Charlotte Mason Principles – Not Born Either Good or Bad
“They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and for evil. ”
Sorry I’ve taken so long to post on this principle. I have been pondering what to write, for I have struggled with part of Charlotte’s statement. After reading the whole chapter I think Charlotte was upholding the popular philosophical idea (theory) of “nurture not nature”. This idea also links closely to her ideas on habits.
When I consider the statement alone I do have to disagree with the first half –Children are not born either good or bad… When I read this principle for the first time, I began to seriously doubt Charlotte Mason’s philosophy for I know that we are all born with a fallen nature-that is the condition of man and why we need salvation. To assume children are born amoral denies a scriptural principle.
Romans 3:22-24 states;
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Within their little hearts there is, like mine, a desire towards sin. Temptation comes their way and they can fall. This is why we need God’s redemptive grace. They do have the possibility for good and evil.
Charlotte believed in nurturing children to reach their full potential. She did not believe that some children were incapable of a rich education just because of their “nature” or upbringing. She wanted all children to have the opportunity of an education full of great ideas not stale textbooks. She believed if children were “nurtured” in the right environment they would thrive. Her nurturing included developing an appetite in children for great things and giving them a hearty education, rich with the masters and literature.
I agree we do need to “nurture” our children and give them the best environment that we can. They come with gifts and talents and these need to be encouraged. As parents we have a heavy responsibility and we cannot leave their environment to chance. Our Father God delights in these precious “little ones” . Children are our responsibility while they are young and it is our duty to provide an atmosphere that will help them grow and develop into all that God wants them to be.
“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.”
In summary to my thoughts on this principle I will have to say I somewhat agree. I don’t believe in Charlotte’s amoral stance. I do believe that there is an innocence in childhood that we need to protect and nurture. I do believe in giving children a “good” education. I do believe that children have a choice for “good or evil” – God gave us all free choice.
Professional Development Resource for Homeschool Teachers
Inspired by Charlotte Mason is for you the home educator. You as the teacher need professional development and this ebook will help you teach. It’s not about resources; it’s the reasons behind teaching the Charlotte Mason way.
Inspired by Charlotte Mason will familiarise you with Charlotte Mason the educator and her core beliefs so you can understand how to implement her ideas and make them suit your homeschool.