Anyhow, I digress. I am actually going to start at the end, since that's what I just finished and it is still freshest in my mind. Part VI of the book is titled "The Will, The Conscience, The Divine Life". I'd like to focus on Part III, the Divine Life of the Child. After spending some time discussing how to train a child's will and conscience, Charlotte turns her attention to the spiritual training of our children, which is really the foundation for all the rest. We need to remember that we don't want our children to learn to be good just for the sake of being good, but as an extension of our love and gratitude towards our Saviour, and by the help of the Holy Spirit working in us. Obviously we as parents cannot save our children by our own strength, but we can do much to introduce our children to our Saviour. Charlotte likens this work to a bee pollinating a flower:
"...it is his part to deposit, so to speak, within reach of the soul of the child some fruitful idea of God, the immature soul makes no effort towards the idea, but the Living Word reaches down, touches the soul - and there is life; growth and beauty; flower and fruit."We are seed planters, and God provides the growth. Charlotte urges parents not to preach at our children and to carefully find a balance between regular, progressive, direct Bible-teaching and overdoing our Bible teaching to the point that our children start to tune us out. She urges us to avoid moralising over everything or turning God into a judge or taskmaster, but presenting the Lord as a living and personal Saviour worthy of our adoration. How can we do this?
- Teach from our own hearts - present those ideas that we have taken into our own souls not merely as head knowledge, but as living ideas.
- Live out our loyalty to the King in all areas of our lives, not in word only.
- By dependence on the Holy Spirit: "It is as the mother gets wisdom liberally from above, that she will be enabled for this divine task."
All quotes taken from Home Education, Volume 1 in Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series, Chapter VI, Section III.