Canoearoo wrote:Charlotte Mason believed that children were born persons and should be respected as such; they should also be taught the Way of the Will and the Way of Reason. Her motto for students was "I am, I can, I ought, I will".
How does my fathers world teach these principles? I'm working hard at home with my kids to teach right from wrong, and respect. But I really struggle with clean and orderly. I get that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life and that Education is the science of relations. But she firmly believe kids need to be neat and organized. I even struggle with this.
I have all her original books and I LOVE her philosophy of teaching. I want my kids to be taught like this, but I'm not sure the steps to do it.
Okay, I'll bite.
I read your post yesterday but didn't have time to think it through right then. So here goes:
I think the principles of "I am, I can, I ought, I will" start with the Word of God. Without that, why does it matter? WHY do the right thing if not for a Higher Authority to whom every one of us (including mom and dad) are ultimately accountable, and to whom we owe everything including our very life
because He first loved us? So, we start there. How specifically does MFW do it? Here are my thoughts, particularly in the elementary levels:
In Kindergarten, MFW teaches that everything begins with God. Everything. And while God has always existed, everything else
was created by Him.
In 1st grade, you memorize verses throughout the year from the book of Proverbs, and who can find a better book on character training than that?
Then as the child learns to read from and illustrate his own personal Bible reader, he's also learning that the Word of God is the foundation of everything else.
In Adventures, you learn the many different names and character traits of Jesus -- our ultimate role model. As you do science activities related to the names of Jesus (i.e., the Bread of Life and learning about yeast, unleavened bread, taking Communion, and serving your neighbor), you see the principles of the Bible, love for Jesus (the one who saves us), and service to one another are intertwined.
In ECC, you learn how many other people so very different, and yet so very similar, are out there in this world that God created, what their prayer needs might be, how it is that not everyone serves the same God we do, and how important it is that we get the Word out to them. You also see the faithfulness of many people who've gone before us to share God's Word and His love to millions of others around the world, suffered persecution because of it, but did so anyway
because of Christ's love for us.
In CTG, you see how the faithfulness of God to His people throughout the ages points to Christ, how the law cannot save, and yet God, because of His righteousness, demands a certain amount of faithfulness back to Him because of HIS faithfulness to us. Again, His Word is the foundation.
In RTR, you again see God's faithfulness as He brought the Messiah "in the fullness of time". You see the Apostle Paul's faithfulness and diligence as he traveled the known world to spread the gospel and faced persecution, but, like the missionaries we read of in ECC, did so because
of Christ's love for us.
In EX1850, you study and memorize the book of James which could really be defined as "a book of service", while also reading about faithful men and women of God that He used to help establish and grow this country in which we're blessed to live... but not neglecting what was simultaneously done in the rest of the world, either. This year is what I'd call "discipleship-focused".... beginning to focus a bit more on the practical, our attitudes, and what all those prior years of "Bible study" are for.
And then in 1850MOD, the Logic stage student is doing a personal discipleship study, continuing to read about others in the world who've had to suffer persecution for Christ's sake, and making connections to God's faithfulness even in modern times as wars and rumors of wars abound.
How does all of this translate academically to a Charlotte Mason education? Well, I think the short lessons, particularly when using quality literature, Scripture passages, and other meaningful sources (i.e., not twaddle) that help a student really focus on a lesson and do it *well* rather than trying to hurry through just to get it finished. I've often said to my one dd that "copywork should never have a mistake." This promotes diligence and attention to detail, even when she doesn't feel like it or she thinks she "can't" do it because it's "hard". Miss Mason liked for a child to be challenged whenever possible, and I think MFW does this in little ways (age-appropriate, purposeful, and incremental lessons) that build upon each other over time.
Nature study, which is scheduled in all of MFW's programs, brings attention back to God's Creation as we first learned way back in Kindergarten. It also promotes attention to detail and patience.
Copywork, narrations, dictation... you've read CM's writings, so you know how she intended that these should work, but these skills are included throughout all of MFW's programs both as extra assignments in the weekly lesson plans, and through the use of CM-style resources such as PLL, ILL, and even the Bible itself. MFW has also chosen quality, not twaddle, which accustoms the child to truly good and effective communication. Having a variety of types
of resources teaches a student that no one author has all the answers, but are useful tools for research, and that only the Word of God is infallible.
My interpretation of Miss Mason's quote:
I am.... loved and chosen by my Creator, the God of the universe.
I can.... learn skills that previously were difficult for me, which I can then use for service to God and others.
I ought... to do all things for the glory of God.
I will.... give my life for the One who gave His for me.