Day 19: Month of Thankfulness

I homeschool my daughter. She is in her second year of preschool. After studying about various methods and philosophies of  home education, I have pretty much settled on Charlotte Mason. Charlotte was a British educator and teacher of teachers during the Victorian Era. I am thankful that I found her writings! Also, I really appreciate that Charlotte addressed many of her methods to parents because I believe that parents can be a child’s best teachers.

Here are nineteen points that I appreciate about Charlotte’s philosophy of education:

1. Use living books and original sources rather than dry textbooks.

2. Let the children roam outdoors often.

3. Do not over-control learning situations.

4. Do not attempt to cram facts and trivia into a child’s brain; let learning be about encouraging relationships among ideas.

5. Do not give worksheets and busy work ad nauseam. Make each assignment meaningful.

6. Help the children to develop good habits.

7. Manners matter!

8. Have loads of picnics with the children.

9. Let children find what interests them in the out-of-doors and let them learn about it.

10. Expose the children to the best of culture: fine arts and good music.

11. Let the children hear good poetry and put some fine pieces to memory.

12. Instead of giving tests, have children narrate either orally or in writing.

13. Use narration as a mental training exercise after each reading.

14. Avoid all twaddle.

15. Keep lessons short to avoid opportunity to dawdle and to encourage the habit of concentration.

16. Each day, provide children with something to love, something to do, and something to think about.

17. Treat children as persons.

18. Spend very little time lecturing.

19. Create a home atmosphere that encourages learning.

“Dear Lord, thank You for Charlotte Mason and her teaching methods. I am grateful that I have found this resource to turn to for guidance in home educating my child. I am so happy to have the opportunity to homeschool her. I ask, dear Lord, that You help me to create a wonderful atmosphere in our home so that much learning can take place, happily. Help me to speak graciously to my daughter. Help us both to learn more about You everyday and more about the world that You made. Amen.”

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4 thoughts on “Day 19: Month of Thankfulness

    • Thank you for reading my blog. “Twaddle” was a word that Charlotte used in her writings. It refers to “talking down to a child”–whether in writing or in speech. It basically means to avoid both babytalk and also those kinds of books that are very shallow and of poor quality–such that could not be called literature. When I go to our public library, I am saddened to see shelves of books about Disney movie characters, for instance. These have no depth, no real character development, no skill in word choice. There are a couple good websites about Charlotte Mason’s methods that explain more in detail; if you are interested, I’d encourage you to seek those out.

      • You got me to wondering if “twaddle” was Charlotte’s own term or a real word. I looked it up in the OED online and found that it is a real word. “Twaddle” is a noun and means “trivial or foolish speech or writing; nonsense.” It seems that it also used to be used as a verb! (Maybe we ought to bring the verb form back since there is so much twaddling going around!) God bless your day!

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