sit out with wraps, why should not tea and breakfast, everything but a hot dinner, be served out of doors? For we are an overwrought generation, running to nerves as a cabbage runs to seed; and every hour spent in the open is a clear gain, tending to the increase of brain power and bodily vigour, and to the lengthening of life itself.” “All this is stale knowledge to older people, but one of the secrets of the educator is to present nothing as stale knowledge, but to put himself in the position of the child, and wonder and admire with him; for every common miracle which the child sees with his own eyes makes of him for the moment another Newton.” “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.” Mason is very strong-minded about children spending as much time outdoors in nature as possible, and today in the world we live in I feel it is even more important! I realize that although I spent a great deal of time outside when I was a child, it is so easy for my children to only see the wonders of nature second-hand from television. The problem is that it isn’t real and that it is curated to show only what the nature program is trying to show. The real, natural world is entirely different and immersive. Our world is so science-minded these days, yet, without spending time outdoors in nature a great deal, the wonders of science will always remain locked to children, and uninteresting. In that same vein: “Power will pass, more and more, into the hands of Scientific Men. — It is infinitely well worth of the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather to cherish in them, the love of investigation.” On habits: “What remains to be tried when neither time, reward, nor punishment is effectual? That panacea of the educationist: ‘ One custom overcometh another.’ This inveterate dawdling is a habit to be supplanted only by the contrary habit, and the mother must devote herself for a few weeks to this cure as steadily and untiringly as she would to the nursing of her child through measles.” “The education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone, not teasing them with perpetual commands and directions — a running fire of Do and Don’t; but letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way, and grow to fruitful purpose… The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children.” “Half the clever talk we hear today, and half the uneasiness which underlies this talk, are due to a thorough and perfect ignorance of the Bible text.” “But let the imaginations of children be stored with the pictures, their minds nourished upon the words, of the gradually unfolding story of the Scriptures, and they will come to look out upon a wide horizon within which persons and events take shape in their due place and due proportion. By degrees, they will see that the world is a stage whereon the goodness of God is continually striving with the wilfulness of man; that some heroic men take sides with God; and that others, foolish and headstrong, oppose themselves to Him.” “Let all the circumstances of the daily Bible reading — the consecutive reading, from the first chapter of Genesis onwards, with necessary omissions — be delightful to the child; let him be in his mother’s room, in his mother’s arms; let that quarter of an hour be one of sweet leisure and sober gladness, the child’s whole interest being allowed to go to the story without distracting moral considerations; and then, the less talk the better; the story will sink in, and bring its own teaching, a little now, and more every year as he is able to bear it. Once such story will be in him a constantly growing, fructifying moral idea.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” AT LAST! Finally finished Home Education, by Charlotte Mason, thanks to a wonderful slow-read book club. After reading through, I am confirmed in my inclinations to offer my kids a Charlotte Mason education. I believe it is an age-appropriate way to inspire the curiosity, imagination and wonder critical to a traditional liberal arts education. A few main thoughts: some info is specific to Mason's time and place. I'm not going to insist on wool “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” AT LAST! Finally finished Home Education, by Charlotte Mason, thanks to a wonderful slow-read book club. After reading through, I am confirmed in my inclinations to offer my kids a Charlotte Mason education. I believe it is an age-appropriate way to inspire the curiosity, imagination and wonder critical to a traditional liberal arts education. A few main thoughts: some info is specific to Mason's time and place. I'm not going to insist on wool clothes in our temperate climate. I appreciate her focus on viewing a child as a person, and the idea of spreading a wonderful educational feast, but not force-feeding them information. "I am, I can, I ought, I will."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I've read many books and blogs on Charlotte Mason Philosophy of Education. While reading Home Education I was already pretty familiar with what I was reading based on my other readings. Much can be learned from CM original writings. Home Education is more than an educational foundation for homeschooling parents its more about child training than education. It covers more about building habits and laying a foundation for your child to be successful not just in education but in life as a person, I've read many books and blogs on Charlotte Mason Philosophy of Education. While reading Home Education I was already pretty familiar with what I was reading based on my other readings. Much can be learned from CM original writings. Home Education is more than an educational foundation for homeschooling parents its more about child training than education. It covers more about building habits and laying a foundation for your child to be successful not just in education but in life as a person, as a Christian. I would recommend this to all parents to read even if they don't plan on homeschooling or following a CM Education. I really can't share all the parts I loved from this book but here are a few: " The education of the will is really of far greater importance, as shaping the destiny of the individual, than that of the intellect." "Augustine-'The soul of man is for God as God is for the soul.' The soul has one appetite, for the things of God: breathes one air, the breath, the Spirit of God; has one desire, for the knowledge of God; one only joy; in the face of God. 'I want to live in the Light of a Countenance which never ceases to smile upon me.' is the language of the soul. The direct action of the soul is all Godward, with a reflex action towards men. The speech of the soul is prayer and praise, the right hand of the soul is faith, the light of the soul is love, the love of God shed abroad upon it." "The Essence of Christianity is Loyalty to a Person.--Christ, our King. Here is a thought to unseal the fountains of love and loyalty, the treasures of faith and imagination, bound up in the child. The very essence of Christianity is personal loyalty, passionate loyalty to our adorable Chief. We have laid other foundations-regeneration, sacraments, justification, works, faith, the Bible-any one of which however necessary to salvation in its due place and proportion, may become a religion about Christ and without Christ. An now a time of sifting has come upon us, and thoughtful people decline to know anything about our religious systems; they write down all our orthodox beliefs as things not knowable. Perhaps this may be because, in thinking much of our salvation, we have put out of sight our King, the divine fact which no soul of man to whom it is presented can ignore. The idea of CHRIST IS LIFE; let the thought of Him once get touch of the soul, and it raises up a living power, independent of all formularies of the brain. Let us save Christianity for our children by bringing them into allegiance to Christ the King. "The Effort of decision, we have seen , is the greatest effort of life: not the doing of the thing but the making up of one's mind as to which thing to do first." Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life. And we as parents my we continue our on education even if we have finished our formal education.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danielle DeVane Wells

    I truly enjoyed this book! It was my first taste of reading straight from "the horse's mouth" (charlotte mason). And while I found it more difficult to read (no skimming!) than books written closer to our current time, I found it full of wisdom! It may have taken me longer to read through this because I had to read each word, but it was worth it! Her ideas about how children should be treated (as little people with developing minds and opinions of their own), how children should be instructed I truly enjoyed this book! It was my first taste of reading straight from "the horse's mouth" (charlotte mason). And while I found it more difficult to read (no skimming!) than books written closer to our current time, I found it full of wisdom! It may have taken me longer to read through this because I had to read each word, but it was worth it! Her ideas about how children should be treated (as little people with developing minds and opinions of their own), how children should be instructed about various topics, how mothers should teach and respond to her children was like a breath of fresh air! Obviously coming from my specific background this was consequential to me. I appreciated how she went into great detail when talking about a subject or idea. She left no stone unturned. I think every parent should read this! There are lots of great ideas that I had not previously come across before in my own thinking or in other books I have read. The only reason I give it a 4 star rating, is because it was a bit more difficult to read than other book on similar topics.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Abate

    Ms. Mason has a heart for children and went to a great deal of effort to offer an alternative to the classical British approach to education (“stand up there and say your lesson!”). She has a good deal of wisdom and fresh ideas I was happy to pick up for my children’s education. I am also grateful to her for her thoughts on healthy habits, building a will to do what’s right, and strengthening a child’s conscience. That said, if I didn’t already know a lot of her principles I may have been turned Ms. Mason has a heart for children and went to a great deal of effort to offer an alternative to the classical British approach to education (“stand up there and say your lesson!”). She has a good deal of wisdom and fresh ideas I was happy to pick up for my children’s education. I am also grateful to her for her thoughts on healthy habits, building a will to do what’s right, and strengthening a child’s conscience. That said, if I didn’t already know a lot of her principles I may have been turned off of her by this book. She describes, really, a Victorian aristocratic education utopia and a great amount of her commentary (especially scientific) is out dated. I also question her understanding of sin nature and apparent Darwinism. However, I am given to understand that her views changed somewhat after WWI and by Volume 6, she had settled into a much more practical and tested method. I look forward to enjoying volume 6 more than this one. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    I loved this! It's a weighty book, meaty and one to move through slowly, pondering as you go. There were certainly some things to take with a grain of salt, but overall, I love Charlotte's methods and her perspective. She was ahead of her time in many of her ideas, and so much of what she theorized has now been supported by modern brain research! This was so helpful for me to gain a better understanding of her approach and underlying philosophy. Never mind that it's supposed to be for the I loved this! It's a weighty book, meaty and one to move through slowly, pondering as you go. There were certainly some things to take with a grain of salt, but overall, I love Charlotte's methods and her perspective. She was ahead of her time in many of her ideas, and so much of what she theorized has now been supported by modern brain research! This was so helpful for me to gain a better understanding of her approach and underlying philosophy. Never mind that it's supposed to be for the upbringing of the under-nine crowd; it is so foundational and so helpful, no matter how young or old your kids may be. This is not just advice on how to homeschool your children...this is practical wisdom for how to raise and parent them. It's like Parenting 101! And I love that she takes the basis for her method from the code of education in the Gospels...see that ye despise not, offend not, hinder not, any of these little ones. The last part of the book, about the Will, is particularly convicting. There is so much to learn and ponder here, about our own lives, behaviors, motives, and character, as adults. This book provides ample avenues for ideas to ponder, methods to live out, and above all, the reiteration to PRAY and recognize that the Holy Spirit is THE teacher of both ourselves and our children!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elsa

    *trumpet fanfare* It only took me six years, but I finally finished it! My oldest child is six-and-a-half and started first grade/form 1B last week, natch. This is a great introduction to the Mason educational philosophy, with a mix of practical and philosophical advice. The reason I kept getting stuck is two-fold. One: near the beginning she talks about how to select a governess and whether to feed your kid beef, and she assumes that the mother implementing her ideas has household staff and few *trumpet fanfare* It only took me six years, but I finally finished it! My oldest child is six-and-a-half and started first grade/form 1B last week, natch. This is a great introduction to the Mason educational philosophy, with a mix of practical and philosophical advice. The reason I kept getting stuck is two-fold. One: near the beginning she talks about how to select a governess and whether to feed your kid beef, and she assumes that the mother implementing her ideas has household staff and few chores of her own. It's all very 19th-century, and I just got bogged down a bit. It also doesn't seem super urgent when you have a six-month-old. Two: this is a book about childrearing. But really, it's a book about mother-rearing. I'm supposed to be thoughtful, patient, observant, wise, consistent, firm, loving, AND holy? It's daunting. But I made it! And just in time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    So much excellent wisdom, not just on homeschooling but so much on parenting. I appreciated so many of the insights she wrote and how it’s still true 100 years later. Some parts do not stand the test of time, though; the parts that talk about what to eat and wear. Things have obviously changed since then but for everything else this is invaluable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    There were so many good, practical ideas in this book that inspired me on simple ways I can infuse learning in our day-to-day lives.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Henry

    "Never be within doors when you can rightly be without."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Patchin

    Full of good thoughts, Rather disorganized, and very bound to its time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    siriusedward

    A little bit rambling but on the whole a delightful and enriching read.Though I don't agree with everything she says ,I do love how she sees a child as an individual worthy of respect and everything. She hates talking down to the kids , which I do too. Thanks a lot Miss Mason for your wonderful ideas and thoughts on the education of the children , which is especially good in these times of rushing along and not taking time to savor the moments and the very life. Thanks for giving a lot of thoughts A little bit rambling but on the whole a delightful and enriching read.Though I don't agree with everything she says ,I do love how she sees a child as an individual worthy of respect and everything. She hates talking down to the kids , which I do too. Thanks a lot Miss Mason for your wonderful ideas and thoughts on the education of the children , which is especially good in these times of rushing along and not taking time to savor the moments and the very life. Thanks for giving a lot of thoughts and ideas to ponder on.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    Charlotte Mason was wise in her time and beyond her time. I’m very thankful I was encouraged to learn more of her teaching methods.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lekeshua

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe I will enjoy the entire series. Even if you aren't planning to homeschool and have children or grandchildren, I would recommend this book to you. Children are people too and that's very important to remember. Many people don't see that as the case which is difficult for me to understand but each their own. No judgement cast. This is not what I would call a detailed curriculum guide for home educators. Information is provided on how the subjects should be Thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe I will enjoy the entire series. Even if you aren't planning to homeschool and have children or grandchildren, I would recommend this book to you. Children are people too and that's very important to remember. Many people don't see that as the case which is difficult for me to understand but each their own. No judgement cast. This is not what I would call a detailed curriculum guide for home educators. Information is provided on how the subjects should be handled but leaves it open so you can picked the best living resources for your child. It is a "living" way of learning. Maybe that's why we are having difficulty using the "boxed" curriculum Ambleside Online because I haven't selected books for my children that attract them. I didn't expect to see a similarity between Charlotte Mason and Thomas Jefferson Education. The end goal of both is to inspire a love of learning and learning isn't over once you're out of college. I plan on re-reading this several times.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    July 2011: I read this twice this month. This is a great book. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This has been on my "to buy" list for many years. I just never got around to buying it. I wish I had read this book years ago. It would of saved me heartache and misery. At least I have read it now though, before my kids are to0 old. I've decided that every young women needs to read and study this thourghly before they become a mother. This needs to be part of the July 2011: I read this twice this month. This is a great book. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This has been on my "to buy" list for many years. I just never got around to buying it. I wish I had read this book years ago. It would of saved me heartache and misery. At least I have read it now though, before my kids are to0 old. I've decided that every young women needs to read and study this thourghly before they become a mother. This needs to be part of the "preparing to be a mom" curriculum. That means Olivia will be studying this over the next several years. Not only is it fantastic as a teaching resource this is also the very best parenting book that I have ever read. Some of the topics covered are: Spending time outdoors Forming good character Forming good habits Teaching a child a child in languages, math, spelling, etc. This book is so all inclusive. I can't wait to read the rest. I'm so glad Lazy made me read it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Williams

    Like many, I discovered Charlotte Mason through Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's book, For the Children's Sake. As wonderful as that book is, there is nothing like reading Charlotte Mason herself to truly grasp her method of educating children. I am currently rereading for the fifth or sixth time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie

    It was good to hear Charlotte Mason's theories straight from her mouth - but I now know why most people choose to about her writings instead of her writings. She is not pithy. Update

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    I've finally finished book #5 and I'm excited to start at the beginning now. I have to try to refrain from underlining every single paragraph in these books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    I love this book! I learned so much from this. I learned how and why to be out in nature. I learned how live a more peaceful life.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I'm eating my humble pie with this one, because my first impression of Charlotte Mason was "everyone who uses/reads her is obsessed with her and I'm tired of hearing her name." So now, when I quote from this book to my husband, he always gets a sly smile that, without words, says, "Who wrote that again? Whose curriculum are you using again?" YEAH YEAH OKAY. At first I was unconvinced. This volume begins with a lot of talk about "airing the room" and instructing the governess on this or that, and I'm eating my humble pie with this one, because my first impression of Charlotte Mason was "everyone who uses/reads her is obsessed with her and I'm tired of hearing her name." So now, when I quote from this book to my husband, he always gets a sly smile that, without words, says, "Who wrote that again? Whose curriculum are you using again?" YEAH YEAH OKAY. At first I was unconvinced. This volume begins with a lot of talk about "airing the room" and instructing the governess on this or that, and it was all so dated that I was wondering if people like her just because we long for "simpler" times. I was also raising one skeptical eyebrow at her early and generous quoting of the Romantic poets, who write great poetry but who are far from being moral authorities in my opinion. My skepticism faltered at her prescient view of habit formation. Just recently I'd done some reading on the most modern research on habit formation, and she actually was saying it all already in the 1800s, without the benefit of modern science and MRIs and such. Her talk of the will and the need to exercise it, later in this volume, also smacks of modern research findings I've read recently! She was one smart lady, and she took education *very* seriously! She completely won my heart (and my dilatory devotion) with her talk of Nature Study. I was fully convinced of her ideas in this section, and she gave me inspiration and a clear vision for my kids' early education in Science. And as an English teacher, I adored her section on learning to read and spelling. It just sounded so FUN, and it made so much sense! I think my eldest will really enjoy going about reading and spelling in the way this volume lays out. Those were the two most exciting sections, but overall, reading this book (mainly during the summer before my home school year began) was very relaxing and enjoyable. I liked getting her perspective, even if I didn't always agree with her.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    A truly excellent work on education. It's a shame that someone doesn't go back over this material and edit it a bit, because the inane pseudoscience of much of Part I almost turned me off to this book completely; there are, however, some good passages even there. I really got into the book, though, around Part II, and after that it got better and better. Mason has done a tremendous job here of thinking through what it means to impart a specifically Christian education (far more, I am sorry to A truly excellent work on education. It's a shame that someone doesn't go back over this material and edit it a bit, because the inane pseudoscience of much of Part I almost turned me off to this book completely; there are, however, some good passages even there. I really got into the book, though, around Part II, and after that it got better and better. Mason has done a tremendous job here of thinking through what it means to impart a specifically Christian education (far more, I am sorry to say, than many better known authorities on the topic), what it means to apply a thoughtful Aristotelianism to moral education (Mason must have known her Aristotle very well, because echoes of the Nichomachean Ethics struck me everywhere), and what it means to just plain educate children well (her descriptions of lessons seem to be all at once so astonishingly delightful and amazingly practical that you wonder why anyone would attempt to teach a child any other way). Unifying her vision is a respect for children that puts the teacher in a place to be authoritative but never authoritarian. If you have read about Mason online and been wary of the vacuousness of many who have supposedly adopted her approach, you would do well to read the woman's own words. She will remove all doubt in your mind that she knew how to educate kids and how to do it well, whatever the propensities of her supposed disciples.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Bohon

    The somewhat slim size of this volume is deceptive, because it contains so much. It is packed with concentrated wisdom on a multitude of topics - from outdoor living and specifics of learning to read, narrate and spell, to habit formation and religious instruction. This woman had discernment - a heart both shrewd and caring. Best of all, she had a real reverence and love for the Lord Jesus Christ and a desire to point children to him. She inspired me greatly. I was long in reading the book, and The somewhat slim size of this volume is deceptive, because it contains so much. It is packed with concentrated wisdom on a multitude of topics - from outdoor living and specifics of learning to read, narrate and spell, to habit formation and religious instruction. This woman had discernment - a heart both shrewd and caring. Best of all, she had a real reverence and love for the Lord Jesus Christ and a desire to point children to him. She inspired me greatly. I was long in reading the book, and I feel like now that I am finished I should just go right back to the beginning and start over again. But first I am planning to read some other volumes in the set first, so I can get them noted up for reference. "The evil of the ready-made life we lead is that we do not discern the signs of the times. An alert intelligence towards what goes on in the open-air world is a great possession" "It is the business of education to find some way of supplementing that weakness of will which is the bane of most of us as well as of the children." "We may not have an educational pope; we must think out for ourselves, as well as work out, those things that belong to the perfect bringing up of our children." "'If we think of God as an exactor and not a giver,' it has been well said, 'exactors and not givers shall we become.'" "In the idea of Christ is life; let the thought of Him once get touch of the soul, and it rises up, a living power, independent of all formularies of the brain. Let us save Christianity for our children by bringing them into allegiance to Christ, the King."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    There was a lot of good content in this book. The book is divided into six parts; Preliminary Considerations, Out-Of -Door Life For the Children, Habit is Ten Natures, Some Habits of Mind - Some Moral Habits, Lessons as Instruments of Education, and The Will - The Conscience - The Divine Life In the Child. The most helpful was PART V - Lessons as Instruments of Education which discussed what lessons young children should have and gave example lessons. It is important to remember as you read There was a lot of good content in this book. The book is divided into six parts; Preliminary Considerations, Out-Of -Door Life For the Children, Habit is Ten Natures, Some Habits of Mind - Some Moral Habits, Lessons as Instruments of Education, and The Will - The Conscience - The Divine Life In the Child. The most helpful was PART V - Lessons as Instruments of Education which discussed what lessons young children should have and gave example lessons. It is important to remember as you read Charlotte Mason that she has some strong ideas and presents them as things that you must do. However, as a parent, of course it is up to you how to train your children! The one major fault I found with this book is that the father is hardly mentioned. There is much concerning what a mother should do with her young children (and what happens in the nursery). But I can't even remember the father being mentioned once. She is most likely coming from the standpoint that the father is working and that the mother is at home being the one who has primary care of her children's education, but even this being the case, I believe that the father plays a vital role in his children's education.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brit

    I found this volume rather tedious to get through. There were parts that I enjoyed but so much was unattainable (no hope here of hiring a nurse, cook, housekeeper, nor cook to do all the things so I could dedicate large portions of my day to my not quite school aged children), unrealistic (weekly, let alone daily, excursions to the country for fresh air and hours out of doors just can’t happen), or developmentally inappropriate (using Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England with my less-than-9 I found this volume rather tedious to get through. There were parts that I enjoyed but so much was unattainable (no hope here of hiring a nurse, cook, housekeeper, nor cook to do all the things so I could dedicate large portions of my day to my not quite school aged children), unrealistic (weekly, let alone daily, excursions to the country for fresh air and hours out of doors just can’t happen), or developmentally inappropriate (using Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England with my less-than-9 year old child). I was hopeful as I quite enjoyed Ms. Mason’s sixth volume (as read in Karen Glass’s Mind to Mind). I found much of what she said in volume six ideas that I could take and make my own with my children. But I walked away from volume 1 more often rolling my eyes rather than inspired in my day-to-day schooling with my children.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rah

    Charlotte Mason blew me away. I grew up hearing references to her, and her method, but never heard or read her original work. In fact, some of the summaries or "how to" books left me with a murky understanding of who she is and what made her soecial. Rather than dismissing her or attempting to gain understanding through second-hand sources, I decided to read her books for myself. Ms. Mason makes so much sense! Don't take my word for how wonderful she is, go to the source and read her original Charlotte Mason blew me away. I grew up hearing references to her, and her method, but never heard or read her original work. In fact, some of the summaries or "how to" books left me with a murky understanding of who she is and what made her soecial. Rather than dismissing her or attempting to gain understanding through second-hand sources, I decided to read her books for myself. Ms. Mason makes so much sense! Don't take my word for how wonderful she is, go to the source and read her original work. I won't take on everything she suggests, but her philosophy and view of children was down to earth and she put words to the feelings I had in my heart. I look forward to reading the next installment in her series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Sasala

    Charlotte Mason is one of the most popular philosophies in the home schooling community and many of the people I follow and curriculums I’ve chosen have been based upon her work. So I decided to read her philosophy myself. She wrote many volumes this is just her first. Written at the time of the 1900s it is surprising how modern it reads. She believes in a total immersion of education. Learning in a more organic way. It was not written nor should it be considered a homeschooling approach. Yet Charlotte Mason is one of the most popular philosophies in the home schooling community and many of the people I follow and curriculums I’ve chosen have been based upon her work. So I decided to read her philosophy myself. She wrote many volumes this is just her first. Written at the time of the 1900s it is surprising how modern it reads. She believes in a total immersion of education. Learning in a more organic way. It was not written nor should it be considered a homeschooling approach. Yet the traditional school system moves farther from her philosophy and homeschoolers have grabbed hold of it. I found it fantastic with lots of great advice on how to teach in a more natural way while also having structured lessons. Very good for homeschoolers and not alike.

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