A Delectable Education Charlotte Mason Podcast

By Liz Cottrill, Emily Kiser and Nicole Williams

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Description

Through weekly conversations, three moms who have studied the Charlotte Mason method of education and put her ideas into practice in their homes join together to share with one another for the benefit of listeners by giving explanations of Mason's principles and examples of those principles put into practice out of their own teaching experience. These short discussions aim at providing information, support, and encouragement for others by unfolding the myriad aspects.

Episode Date
Episode 129: Form I French Immersion Lesson
26:31

Charlotte Mason began foreign language study the first year of school
and this podcast is a demonstration of two kinds of lessons in the
First Form (first through third grade). Becca Buslovich steps in as
the teacher in this immersion lesson, one who is not a native speaker
or expert in French herself, to encourage parents who have little or
no proficiency to equip themselves to teach their children in foreign
language instruction.

Jun 15, 2018
Episode 128: Form I Bible Immersion Lesson
21:58

This Charlotte Mason podcast is the first in our summer series of
immersion lessons. Listen in while Emily teaches a Bible lesson and
Liz and Nicole narrate in a simulated lesson, and afterward as they
discuss some particulars relevant to Bible lessons for elementary
children.

Jun 01, 2018
Episode 127: Listener Q&A #27
23:37

This podcast episode addresses listener questions on applying the
philosophy and method of Charlotte Mason. When do we teach typing? How to form good habits when disorder reigns? What to do with an only child? are today's discussion questions.

May 25, 2018
Episode 126: Charlotte Mason Fathers
01:03:09

This Charlotte Mason education podcast episode is a group interview
with a most significant and influential person in a child's life:  the
fathers. Emily's husband, Jono Kiser, discusses with four dads
concerning their understanding, involvement, and role in the education
of their children.

May 18, 2018
Episode 125: The Relevance of Charlotte Mason Math
35:23

Math is a worrisome subject for many Charlotte Mason educators.
Wishing to stay true to Mason's guiding principles and up to date with
current knowledge, many hesitate when choosing a curriculum. This is a candid conversation with Richele Baburina, who knows Mason's approach to mathematics, the fears modern educators face, and is knowledgeable about the latest scientific research regarding math education.

May 11, 2018
Episode 124: Living Books Library
43:54

Charlotte Mason knew a child's education was secured once he entered into "living books," the heart of her educational method, and the wellspring of ideas to feed the minds of persons. This  week's podcast episode is a candid conversation about what led Emily and Liz to begin Living Books Library. Enjoy the history and be inspired to build your own collection as they rhapsodize on their favorite subject, the books, and the children who love them.

May 04, 2018
Episode 123: Listener Q&A #26
23:24
Charlotte Mason offered guidance on practical issues of all kinds and A Delectable Education's Q&A podcast episodes are our attempt to apply her wisdom to your own questions of understanding and practice. This week: dealing with the public library, when mother has special learning difficulties, and when a child should officially begin formal lessons are the particular questions addressed.
Apr 27, 2018
Episode 122: Charlotte Mason with Non-Homeschoolers
42:06

Today's Charlotte Mason podcast episode is an interview with Min Hwang, a homeschooling mom who has taken her enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Charlotte Mason method outside her own homeschooling circle to parents in traditional educational settings. You will be inspired to hear how she  shares the beauty of Ms. Mason's simple truths with parents in all walks of life that have children in public and private schools. Min's fervent love for God and trust in Mason's sound Biblical principles of parenting and educating is  bringing hope to parents in all settings. She shares practical tips for you to consider how to approach all parents with our common desire to raise children to know God, be the persons He has created them to be, and be confident in their role as parents.

Apr 20, 2018
Growing Up with CM and Dyslexia
47:48

A special interview from A Delectable Education: how does a Charlotte
Mason education work when your child has dyslexia? Mitchell Williams,
son of ADE's Nicole Williams, shares his experience as a dyslexic child about to graduate from his CM homeschool years and head out into the world.

Apr 13, 2018
Towards an Authentic Interpretation
31:22

Charlotte Mason's method of education was taught over a hundred years ago and A Delectable Education's podcast this week reiterates its relevance for the twenty-first century educator and student. After an introduction by Emily, Liz, and Nicole stating their reasons for
holding to Mason's philosophy, Art Middlekoff reads his own criteria
for determining which new ideas and applications are authentic to her
method and how and why to dismiss those that are not.

Apr 06, 2018
Episode 119: Listener Q&A #25
23:58

This Q&A podcast episode addresses why Charlotte Mason included Arabella Buckley's books, how a child can come to the history rotation and always be in exactly the right place, and why all advertised Charlotte Mason curriculum does not necessarily fit in her feast.

Mar 30, 2018
Episode 118: Homeschool Environments: An Interview with Jessica Feliciano
27:55

Charlotte Mason was concerned not only with the child's mind, but all of his person. This week's podcast episode is an interview with a new Charlotte Mason-educating mom who has deliberately considered both the beauty and function of their school area and shares abundant ideas to inspire you to enhance your children's connections with their lessons by making deliberate efforts and choices regarding the organization and appeal of the schoolroom  itself.

Mar 23, 2018
Episode 117: Authority & Docility, Part III
31:28
Charlotte Mason's foundational principles encompass the relationship of parent and child. This is the third part of a series of podcast episodes discussing the role of "authority and docility"  and particularly addresses the child's side of the relationship.

 

Mar 16, 2018
Episode 116: Authority & Docility, Part II
29:42

Charlotte Mason had much to say about parenting and this week's episode addresses the role of parents, their responsibilities, attitudes, and weaknesses. Mason was clear about the dignified office of authority in order to lead, guide, protect, and inspire our children to fulfill their role as obedient, peaceful, and joyful persons.

Mar 09, 2018
Episode 115: Authority & Docility, Part I
20:24

Charlotte Mason addressed parenting issues in concurrence with her
philosophy of education. This podcast episode is the first of a
three-part series on her third principle of "authority and docility."
The first portion today concerns the right view of authority in our
lives.

Mar 02, 2018
Episode 114: Listener Q&A #24
30:44

Application of Charlotte Mason's principles in many areas of life is the focus of the ADE monthly Q&A episodes. This month:  how do we manage children's extracurricular involvements, when should we expect children to gain independence with schoolwork, and are daily scheduled timetables relevant for the homeschool as much as they are used in formal classroom settings.

 

Feb 23, 2018
Episode 113: Service
44:24

Charlotte Mason's educational method encompasses all of life. This
podcast episode explores the possibilities of sharing and showing love
as a family through acts of mercy and service to our neighbors near
and far through an interview with friend and Mason educating mom of
six, Vanessa Kijewski, who shares her experiences in training her
children to give.

Feb 16, 2018
Episode 112: Notebooks and Paperwork, Part 2
32:17

This podcast episode on Charlotte Mason's method is the second part for discussion of paperwork and notebooks. In particular, Emily addresses all the things that help our children keep track of history chronology, and Liz and Nicole share ways they have managed the organization of papers and notebooks throughout the years.

Feb 09, 2018
Episode 111: Notebooks and Paperwork, Part I
53:57

This Charlotte Mason education podcast focuses on the papers, the recordings, and drawings--all the reproductions of knowledge in the making. In particular, Liz, Nicole, and Emily address the explicitly described or preserved examples of various notebooks Mason's students used from which we can glean ideas to benefit our own students today.

Feb 02, 2018
Episode 110: Listener Q&A #23
24:04

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast episode is another Q&A session
with Liz, Nicole, and Emily, notably:  is it okay to start a Mason
education midyear? are the special studies books too simple and
deameaning to our child's intelligence? and what about a passage in
Mason's writings that contradicts ideas she shares in other places?

Jan 26, 2018
Episode 109: The Profession of Teaching
27:07

This Charlotte Mason education podcast episode explores our responsibilities in teaching. If we have agreed to take on homeschooling as our work, what are the attitudes and practices that will make us good at our job?

Jan 19, 2018
Episode 108: Masterly Inactivity
45:53

Charlotte Mason encouraged a practice called "Masterly Inactivity." Emily, Liz, and Nicole discuss what this is, why it is important, and how in the world a mother actually manages to balance law and freedom in her home.

Jan 12, 2018
Episode 107: Forming Informed Opinions
41:10

Charlotte Mason wrote vastly on the subject of opinions, and this podcast will address some of her salient points. Do opinions matter? Does each person need to form their own? What do we do to help our children make sensible opinions? These questions and more will be discussed.

Jan 05, 2018
Episode 106: Listener Q&A #22
29:13

This Q&A podcast episodes focuses on Charlotte Mason's counsel for exams with many students, combining many students in one book, and what to accomplish during school breaks.

 

Dec 29, 2017
Episode 105: Bible Lesson for the Upper Forms with Saviour of the World
43:27

The Savior of the World, Charlotte Mason's seven-volume poetic rendering of the Gospels, was part of the Bible lesson in her curriculum for forms III-VI. Liz, Emily, and Nicole become the students as their guest teacher, Art Middlekauff, leads an immersion class to demonstrate how the Savior of the World was incorporated in a lesson.

Dec 22, 2017
Episode 104: Sunday Schools
25:58

This week's episode of A Delectable Education podcast reviews what Charlotte Mason had to say about Sunday school. Since many listeners write to ask about the application of Mason's method in their church programs, we tackled the why, what and how of implementing a living education for children outside our home.

Dec 15, 2017
Episode 103: Sunday Reading
24:31

Charlotte Mason included a category named "Sunday Reading" on her programmes and this week's podcast discusses the purpose for this set-apart reading. In addition, there are plenty of suggestions for what to read, so listen for great titles and ideas for including them,
as well as check out the lists in the show notes.

Dec 08, 2017
Episode 102: The Importance of Imagination
01:00:18
This week's podcast explores why Charlotte Mason's "feast" would be indigestible without one key ingredient:  the child's imagination. Jason Fiedler, pastor and homeschool dad, is interviewed on the topic of cultivating imagination and why it is the power of mind that makes the difference in our children's education. 

 

 

For the Children's Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

(*Affiliate Links)

The Imagination in Childhood, Charlotte Mason (Parents' Review no. 27)

Imagination as a Powerful Factor in a Well-Balanced Mind, E.A. Parish (Parents' Review, no. 25)

Charlotte Mason Institute Eastern Conference

The Living Education Retreat

The Idyll Challenge

Jason Fiedler's CMI Blog

Dec 01, 2017
Episode 101: Listener Q&A #21
23:12

This A Delectable Education podcast Q&A episode addresses how Charlotte Mason viewed the history of other countries, whether her feast in high school was "only for girls," and some  specifics about written narration.

 

"And now the boy will probably leave the home schoolroom for the Preparatory School, either day or boarding, and, as I am dealing with the early training of children, I will not follow the time-tables of the home schoolroom through Classes III. (eleven to fourteen or fifteen) and IV. (fourteen to sixteen or seventeen). Must the entrance to the Preparatory School mean the abandonment of many of these subjects, and the teaching on quite other lines? I do not believe that this is in any way necessary. I have not been dealing with any special system nor advocating any special fad. I have tried to lay down certain more or less accepted educational principles, and have tried to show how these should be carried out from infancy up to the home schoolroom, and thence up to the Preparatory School. These principles are briefly the furnishing of the mind with living ideas on which to grow and develop, instead of trusting to the memory to assimilate only a daily pabulum of facts; the offering of opportunity to the mind to exercise itself in various directions, the formation of good habits which will go towards the building up of character, and the belief in the intrinsic interest to furnish the necessary stimulus for learning." ("Liberal Education" PR Article)

"Many Preparatory Schoolmasters are shortening the hours of work, and are including in their curriculum nature lore, handicrafts, art teaching, and better methods of language teaching. Some only are making use of the books recommended in the programmes of the Parents' Union School and enrolling themselves on the P.N.E.U School Register. [For particulars of the Parents' Union School apply to Miss Mason, House of Education, Ambleside.] That the reform is not more rapid, is, I believe, due to the fact that such methods of teaching are not calculated to inspire confidence in the parents, who may not have had the opportunity of studying educational problems. More showy and more direct results are often demanded, and hence the true educationalist is hampered." ("Liberal Education" PR Article)

"We cannot, moreover, hope for satisfactory results in the four years, which the boys usually spend at their Preparatory School, unless the ground has been well prepared, and not in a slovenly, amateurish manner. Just as the best teachers are required in the bottom of the school, so parents must prepare themselves for the training of character, the formation of habits, and the inspiration of ideas, and must be willing to seek out and to pay adequately nurses and governesses who are trained to cope with the real needs of the children. We have almost forgotten the days when through ignorance of the laws of health the children's bodies were under-nourished and otherwise neglected. We may hope that the days are also rapidly passing away when "lessons at home with a governess" means mind and soul starvation. With reform in the foundation, we may hope for some reform and progress all the way up the educational ladder." ("Home Training" PNEU Pamphlet)

"We are astonished to read of the great irrigation works accomplished by the people of Mexico before Cortes introduced them to our eastern world. We are surprised to find that the literature and art of ancient China are things to be taken seriously. It is worth while to consider why this sort of naive surprise awakes in us when we hear of a nation that has not come under the influence of western civilization competing with us on our own lines. The reason is, perhaps, that we regard a person as a product." ("Children are Born Persons," PNEU Pamphlet)

"Let him know what other nations were doing while we at home were doing thus and thus. If he come to think...that the people of some other land were, at one time, at any rate, better than we, why, so much the better for him." (Vol. 1, p. 281)

"Our knowledge of history should give us something more than impressions and opinions." (Vol. 6, p. 171)

"We introduce children as early as possible to the contemporary history of other countries as the study of English history alone is apt to lead to a certain insular and arrogant habit of mind." (Vol. 6, p. 175)

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book II, Chapter 2

A Liberal Education in Secondary Schools, Parents' Review Article

The Home Training of Children, Parents' Review Article

 

Episode 80: Charlotte Mason through High School

Episode 48: Writing: Copywork, Dictation, and Written Narration

Subjects by Form

 

Nov 24, 2017
Episode 100: Music
35:25

This week's podcast episode discusses Mason's purpose for music in her curriculum feast. before the "non-musical" teachers ignore this subject for school, let us carefully explore why so much music training, appreciation, and practice is included--for the children's sake.

 

“Does it, or does it not, make any appreciable difference to a baby to be in a home where music is part of the every-day life, where it is put to sleep with simple songs, where cheerful little musical games are introduced in their natural place, where it is led to find rhythmical expression in dances and songs, and where it hears much beautiful sound which it docs not attempt to account for or understand ? I think that all teachers of experience will agree that it does make an enormous difference, and that it is possible to pick out from a roomful of children, by their very bearing, those who come from homes where music exists.” (Holland, "Music as an Educational Subject" Parents' Review)

"Some of the most important habits for a child to acquire, are (1) observation ; (2) concentration ; (3) imagination ; and (4) reasoning. ... [and Music] trains simultaneously, as no other single subject does, ear, eye, and hand, it awakens and naturally develops the imagination, and insists upon concentration and reasoning." (Holland)

" Music is the language of the soul, but it defies interpretation. It means something, but that something belongs not to this world of sense and logic, but to another world, quite real, though beyond all definition. ... Is there not in music, and in music alone of all the arts, something that is not entirely of this earth ? Whence comes melody ? Surely not from anything that we hear with our outward ears and are able to imitate, to improve, or to sublimise. . . . Here if anywhere, we see the golden stairs on which angels descend from heaven and whisper sweet sounds into the ears of those who have ears to hear. . . ." (Holland)

"Training of the Ear and Voice is an exceedingly important part of physical culture, which began with basic enunciation, and French lessons. She also pointed out that that every child may be, and should be, trained to sing through carefully graduated ear and voice exercises, to produce and distinguish musical tones and intervals." (Vol. 1, p. 133)

"If possible, let the children learn from the first under artists, lovers of their work: it is a serious mistake to let the child lay the foundation of whatever he may do in the future under ill-qualified mechanical teachers, who kindle in him none of the enthusiasm which is the life of art." (Vol. 1, p. 31)

"Intelligent love of music is one of the great joys and privileges of life, but it is denied to quite half the community, and I would argue that the cultivation thereof is in its way quite as important as technical instrumental instruction, as it is one of the greatest factors in elevating mankind." (A Musical Baby, Mrs. Glover, Parents' Review)

The Child Pianist--Teacher's Guide (Curwen Method)

Listener's Guide to Musics, Scholes

Second Book of Great Musicians, Scholes

*The Planets, Sobel

The Growth of Music, Colles

Elements of Music, Davenport

Studies of Great Composers, Parry

Enjoyment of Music, Pollitt

Musical Groundwork, Shera

(*Affiliate Links)

Episode 74: Singing

Episode 76: Drill and Physical Training

Episode 34: Composer Study

Heidi Buschbach's Articles on CMP (Here and Here)

Sabbath Mood Homeschool's Middle School Astronomy Guide

Nov 17, 2017
Episode 99: Art Studies
21:28

This podcast episode describes why, to Charlotte Mason, art was a living, breathing part of life and, hence, the curriculum. How do we open the doors to beauty and truth found in art as teachers? When and how do we progress in an orderly fashion? This episode also includes guidance for the mother with little art background herself.

 

"But any sketch of the history teaching in Forms V and VI in a given period depends upon a notice of the 'literature' set...and where it is possible, the architecture, painting, etc., which the period produced." (Vol. 6, pp. 177-78)

"For taste is the very flower, the most delicate expression of individuality, in a person who has grown up amidst objects lovely and befitting, and has been exercised in the habit of discrimination. Here we get a hint as to what may and what may not be done by way of cultivating the aesthetic sense in young people. So far as possible, let their surroundings be brought together on a principle of natural selection, not at haphazard, and not in obedience to fashion. Bear in mind, and let them often hear discussed and see applied, the three or four general principles which fit all occasions of building, decorating, furnishing, dressing: the thing must be fit for its purpose, must harmonise with both the persons and the things about it; and, these points considered, must be as lovely as may be in form, texture, and colour; one point more––it is better to have too little than too much." (Vol. 5, p. 232)

"It may not be possible to surround him with objects of art, nor is it necessary; but, certainly, he need not live amongst ugly and discordant objects; for a blank is always better than the wrong thing." (Vol. 5, p. 232)

[By eleven children should give] "orderly descriptions of pictures and training in this must begin gradually some years before. By an 'orderly' description is meant one in which the principal objects and their positions are mentioned first, so that a listener who has never seen the picture gains a general idea of their arrangement. Then the details are given, not haphazard but on some given plan...Although there is no teaching of composition, work along these lines prepares the way for its appreciation later on." (Picture Study, E.C. Plumptre, PNEU Pamplet)

"There is no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, but the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman." (Vol. 6, p. 213)

Modern Painters, John Ruskin

Art For Children series, Ernest Raboff

The Renaissance: A Short History, Paul Johnson

Story of Painting, H.W. Janson

Child's History of Art, V.M. Hillyer (Rare, but in five volumes: Architecture 1, Architecture 2, Sculpture, Fine Art 1, Fine Art 2)

Emily's Picture Study Portfolios

Picture Study, PNEU Pamphlet

Picture Talks, K. R. Hammond, Parents' Review, Vol. 12, No. 7, pp. 501-509

 

Nov 10, 2017
Episode 98: Drawing
45:22

Drawing was an essential component of the Charlotte Mason feast of subjects, and this podcast episode describes her purpose for including this skill. If drawing intimidates or paralyzes you because of your own feelings of incompetence to instruct, Emily offers practical tips for opening the world of expression through drawing for your children of all ages.

 

"It is only what we have truly seen that we can truly reproduce, hence, observation is enormously trained by art teaching. Personally, I believe every living soul can learn to draw from actual objects, if the eye has not first been vitiated by seeing copies of them." (Miss Pennethorne, PR 10)

"This is what we wish to do for children in teaching them to draw--to cause the eye to rest, not unconsciously, but consciously n some object of beauty which will leave in their minds an image of delight for all their lives to come." (Vol. 1, p. 313)

"Art, when rightly directed, is educational, for it trains not only one faculty, but all the faculties together; it trains the hand and the eye, and it trains the head and the heart; it teaches us to see and to see truly; it teaches us to think--that science can do; but it teaches us also to admire and to love; it disciplines the emotions." (Mr. Collingwood, The Fesole Club Papers)

"...the great benefit of "brushwork" being that it can be made quite a moral training in exactness and decision." (Mrs. Perrin, "Brush Drawing", PR 4)

"Children should learn to draw as they learn to write. The great point is that they should be encouraged, not flattered. With no help and encouragement the child gradually loses his desire to draw." (Mrs. Steinthal, "Art Training in the Nursery", PR 1)

"There are two great points that must be remembered if we wish to make our system of art teaching...successful. The first is, always keep the children interested. Next, let us understand that drawing is not only learnt with a pencil and a piece of paper....The chief value of drawing is that it trains the eye to see things as they are." (Mrs. Steinthal, PR 1)

"...we must be careful not to offer any aids in the way of guiding lines, points, and other such crutches; and also that he should work in the easiest medium; that is, with paint-brush or with charcoal, and not with a black-lead pencil. Boxes of cheap colours are to be avoided. Children are worthy of the best." (Vol. 1, p. 313)

"The first buttercup in a child's nature note book is shockingly crude, the sort of thing to scandalise a teacher of brush-drawing, but by and by another buttercup will appear with the delicate poise, uplift and radiance of the growing flower." (Vol. 6, p. 217)

"Drawing is nothing to do with talent, but can be done with observation, intelligence and application--or by seeing, remembering and expressing and is a fundamentally educative subject." (Juliet Williams, "The Teaching of Drawing and Its Place in Education", PR 34)

School Education (Volume 3), p. 205

Ourselves (Volume ), Book I, Part II, Chapters II and V

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter X (f)

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards

(Affiliate Links)

Drawing Lessons, Florence Monkhouse (PR Article)

Brush Drawing, Miss K. Loveday (PR Article)

The Teaching of Drawing and Its Place in Education, Juliet Williams (PR Article)

Brush Drawing, Mrs H. Perrin (PR Article)

Fesole Club Papers, Mr. W. G. Collingwood

What To Draw and How to Draw It

In A Large Room Retreat

Nov 03, 2017
Episode 97: Listener Q&A #20
17:10

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast Q&A episode covers questions about transitioning through morning lessons, meeting state requirements for kindergarten, and handling the needs of a gifted child.

Oct 27, 2017
Episode 96: Natural History Clubs
43:39

This podcast episode explores how a Charlotte Mason education can be enhanced by joining with others to explore nature. Nicole Williams interviews Marcia Mattern who shares practical ideas for how to make the most of our field work together from her years of experience in leading groups.

Oct 20, 2017
Episode 95: Object Lessons
23:51

This podcast episode describes Charlotte Mason's purpose for "object lessons" in spreading the feast. What is an object lesson, how is it to be conducted, how does a teacher prepare for it and other questions related to drawing our children's interest  deeper into nature study are the focus of this week's discussion.

Oct 13, 2017
Episode 94: Special Studies
30:17

Nature study is one big, beautiful part of a Charlotte Mason education. This podcast explores what is meant by “special studies,” and where it fits into the entire scheme of knowledge of the world outside. What is meant by field work, nature lore reading, and the nature journal, and how does a parent who is ignorant of nature inspire an interest in the student?

Oct 06, 2017
Episode 93: Listener Q&A #19
23:19
The application of Charlotte Mason's principles and practices raises many questions for the teacher. This Q&A installment addresses how to answer friends who ask what Mason is all about, ADE's consultation services, and scheduling concerns, notably the practice of a "looping" approach.
Sep 29, 2017
Episode 92: Charlotte Mason Study Groups
49:44

A Charlotte Mason mother needs to understand the method she is implementing with her children, but how is she to learn? One encouraging way to find support is to study Ms. Mason's writings together. This episode is an interview with Bridgett Cooley, founder of the Charlotte Mason Soiree Facebook group. The Soiree is facilitating the birth and strengthening of Charlotte Mason reading groups with a training program for group leaders and Liz and Bridgett discuss everything they can think of to help you get involved.

Sep 22, 2017
Episode 91: When Mothers Get Weary
34:25

This podcast faces the reality: a Charlotte Mason education is rewarding--but enormous! It is normal to become weary, worried, and woeful at times about the immense and multitudinous tasks of educating our children, not to mention feeding, clothing, and caring for them daily. The ADE mothers have been in the trenches and share strategies and wisdom for running the race without giving up.

Sep 15, 2017
Episode 90: Reading Charlotte Mason
46:16

This podcast episode explores Charlotte Mason's Home Education series, the six volumes written to thoroughly explain her educational principles and practices. Join Emily Kiser in an interview with Morgan Conner as they describe the value and special characteristics of each volume individually, and where to begin in our own journey through the information-packed pages so essential to our knowledge and success as home educators.

Sep 08, 2017
Episode 89: Mothers' Continuing Education
48:04

When we embark on the homeschool journey, many of us feel inadequate to teach because of our own lack of education. Once we start, however, our enthusiasm for learning ourselves is usually kindled. But how to find the time, what to study, and which areas are most fruitful for us are the questions this episode will address as the ADE ladies review Mason's own Mothers Education Course and what she felt were the essential areas of study for a mother and teacher.

Sep 01, 2017
Episode 88: Forms IV-VI Recap
25:17

What kind of feast did Charlotte Mason spread for the oldest students? The high school years often cause anxiety  in the homeschool teacher, but with the slow and steady progress in the lower forms, a Mason educated child is going to tackle them with relish. What was included in the upper forms, what changed,  and what stayed the same?

Aug 18, 2017
Episode 87: Form III Recap
23:27

Charlotte Mason carefully laid the foundation for the upper years in the lower forms. What are the differences in subjects and practices once students enter the middle form and are working toward the high school years? This podcast will survey and summarize Form III.

Aug 04, 2017
Episode 86: Form IIA Recap
23:31

Charlotte Mason had definite ideas for why the children should learn, as well as what was to be learned at every stage of school education. This episode provides an overview of the last two years of the "elementary years," or the top of the second Form.

Jul 21, 2017
Episode 85: Form IIB Recap
25:59

Charlotte Mason's students moved to a new "form" at age 9 or 10. What makes Form II different from form I in the subject content and skills? This podcast discusses the wider room experienced by students entering the upper elementary school years.

Jul 07, 2017
Episode 84: Form IA Recap
22:31

Charlotte Mason's young students had an abundant feast. This episode summarizes and reflects on the aspects of the subjects included for the upper part of the first form of school. What do they move on to after that first introductory year?

Jun 23, 2017
Episode 83: Form IB Recap
24:11

Charlotte Mason wanted children to set good intellectual habits, and these begin in the first year of formal lessons. A. A. Milne said, "Now we are Six," Mason said, "Now it's time to read," and this episode will describe the scope of the first year of school and its lessons.

Jun 09, 2017
Episode 82: Listener Q&A #18
23:31

Charlotte Mason advice to your frequently asked questions, this time on narration with non-Mason students, required standardized state testing, and the long-awaited, "What do we do in the summer?"

May 26, 2017
Episode 81: Sloyd, An Interview with Brittney McGann
34:01

Charlotte Mason was a proponent of the instruction in Sloyd. What is it, and when and how is it taught? Emily interviews guest Brittney McGann, who has researched the topic and practiced this subject in her home and has many practical tips to share and resources to recommend.

May 19, 2017
Episode 80: Charlotte Mason through High School
44:55

Charlotte Mason developed her educational method for all students, but many feel that by high school they must get on to more serious preparation for college or career and abandon the course they have been on. The moms of A Delectable Education discuss the high school years, what studies are tackled, how to deal with college transcripts and applications and college entrance exams. Does Mason's curriculum prepare a child for the real world? Will they be able to succeed in a non-Charlotte Mason environment? What does high school look like if you follow a Mason approach to education?

May 12, 2017
Episode 79: The Early Years
42:37

Charlotte Mason had much to say about children even before they start formal school lessons. This podcast explores the wide world of the preschooler and what families should do to make the most of the early years, the "golden hours" of life before school officially begins.

May 05, 2017
Episode 78: Listener Q&A #17
21:21

The breadth of the Charlotte Mason feast requires a lot of knowledge for teachers. We are still learning and discuss some of those points in this episode, as well as correct comments we have made that were wrong in math, foreign language, narration, and use of lesson time.

Apr 28, 2017
Episode 77: Dance, An Interview with Lance Halverson
27:46

One of the forms of physical education Charlotte Mason addressed was dance. This episode is an interview with Lance Halverson, ballroom dance instructor and, with his wife,  Mason educator of his own four children.

Apr 21, 2017
Episode 76: Physical Training
33:31

Charlotte Mason did not neglect the physical education of children. This episode explores the myriad ways our children's bodies can be developed in harmony with what is going on in their minds and hearts. 

Apr 14, 2017
Episode 75: Latin
19:24

This Charlotte Mason podcast addresses the inclusion of the subject of Latin in the wide feast. The purpose of language study, Latin in particular, is discussed, as well as how Mason approached this traditional subject in a living way.

Apr 07, 2017
Episode 74: Singing
17:14

Charlotte Mason's curriculum includes singing. This episode focuses on the art of singing, reasons why it should not be neglected in morning lessons,  and addresses not only the why, what, and when of this subject, but gives tips on what a teacher is to do who is not personally trained or competent in leading singing.

Mar 31, 2017
Episode 73: Listener Q&A #16
20:29

The increasing popularity of Charlotte Mason's method of education means an increase in misconceptions and misinformation. This episode tackles some of the "myths" that have circulated, particularly regarding what makes a living book or a textbook, what books are used in the Bible lesson, and that reading and narration are the only content of a lesson.

Mar 24, 2017
Episode 72: Listener Q&A #15
19:57

This Charlotte Mason podcast addresses frequently asked questions: was Mason's method designed first and foremost for the classroom? Is it essential to have a poetry teatime or morning time?

Mar 17, 2017
Episode 71: Listener Q & A #14
28:40

Charlotte Mason died nearly a hundred years ago, but her ideas have continued to thrive. This episode addresses a few notions that exist that do not necessarily reflect hers. Based on listener questions, we address this Q&A to some of the myths that circulate.

Mar 10, 2017
Episode 14: History Books
22:46


When we are clear in the direction we are headed in our children's history studies, know the time period and the order and the streams to cover, what books will we use to explore those unfathomable numbers of events and characters in history? Is a spine necessary? What is the real value of a biography? How much should we be concerned about the historical accuracy of the account we are reading? Explore these ideas with us in this episode.

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"[B]ut let the mother beware: there is nothing which calls for more delicate tact and understanding sympathy with the children than this apparently simple matter of choosing their lesson-books, and especially, perhaps, their lesson-books in history." (Vol. 1, pg. 289)

"We know that young people are enormously interested in the subject and give concentrated attention if we give them the right books." (Vol. 6, pg. )

"The knowledge of children so taught is consecutive, intelligent and complete as far as it goes, in however many directions." (Vol. 6, pg. 158)

"In Form IV the children are promoted to Gardiner's Student's History of England, clear and able, but somewhat stiffer than that they have hitherto been engaged upon." (Vol. 6, pg. 176)

"Of all the pleasant places in the world of mind, I do not know that any are more delightful than those in the domain of History. Have you ever looked through a kinetoscope? Many figures are there, living and moving, dancing, walking in procession, whatever they happened to be doing at the time the picture was taken. History is a little like that, only much more interesting, because in these curious living photographs the figures are very small and rather dim, and most attentive gazing cannot make them clearer; now, History shows you its personages, clothed as they were clothed, moving, looking, speaking, as they looked, moved, and spoke, engaged in serious matters or in pleasures; and, the longer you look at any one person, the more clearly he stands out until at last he may become more real to you than the people who live in your own home." (Vol. 4, pg. 36)

"The fatal mistake is in the notion that he must learn 'outlines,' or a baby edition of the whole history of England, or of Rome, just as he must cover the geography of all the world. Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age." (Vol. 1, pg. 280)

"Literature is dangerous--except when taken in large doses." --Martin Cothran (quoted here.)


 

America Begins, Alice Dalgliesh

America Builds Homes, Alice Dalgliesh

And There Was America, Roger Duvoisin

Land of the Free, Enid LaMonte Meadowcroft

D'Aulaire Picture Biographies

Gerald Johnson's A History for Peter: America is Born (Volume 1)

America Grows Up (Volume 2)

America Moves Forward (Volume 3)

Dorothy Mills' History Books, Reprints available as well

Paul Johnson's Histories

Barbara Tuchman's Histories

Basic History of the United States, Clarence Carson

The Silent Storm, Marion Marsh Brown and Ruth Crone

Isaac Newton, Harry Sootin

(Contains affiliate links)


 

A wonderful resource with reviews of living books series, See especially Messner Biographies, Signature Series, Garrard History Series Books, and Landmark Books

Mar 06, 2017
Episode 70: Charlotte Mason "Purists"
23:54

How closely should we adhere to all of Charlotte Mason's principles and practices? This podcast explores the ramifications of taking part of Mason's method, practicing some of her ideas or mixing in other curricula, and addresses whether it is positive or negative to be labeled 'A Charlotte Mason Purist.'

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"The reader will say with truth--'I knew all this before and have always acted more or less on these principles'; and I can only point to the unusual results we obtain through adhering not 'more or less' but strictly to the principles and practices I have indicated. I suppose the difficulties are of the sort that Lister had to contend with; every surgeon knew that his instruments and appurtenances should be kept clean, but the saving of millions of lives has resulted from the adoption of the great surgeon's antiseptic treatment; that is from the substitution of exact principles scrupulously applied for the rather casual 'more or less' methods of earlier days." (Vol. 6, p. 19)

"We do not invite Heads of schools to take up work lightly, which implies a sound knowledge of certain principles and as faithful a practice. The easy tolerance which holds smilingly that everything is as good as everything else, that one educational doctrine is as good as another, that, in fact, a mixture of all such doctrines gives pretty safe results,––this sort of complacent attitude produces lukewarm effort and disappointing progress. I feel strongly that to attempt to work this method without a firm adherence to the few principles laid down would be not only idle but disastrous. 'Oh, we could do anything with books like those,' said a master; he tried the books and failed conspicuously because he ignored the principles." (Vol. 6, p. 270)

"We have a method of education, it is true, but method is no more than a way to an end, and is free, yielding, adaptive as Nature herself. Method has a few comprehensive laws according to which details shape themselves, as one naturally shapes one's behaviour to the acknowledged law that fire burns. System, on the contrary, has an infinity of rules and instructions as to what you are to do and how you are to do it. Method in education follows Nature humbly; stands aside and gives her fair play." (Vol. 2, p. 168)



Art Middlekauff's helpful article on this very topic
Mar 03, 2017
Episode 69: Recitation
37:35

Charlotte Mason included a subject uncommon to most modern teachers: recitation. This podcast episode explains why she did, what it is, and how it differs from memorization. This is an essential in the feast and a great gift to the students and the people around them.

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"Children know how to read, but they cannot read." (Burrell, "Recitation")

"Without them the best pieces of English writing lose half their value; the best paper read before a cultivated audience misses its aim; the best lecture is only half a lecture, and the best sermon is an opiate. With them all is changed; the light from the writer's soul is handed down from one generation to another. For good authors cannot die; the human voice is for-ever conferring immortality upon them. So magical is the power of a good reader that he can convey to an audience shades of meaning in his author which he himself does not suspect." (Burrell)

"Recitation and committing to memory are not necessarily the same thing..." (Vol. 1, p. 224)

"And if such appreciation can be born when a good reader and a good audience meet, is it not worse than madness for us to look on English literature as mere work for the study, mere dictionary stuff? It was meant to be interpreted by the voice of life; there is only half the passion in the printed page. If there were more good reading round English firesides, do you suppose that the masterpieces of English thought would be studied, as they often are, merely with an eye to the examiners' certificate?" (Burrell)

"The child should speak beautiful thoughts so beautifully, with such delicate rendering of each nuance of meaning, that he becomes to the listener the interpreter of the author's thought." (Vol. 1, p. 223)

"Knowledge is information touched with emotion: feeling must be stirred, imagination must picture, reason must consider, nay, conscience must pronounce on the information we offer before it becomes mind-stuff." (In Memorium, p. 4)

"At this stage, his reading lessons must advance so slowly that he may just as well learn his reading exercises, both prose and poetry, as recitation lessons." (Vol. 1, pp. 204-205)

"Perfect enunciation and precision are insisted on, and when he comes to arrange the whole of the little rhyme in his loose words and read it off (most delightful of all the lessons) his reading must be a perfect and finished recitation." (Vol. 1, p. 222)

"The teacher reads with the intention that the children shall know, and therefore, with distinctness, force, and careful enunciation; it is a mere matter of sympathy, though of course it is the author and not himself, whom the teacher is careful to produce." (Vol. 6, p. 244)

"The gains of such a method of learning are, that the edge of the child's enjoyment is not taken off by weariful verse by verse repetitions, and, also, that the habit of making mental images is unconsciously formed." (Vol. 1, p. 225)

"There is hardly any 'subject' so educative and so elevating as that which Mr. Burrell has happily described as 'The Children's Art.'" (Vol. 1, p. 223)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter VII: Recitation

Recitation: The Children's Art, Arthur Burrell, Parents' Review, Vol. 1, pp. 92-103



Lady Clare, Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Charlotte Mason Soiree Facebook Group
Feb 24, 2017
Episode 68: Charlotte Mason Co-Ops
41:44

Is "co-op" a Charlotte Mason term or concept? This podcast episode addresses the pros and cons of sharing the feast with others.

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"We have still to complain that Grammar and Arithmetic are rather weak. When this has been reported more than twice under the same teacher, the parents absolutely ought to get help, in these subjects, from some teacher of a neighboring elementary school." (Parents' Review, Vol. 6, p. 75)



Nancy Kelly's Co-Op
Feb 17, 2017
Episode 67: Interview with Amy Snell
27:24

This Charlotte Mason podcast episode explores what can happen when we join with other Charlotte Mason families to spread the feast together in settings beyond our home. Amy Snell shares her experience in starting mothers' study groups, a charter school program, nature clubs, and Truth-Beauty-Goodness afternoons with her community. Her wealth of wisdom and experience is not only helpful in considering what kind of shared experiences are beneficial, but what happens when relocation takes you away from your group, how to initiate groups, organizing and maintaining them, and perils to avoid.

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"[W]e endeavour that he shall have relations of pleasure and intimacy established with as many as possible of the interests proper to him; not learning a slight or incomplete smattering about this or that subject, but plunging into vital knowledge, with a great field before him which in all his life he will not be able to explore." (Vol. 3, p. 223)

"Not all this at once, of course; but line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, as opportunity offers." (Vol. 1, pp. 328-29)



Charlotte Mason Institute

Truth, Beauty, Goodness Community
Feb 10, 2017
Episode 66: Listener Q&A #13
30:29

A Delectable Education podcast on the Charlotte Mason method answers frequently asked listener questions in this episode: what if my child hates to narrate? where and how do I begin habit training? how do I challenge my gifted child?

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"By "education is a discipline," we mean the discipline of habits, formed definitely and thoughtfully, whether habits of mind or body. Physiologists tell us of the adaptation of brain structures to habitual lines of thought, i.e., to our habits." (Principle #7)

"It is possible to sow a great idea lightly and casually and perhaps this sort of sowing should be rare and casual because if a child detect a definite purpose in his mentor he is apt to stiffen himself against it." (Vol. 6, p. 102)

"Let me add that the appeal of these principles and this method is not to the clever child only but to the average and even to the 'backward' child; indeed we have had several marked successes with backward children. Just as we all partake of that banquet which is 'Shakespeare' according to our needs and desires, so do the children behave at the ample board set before them; there is enough to satisfy the keenest intelligence while the dullest child is sustained through his own willing effort." (Vol. 6, p. 245)

"Lack of proportion should be our bête noire in drawing up a curriculum, remembering that the mathematician who knows little of the history of his own country or that of any other, is sparsely educated at the best." (Vol. 6, p. 232)



Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton

(Contains affiliate links)



Nancy Kelly on Habits
Feb 03, 2017
Episode 65: Bringing Older Children into the CM Method
43:49

This Charlotte Mason podcast episode focuses on listener questions regarding bringing children into the Mason method from other previous school experiences. What are the approaches that help children of various ages transition, what are realistic expectations, and how do we help them adjust to a different way of doing lessons?

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"The success of such a school demands rare qualities in the teacher––high culture, some knowledge of psychology and of the art of education; intense sympathy with the children, much tact, much common sense, much common information, much 'joyousness of nature,' and much governing power..." (Vol. 1, p. 178)

"Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life.––We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking––the strain would be too great––but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?" (Vol. 3, p. 170-171)



I Buy a School, Marion Berry

(Contains affiliate links)
Jan 27, 2017
Episode 64: Exams
37:11

Term examinations in Charlotte Mason's schools were mandatory. This podcast explores the purpose of examinations, what was covered, and how we evaluate our child's performance.

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"The children write with perfect understanding as far as they go and there is rarely a 'howler' in hundreds of sets of papers. They have an enviable power of getting at the gist of a book or subject. Sometimes they are asked to write verses about a personage or an event; the result is not remarkable by way of poetry, but sums up a good deal of thoughtful reading in a delightful way..." (Vol. 6, p. 242)

"During the examinations, which last a week, the children cover say from twenty to sixty sheets of Cambridge paper, according to age and class; but if ten times as many questions were set on the work studied most likely they would cover ten times as much paper." (Vol. 6, p. 241)

"The terminal examinations are of great importance. They are not merely and chiefly tests of knowledge but records which are likely to be permanent." (Vol. 6, p. 272)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

School Education, Appendix II



Sample PNEU Examinations from Programme 93

Sample PNEU Examinations from Programme 95 (click each link to see full Programme and Examination for each Form)
Jan 20, 2017
Episode 63: Listener Q&A #12
30:29

This Q&A episode of the Charlotte Mason podcast addresses such varied topics as introducing the Book of Centuries, dawdling and disinterested beginners, preschoolers participation, and transitioning students to independent reading.

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"In the first place, never let the child dawdle over copybook or sum, sit dreaming with his book before him. When a child grows stupid over a lesson, it is time to put it away. Let him do another lesson as unlike the last as possible, and then go back with freshened wits to his unfinished task." (Vol. 1, p. 141)

"That the claims of the schoolroom should not be allowed to encroach on the child's right to long hours daily for exercise and investigation." (Vol. 1, p. 177)

"Form IIB has a considerable programme of reading, that is, not the mere mechanical exercise of reading but the reading of certain books. Therefore it is necessary that two years should be spent in Form IA and that in the second of these two years the children should read a good deal of the set work for themselves." (Vol. 6, pp. 181-182)

"This habit should be begun early; so soon as the child can read at all, he should read for himself, and to himself, history, legends, fairy tales, and other suitable matter." (Vol. 1, p. 227)



Made in the ... Books by Christine Price

History of Everyday Things, Quennell

Colonial Craftsmen, Tunis (and all his other books)

A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane (and many of his other books)

What People Wore, Gorsline

(Contains affiliate links)

Jan 13, 2017
Episode 62: Afternoons
35:25

Charlotte Mason's morning lessons accomplish much, but this podcast episode focuses on what comes after. What does a mother do with that long afternoon the children should have, how do we manage the activities of life as well as all the occupations Mason insisted should occur outside of school time? This is a thorough discussion of mother's responsibilities, children's freedom and time management, and the purpose of those leisure hours after school books are closed for the day.

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"That the claims of the schoolroom should not be allowed to encroach on the child's right to long hours daily for exercise and investigation." (Vol. 1, p. 177)

"Thus, the morning, after breakfast (the digestion of which lighter meal is not a severe task), is much the best time for lessons and every sort of mental work; if the whole afternoon cannot be spared for out-of-door recreation, that is the time for mechanical tasks such as needlework, drawing, practising; the children's wits are bright enough in the evening, but the drawback to evening work is, that the brain, once excited, is inclined to carry on its labours beyond bed-time, and dreams, wakefulness, and uneasy sleep attend the poor child who has been at work until the last minute. If the elder children must work in the evening, they should have at least one or two pleasant social hours before they go to bed; but, indeed, we owe it to the children to abolish evening 'preparation.'" (Vol. 1, p. 23)

"Five of the thirteen waking hours should be at the disposal of the children; three, at least, of these, from two o'clock to five, for example, should be spent out of doors in all but very bad weather. This is the opportunity for out-of-door work, collecting wild flowers, describing walks and views, etc. (see Home Education). Brisk work and ample leisure and freedom should be the rule of the Home School. The Children's Day will, on the whole, run this: Lessons, 1 1/2 to 4 hours; meals, 2 hours; occupations, 1 to 3 hours; leisure, 5 to 7 hours, according to age. The work not done in its own time should be left undone. Children should not be embarrassed with arrears, and they should have dues sense of the importance of time, and that there is no other time for work not done in its own time. Should the children flag at any time, a day's holiday, a little country excursion, should refresh them." (From Suggestions which accompanied the PNEU Programmes)

"[Referring to the afternoon occupations]...at any time of day, in any division of time, to suit family arrangements; when possible, out of doors." (From Suggestions which accompanied the PNEU Programmes)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part II: Out of Door Life of Children

List of Afternoon Activities
Jan 06, 2017
Episode 61: Architecture, an Interview with Sandra Zuidema
30:50

Charlotte Mason's feast spreads to include the subject of architecture. A Delectable Education podcast this week is an interview with Sandra Zuidema who has discovered the joy of exploring the ideas in architecture, its history, people, structures and culture and shares ways she has introduced this to her children.

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"But any sketch of the history teaching in Forms V and VI in a given period depends upon a notice of the 'literature' set; for plays, novels, essays, 'lives,' poems, are all pressed into service and where it is possible, the architecture, painting, etc., which the period produced." (Vol. 6, pp. 177-178)

"We do what is possible to introduce children to Architecture; and we practise clay-modelling and the various artistic handicrafts, but there is nothing unusual in our work in these directions." (Vol. 6, p. 217)

"I shall touch later upon the burning question of a curriculum which shall furnish children, not with dry bones of fact, but with fact clothed upon with the living flesh, breathed into by the vital spirit of quickening ideas." (Vol. 3, p. 124)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Chapter 10, Section II: Art



Filippo's Dome, Rockwell

Story of Architecture, Waterhouse

Child's History of Art, Hiller

Architecture Shown to the Children, Wynne

Concise History of Western Architecture, Jordan

(Contains affiliate links)



In a Large Room Retreat

Golden Hours of Delight Retreat

Charlotte Mason Institute

The Duomo, Florence

Chartres Cathedral

Flying Buttresses

Rose Windows

Amiens Cathedral

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Dec 30, 2016
Episode 60: Listener Q&A #11
26:38

This podcast addresses listener questions about implementing a Charlotte Mason education. How do we teach multiple children at different levels, keep up with all the books being read, teach the subject of recitation, get our children to talk about what they're learning?

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"When a child is reading, he should not be teased with questions as to the meaning of what he has read, the signification of this word or that; what is annoying to older people is equally annoying to children. Besides, it is not of the least consequence that they should be able to give the meaning of every word they read. A knowledge of meanings, that is, an ample and correct vocabulary, is only arrived at in one way––by the habit of reading. A child unconsciously gets the meaning of a new word from the context, if not the first time he meets with it, then the second or the third: but he is on the look-out, and will find out for himself the sense of any expression he does not understand. Direct questions on the subject-matter of what a child has read are always a mistake. Let him narrate what he has read, or some part of it. He enjoys this sort of consecutive reproduction, but abominates every question in the nature of a riddle. If there must be riddles, let it be his to ask and the teacher's to direct him the answer. Questions that lead to a side issue or to a personal view are allowable because these interest children––'What would you have done in his place?'" (Vol. 1, pp. 228-229)

"Long ago, I was in the habit of hearing this axiom quoted by a philosophical old friend: "The mind can know nothing save what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put to the mind by itself." I have failed to trace the saying to its source, but a conviction of its importance has been growing upon me during the last forty years. It tacitly prohibits questioning from without; (this does not, of course, affect the Socratic use of questioning for purposes of moral conviction); and it is necessary to intellectual certainty, to the act of knowing. For example, to secure a conversation or an incident, we 'go over it in our minds'; that is, the mind puts itself through the process of self-questioning which I have indicated. This is what happens in the narrating of a passage read: each new consecutive incident or statement arrives because the mind asks itself,––"What next?" For this reason it is important that only one reading should be allowed; efforts to memorise weaken the power of attention, the proper activity of the mind; if it is desirable to ask questions in order to emphasize certain points, these should be asked after and not before, or during, the act of narration." (Vol. 6, p. 17)

"A small English boy of nine living in Japan, remarked, "Isn't it fun, Mother, learning all these things? Everything seems to fit into something else." The boy had not found out the whole secret; everything fitted into something within himself." (vol. 6, pp. 156-157)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter VIII



Recitation: The Children's Art, Arthur Burrell

In A Large Room Retreat

TruthQuest History
Dec 23, 2016
Episode 59: Handicrafts
28:38

Charlotte Mason included handicrafts in the curriculum and this podcast will explore the reasons. It is not an optional activity or filler, but what is the purpose? Furthermore, what sorts of things are included in this subject and how can a mother who feels inadequate possibly fulfill this requirement?

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"Points to be borne in mind in children's handicrafts are: a) that they should not be employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper-mats and the like; b) that they should be taught slowly and carefully what they should do; c) that slipshod work should not be allowed; d) and, that, therefore, the children's work should be kept well within their compass." (Vol. 1, pp. 315-316)

"Small children finish anything set for them to do alone very quickly as a rule, and I find it a great help if they can have some easy handicraft to be picked up in spare moments." (Parents' Review, "Notes and Queries", Vol. 44, p. 480)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part V, Chapter XXI

School Education (Volume 3), pp. 355-359



Paper Sloyd for Primary Grades

(Contains affiliate link)



Paper Sloyd for Primary Grades

Golden Hours of Delight Retreat
Dec 16, 2016
Episode 58: Charlotte Mason and Special Needs
35:32

This episode highlights the relevance of a Charlotte Mason education for children who have unique differences as persons in one way or another, needs that affect how they relate to and respond to their education. Is Mason's method possible for children with special needs?

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"Greatness and littleness belong to character, and life would be dull were we all cast in one mould..." (Vol. 2, pg. 71)

"The best public schoolboy is a fine product; and perhaps the worst has had his imagination touched by ideas; yet most of us recognise that the public school often fails, in that it launches the average and dull boy ignorant upon the world because the curriculum has been too narrow to make any appeal to him." (Vol. 3, p. 246)

"Let me add that the appeal of these principles and this method is not to the clever child only but to the average and even to the 'backward' child; indeed we have had several marked successes with backward children. Just as we all partake of that banquet which is 'Shakespeare' according to our needs and desires, so do the children behave at the ample board set before them; there is enough to satisfy the keenest intelligence while the dullest child is sustained through his own willing effort." (Vol. 6, p. 245)

"The teachers underrate the tastes and abilities of their pupils. In things intellectual, children, even backward children, have extraordinary 'possibilities for good'--possibilities so great that if we had the wit to give them their heard they would carry us alog like a stream in spate." (Vol. 6, p. 52)

"This is what we have established in many thousands of cases, even in those of dull and backward children, that any person can understand any book of the right calibre (a question to be determined mainly by the age of the young reader); that the book must be in literary form; that children and young persons require no elucidation of what they read; that their attention does not flag while so engaged; that they master a few pages at a single reading so thoroughly that they can 'tell it back' at the time or months later whether it be the Pilgrim's Progress or one of Bacon's Essays or Shakespeare's plays; that they throw individuality into this telling back so that no two tell quite the same tale; that they learn incidentally to write and speak with vigour and style and usually to spell well. Now this art of telling back is Education and is very enriching." (Vol. 6, pp. 291-92)

"People are too apt to use children as counters in a game, to be moved hither and thither according to the whim of the moment. Our crying need to-day is less for a better method of education than for an adequate conception of children,––children, merely as human beings, whether brilliant or dull, precocious or backward. Exceptional qualities take care of themselves and so does the 'wanting' intelligence, and both of these share with the rest in all that is claimed for them in the previous chapters. Our business is to find out how great a mystery a person is qua person. All action comes out of the ideas we hold and if we ponder duly upon personality we shall come to perceive that we cannot commit a greater offence than to maim or crush, or subvert any part of a person." (Vol. 6, p. 80)



Parents' Review article on Backward Children

Dec 09, 2016
Episode 57: Middle & High School Math: Interview with Richele Baburina, Part 2
30:50

This Charlotte Mason podcast episode is the conclusion of a two part interview with Richele Baburina on math in the upper forms. Her research and experience, wisdom and love will not only calm your anxieties, but will reveal a glimpse of the wondrous possibilities and beauty awaiting you and your child as you explore the mountainous heights of an awe-inspiring subject, including valuable tips for traversing it with direction and confidence.

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"In the things of science, in the things of art, in the things of practical everyday life, his God doth instruct him and doth teach him, her God doth instruct her and doth teach her. Let this be the mother's key to the whole of the education of each boy and each girl; not of her children; the Divine Spirit does not work with nouns of multitude, but with each single child. Because He is infinite, the whole world is not too great a school for this indefatigable Teacher, and because He is infinite, He is able to give the whole of his infinite attention for the whole time to each one of his multitudinous pupils. We do not sufficiently rejoice in the wealth that the infinite nature of our God brings to each of us." (Vol. 2, p. 273)

"Supposing we are willing to make this great recognition, to engage ourselves to accept and invite the daily, hourly, incessant co-operation of the divine Spirit, in, to put it definitely and plainly, the schoolroom work of our children, how must we shape our own conduct to make this co-operation active, or even possible? We are told that the Spirit is life; therefore, that which is dead, dry as dust, mere bare bones, can have no affinity with Him, can do no other than smother and deaden his vitalising influences. A first condition of this vitalising teaching is that all the thought we offer to our children shall be living thought; no mere dry summaries of facts will do; given the vitalising idea, children will readily hang the mere facts upon the idea as upon a peg capable of sustaining all that it is needful to retain. We begin by believing in the children as spiritual beings of unmeasured powers––intellectual, moral, spiritual––capable of receiving and constantly enjoying intuitions from the intimate converse of the Divine Spirit." (Vol. 2, p. 277)

"Girls are usually in Class IV. for two or three years, from fourteen or fifteen to seventeen, after which they are ready to specialise and usually do well. The programme for Class IV. is especially interesting; it adds Geology and Astronomy to the sciences studied, more advanced Algebra to the Mathematics, and sets the history of Modern Europe instead of French history." (Vol. 3, p. 294)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, chapters 8 & 9



The Story of Charlotte Mason, Chomondeley

Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching

First Step in Euclid

Practical Exercises in Geometry

Lessons in Experimental and Practical Geometry



Paper Sloyd

Episode 30: The Way of the Will and The Way of Reason+
Dec 02, 2016
Episode 56: Middle & High School Math: Interview with Richele Baburina, Part 1
34:36

This Charlotte Mason podcast explores the upper reaches of the hike up the math mountain. If teaching algebra and geometry are daunting to you currently, or for the future, please enjoy the first of this two-part interview with Richele Baburina, a fellow CM researcher and practitioner who has explored the wondrous reaches of mathematics as a living subject in the Mason feast.

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Principles 16-19 from the Preface to the Home Education Series:

16. There are two guides to moral and intellectual self-management to offer to children, which we may call 'the way of the will' and 'the way of the reason.'

17. The way of the will: Children should be taught, (a) to distinguish between 'I want' and 'I will.' (b) That the way to will effectively is to turn our thoughts from that which we desire but do not will. (c) That the best way to turn our thoughts is to think of or do some quite different thing, entertaining or interesting. (d) That after a little rest in this way, the will returns to its work with new vigour. (This adjunct of the will is familiar to us as diversion, whose office it is to ease us for a time from will effort, that we may 'will' again with added power. The use of suggestion as an aid to the will is to be deprecated, as tending to stultify and stereotype character, It would seem that spontaneity is a condition of development, and that human nature needs the discipline of failure as well as of success.)

18. The way of reason: We teach children, too, not to 'lean (too confidently) to their own understanding'; because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration (a) of mathematical truth, (b) of an initial idea, accepted by the will. In the former case, reason is, practically, an infallible guide, but in the latter, it is not always a safe one; for, whether that idea be right or wrong, reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs.

19. Therefore, children should be taught, as they become mature enough to understand such teaching, that the chief responsibility which rests on them as persons is the acceptance or rejection of ideas. To help them in this choice we give them principles of conduct, and a wide range of the knowledge fitted to them. These principles should save children from some of the loose thinking and heedless action which cause most of us to live at a lower level than we need.



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, chapters 8 & 9



Strayer Upton Practical Mathematics

Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching

First Step in Euclid

Practical Exercises in Geometry

Lessons in Experimental and Practical Geometry



Richele's Overview of Math Instruction based on the PNEU practice with amendments for 21st century requirements

Paper Sloyd

Episode 30: The Way of the Will and The Way of Reason
Nov 28, 2016
Episode 55: Elementary Math
27:40

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast addresses math in the elementary years. How much should be covered? How should it be presented? How do we build confidence, competence, and progress?

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"The Principality of Mathematics is a mountainous land, but the air is very fine and health-giving, though some people find it too rare for their breathing. It differs from most mountainous countries in this, that you cannot lose your way, and that every step taken is on firm ground. People who seek their work or play in this principality find themselves braced by effort and satisfied with truth." (Vol. 4, p. 38)

[A child should know at 12 years old:] "...g) in Arithmetic, they should have some knowledge of vulgar and decimal fractions, percentage, household accounts, etc. h) Should have a knowledge of Elementary Algebra, and should have done practical exercises in Geometry." (Vol. 3, p. 301)

"[Mathematics] should give to children the sense of limitation which is wholesome for all of us, and inspire that sursam corda which we should hear in all natural law." (Vol. 6, p. 231)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, XV

Ourselves, Book I, pp. 38; 62-63

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter 10, Section III



Strayer-Upton's Books--helpful for mental arithmetic/story problems

(Contains affiliate links)



Richele Baburina's Mathematics: A Guide for Living Teaching

Benezet's Article on informal math instruction in the early years

Parents' Review Article on "Number"
Nov 18, 2016
Episode 54: Teaching Math
30:12

How in the world did Charlotte Mason approach the subject of math? This podcast episode explores that question and addresses our qualms and insecurities in teaching math to our children. How do we avoid fears, tears, pushing and pulling, and reach to its infinite beauty as an instrument in acquiring knowledge of the universe?

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"Arithmetic, Mathematics, are exceedingly easy to examine upon and so long as education is regulated by examinations so long shall we have teaching, directed not to awaken a sense of awe in contemplating a self-existing science, but rather to secure exactness and ingenuity in the treatment of problems." (Vol. 6, p. 231)

"...the use of the study in practical life is the least of its uses. The chief value of arithmetic, like that of higher mathematics, lies in the training it affords to the reasoning powers, and in the habits of insight, readiness, accuracy, intellectual truthfulness it engenders." (Vol. 1, p. 254)

"Never are the operations of Reason more delightful and more perfect than in mathematics...By degrees, absolute truth unfolds itself. We are so made that truth, absolute and certain truth, is a perfect joy to us; and that is the joy that mathematics afford." (Vol. 4, p. 63)

"Let his arithmetic lesson be to the child a daily exercise in clear thinking and rapid, careful execution, and his mental growth will be as obvious as the sprouting of seedlings in the spring." (Vol. 1, p. 261)

"Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the text-book and few subjects are worse taught; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas, what Coleridge calls, the 'Captain' ideas, which should quicken imagination." (Vol. 6, p. 233)

"There is no must be to him he does not see that one process, and one process only, can give the required result. Now, a child who does not know what rule to apply to a simple problem within his grasp, has been ill taught from the first, although he may produce slatefuls of quite right sums in multiplication or long division." (Vol. 1, p. 254)

"...'nearly right' is the verdict, a judgment inadmissible in arithmetic." (Vol. 1, p. 255)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, XV

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter 10, Section III



Number Stories of Long Ago

String, Straightedge and Shadow

(Contains affiliate links)



Our very favorite resource for Mathematics teaching
Nov 15, 2016
Episode 53: Listener Q&A #10
21:28

This Charlotte Mason podcast episode is another Q&A. As we implement the method, challenges arise: what adjustments need to be made when I come to the method late, how should I organize my home differently, and what about the only child's needs, are this week's focus.

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"It is not an environment that these want, a set of artificial relations carefully constructed, but an atmosphere which nobody has been at pains to constitute. It is there, about the child, his natural element, precisely as the atmosphere of the earth is about us. It is thrown off, as it were, from persons and things, stirred by events, sweetened by love, ventilated, kept in motion, by the regulated action of common sense." (Vol. 6, pg. 96)

"No artificial element [should] be introduced...children must face life as it is; we may not keep them in glass cases." (Vol. 6, pg. 97)



The Conquest of the North and South Poles (Landmark Book), Russell Owen

(Contains affiliate links)



Episode 4: Three Tools of Education

The Education of an Only Child, Mrs. Clement Parsons. The Parents' Review, Volume 12, p.609-621
Nov 04, 2016
Episode 52: Teaching a Foreign Language that You Don't Speak Yourself
35:44

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast focuses again on foreign language. Enjoy this interview with Dr. Jennifer Spencer, whose wealth of experience in the realm of language taught the Charlotte Mason way will inspire and encourage you to plunge in and stop depriving your children of this dish in the delectable feast.

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"The initial idea, that we must acquire a new language as a child acquires his mother tongue, is absolutely right, whether the attempt to follow this idea out by analysing a language into a certain number, say fifteen, exhaustive 'series,' be right or not." (Vol. 1, p. 302)

"The method of teaching may be varied, partly because that recommended by M. Gouin requires a perfect command of the French tongue, and teachers who are diffident find a conversational method founded on book and picture easier to work and perhaps as effectual––more so, some people think; but, be this as it may, it is to M. Gouin we owe the fundamental idea." (Vol. 1, p. 306)



Charlotte Mason Institute

Cherrydale Press (Gouin series books)
Oct 28, 2016
Episode 51: Foreign Language
26:26

Foreign language was a major component in Charlotte Mason's curriculum. This podcast addresses the reasons for foreign language study and how mothers of one tongue can still faithfully include it in their homeschool.

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"All educated persons should be able to speak French." (Vol. 1, p. 300)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter XX

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter 10, Section II: Languages



Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

(Contains affiliate links)



http://theulat.com/ORIGIN.HTM

http://www.thespanishexperiment.com/

http://www.thefrenchexperiment.com/

http://www.theitalianexperiment.com/

http://www.thegermanexperiment.com/

http://cherrydalepress.com/
Oct 21, 2016
Episode 49: Listener Q & A #9
21:47

This episode marks the one year anniversary of this Charlotte Mason podcast. Over the past year, we have received dozens of questions from our listeners and this Q&A is exemplary of the requests we receive and our attempt to address widely varying topics, namely this week: where to find out-of-print living books, the relevance of Charlotte Mason today and the practice of "scaffolding" lessons.

Oct 14, 2016
Episode 50: Writing: Grammar and Composition
41:07

What are Charlotte Mason's thoughts on grammar and composition? Listen to this podcast to hear some of her rationale for these subjects, to dispel myths about the Charlotte Mason method and the subject of writing, as well as these moms' experience with teaching these technical and creative written skills.

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"[G]rammar, being a study of words and not things, is by no means attractive to the child, nor should he be hurried into it." (Vol. 1, p. 295)

"Children will probably be slow to receive this first lesson in abstract knowledge, and we must remember that knowledge in this sort is difficult and uncongenial. Their minds deal with the concrete and they have the singular faculty of being able to make concrete images out of the merest gossamer of a fairy tale." (Vol. 6, p. 210)

"But a child cannot dream parts of speech, and any grown-up twaddle attempting to personify such abstractions offends a small person who with all his love of play and nonsense has a serious mind." (Vol. 6, p. 210)

"Our business is to provide children with material in thier lessons, and leave the handling of such material to themselves...They should narrate in the first place, and they will compose, later, readily enough; but they should not be taught 'composition.'" (Vol. 1, p. 247)

"It is not enough that a child should learn how to write, he must know what to write." (Vol. 6, p. 234)

"In fact, lessons on 'composition' should follow the model of that famous essay on "Snakes in Ireland"––"There are none."" (Vol. 1, p. 247)

"If we would believe it, composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been allowed due use of books." (Vol. 1, p. 247)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part V, XIII

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Chapter 10, Section II: Knowledge of Man: Composition & Knowledge of Man: Grammar



The Bedford Handbook

The Elements of Style

(Contains affiliate links)
Oct 14, 2016
Episode 15: History Things
22:21


Beyond the books, what are some tools that are useful in putting history into living color for a child? At what age should we begin to use a timeline, or should we use a timeline at all? How do we implement the book of centuries? Listen in as we wrestle with some of the things that make history lessons come alive.

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If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), pg. 292

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), pg. 177

Miss Beale's Parents' Review Article on "The Teaching of Chronology"

Parents' Review Article on making and keeping a Book of Centuries



The Living Page, Laurie Bestvater

(Contains affiliate links)



Laurie Bestvater's Book of Centuries

Another Book of Centuries from Riverbend Press

Bernau's Article on the Book of Centuries With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

Beale's Article on the Teaching of Chronology With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

H.B.'s Article on the Teaching of History With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available

Biggar's Article on How to Make a Century Chart With much gratitude to the Charlotte Mason Institute for making this PDF available
Oct 05, 2016
Episode 48: Writing: Copywork, Dictation, and Written Narration
31:05

This podcast explores what Charlotte Mason had to say about the skill of writing. Why do the children need to write? What writing must they do? How can they be taught penmanship, spelling, punctuation, and style? Join us in working through this incremental and crucial school subject.

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"I can only offer a few hints on the teaching of writing, though much might be said. First, let the child accomplish something perfectly in every lesson--a stroke, a pothook, a letter. Let the writing lesson be short; it should not last more than five or ten minutes. Ease in writing comes by practice; but that must be secured later. In the meantime, the thing to be avoided is the habit of careless work." (Vol. 1, pp. 233-34)

"[T]here is no part of a child's work at school which some philosophic principle does not underlie." (Vol. 1, p. 240)

"The gift of spelling depends upon the power the eye possesses to 'take' (in a photographic sense) a detailed picture of a word; and this is a power and habit which must be cultivated in children from the first." (Vol. 1, p. 241)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part V, Chapters X-XII



Writing to Learn

(Contains affiliate links)



The New Handwriting
Sep 30, 2016
Episode 47: Interview with Leah Boden
28:17

This week's podcast illuminates the Charlotte Mason method as it is being practiced in its country of origin: The United Kingdom. Emily interviews, Leah Boden, who discovered Mason and has been implementing her method in her own life and, like us, is working to support and encourage home educators in the knowledge and practice of Charlotte Mason.

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Handbook of Nature Study

Our Island Story

Trial and Triumph

(Contains affiliate links)



Leah's Instagram

Leah's Blog

The Charlotte Mason Show

Leah's Facebook Page

Leah's Periscope Channel

http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/

Join the HomeschoolLibrary Yahoo Group if you'd like to learn more about starting a lending library!
Sep 23, 2016
Episode 46: Reading
44:52

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast focuses on the all-important task of teaching our children to read. No other subject holds such promise and so many anxieties for the teacher who embarks on teaching this fundamental skill. The ladies share their own experiences and what Mason had to say to help us in the reading lesson.

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"But, as a matter of fact, few of us can recollect how or when we learned to read: for all we know it came by nature." (Vol. 1, p. 200)

"Probably that vague whole which we call 'Education' offers no more difficult and repellent task than that to which every little child is set down--the task of learning to read. We realize the labor of it when some grown man makes a heroic effort to remedy shameful ignorance, but we forget how contrary to nature it is for a little child to occupy himself with dreary hieroglyphics--all so dreadfully alike!--when the world is teeming with interesting objects which he is agog to know." (Vol. 1, p. 214)

"'What a snail's progress!' you are inclined to say. Not so slow, after all: a child will thus learn, without appreciable labour, from 2-3,000 words in the course of a year; in other words, he will learn to read, for the mastery of this number of words will carry him with comfort through most of the books that fall in his way. Now, compare this steady progress and constant interest and liveliness of such lessons with the deadly weariness of the ordinary reading lesson. The child blunders through a page or two in the dreary monotone without expression, with imperfect enunciation. He comes to a word he does not know, and he spells it; that throws no light on the subject, and he is told the word; he repeats it, but as he has made no mental effort to secure the word, the next time he meets with it the same process is gone through. The reading lesson for that day comes to an end. The pupil has been miserably bored, and has not acquired one new word. Eventually, he learns to read, somehow, by mere dint of repetition; but consider what an abuse of his intelligence is a system of teaching which makes him undergo daily labour with little or no result, and gives him a distaste for books before he has learned to use them." (Vol. 1, pp. 206-207)

"We must remember the natural inertness of a child's mind; give him the habit of being read to, and he will steadily shirk the labour of reading for himself; indeed, we all like to be spoon-fed with our intellectual meat, or we should read and think more for ourselves and be less eager to run after lectures." (Vol. 1, p. 228)

"He should have practice, too, in reading aloud [from the books] he is using for his term's work. These should include a good deal of poetry, to accustom him to the delicate rendering of shades of meaning, and especially to make him aware that words are beautiful in themselves, that they are a source of pleasure, and are worthy of our honour; and that a beautiful word deserves to be beautifully said, with a certain roundness of tone and precision of utterance." (Vol. 1, p. 227)

"The attention of his teachers should be fixed on two points--that he acquires the habit of reading, and that he does not fall into slipshod habits of reading." (Vol. 1, p. 226)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, pp. 199-222)



Better Late Than Early, Raymond Moore

Reading-Literature Series

Thirty Million Words, Dana Suskind

(Contains affiliate links)



Montessori Small Moveable Alphabet

Reading-Literature series on MainLesson.com
Sep 16, 2016
Episode 43: Listener Q&A #7
21:10

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast is another Q&A session with Emily, Nicole, and Liz. It is inevitable, as we implement the feast, that questions of presentation and content arise about details not mentioned in the designated episodes on those subjects, and here are some of the latest ones.

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"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without>" (Vol. 1, p. 42)

"There is no selection of subjects, passages, or episodes on the ground of interest." (Vol. 6, p. 244)



Anne White's Plutarch Books can be found here

(Contains affiliate links)



Nancy Kelly on Plutarch

Anne White's Study Guides free online

Overdrive Media Console
Sep 13, 2016
Episode 45: Listener Q&A #8
30:17

This week's podcast episode on the Charlotte Mason method of education--the delectable education--is a question and answer session. Listen to this lively, animated, and slightly controversial discussion of short lessons, nature study, free time, and Bible lessons.

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"Five of the thirteen waking hours should be at the disposal of the children; three, at least, of these, from two o'clock to five, for example, should be spent out of doors in all but very bad weather. This is the opportunity for out-of-door work, collecting wild flowers, describing walks and views, etc." (From "Suggestions" accompanying Programme 42)

"The Children's Day will, on the whole, run thus: Lessons, 1 1/2 to 4 hours; meals, 2 hours; occupations, 1 to 3 hours; leisure, 5 to 7 hours, according to age." (From "Suggestions" accompanying Programme 42)

"Children between 6 and 9 should get a considerable knowledge of the Bible text. By 9 they should have read the simple (and suitable) narrative portions of the Old Testament...and [the Synoptic] Gospels." (Vol. 1, p. 249)



The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

(Contains affiliate links)



Episode 20: Nature Study

Episode 22: Interview with Cheri Struble

John Muir Laws' Website

Episode 41: Interview with Jack Laws, Part 1

Episode 42: Interview with Jack Laws, Part 2

Episode 17: Bible, The Living Book

Living Books Library post on Electronics

Parents' Review Article: Imagination is a Powerful Factor in a Well-Balanced Mind

A Delectable Education's Schedule Cards
Sep 09, 2016
Episode 44: Language Acquisition
24:31

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast focuses on language. Mason's method was based on a child's nature, and this is most apparent in observing how her method runs along the line of a child's natural acquisition of language skills.

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"Many persons consider that to learn to read a language so full of anomalies and difficulties as our own is a task which should not be imposed too soon on the childish mind. But, as a matter of fact, few of us can recollect how or when we learned to read: for all we know it came by nature." (Vol. 1, p. 200)



Thirty Million Words, Dana Suskind

(Contains affiliate links)



The Teaching of Mathematics: The Story of An Experiment
Sep 02, 2016
Episode 42: Interview with John Muir Laws, Part II
48:51

Charlotte Mason knew nature study is critical to the good life and fundamental to education. This week's podcast is the second interview with contemporary naturalist John Muir Laws (Jack) in which he inspires, encourages, and explains to us not only what to do when we go outside, along with many how-to practices we can implement to make the most of that nature study, but how we can change our motivation and focus to experience a rich and rewarding relationship with nature.

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Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

The Nature Principle, Richard Louv

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, John Muir Laws

(Contains affiliate links)



Jack Laws' Website

Jack Laws' Nature Journal Suggested Supplies List

Nature Journaling Club Curriculum

Jack's Blog Post on his favorite blue pencil

CMPeoria "The Field Before Us" Regional Retreat
Jul 29, 2016
Episode 41: Interview with John Muir Laws
35:56

This Charlotte Mason podcast episode is an interview with John Muir Laws (Jack), inspiring naturalist and scientist. Join Nicole to hear how expertise and aptitude are not key to making strides in discovering the world of nature and science, but that, as Mason asserts, curiosity and willingness to explore are. If you as mother and teacher, or your child as student, are intimidated by the field of science, this interview will set you free to thoroughly partake of this part of the educational feast, and if you are intrigued with the field of science, make you aware of how much more you can enjoy it.

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"Marks, prizes, places, rewards, punishments, praise, blame, or other inducements are not necessary to secure attention, which is voluntary, immediate and surprisingly perfect." (Vol. 6, p. 7)

"Let them get at the books themselves, and do not let them be flooded with a warm diluent at the lips of their teacher. The teacher's business is to indicate, stimulate, direct and constrain to the acquirement of knowledge, but by no means to be the fountain-head and source of all knowledge in his or her own person. The less parents and teachers talk-in and expound their rations of knowledge and thought to the children they are educating, the better for the children." (Vol. 3, p. 162)



John Muir Laws' Website

A Curiosity Framework
Jul 22, 2016
Episode 38: Shakespeare
35:09

In this week's podcast, we discuss why Shakespeare was always included in Charlotte Mason's curriculum. What is the value of Shakespeare as part of the study of literature, and how can we who have little experience with his works enter in and enjoy his feast?

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"Just as we partake of that banquet which is 'Shakespeare' according to our own needs and desires, so do the children behave at the ample board set before them; there is enough to satisfy the keenest intelligence while the dullest child is sustained through his own willing effort." (Vol. 6, p. 245)

"We probably read Shakespeare in the first place for his stories, afterwards for his characters, the multitude of delightful persons with whom he makes us so intimate that afterwards, in fiction or in fact, we say, 'She is another Jessica,' and 'That dear girl is a Miranda'; 'She is a Cordelia to her father,' and, such a figure in history, 'a base lago.' To become intimate with Shakespeare in this way is a great enrichment of mind and instruction of conscience. Then, by degrees, as we go on reading this world-teacher, lines of insight and beauty take possession of us, and unconsciously mould our judgments of men and things and of the great issues of life." (Vol. 4, p. 72)

"This is what Shakespeare, as great a philosopher as a poet, set himself to teach us, line upon line, precept upon precept. His 'Leontes,' 'Othello,' 'Lear,' 'Prospero,' 'Brutus,' preach on the one text––that a man's reason brings certain infallible proofs of any notions he has wilfully chosen to take up. There is no escape for us, no short cut; art is long, especially the art of living." (Vol. 6, pp. 314-15)

"And Shakespeare? He, indeed, is not to be classed, and timed, and treated as one amongst others,––he, who might well be the daily bread of the intellectual life; Shakespeare is not to be studied in a year; he is to be read continuously throughout life, from ten years old and onwards. But a child of ten cannot understand Shakespeare. No; but can a man of fifty? Is not our great poet rather an ample feast of which every one takes according to his needs, and leaves what he has no stomach for?" (Vol. 5, p. 224)



Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury

The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Roller Skates, Ruth Sawyer

The Wonderful Winter, Marchette Chute

Tales from Shakespeare, Charles and Mary Lamb

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, E. Nesbit

(Contains affiliate links)



Interview with Nancy Kelly

Chronological List of Shakespeare's Plays

American Shakespeare Center

Jul 14, 2016
Episode 40: Listener Q & A #6
19:56

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast addresses listener questions. Nicole, Emily, and Liz combine their wisdom and experience to address some very frequently asked concerns.

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Rascal, Sterling North

Owls in the Family, Farley Mowat

My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George

(Contains affiliate links)



Charlotte Mason and Classical Education

More on Charlotte Mason and Classical Education
Jul 08, 2016
Episode 13: The Saviour of the World
21:56

Merry Christmas! As we celebrate the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we took a break from discussing history to bring you a special episode. Art Middlekauff shares with us a lesser-known, but very important work by Charlotte Mason herself--her poetic reflections on the Life of Christ entitled, The Saviour of the World. We hope this episode, and more importantly, these poems, will bless you and yours today and in the year to come.

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You can find Art Middlekauff's blog here

The Savior of the World (online)

Hardback reprints of Volumes 1, 3, 4, and 5

Paperback reprints of Volumes 1, 2, and 3

This post describes an app to read an online Bible with links to the corresponding Saviour of the World Poems

In Memorium
Jul 06, 2016
Episode 8: Narration, The Act of Knowing
32:24


The work in a Charlotte Mason lesson is in reading and narrating. How this is implemented practically is the focus of this episode. The discussion addresses when, what, and how to narrate, and above all, why narration is effective.

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“What we have perhaps failed to discover hitherto is the immense hunger for knowledge (curiosity) existing in everyone and the immeasurable power of attention with which everyone is endowed; that everyone likes knowledge best in a literary form; that the knowledge should be exceedingly various concerning many things on which the mind of man reflects; but that knowledge is acquired only by what we may call "the act of knowing," which is both encouraged and tested by narration, and which further requires the later test and record afforded by examinations.” (Vol. 6, pp. 290-91)

“This, of getting ideas out of them, is by no means all we must do with books. ‘In all labor there is profit,’ at any rate in some labor, and the labor of thought is what his book must induce in the child. He must generalise, classify, infer, judge, visualize, discriminate, labor in one way or another, with that capable mind of his, until the substance of his book is assimilated or rejected, according as he shall determine; for the determination rests with him and not with his teacher.” (Vol. 3, p. 179)

"Bobbie will come home with a heroic narrative of a fight he has seen between 'Duke' and a dog in the street. It is wonderful! He has seen everything, and he tells everything with splendid vigour in the true epic vein; but so ingrained is our contempt for children that we see nothing in this but Bobbie's foolish childish way! Whereas here, if we have eyes to see and grace to build, is the ground-plan of his education." (Vol. 1, p. 231)

“They must read the given pages and tell what they have read, they must perform, that is, what we may call the act of knowing. We are all aware, alas, what a monstrous quantity of printed matter has gone into the dustbin of our memories, because we have failed to perform that quite natural and spontaneous 'act of knowing,' as easy to a child as breathing and, if we would believe it, comparatively easy to ourselves.” (Vol. 6, p. 99)

“Long ago, I was in the habit of hearing this axiom quoted by a philosophical old friend: "The mind can know nothing save what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put to the mind by itself." I have failed to trace the saying to its source, but a conviction of its importance has been growing upon me during the last forty years. It tacitly prohibits questioning from without; (this does not, of course, affect the Socratic use of questioning for purposes of moral conviction); and it is necessary to intellectual certainty, to the act of knowing. For example, to secure a conversation or an incident, we 'go over it in our minds'; that is, the mind puts itself through the process of self-questioning which I have indicated. This is what happens in the narrating of a passage read: each new consecutive incident or statement arrives because the mind asks itself,––"What next?" For this reason it is important that only one reading should be allowed; efforts to memorise weaken the power of attention, the proper activity of the mind; if it is desirable to ask questions in order to emphasize certain points, these should be asked after and not before, or during, the act of narration.” (Vol. 6, pp. 16-17)

"It is not wise to tease them with corrections." (Vol. 1, p. 233)

"Narrations which are mere feats of memory are quite valueless." (Vol. 1, p. 289)

“[I]t is not a bad test of education to be able to give the points of a description, the sequence of a series of incidents, the links in a chain of argument, correctly, after a single careful reading. This is a power which a barrister, a publisher, a scholar, labours to acquire; and it is a power which children can acquire with great ease, and once acquired, the gulf is bridged which divides the reading from the non-reading community. ––But this is only one way to use books: others are to enumerate the statements in a given paragraph or chapter; to analyse a chapter, to divide it into paragraphs under proper headings, to tabulate and classify series; to trace cause to consequence and consequence to cause; to discern character and perceive how character and circumstance interact; to get lessons of life and conduct, or the living knowledge which makes for science, out of books; all this is possible for school boys and girls, and until they have begun to use books for themselves in such ways, they can hardly be said to have begun their education.” (Vol. 3, p. 180)

“Education...demands a conscious mental effort...the mental effort of telling again that which has been read or heard. That is how we all learn, we tell again, to ourselves if need be, the matter we wish to retain, the sermon, the lecture, the conversation. The method is as old as the mind of man, the distressful fact is that it has been made so little use of in general education.” (Vol. 6, pp. 159-60)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Vol. 3, Chapter XVI

Vol. 6, Introduction, Chapter X



Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards

Writing to Learn, William Zinsser

(Contains affiliate links)

Carroll Smith on Narration here, here, and here.

Jen Spencer

One study on effectiveness of narration found here.

A helpful article on narration from the Parents' Review
Jul 06, 2016
Episode 39: Interview with Jeannette Tulis
16:01

The Charlotte Mason method applies to many teaching situations beyond traditional classrooms and the homeschool. This week's podcast is an interview recorded at the CMI national conference with Jeannette Tulis of Chattanooga, TN, who has been offered a unique opportunity to open the world of one family's children using the Mason model of education.

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The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)



Grace to Build Retreat

CHarlotte Mason Institute Conferences
Jun 24, 2016
Episode 37: Poetry, An Interview with Bonnie Buckingham
40:28

Poetry was a deep love of Charlotte Mason's, and this week's podcast explores that wonder and delight as it can unfold in your school day and life. Are you nervous, intimidated, worried, or resistant to teaching poetry? Listen to this laid back interview between Liz and our good friend, Bonnie Buckingham, veteran homeschool mom who learned to love poetry by teaching it.

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"Poetry is, perhaps, the most searching and intimate of our teachers...Poetry supplies us with tools for the modeling of our lives, and the use of these we must get at ourselves." (Vol. 4, p. 71)

"Heroic Poetry Inspires to Noble Living––"To set forth, as only art can, the beauty and the joy of living, the beauty and the blessedness of death, the glory of battle and adventure, the nobility of devotion––to a cause, an ideal, a passion even––the dignity of resistance, the sacred quality of patriotism, that is my ambition here," says the editor of Lyra Heroica in his preface." (Vol. 2, p. 141)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Parents and Children (Volume 2), Chapter 14

Ourselves (Volume 4), Book II, Section II, Chapter 12

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Section II (b)



For the Children's Sake

Favorite Poems Old and New

This Singing World

Luci Shaw

Wendell Berry

Billy Collins

Now We Are Six

Emily Dickinson

The Iliad

The Odyssey

Beowulf

Song of Roland

Book of Heroic Verse

Longfellow

Tennyson

Roman Poets

Seamus Heaney

Christina Rossetti

Samuel Coleridge

Richard Wilbur (Contains affiliate links)



Bonnie Buckingham

Charlotte Mason Institute, Western Conference

Grace To Build Retreat

Charlotte Mason Institute

A Delectable Education: Episode 13: Discussion of Charlotte Mason's narrative poetry on the Gospels

What is Poetry? from the Parents' Review

On the Teaching of Poetry from the Parents' Review

The Teaching of Poetry from the Parents' Review

The Teaching of Poetry to Children from the Parents' Review
Jun 10, 2016
Episode 36: Literature
34:38

This week's podcast focuses on Charlotte Mason's ideas for the study of literature. Wait, isn't every subject literature with her use of living books? How does the study of literature fit into her curriculum from the earliest age?

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"Except in Form I the study of Literature goes pari passu with that of History." (Vol. 6, p. 180)

"It is a nice question whether the history of a country makes its literature or its literature the history!" R.A. Pennethorne, Parent's Review, Volume 10, 1899, p. 549

"To adapt a phrase of Matthew Arnold's concerning religion,––education should aim at giving knowledge 'touched with emotion.'" (Vol. 3, p. 220)

"I know you may bring a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. What I complain of is that we do not bring our horse to the water. We give him miserable little text-books, mere compendiums of facts, which he is to learn off and say and produce at an examination; or we give him various knowledge in the form of warm diluents, prepared by his teacher with perhaps some grains of living thought to the gallon. And all the time we have books, books teeming with ideas fresh from the minds of thinkers upon every subject to which we can wish to introduce children." (Vol. 3, p. 171)

"The 'hundred best books for the schoolroom' may be put down on a list, but not by me. I venture to propose one or two principles in the matter of school-books, and shall leave the far more difficult part, the application of those principles, to the reader. For example, I think we owe it to children to let them dig their knowledge, of whatever subject, for themselves out of the fit book; and this for two reasons: What a child digs for is his own possession; what is poured into his ear, like the idle song of a pleasant singer, floats out as lightly as it came in, and is rarely assimilated. I do not mean to say that the lecture and the oral lesson are without their uses; but these uses are, to give impulse and to order knowledge; and not to convey knowledge, or to afford us that part of our education which comes of fit knowledge, fitly given." (Vol. 3, p. 177)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter VIII

School Education, Chapters XV and XXI

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Section II (b)



Beowulf

The Odyssey

The Iliad

Ivanhoe

T.S. Eliot's Essays

To Kill a Mockingbird

Pride and Prejudice

The Red Badge of Courage

English Literature for Boys and Girls

Honey for a Child's Heart

Read for the Heart

Realms of Gold

Five Years of Children's Literature

(Contains affiliate links)



Top 10 Books about Books
Jun 03, 2016
Episode 35: Listener Q&A #5
24:33

This podcast episode on the Charlotte Mason method of education focuses on some listener questions, notably, what to do about dawdlers, how to motivate apathetic students, and a couple of particulars about implementing history lessons.

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"Education is a life; 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. The duty of parents is to sustain a child's inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food." (Vol. 2, p. 39)





Carry On, Mr. Bowditch



String, Straightedge, and Shadow



The Story of Geronimo



I Buy a School



Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze



The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind



Stillwell and the American Experience in China

(Contains affiliate links)
May 27, 2016
Episode 32: The Perilous Privilege of Mothering
33:41

This week's Charlotte Mason podcast celebrates the role of mothers in their children's education. Ms. Mason had plenty to say to us as mothers and we share our own experiences as mothers in an effort to encourage you. This one's for you, Mom.

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"The children are, in truth, to be regarded less as personal property than as public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the very most of them for the good of society. And this responsibility is not equally divided between the parents: it is upon the mothers of the present that the future of the world depends, in even a greater degree than upon the fathers, because it is the mothers who have the sole direction of the children's early, most impressible years." (Vol. 1, p. 2)

"We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession––that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours." (Vol. 1, pp. 2-3)

"We allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and 'spiritual' life of children, but teach them that the Divine Spirit has constant access to their spirits, and is their Continual Helper in all the interests, duties and joys of life." (Charlotte Mason's 20th Principle of Education)

"I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." (Vol. 1, p. 44)



I Buy a School, Marion Berry

The Story of Charlotte Mason, Essex Cholmondeley (We are in no way suggesting you buy this book for the current price! Linking solely for your information)

(Contains affiliate links)



Grace to Build Retreat

Liz's talk on Mothers (audio download)

ADE Podcast Episode that describes the Great Recognition further
May 24, 2016
Episode 34: Picture & Composer Study
35:08

This podcast episode's focus describes Charlotte Mason's inclusion of art and music in her essential curriculum. How has our cultural and educational background prejudiced us to favor core subjects over "fine arts" and how did Ms. Mason view these subjects. Further, how are these subjects included and implemented in the week's feast--especially if the mother is unfamiliar or even fearful of tackling this unknown territory?

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"We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture." (Vol. 1, p. 309)

"They are never copied lest an attempt to copy should lessen a child's reverence for great work." (Vol. 6, p. 216)

"A great promise has been given to the world––that its teachers shall not any more be removed. There are always those present with us whom God whispers in the ear, through whom He sends a direct message to the rest. Among these messengers are the great painters who interpret to us some of the meanings of life. To read their messages aright is a thing due from us. But this, like other good gifts, does not come by nature. It is the reward of humble, patient study." (Vol. 4, p. 102)

"As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it." (Vol. 6, p. 216)

"[F]or though every child cannot be a great performer, all may be taught an intelligent appreciation of the beauties of music, and it is a wicked shame to clang the doors of music, and therefore of endless channels of delight and inspiration, in a child's face, because we say he has "no ear," when perhaps his ear has never been trained, or because he never will be able to "play."" (Miss Pennethorne's PR Article)

"Hearing should tell us a great many interesting things, but the great and perfect joy which we owe to him is Music." (Vol. 4, Book I, pp. 30-31)

"Use every chance you get of hearing music (I do not mean only tunes, though these are very nice), and ask whose music has been played, and, by degrees, you will find out that one composer has one sort of thing to say to you, and another speaks other things; these messages of the musicians cannot be put into words, so there is no way of hearing them if we do not train our ear to listen." (Vol. 4, p. 31)

"Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score, to be sung with the voice or played on instruments, and so full are these musical compositions of the minds of their makers, that people who care for music can always tell who has composed the music they hear, even if they have never heard the particular movement before." (Vol. 4, p. 31)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter XXI

School Education, p. 239

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter X, Section II: f

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, Marguerite Henry Stories of Favorite Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla More Stories of Favorite Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla
Stories of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla The Ring and the Fire, Clyde Robert Bulla I, Juan de Pareja, Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
Opal Wheeler's Composer Biographies Millet Tilled the Soil, Sybil Deucher Art for Children series by Ernest Raboff
Elizabeth Ripley's Artist Biographies Spiritual Lives of Great Composers, Patrick Kavanaugh I, Vivaldi, Janice Shefelman


(Contains affiliate links)



Emily's Picture Study Portfolios

Riverbend Press Artist Prints
May 20, 2016
Episode 33: Scheduling a Charlotte Mason Education
39:07

This Charlotte Mason podcast focuses on time management: how do we get organized to spread this feast of innumerable subjects, how do we fit everything in, and how do we manage multiple children at various levels with differing needs and subjects. Practical tips, resources, ideas, and time-tested wisdom is abundant in this conversation.

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Our Podcast Episode that talks about the Habit of Attention

Nicole's step-by-step guide to preparing your CM schedule

A Form by Form breakdown of which subjects are studied when and what lessons those subjects include at each age level

Liz, Emily, and Nicole can help you create your own schedule and/or custom curriculum

May 13, 2016
Episode 31: Listener Q&A #4
21:10

This podcast episode focuses on answering more listener questions about the Charlotte Mason method on some widely varying topics including Bible, narration, and unit studies.

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"Another point, the co-ordination of studies is carefully regulated without any reference to the clash of ideas on the threshold or their combination into apperception masses; but solely with reference to the natural and inevitable co-ordination of certain subjects. Thus, in readings on the period of the Armada, we should not devote the contemporary arithmetic lessons to calculations as to the amount of food necessary to sustain the Spanish fleet, because this is an arbitrary and not an inherent connection; but we should read such history, travels, and literature as would make the Spanish Armada live in the mind." (Vol. 3, pp. 320-21)

"English History is always with us, but only in the earliest years is it studied alone. It is not, as we know, possible always to get the ideal book, so we use the best we can find and supplement with historical essays of literary value. Literature is hardly a distinct subject, so closely is it associated with history, whether general or English; and whether it be contemporary or merely illustrative; and it is astonishing how much sound learning children acquire when the thought of an age is made to synchronise with its political and social developments. A point which I should like to bring before the reader is the peculiar part which poetry plays in making us aware of this thought of the ages, including our own. Every age, every epoch, has its poetic aspect, its quintessence, as it were, and happy the people who have a Shakespeare, a Dante, a Milton, a Burns, to gather up and preserve its meaning as a world possession...Civics takes place as a separate subject, but it is so closely bound up with literature and history on the one hand and with ethics, or, what we call every-day morals, on the other, that the division of subjects is only nominal." (Vol. 6, p. 274)



A Delectable Education, Episode 8: Narration, the Act of Knowing

Bonnie Buckingham
Apr 29, 2016
Episode 17: Bible, THE Living Book
28:56

The Bible is the most authoritative and ancient of all books and Mason considered its lessons to be the supreme lesson, leading most directly to knowledge of God. This podcast explores why she was of this opinion, why we must not neglect its lessons, and how those lessons should be presented.

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"Perhaps the main part of a child's education should be concerned with the great human relationships. . . Before all these ranks Religion, including our relations of worship, loyalty, love and service to God; and next in order, perhaps, the intimate interpersonal relations implied in such terms as self-knowledge, self-control." (Vol. 3, p. 234)

"The Bible is the chief lesson--"But we are considering, not the religious life of children, but their education by lessons; and their Bible lessons should help them to realise in early days that the knowledge of God is the principal knowledge, and, therefore, that their Bible lessons are their chief lessons." (Vol. 1, p. 251)

"What is peculiar to the children in their nature and estate. 'Of such is the kingdom of heaven.' 'Except ye become as little children ye shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven.' 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' 'And He called a little child, and set him in the midst.' Here is the Divine estimate of the child's estate. It is worth while for parents to ponder every utterance in the Gospels about these children, divesting themselves of the notion that these sayings belong, in the first place, to the grown up people who have become as little children. What these profound sayings are, and how much they may mean, it is beyond us to discuss here; only they appear to cover far more than Wordsworth claims for the children in his sublimest reach "Trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home.... do no sort of injury to the children: Take heed that ye OFFEND not––DESPISE not––HINDER not––one of these little ones." (Vol. 1, pg 12)

"The truth which interprets our own lives..." (Vol. 1, p. 251)

"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 willfulness of man; that some heroic men take sides with God; and that others, foolish and headstrong, oppose themselves to Him. The fire of enthusiasm will kindle in their breast, and the children, too, will take their side, without much exhortation, or any thought or talk of spiritual experience." (Vol. 1, p. 249)

"But, here as elsewhere, the promises and threatenings of Bible will bear the searching light of inductive methods." (Vol. 2, p. 21)

"The fact is, our religious life has suffered, and by-and-by our national character will suffer, through the discredit thrown upon the Bible by adverse critics. We rightly regard the Bible as the entire collection of our Sacred Books. We have absolutely nothing to teach but what we find written therein. But we no longer go to the Bible with the old confidence: our religion is fading into a sentiment not easy to impart; we wait until the young people shall conceive it for themselves. Meantime, we give them such æsthetic culture as should tend to develop those needs of the soul that find their satisfaction in worship. The whole superstructure of 'liberal' religious thought is miserably shaky and no wonder there is some shrinking from exposing it to the Ithuriel's spear of the definite and searching young mind. For we love this flimsy habitation we have builded. It bears a shadowy resemblance to the old home of our souls, and we cling to it with a tender sentiment which the younger generation might not understand." (Vol. 2, p. 96)

"It is well, by the way, that we should remember that we have as a nation an enormous loss to make good; time was, and not so long ago, when rich and poor were intimately familiar with one of the three great classical literatures. Men's thoughts were coloured, their speech moulded, their conduct more or less governed, by the pastoral idylls called "Genesis," the impassioned poetry of Isaiah, the divine philosophy of John, the rhetoric of Paul––all, writings, like the rest of the Bible, in what Matthew Arnold calls 'the grand manner.' Here is the well of English undefiled from which men have drawn the best that our literature holds, as well as their philosophy of life, their philosophy of history, and that principal knowledge we are practising to do without––the knowledge of God. And we wonder that the governing classes should forget how to rule as those who serve; and that the working man, brought up on "Readers" in lieu of a great literature, should act with the obstinate recklessness proper to ignorance." (Vol. 6, pp. 309-310)

”That there is in the human breast an infallible sense of 'ought' is an error prolific of much evil.” The problem is that if we rely on ourselves or our culture’s norms to determine morality, then we can individually or collectively change our mind about what is right and what is wrong at any time. Instead, we must rely on God’s commands to determine right and wrong. Mason said, “To attempt to treat of morals without dealing with the sanctions of morality is to work from the circumference instead of from the center.” (Vol. 2, p. 103)

“To attempt to treat of morals without dealing with the sanctions of morality is to work from the circumference instead of from the center.” (Vol. 2, p. 103)

“The foundation of parental authority lies in the fact that parents hold office as deputies; and that in a two-fold sense. In the first place, they are the immediate and personally appointed deputies of the Almighty King, the sole Ruler of men; they have not only to fulfil his counsels regarding the children, but to represent his Person; his parents are as God to the little child; and, yet [a] more constraining thought, God is to him what his parents are; he has no power to conceive a greater and lovelier personality than that of the royal heads of his own home; he makes his first approach to the Infinite through them; they are measure for the highest; if the measure be easily his small compass, how shall he grow up with the reverent temper which is the condition of spiritual growth?” (Vol. 2, pp. 14-15)

“He should not be able to recall a time before the sweet stories of old filled his imagination; he should have heard the voice of the Lord God in the garden in the cool of the evening; should have been an awed spectator where the angels ascended and descended upon Jacob's stony pillow; should have followed Christ through the cornfield on the Sabbath-day, and sat in the rows of the hungry multitudes––so long ago that such sacred scenes form the unconscious background of his thoughts. (Vol. 2, pp. 108-109)

"Their Bible lessons should help them to realize in early days that the knowledge of God is the principal knowledge, and therefore, that their Bible lessons are their chief lessons." (Vol. 1, p. 251)

"Knowledge of God ranks first in importance, is indispensable, and most happy-making." (Vol. 6, p. 158)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part IV, Chapter 3

Parents and Children (Volume 2), Chapters 10 and 11

School Education (Volume 3), Chapter 13

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Chapter 10, Section I



Commentaries by Canon Paterson-Smyth

Apr 22, 2016
Episode 30: The Way of the Will and The Way of Reason
30:30

Charlotte Mason had two essential tools to offer children to help them regulate their own behavior. This podcast thoroughly addresses the subject that most matters in the classroom: guiding our children in acting and thinking rightly. Nicole, Liz, and Emily unfold Mason's principles of self-control, self-management, and right reasoning.

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"There are two guides to moral and intellectual self-management to offer to children, which we may call 'the way of the will' and 'the way of the reason.'" (Principle 16)

"The way of the will: Children should be taught, (a) to distinguish between 'I want' and 'I will.' (b) That the way to will effectively is to turn our thoughts from that which we desire but do not will. (c) That the best way to turn our thoughts is to think of or do some quite different thing, entertaining or interesting. (d) That after a little rest in this way, the will returns to its work with new vigour. (This adjunct of the will is familiar to us as diversion, whose office it is to ease us for a time from will effort, that we may 'will' again with added power. The use of suggestion as an aid to the will is to be deprecated, as tending to stultify and stereotype character, It would seem that spontaneity is a condition of development, and that human nature needs the discipline of failure as well as of success.)" (Principle 17)

"But there are few subjects on which those who have the education of children in their hands make more injurious mistakes [than training the will]." (Vol. 1, p. 318)

"“Your arrival at a right destination does not depend upon your choice of a good road, or upon your journeying at a good pace, but entirely upon your starting in the right direction.” (Vol. 4, p. 64)

"The way of reason: We teach children, too, not to 'lean (too confidently) to their own understanding'; because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration (a) of mathematical truth, (b) of an initial idea, accepted by the will. In the former case, reason is, practically, an infallible guide, but in the latter, it is not always a safe one; for, whether that idea be right or wrong, reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs." (Principle 18)

"Reason, like all other properties of a person, is subject to habit and works upon the material it is accustomed to handle." (Vol. 6, p. 147)

“Perhaps we shall best use this wonderful power of reasoning, commonly called our Reason, by giving it plenty of work to do, by asking ourselves what is the cause of this and that; why do people and animals do certain things. Reason which is not worked grows sluggish; and there are persons who never wonder nor ask themselves questions about anything they see.” (Vol. 4, p. 65)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Ourselves, Volume 4

Formation of Character, Volume 5, Part I, section I

An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education, Volume 6, Book I, chapter 8-9

Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery Little Britches, Ralph Moody The Living Page
(Contains affiliate links)
Apr 22, 2016
Episode 29: Citizenship: Every-day Morals and Economics
20:47

This Charlotte Mason podcast focuses on the subject of citizenship beyond the study of Plutarch. Are Mason's ideas about the state and the citizen outdated or irrelevant for our students today? This discussion focuses on the subject that studies government, economics, and moral responsibility in the Mason feast.

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"The honour due to our country requires some intelligent knowledge of her history, laws, and institutions; of her great men and her people; of her weaknesses and her strength; and is not to be confounded with the ignorant and impertinent attitude of the Englishman or the Chinese who believes that to be born an Englishman or a Chinese puts him on a higher level than the people of all other countries; that his own country and his own government are right in all circumstances, and other countries and other governments always wrong. But, on the other hand, still more to be guarded against, is the caitiff spirit of him who holds his own country and his own government always in the wrong and always the worse, and exalts other nations unduly for the sake of depreciating his own." (Vol. 4, Book II, p. 121)

“Children familiar with the great idea of a State in the sense, not of a government but of the people, learn readily enough about the laws, customs and government of their country; learn, too, with great interest something about themselves, mind and body, heart and soul, because they feel it is well to know what they have it in them to give to their country.” (Vol. 6, p. 187)

“It is probable that the education of the future will recognise, as its guiding idea, Matthew Arnold's fine saying, that "The thing best worth living for is to be of use." Every man and woman will be a candidate for service beyond the range of his or her own family.” (Vol. 5, p. 447)

"[In Form I] Children begin to gather conclusions as to the general life of the community from tales, fables, and the story of one or another great citizen." (Vol. 6, p. 185)

"[In Form II] Citizenship becomes a definite subject rather from the point of view of what may be called the inspiration of citizenship than from that of the knowledge proper to a citizen, though the latter is by no means neglected." (Vol. 6, p. 185)

“There are few better equipments for a citizen than a mind capable of discerning the Truth, whether it lie on the side of our party or on that of our opponents. But this just mind can only be preserved by those who take heed what they hear, and how.” (Vol 4, p. 154)

"Civics takes place as a separate subject [from history], but it is so closely bound up with literature and history on the one hand and with ethics, or, what we call every-day morals, on the other, that the division of the subjects is only nominal." (Vol. 6, p. 274)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Ourselves (Volume 4)

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), pp. 185-189



The Citizen Reader (Used by Mason in the PNEU, Form 2)

Uncle Eric series by Richard Maybury

Gerald Johnson's Books on the government: The Presidency, The Cabinet, The Congress, The Supreme Court

(Contains affiliate links)



Audio Version of Charlotte Mason's Ourselves (Volume 4)
Apr 15, 2016
Episode 28: Nancy Kelly on Plutarch, An Interview
23:31

Nancy Kelly is an experienced Charlotte Mason teacher who joins us on this podcast to discuss the teaching of Plutarch. You will enjoy her helpful tips and inspiring wisdom.

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"We take the child to the living sources of history––a child of seven is fully able to comprehend Plutarch, in Plutarch's own words (translated), without any diluting and with little explanation." (Vol. 2, p. 278)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Parents and Children (Volume 2), pp. 278-79


Loomis translation (For Teacher Prep) North's Plutarch (Heritage Press Edition) Stories from the History of Rome
Fifty Famous Stories Retold Nancy's Favorite Retelling

(Contains affiliate links)



Anne White's Study Guides (free online--scroll down to individual Lives listings)

Nancy's 3-Part Blog series on Plutarch

The Great Courses on Plutarch
Apr 08, 2016
Episode 27: Plutarch
23:54

Charlotte Mason thought Plutarch an invaluable source of knowledge and moral wisdom in the subject of citizenship. This podcast explores who he was, why Mason thought so, and how the study of the lives he described would inform and enrich our children.

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“In the same way, readings from Plutarch's Lives will afford the best preparation for the study of Grecian or of Roman history.” (Vol. 1, p. 286)

“[T]he principle being, that, whenever practicable, the child should get his first notions of a given period, not from the modern historian, the commentator and reviewer, but from the original sources of history, the writings of contemporaries.” (Vol. 1, p. 285)

“Perhaps nothing outside of the Bible has the educational value of Plutarch’s Lives.” (Vol. 3, p. 236)

“[The Lives] stand alone in literature as teaching that a man is part of the State, that his business is to be of service to the State, but that the value of his service depends upon his personal character.” (Vol. 3, p. 280)

“...an early education from the great books with the large ideas and the large virtues is the only true foundation of knowledge--the knowledge worth having.” (Vol. 6, p. 308)

"We take the child to the living sources of history––a child of seven is fully able to comprehend Plutarch, in Plutarch's own words (translated), without any diluting and with little explanation." (Vol. 2, p. 278)

“We read him his Tanglewood Tales, and when he is a little older his Plutarch, not trying to break up or water down, but leaving the child's mind to deal with the matter as it can.” (Vol. 2, pp. 231-232)

“[Plutarch] hath written the profitable story of all authors. For all other were fain to take their matter, as the fortune of the countries whereof they wrote fell out: But this man being excellent in wit, learning, and experience, hath chosen the special acts of the best persons, of the famousest nations of the world.” (Thomas North as quoted by Mason in Vol. 6, p. 274)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), pp. 286-87

School Education (Volume 3), pp. 152, 235, 280-81, 286-89

Ourselves (Volume 4), Book I, Chapter 2

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Section II, "Morals and Economics"


Stories from the History of Rome North's Plutarch The Plutarch Primer (Publicola)
Plutarch Project, Vol. 1 Plutarch Project, Vol. 2 The Children's Plutarch
Plutarch retold by Weston Plutarch retold by Kaufman Ten Famous Lives

(Contains affiliate links)



Stories from the History of Rome (free online)

Anne White's Study Guides (free online--scroll down to individual Lives listings)

The Children's Plutarch (free online)

Weston's Plutarch (free online)

Kaufman's Plutarch (free online)
Apr 01, 2016
Episode 26: Charlotte Mason, Food for Mothers
36:38

Charlotte Mason's education is not just for children. This podcast is a discussion of three mothers who have found that Mason has influenced them in ways they never could have dreamed when they took up her methods. Listen to discover all the ways the delectable feast can nourish you, the teacher.

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"The mother cannot devote herself too much to [nature] reading, not only that she may read tit-buts to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations. And not only the mother, but any woman who is likely ever to spend an hour or two in the society of children, should make herself mistress of this sort of information; the children will adore her for knowing what they want to know, and who knows but she may give its bent for life to some young mind designed to do great things for the world." (Vol. 1, pp. 64-65)



Find a Charlotte Mason group in your area

Find a Charlotte Mason Retreat in your area

Charlotte Mason Institute National Conferences

Charlotte Mason Institute Regional Conferences

Other Charlotte Mason Endeavors Near You

Grace to Build Retreat

Living Education Retreat

CM West Retreat

More Upcoming CM Conferences on the West Coast

Simply Charlotte Mason Seminars

Audio Download of Liz's Plenary at Grace to Build Retreat last year: "Mothers: The Living Books Our Children Read"

Charlotte Mason Institute Collaborative Blog

Fisher Academy Blog

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival Link Up

Sage Parnassus
Mar 27, 2016
Episode 25: Listener Q & A #3
23:48

This podcast addresses common questions that arise as parents and teachers pursue knowledge of the Charlotte Mason method. Whether specific small questions, or large philosophic ones, they are common to most of us and Nicole, Emily and Liz attempt to draw from the deep well of Mason's own writings, as well as their experience in applying that wisdom, to meet the most frequent perplexities head on.

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"[H]e knew that that which he beheld of lowly living and service and suffering was 'glory.'" (Scale How Meditations, p. 49)



The Phantom Tollbooth,
Norman Juster
The 21 Balloons,
William Pene du Bois
My Side of the Mountain,
Jean Craighead George
Old Yeller,
Fred Gipson
Where the Red Fern Grows,
Wilson Rawls
Harry Potter Series,
J.K. Rowling
Rascal,
Sterling North
Deathwatch,
Robb White
Read-Aloud Handbook,
Jim Trelease
The Living Page,
Laurie Bestvater
(Contains affiliate links)



Scale How Meditations (see page 49 for quote discussed)

A Delectable Education, Episode 4: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life
Mar 18, 2016
Episode 24: Middle and High School Science
39:52

Charlotte Mason is extraordinary in the arts and humanities, but does her method really work for science, especially in an age when science is king? This podcast will address all the aspects of teaching science that put most average parents in a panic at the high school level and you will find yourself eager to get on with it.

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"Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life.––We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking––the strain would be too great––but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?" (Vol. 3, pp. 170-71)

“Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value.” (Vol. 6, p. 224)

"Geology, mineralogy, physical geography, botany, natural history, biology, astronomy––the whole circle of the sciences is, as it were, set with gates ajar in order that a child may go forth furnished, not with scientific knowledge, but with, what Huxley calls, common information, so that he may feel for objects on the earth and in the heavens the sort of proprietary interest which the son of an old house has in its heirlooms." (Vol. 3, p. 79)

“The essential mission of school science was to prepare pupils for civilised citizenship by revealing to them something of the beauty and the power of the world in which they lived, as well as introducing them to the methods by which the boundaries of natural knowledge had been extended. School science, therefore, was not intended to prepare for vocations, but to equip pupils for life. It should be part of a general education, unspecialised, in no direct connexion with possible university courses to follow.” (Sir Richard Gregory, quoted by Charlotte Mason in Vol. 6, p. 222)

"So much attention is now given to the practical and systematic study of science in schools that the valuable influence of descriptive scientific literature is apt to be overlooked. An intimate knowledge of the simplest fact in nature can be obtained only through personal observation or experiment in the open air or in the laboratory, but broad views of scientific thought and progress are secured best from books in which the methods and results of investigation is stated in language that is simple without being childish.
"Books intended to promote interest in science must differ completely from laboratory guides, textbooks, or works of reference. They should aim at exalting the scientific spirit which leads men to devote their lives to the advancement of natural knowledge, and at showing how the human race eventually reaps the benefit of such research. Inspiration rather than information should be the keynote; and the execution should awaken in the reader not only appreciation of the scientific method of study and spirit of self sacrifice, but also a desire to emulate the desires of men whose labors have brought the knowledge of nature to its present position." (From The Wonders of Physical Science by Edward Fourlier, used in PNEU)



The Mystery of the Periodic Table

For the Love of Physics

(Contains affiliate links)



Read-Aloud Revival Episode with Dr. Pakaluk

Nicole's Website with loads of information on living CM science

*NEW Living Science Study Guides--Nicole guides us through a term or year of Middle School Biology

Keeping a Science Notebook

Living Science Ideas scroll down for a subject by subject list of living books
Mar 14, 2016
Episode 23: Elementary School Science
21:16

This podcast episode explores the ideas and objectives Charlotte Mason considered necessary for the study of science for grades 1-6. Listen to hear clear guidelines to follow, book suggestions, and practical applications for teaching science.

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If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part V, Chapter XVI

School Education (Volume 3), Chapter 21, Part II

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Book I, Chapter 10, Section III



Eyes and No Eyes
Series
Among the...People
Series
Margaret Waring Buck
Books
Glenn Blough Delia Goetz James Herriot
Burgess Animal Book Burgess Book of Nature Lore Burgess Bird Book
Otus Major Luna
Backyard Birds of Summer Backyard Birds of Winter Nature Reader
Madam How & Lady Why Life & Her Children Storybook of Science
The Sciences The Stars JSB of Rain, Hail, Sleet & Snow
Climate Maps Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Books Soap Science


(Contains affiliate links)



Nicole's Elementary Science Page at SabbathMoodHomeschool.com
Mar 04, 2016
Episode 22: An Interview with Cheri Struble
23:10

Charlotte Mason did not consider nature study to be optional. This podcast is an interview with a mother with eight children who took Mason's words to heart and exerted the effort to make it happen. Listen to her experiences and practical hints for being a successful mother of young naturalists.

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"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." (Vol. 1, p. 42)

"I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." (Vol. 1, p. 44)

"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." (Vol. 1, p. 61)



Natural History Clubs from The Parents' Review via the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection:

"Our P.N.E.U. Natural History Club"

"Natural History Club"

"P.N.E.U. Natural History Clubs"

"The Educational Value of Natural History"

Charlotte Mason Institute National Conference

Grace to Build Retreat

Feb 26, 2016
Episode 18: Geography, A Panorama of Delight
23:03

We often hear it said that the world is getting smaller, but for our children, it is still a vast unknown. This episode explores how we open the world to children from their own backyard, to regions and countries thousands of miles away. We also discuss the living books that will take them to those far places and the means of introducing the use of maps.
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"[E]very subject has its living way, with what Coleridge calls 'its guiding idea' at the head, and it is only as we discover this living way in each case that a subject of instruction makes for the education of a child. No neat system is of any use; it is the very nature of a system to grow stale in the using; every subject, every division of a subject, every lesson, in fact, must be brought up for examination before it is offered to the child as to whether it is living, vital, of a nature to invite the living Intellect of the universe. (Vol. 2, p. 279)

"But the peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas, and to furnish the imagination of pictures." (Vol. 1, p. 272)

"Geography is still regional, that is, children are led to form an intimate acquaintance with the countries of Europe so that the map of any country calls up in a child's imagination a wonderful panorama of the diversities of the country, of the people, their history and occupations. It is evident that this kind of geographical image cannot be secured in any other way than by considering Europe country by country. They begin with a general survey of the seas and shores of the continent, of the countries and peoples, of the diversities of tongues and their historical origin, of the plains and mountains, of the rivers and their basins. . .The young scholars are at home with the map of Europe before they consider the countries separately." (Vol. 6, pp. 225-226)

“Perhaps no knowledge is more delightful than such an intimacy with the earth's surface, region by region, as should enable the map of any region to unfold a panorama of delight, disclosing not only mountains, rivers, frontiers, the great features we know as 'Geography,' but associations, occupations, some parts of the past and much of the present, of every part of this beautiful earth.” (Vol. 6, p. 224)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Vol. 1), Part II, Chapters IX, XIII

Home Education (Vol. 1), Part III, Chapter XVII

School Education (Vol. 3), Appendix II



Ambleside Geography Books Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5

Kon Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl

Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, Mary Mapes Dodge

Lois Lenski's Regional Novels

Snow Treasure, Marie McSwigan

Seven League Boots, Richard Halliburton

(Contains affiliate links)



Nicole's post on Physical Geography
Feb 24, 2016
Episode 21: Nature Lore
19:44

This podcast episode explains Charlotte Mason's use of nature lore books and how they expand outdoor nature study work. Listen for lots of hints of our favorite such books.

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"Our main dependence is on books as an adjunct to out-of-door work...In [these] books the children are put in the position of the original observer of biological and other phenomena. They learn what to observe, and make discoveries for themselves, original so far as they are concerned. They are put in the right attitude of mind for scientific observations and deductions, and their keen interest is awakened." (Vol. 3, p. 237

"The real use of naturalists' books is to give the child delightful glimpses into the world of wonders he lives in, reveal the sorts of things to be seen by curious eyes, and fill him with desire to make discoveries for himself." (Vol. 1, p. 64)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

The Charm of Nature Study, Parents' Review Article



Eyes and No Eyes Series, Arabella Buckley or online here.

Madam How and Lady Why, Charles Kingsley or online here.

Life and Her Children, Arabella Buckley

The Storybook of Science, Jean Henri Fabre or online here.

Winners in Life's Race, Arabella Buckley or online here.

We Were There with Charles Darwin on the H.M.S. Beagle, Philip Eisenberg

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard

John Muir Books

John Burroughs

Autumn Across America, Edwin Way Teale

Life of the Spider, Jean Henri Fabre

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly

The Grasshopper Book, Wilfrid Bronson

Robert McClung Books

Olive Earle Books

Millicent Selsam Books

Charles Ripper Books

Alice Goudey Books

Girl of the Limberlost, Gene Stratton-Porter

The Keeper of the Bees, Gene Stratton-Porter

A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold

William Long Books

Treasury for Children, James Herriot

All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot

Rascal, Sterling North

(Contains affiliate links)

Feb 19, 2016
Episode 20: Nature Study
30:24

This podcast episode explores the reasons Charlotte Mason gave for the necessity of a child's education to include a vast familiarity with the outside world. Beyond discussing why nature study is critical to knowledge of God, the benefits to personal growth, and its fundamental effects on future academic success, many practical suggestions for accomplishing this essential study are discussed to encourage your family's implementation of and regular involvement in nature study.

Listen Now:

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"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." (Vol. 1, p. 61)

"When children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air." (Vol. 1, p. 63)

"Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun––the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for? Besides, life is so interesting to him, that he has no time for the faults of temper which generally have their source in ennui; there is no reason why he should be peevish or sulky or obstinate when he is always kept well amused." (Vol. 1, pp. 61-62)

"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." (Vol. 1, p. 42)

"The first buttercup in a child's nature note book is shockingly crude, the sort of thing to scandalize a teacher of brush-drawing, but by and by another buttercup will appear with the delicate poise, uplift and radiance of the growing flower." (Vol. 6, p. 217)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part II

School Education (Volume 3), pp. 236-238

"The Charm of Nature Study" by G. Dowton, an article from the Parent's Review



The Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Comstock

The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)



Charlotte Mason Digital Collection

Nature Journal Examples {Here}, {Here}, and {Here}

John Muir Laws' Nature Journaling site

Examples of Bird and Flower Lists

PR Article on the benefits to language from Nature Study

Feb 12, 2016
Episode 19: History Q&A
28:00

Our discussions on the subject of history resulted in an onslaught of questions. This podcast episode slowly and carefully addresses the most common and frequently asked history concerns, misunderstandings, and points of confusion we have received about Charlotte Mason's approach to teaching this subject.

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"We introduce children as early as possible to the contemporary history of other countries as the study of English history alone is apt to lead to a certain insular and arrogant habit of mind." (Vol. 6, p. 175)

"The flowers, it is true, are not new; but the children are; and it is the fault of their elders if every new flower they come upon is not to them a Picciola, a mystery of beauty to be watched from day to day with unspeakable awe and delight." (Vol.1, p.53)



Colonial Living, Edwin Tunis

Frontier Living, Edwin Tunis

Our Island Story, H.E. Marshall

Winston Churchill and the Story of Two World Wars, Olivia Coolidge

Most Gracious Majesty: The Story of Queen Elizabeth II, Elinor Parker

The Battle of Britain, Quentin Reynolds

The Story of Edith Cavell, Iris Vinton

(Contains affiliate links)



Check out Leah Boden's Periscope, The Charlotte Mason Show
Feb 05, 2016
Episode 16: Listener Q & A
19:16

Since it's impossible to cover every aspect of a subject each week, questions arise in our listeners' minds. Many of you are sending us your questions and in this podcast we attempt to thoroughly answer a few of these based on the wisdom of Charlotte Mason and our experience in using her method. This is the first of several sporadic Q&A sessions we will post.

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The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman

Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry

(Contains affiliate links)



Addall Used Book Search Engine

Living Books Library's Book Sale Pages

List of living books libraries around the country

Another list of living books libraries

Ten Books you can read in Ten Minutes a Day

Liz's Annual List of Books She Read
Jan 15, 2016
Episode 12: The Chronology of History
31:21


In Mason's day, the subject of history was covered differently from our common approaches to that subject today. How do the records show she managed the study of ancient through modern history in all the age levels? More important, how can we follow her principles and keep history study relevant to our day? Emily, Nicole, and Liz attempt to distill these truths in an orderly conversation that will reveal a rich feast of history for a child.

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"The early history of a nation is far better fitted than its later records for the study of children, because the story moves on a few broad, simple lines.” (Vol. 1, pg. 281)

“We are not content that they should learn the history of their own country alone; some living idea of contemporaneous [meaning existing or occurring in the same period of time] European history, anyway, we try to get in; that the history we teach may be the more living, we work in, pari passu [meaning side by side; at the same pace], some of the literature of the period and some of the best historical novels and poems that treat of the period; and so on with other subjects.” (Vol. 3, pg. 67)



History Rotation Diagrams we at A Delectable Education have put together to clarify the rotations and "streams" of history study through the school forms

Charlotte Mason Digital Collection

Sample "Forms" Schedule from the P.N.E.U.
Jan 11, 2016
Episode 11: Why Study History
25:40

The subject of history brings groans to some and yawns to others, but Mason considered it the pivotal subject in her curriculum. Listen in as these moms discuss some of Charlotte Mason's beliefs about the teaching of history and why it is centrally important to the subjects that give the "Knowledge of Man" and provides much, much more than a knowledge of dates and facts of wars and famous events.

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“Not what we have learned, but what we are waiting to know is the delectable part of knowledge.” (Vol.3, p. 224)

"Next in order to religious knowledge, history is the pivot upon which our curriculum turns." (Vol. 6, p. 273)

"But to read English history and fail to realise that it is replete with interest, sparkling with episode, and full of dramatic incident, is to miss all the pleasure and most of the instruction which its study, if properly pursued, can give." (vol. 1, pp. 290-91)

“[H]istory is an entrancing subject of study,” (Vol. 1, p. 292)

"[I]t seems to be necessary to present ideas with a great deal of padding, as they reach us in a novel or poem or history book written with literary power." (Vol. 6, p. 109)

"For the matter for this intelligent teaching of history, eschew, in the first place, nearly all history books written expressly for children; and in the next place, all compendiums, outlines, abstracts whatsoever." (Vol. 1, p. 281)

"[O]ut of a whole big book he may not get more than half a dozen of those ideas upon which his spirit thrives; and they come in unexpected places and unrecognised forms, so that no grown person is capable of making such extracts from Scott or Dickens or Milton, as will certainly give him nourishment. It is a case of,––'In the morning sow thy seed and in the evening withhold not thine hand for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.' [Eccl. 11:6]" (Vol. 6, pp. 109-110)

“Now imagination does not descend, full grown, to take possession of an empty house; like every other power of the mind, it is the merest germ of a power to begin with, and grows by what it gets; and childhood, the age of faith, is the time for its nourishing. The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times––a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story books. Their lessons, too, history and geography, should cultivate their conceptive powers. If the child do not live in the times of his history lesson, be not at home in the climes of his geography book describes, why, these lessons will fail of their purpose.” (Vol. 1, p. 153)

"It is a great thing to possess a pageant of history in the background of one's thoughts." (Vol. 6, p. 178)

"To us in particular who are living in one of the great epochs of history it is necessary to know something of what has gone before in order to think justly of what is occurring to-day." (Vol. 6, p. 169)

"It is not too much to say that a rational well-considered patriotism depends on a pretty copious reading of history, and with this rational patriotism we desire our young people shall be informed rather than with the jingoism of the emotional patriot." (Vol. 6, p. 170)

"[A]void giving children cut-and-dried opinions upon the course of history while they are yet young." (Vol. 1, p. 288)

"I will not press my point by urging the moral bankruptcy which has been exposed to us during recent years as co-existent with, if not caused by, utilitarian education." (Vol. 6, pp. 282-83)

“He who reads history in this way, not to pass examinations, nor to obtain culture, nor even for his own pleasure (delightful as such reading is), but because he knows it to be his duty to his country to have some intelligent knowledge of the past, of other lands as well as of his own, must add solid worth to the nation that owns him.” (Vol. 4, pp. 74-75)

"[T]hat the history we teach may be the more living, we work in, pari passu, some of the literature of the period and some of the best historical novels and poems that treat of the period; and so on with other subjects.” (Vol. 3, p. 67)

“Literature is hardly a distinct subject, so closely is it associated with history, whether general or English; and whether it be contemporary or merely illustrative; and it is astonishing how much sound learning children acquire when the thought of an age is made to synchronise with its political and social developments.” (Vol.6, p. 274)

“The co-ordination of subjects is carefully regulated without any reference to the clash of ideas on the threshold or their combination into apperception masses; but solely with reference to the natural and inevitable co-ordination of certain subjects. . .we should read such history, travels, and literature as would make the Spanish Armada live in the mind.” (Vol. 3, p. 231)

“Every nation has its heroic age before authentic history begins: these were giants in the land in those days, and the child wants to know about them. He has every right to revel in such classic myths as we possess as a nation…” (Vol. 1, p. 284)

"Much that has been said about the teaching of geography applies equally to that of history." (Vol. 1, p. 279)

"It is a great thing to possess a pageant of history in the background of one's thoughts. We may not be able to recall this or that circumstance, but, 'the imagination is warmed'; we know that there is a great deal to be said on both sides of every question and are saved from crudities in opinion and rashness in action. The present becomes enriched for us with the wealth of all that has gone before." (Vol. 6, p.178)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1): Part V, Chapter XVIII

School Education (Volume 3): Appendix II, notes pertaining to history lessons and sample exam questions and answers

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6): Book I, Chapter 10, Section II, a

Dec 13, 2015
Episode 10: Things, the Materials of Education
26:32

We think of school as paper, pencils, and books, but Mason's delectable feast included innumerable other learning opportunities. We try to hit the highlights here of the vastly underrated world of things that can be considered critical to the well-rounded education.

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“The children I am speaking of are much occupied with things as well as with books, because 'Education is the Science of Relations,' is the principle which regulates their curriculum; that is, a child goes to school with many aptitudes which he should put into effect. So, he learns a good deal of science, because children have no difficulty in understanding principles, though technical details baffle them. He practises various handicrafts that he may know the feel of wood, clay, leather, and the joy of handling tools, that is, that he may establish a due relation with materials. But, always, it is the book, the knowledge, the clay, the bird or blossom, he thinks of, not his own place or his own progress.” (Vol. 6, p. 31)

“At the same time, here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit, without further help or knowledge of hers.” (Vol. 1, pp. 44-45)

"At any rate he should go forth well furnished because imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold." (Vol. 6, p. 43)

"The work is arranged on the principles which have been set forth in this volume; a wide curriculum, a considerable number of books for each child in the several classes, and, besides, a couple of hours' work daily, not with Books but with Things." (Vol. 3, p. 271)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

School Education (Vol. 3), Chapter 21

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Vol. 6), Book I, Sections II and III



The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)



Example of a P.U.S. Time-table
Dec 04, 2015
Episode 9: Narration Q & A
31:49

Narration seems simple at first, but since it is an art, its actual practice raises many questions. Listen in on this lively discussion of some of the most common perplexities about the use of narration and how these moms have put the principles of Charlotte Mason to work.

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"Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there, in every child's mind, waiting to be discovered, and is not the result of any process of disciplinary education. A creative fiat calls it forth. 'Let him narrate'; and the child narrates, fluently, copiously, in ordered sequence, with fit and graphic details, with a just choice of words, without verbosity or tautology, so soon as he can speak with ease." (Vol. 1, p. 231)

"If a child is not able to narrate what he has read once, let him not get the notion that he may, or that he must, read it again. A look of slight regret because there is a gap in his knowledge will convict him." (Vol. 1, pp. 229-230)

"On the whole, it is more useful to be able to speak than to write, and the man or woman who is able to do the former can generally do the latter." (Vol. 3, p. 88)



Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards

(Contains affiliate links)
Nov 27, 2015
Episode 7: How to Recognize 'Living Books'
34:32

If you desire to use living books in your children's education, but are not confident of your ability to discern which books are "living" and which are not, this episode contains the practical information you need. Criteria for determining if a book is living are described carefully, examples read, along with ways to identify and eliminate twaddle from your bookshelves.

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"[T]he boy who has not formed the habit of getting nourishment out of his books in school-days does not, afterwards, see the good of reading. He has not acquired, in an intellectual sense, the art of reading, so he cannot be said to have lost it; and he goes through life an imperfect person, with the best and most delightful of his powers latent or maimed." (The Formation of Character, pg. 291)

"I am speaking now of his lesson-books, which are all too apt to be written in a style of insufferable twaddle, probably because they are written by persons who have never chanced to meet a child." (Home Education, pg. 229)

“This sort of weak literature for the children, both in any story and lesson books, is the result of a reactionary process. Not so long ago the current impression was that the children had little understanding, but prodigious memory for facts; dates, numbers, rules, catechisms of knowledge, much information in small parcels, was supposed to be the fitting material for a child's education. We have changed all that, and put into the children's hands lesson-books with pretty pictures and easy talk, almost as good as story-books; but we do not see that, after all, we are but giving the same little pills of knowledge in the form of a weak and copious diluent. Teachers, and even parents, who are careful enough about their children's diet, are so reckless as to the sort of mental aliment offered to them, that I am exceedingly anxious to secure consideration for this question, of the lessons and literature proper for the little people." (Home Education, pgs. 176-77)

"[H]ungry souls clamouring for meat, and we choke them off, not by shutting up schools and colleges, but by offering matter which no living soul can digest. The complaints made by teachers and children of the monotony of the work in our schools is full of pathos and all credit to those teachers who cheer the weary path by entertaining devices. But mind does not live and grow upon entertainment; it requires its solid meals." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 90)

“They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told.” (Parents and Children, pg. 263)

"A book may be long or short, old or new, easy or hard, written by a great man or a lesser man, and yet be the living book which finds its way to the mind of a young reader. The expert is not the person to choose; the children themselves are the experts in this case. A single page will elicit a verdict; but the unhappy thing is, this verdict is not betrayed; it is acted upon in the opening or closing of the door of the mind." (School Education, pgs. 228-229)

"The 'hundred best books for the schoolroom' may be put down on a list, but not by me. I venture to propose one or two principles in the matter of school-books, and shall leave the far more difficult part, the application of those principles, to the reader. (School Education, pg. 177)

"So much for the right books; the right use of them is another matter. The children must enjoy the book." (School Education, pg. 178)

"As for literature--to introduce children to literature is to install them in a very rich and glorious kingdom, to bring a continual holiday to their doors, to lay before them a feast exquisitely served. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child’s intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 51)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter VIII

School Education, Chapters XVI and XXI



Geronimo, Catherine Welch (our "not living" example)

The Story of Geronimo, Jim Kjelgaard

Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi

Little Britches, Ralph Moody

Plutarch's Lives

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham

Principia, Isaac Newton

Of Other Worlds, C.S. Lewis

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver

(Contains affiliate links)




The blog post that Emily wrote explaining her "L-I-V-I-N-G" anagram for determining living books:

L-I-V-I-N-G Books
Nov 13, 2015
Episode 6: Why Living Books are Essential
24:34


Living books are the heart of a Mason education. Education is a life, and living books are the food the mind requires for its nourishment. Liz, Emily, and Nicole share excerpts from some living books to demonstrate the power of living ideas. They discuss some reasons why living books are the richer road to engaging a child's imagination, inspire and feed their thirst for knowledge, and why textbooks do not.

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"A corollary of the principle that education is the science of relations, is, that no education seems to be worth the name which has not made children at home in the world of books, and so related them, mind to mind, with thinkers who have dealt with knowledge. We reject epitomes, compilations, and their like, and put into children's hands books which, long or short, are living." (School Education, p. 226)

"In literature, we have definite ends in view, both for our own children and for the world through them. We wish the children to grow up to find joy and refreshment in the taste, the flavour of a book. We do not mean by a book any printed matter in a binding, but a work possessing certain literary qualities able to bring that sensible delight to the reader which belongs to a literary word fitly spoken. It is a sad fact that we are losing our joy in literary form. We are in such haste to be instructed by facts or titillated by theories, that we have no leisure to linger over the mere putting of a thought. But this is our error, for words are mighty both to delight and to inspire. If we were not as blind as bats, we should long ago have discovered a truth very fully indicated in the Bible––that that which is once said with perfect fitness can never be said again, and becomes ever thereafter a living power in the world. But in literature, as in art, we require more than mere form. Great ideas are brooding over the chaos of our thought; and it is he who shall say the thing we are all dumbly thinking, who shall be to us as a teacher sent from God." (Parents and Children, pgs. 262-63)

“Again, we have made a rather strange discovery, that the mind refuses to know anything except what reaches it in more or less literary form. It is not surprising that this should be true of children and persons accustomed to a literary atmosphere but that it should be so of ignorant children of the slums points to a curious fact in the behaviour of mind. Persons can ‘get up’ the driest of pulverised text-books and enough mathematics for some public examination; but these attainments do not appear to touch the region of the mind.” (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 256)

“Once more, we know that there is a storehouse of thought wherein we may find all the great ideas that have moved the world. We are above all things anxious to give the child the key to this storehouse. The education of the day, it is said, does not produce reading people. We are determined that the children shall love books, therefore we do not interpose ourselves between the book and the child. We read him his Tanglewood Tales, and when he is a little older his Plutarch, not trying to break up or water down, but leaving the child’s mind to deal with the matter as it can.” (Parents and Children, pg. 232)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

School Education, Chapters XV and XVI

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter VII



The Silent Storm, Marion Marsh Brown and Ruth Crone

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth, Herman and Nina Schneider

A Tree for Peter, Kate Seredy

The White Stag, Kate Seredy

All About the Planet Earth, Patricia Lauber

(Contains affiliate links)

Nov 06, 2015
Episode 5: The Power of Connection
28:22

One thing leads to another, it is said, but the powerful interrelation of knowledge and experience Mason identified is the process we must recognize and capitalize on in teaching. She called it the "science of relations" and this episode is an animated discussion that not only defines what Mason meant, but is packed with descriptions of how these three women have observed the process at work in their children's lives. This truly is the exciting aspect of teaching, observed in themselves and their children.

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(11) But we, believing that the normal child has powers of mind which fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, give him a full and generous curriculum; taking care only that all knowledge offered him is vital, that is, that facts are not presented without their informing ideas. Out of this conception comes our principle that,--(12) “Education is the Science of Relations”: that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts; so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything. “Those first-born affinities that fit our new existence to existing things.” (Preface to the Home Education Series)

"The mind can know nothing but what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put by the mind itself." (Parents and Children, pg. 218)

"A small English boy of nine living in Japan, remarked, 'Isn't it fun, Mother, learning all these things? Everything seems to fit into something else.' The boy had not found out the whole secret; everything fitted into something within himself." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pgs. 156-57)

“Much of what we have learned and experienced in childhood, and later, we cannot reproduce, and yet it has formed the groundwork of after knowledge; later notions and opinions have grown out of what we once learned and knew. That is our sunk capital, of which we enjoy the interest though we are unable to realise.” (Home Education, pg. 154)

“At the same time, the child's capacity for knowledge is very limited; his mind is, in this respect at least, but a little phial with a narrow neck; and, therefore, it behooves the parent or teacher to pour in only of the best.” (Home Education, pg. 175)

“You will see at a glance, with this Captain Idea of establishing relationships as a guide, the unwisdom of choosing or rejecting this or that subject, as being more or less useful or necessary in view of a child's future. We decide, for example, that Tommy, who is eight, need not waste his time over the Latin Grammar. We intend him for commercial or scientific pursuits,––what good will it be to him? But we do not know how much we are shutting out from Tommy's range of thought besides the Latin Grammar. He has to translate, for example,––'Pueri formosos equos vident.' He is a ruminant animal, and has been told something about that strong Roman people whose speech is now brought before him. How their boys catch hold of him! How he gloats over their horses! The Latin Grammar is not mere words to Tommy, or rather Tommy knows, as we have forgotten, that the epithet 'mere' is the very last to apply to words. Of course it is only now and then that a notion catches the small boy, but when it does catch, it works wonders, and does more for his education than years of grind. Let us try, however imperfectly, to make education a science of relationships––in other words, try in one subject or another to let the children work upon living ideas. In this field small efforts are honoured with great rewards, and we perceive that the education we are giving exceeds all that we intended or imagined.” (School Education, pgs. 162-63)

"Children can be most fitly educated on things and books." (School Education, pg. 214)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

School Education, chapters VII, XVII, and XVIII

Towards a Philosophy, Introduction and chapter I



Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham

America Moves Forward, Gerald Johnson

Rip van Winkle, Washington Irving

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, Marguerite Henry

The Romance of Chemistry, Keith Irwin

Madame How and Lady Why, Charles Kingsley

The Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

(Contains affiliate links)

Oct 30, 2015
Episode 4: Three Tools of Education
26:20

If education is not information, what is it? How do we as teachers feed the whole person's natural desire to know? Emily, Nicole, and Liz discuss the tools to implement in education, the motto Mason took for her teachers: "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life," defining, discussing, and providing real life instances of these instruments put into practice.



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4. These principles are limited by the respect due to the personality of children, which must not be encroached upon whether by the direct use of fear or love, suggestion or influence, or by undue play upon any one natural desire. 5. Therefore, we are limited to three educational instruments--the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas. The P.N.E.U. Motto is: "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life." (Preface to the Home Education Series)

"The child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which rule their own lives." (Parents and Children, pg. 247)

"Parents and teachers should know how to make sensible use of a child's circumstances (atmosphere) to forward his sound education." (School Education, pg. 182)
"Attention is hardly even an operation of the mind, but is simply the act by which the whole mental force is applied to the subject in hand...For whatever the natural gifts of the child, it is only in so far as the habit of attention is cultivated in him that he is able to make use of them." (Home Education, pgs. 145-146)

"A single idea may be a possession so precious in itself, so fruitful, that the parent cannot fitly allow the child's selection of ideas to be a matter of chance; his lessons should furnish him with such ideas as shall make for his further education." (Home Education, pg. 174)

"In the early days of a child's life it makes little apparent difference whether we educate with a notion of filling a receptacle, inscribing a tablet, moulding plastic matter, or nourishing a life, but as a child grows we shall perceive that only those ideas which have fed his life, are taken into his being; all the rest is cast away or is, like sawdust in the system, an impediment and an injury." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pgs. 108-109)

"A time-table, written out fairly, so that the child knows what he has to do and how long each lesson is to last." (Home Education, pg. 142)

"A Child gets through their morning lessons without any sign of weariness." (Home Education, pg. 142)

"It is only as we recognise our limitations that our work becomes effective: when we see definitely what we are to do, what we can do, and what we cannot do, we set to work with confidence and courage; we have an end in view, and we make our way intelligently towards that end, and a way to an end is method. It rests with parents not only to give their children birth into the life of intelligence and moral power, but to sustain the higher life which they have borne." (Parents and Children, pg. 33)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V: Lessons as Instruments of Education

Parents and Children, chapters IV, VII, and XXII

School Education, chapter XIV

Towards a Philosophy of Education, chapter VI

Oct 23, 2015
Episode 3: The Role of the Teacher
14:04

Charlotte Mason has a unique view of the student and the way in which he learns. This episode focuses on the role of the teacher and how his responsibilities and approach to teaching likewise take on a different perspective in her method. Nicole, Emily and Liz begin with a comparison of traditional teaching qualifications versus Mason's requirements for teachers, concluding with the life-changing help every teacher has at her disposal.

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"We may not despise them, or hinder them ('suffer the little children'), or offend them by our brutish clumsiness of action and want of serious thought; while the one positive precept afforded to us is 'feed' (which should be rendered 'pasture') 'my lambs,' place them in the midst of abundant food." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 81)

"[Y]ou may bring a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. What I complain of is that we do not bring our horse to the water. We give him miserable little text-books, mere compendiums of facts, which he is to learn off and say and produce at an examination; or we give him various knowledge in the form of warm diluents, prepared by his teacher with perhaps some grains of living thought to the gallon. And all the time we have books, books teeming with ideas fresh from the minds of thinkers upon every subject to which we can wish to introduce children." (School Education, pg. 171)

"[T]he great recognition, that God the Holy Spirit is Himself, personally, the Imparter of knowledge, the Instructor of youth, the Inspirer of genius, is a conception so far lost to us that we should think it distinctly irreverent to conceive of the divine teaching as co-operating with ours in a child's arithmetic lesson, for example. But the Florentine mind of the Middle Ages went further than this: it believed, not only that the seven Liberal Arts were fully under the direct outpouring of the Holy Ghost, but that every fruitful idea, every original conception, whether in Euclid, or grammar, or music, was a direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit, without any thought at all as to whether the person so inspired named himself by the name of God, or recognised whence his inspiration came." (Parents and Children, pg. 270-71)

“Let this be the mother's key to the whole of the education of each boy and each girl; not of her children; the Divine Spirit does not work with nouns of multitude, but with each single child. Because He is infinite, the whole world is not too great a school for this indefatigable Teacher, and because He is infinite, He is able to give the whole of his infinite attention for the whole time to each one of his multitudinous pupils. We do not sufficiently rejoice in the wealth that the infinite nature of our God brings to each of us.” (Parents and Children, pg. 273)

"[W]e perceive that the great work of education is to inspire children with vitalising ideas as to every relation of life, every department of knowledge, every subject of thought; and to give deliberate care to the formation of those habits of the good life which are the outcome of vitalising ideas. In this great work we seek and assuredly find the cooperation of the Divine Spirit, whom we recognise, in a sense rather new to modern thought, as the supreme Educator of mankind in things that have been called secular, fully as much as in those that have been called sacred." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 173)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Parents and Children (Volume 2), Chapter 25

School Education (Volume 3), Chapters 1-3

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Chapters 5 and 10, section 2



Mornings in Florence, John Ruskin

(Contains affiliate links)



The Descent of the Holy Spirit Fresco here and here
Oct 16, 2015
Episode 1: Why Use the Charlotte Mason Philosophy
17:49

Emily Kiser of Living Books Library describes the purpose for this podcast series. Each of the three members of this discussion group introduces herself and explains how she became a homeschooling mother. Since the goal of this series is to explore the ideas of Charlotte Mason, each mother also shares how she became interested in Mason's educational method. Finally, a discussion of why schooling with a philosophical outlook is crucial ensues.


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"But knowledge is delectable." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 89)

"We spread an abundant and delicate feast...all sit down to the same feast and each one gets according to his needs and powers." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 183)

"There are four means of destroying the desire for knowledge:––
(a) Too many oral lessons, which offer knowledge in a diluted form, and do not leave the child free to deal with it.
(b) Lectures, for which the teacher collects, arranges, and illustrates matter from various sources; these often offer knowledge in too condensed and ready prepared a form.
(c) Text-books compressed and recompressed from the big book of the big man.
(d) The use of emulation and ambition as incentives to learning in place of the adequate desire for,and delight in, knowledge." (School Education, pg. 214)

"The reader will say with truth,--'I knew all this before and have always acted more or less on these principles' and I can only point to the unusual results we obtain through adhering not 'more or less' but strictly to the principles and practices I have indicated." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, pg. 19)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

The Preface to the Home Education Series, found at the beginning of each volume

An Educational Manifesto, (PR Article)



For the Children's Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

(Contains affiliate links)



www.sabbath-mood-homeschool.com Nicole Williams' blog where you can find ideas for teaching living science as well as information on how to schedule your Charlotte Mason lessons

www.livingbookslibrary.com The blog and website for Living Books Library--lots of living book recommendations, hints on developing a reading culture in your home as well as audio versions of Charlotte Mason's Home Education Series and living books for sale

Picture Study Portfolios A complete resource for Picture Study written by Emily Kiser--instructions on how to teach picture study, an artist biography, eight full-page laminated art prints, and notes on each painting

Oct 16, 2015
Episode 2: Children are Born Persons
18:53

Charlotte Mason's first principle of education is that "Children are born persons." This sounds simple, but Emily, Nicole, and Liz examine the complexity of this view and why it is unique in existing educational models and practices. They each share personal and practical examples of the difference such a concept makes for a child being educated in Mason's method.

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"In a word, we are very tenacious of the dignity and individuality of our children. We recognise steady, regular growth with no transition stage...put the first thing foremost, do not take too much upon ourselves, but leave time and scope for the workings of Nature and of a higher Power than Nature herself." (Parents and Children, pg. 232)

"The question is not,--how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education--but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?" (School Education, pgs. 170-71)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education (Volume 1), Part I, Chapters 1-7

School Education (Volume 3), Chapters 4 and 8

Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Chapters 2 and 5

Oct 12, 2015