Wednesday, April 22, 2015

From My Commonplace: Delightful Companions

I just began re-reading Charlotte Mason's sixth volume, A Philosophy of Education.    It's my third time through, but this is one of those books that you can read and re-read and still gain new insights every time. 
A couple of quotes that caught my eye this week:
"…certainly it is twice blessed, it blesses him that gives and him that takes, and a sort of radiancy of look distinguishes both scholar and teacher engaged in this manner of education…" (p.27)
"Parents become interested in the schoolroom work, and find their children 'delightful companions.'"  (p. 28)
~Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
I loved the idea here that educating with rich living books that feed the mind and nourish the soul  is not only a blessing to the student, but to the parent/teacher as well.  My life has been immensely enriched by homeschooling my children with Charlotte Mason's ideas and Ambleside Online.   We have our difficult days of course, but on the whole educating and learning with my children is a delight.   And the further we go down this path the more I find that my children are becoming 'delightful companions', truly interesting people.   The same day that I read these pages, I happened to allow my oldest daughter to sit up a bit later than her younger siblings.   We had a rather delightful ramble through a variety of topics ranging from Ivan the Terrible (who she had heard about in her co-op class that day and wanted to add to her timeline book), to where the current Queen Elizabeth lives, to rocks, geology, and birthstones ('Mama, can we maybe do a rock term when our bird term is done?').    It was delightful to me to see her curiosity, her thirst for knowledge, the connections she is making from one thing to another to another.   She is at an age where many of her peers are starting to lose that natural sense of wonder – that thirst to know.   Charlotte warns against this, and has devised her method around the idea of feeding and nurturing that thirst in order to keep it alive and well so that "…an education that is begun at school [will be] continued throughout life" (p.29).  It is a beautiful thing to begin to see the first little buds of this truth peep out in our home.   I look forward to seeing the fruit in the years to come.

My Bookbag This Week:
Devotional: Easter Devotions in Living the Christian Year (Gross), The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction (Ferguson)
Theological or Christian Living: The Story of Christianity, Volume 1 (Gonzales)
Book Discussion Group Titles: Macbeth (Shakespeare)
'Great Book': Inferno (Dante)
On Education: How to Read a Book (Adler), A Philosophy of Education (Mason)
Topic of Special Interest: The New World (Churchill)
Novel/Biography/Memoir: Nicholas Nickelby (Dickens), The Princess and Curdie (MacDonald)
Read-Alouds with the Children: On the Banks of Plum Creek (Wilder), The Magician's Nephew (Lewis), Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold (Benge)

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  1. I enjoyed reading this. We are just about to begin our homeschool journey - my DD6 will begin year one this year. I've been thinking a lot about why I've chosen to homeschool, and this put some of the words right into my mouth! This is something I look forward to and pray will happen - to learn right along with my children, enjoying their lessons, and them becoming those "delightful companions". Thank you for sharing.

  2. I just wanted to say that my son is almost 12 and he stills runs inside to tell me what bird he just saw and what it was doing. Or if he can see the moon as he is taking out the garbage. I also wrote a little about children and grown-ups losing the thrill of wonder. Thanks for sharing this and reminding me to see my kids as delightful companions, which most of the time they are. ;)

  3. We are having some motivational struggles right now and I am looking for those interests to break free. Thanks for the encouraging words, discipline to attend to school will bring it about, I hope.