Friday, May 24, 2013

Quotes Worth Pondering: Children are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and evil...

(This is Charlotte Mason’s second principle of education.   In case this sets off theological alarms for you, I encourage you to look at the full context.   This blog post does a good job at examining the context, and she links to several other good posts that discuss the theological ramifications of CM’s statement.  I encourage you to check these articles out if you are concerned that Charlotte Mason’s ideas may not jive with your understanding of the doctrine of original sin or total depravity.)
Some of the ideas I am chewing on as we continue on with the Charlotte Mason 20 Principles Study:
Towards a Philosophy of Education (Volume 6), Charlotte Mason:
“It is our business to know of what parts and passions a child is made up, to discern the dangers that present themselves, and still more the possibilities of free-going in delightful paths.” (p.47)
“…a child’s amazing, vivifying imagination is part and parcel of his intellect.” (p.50)
“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.”  (p.51)
“Some spasmodic effort is the result but no vital response and, though boys and girls love school, like their teachers and even their lessons, they care not at all for knowledge, for which the school should create enthusiasm.”  (p.52)
“The only safeguard against fallacies which undermine the strength of the nation morally and economically is a liberal education which affords a wide field for reflection and comparison and abundant data upon which to found sound judgments.”  (p.56)
“It is no small part of education to have seen much beauty, to recognize it when we see it, and to keep ourselves humble in its presence.”  (p.56)
“But all children must read widely, and know what they have read, for the nourishment of their complex nature.”  (p.59)
“In such ways the great thoughts of great thinkers illuminate children and they grow in knowledge, chiefly the knowledge of God.”  (p.65)
For the Children’s Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
“ The first task of education is a moral one…” (p.43)
“Children can be helped to acquire the habit of treating others as they should.  This habit of respecting persons, thinking of them, and being polite is fostered when the child himself is used to consideration, time, and care.  It is a two-way matter.”  (p.45)
“We help children when we spend time on understanding them.” (p.46).
“Charlotte herself, though, called education the handmaid of Religion. She believed that education could offer real, tangible assistance to the progress of the work of the Gospel, but she never believed it replaced the Gospel.”
“God gives us the honor of sowing seeds and helping to prepare the ground. A child that knows grammar and logic and rhetoric will be more able to understand the Gospel when she reads it or hears it, because he is more able to understand anything he reads and hears. Education, being the handmaid of Religion, has a rightful place in preparing the ground and sowing seeds.”
Parents and Children (Volume 2), Charlotte Mason:
The child brings with him into the world, not character, but disposition. He has tendencies which may need only to be strengthened, or, again, to be diverted or even repressed. His character––the efflorescence of the man wherein the fruit of his life is a-preparing––is original disposition, modified, directed, expanded by education; by circumstances; later, by self-control and self-culture; above all, by the supreme agency of the Holy Ghost…” (p.23)

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