Charlotte Mason’s Principles
Six years ago I spent some time studying Charlotte Mason’s Twenty Principles. I shared many of my thoughts on this blog. As I compared Charlotte Mason’s ideas with my own ideas on education I found she gave me much food for thought.
This year I read through them again and again I was struck by how much you can learn about being a home educator through reading her principles. Which I have now put together in this ebook Inspired by Charlotte Mason.
Nearly 100 years after Charlotte Mason wrote her 20 principles we find they are still relevant for today’s home educator.
Here is my thoughts as I read through these twenty principles:
“Our business is to give children the great ideas of life, of religion, history, science; but it is the ideas we must give, clothed upon with facts as they occur, and must leave the child to deal with as he chooses.”
Children are Neither Good or Bad
“They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and for evil. ”
I struggle with this principle. Please read this entry in my blog for more detailed discussion on this principle
“The principles of Authority on the one hand and Docility on the other are natural, necessary and fundamental.”
This principle is all about children having a teachable heart and the teacher being aware of their authority and not abusing it.
Charlotte Mason saw the uniqueness of a child’s personality and she felt this was ignored by many educators. She wanted the teacher/parent to respect the personality of a child and not place the burden of conformity on an individual.
Another way of explaining this Charlotte Mason principle would be to say give children a holistic education. Help them to see how it is all connected. Teach them more than they need in practice. She says do not teach from a utilitarian point of view.
The Way of Reason
We should teach children, also, not to lean (too confidently) unto their own understanding because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration of (a) mathematical truth and (b) of initial ideas accepted by the will. In the former case reason is, perhaps, an infallible guide but in the latter is not always a safe one, for whether the initial idea be right or wrong reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs.
We may offer to children two guides to moral and intellectual self-management which we may call ‘the Way of the Will’ and ‘the Way of the Reason.’
Children should be taught to distinguish between ‘I want’ and ‘I will.’
We hold that the child’s mind is no mere sac to hold ideas but is rather …a ‘spiritual organism’ with an appetite for all knowledge
I have seen “education is an atmosphere” in many Charlotte Mason books. I needed no further explanation; the quote encompassed it all—or so I thought!
Charlotte Mason’s teaching on habits reaches far beyond the educational realm. She emphasises how important it is to have “lay down the rails” of good habits in our children’s lives (and our own).
That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin, and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another, whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony; but we must sustain a child’s inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food.
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.