We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.— Charlotte Mason
The most profound Charlotte Mason quotes you will be delighted to read
Look on education as something between the child's soul and God.
Modern Education tends to look on it as something between the child's brain and the standardized test.
We all have need to be trained to see, and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life.
An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing.
In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet and growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it for the most part spent out in the fresh air.
Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education.
The people themselves begin to clamour for an education which shall qualify their children for life rather than for earning a living. As a matter of fact, it is the man who has read and thought on many subjects who is, with the necessary training, the most capable whether in handling tools, drawing plans, or keeping books.
Of the three sorts of knowledge proper to a child, the knowledge of God, of man, and of the universe,--the knowledge of God ranks first in importance, is indispensable, and most happy-making.
Of all the joyous motives of school life, the love of knowledge is the only abiding one; the only one which determines the scale, so to speak, upon which the person will hereafter live.
Let them get at the books themselves, and do not let them be flooded with diluted talk from the lips of their teacher. The less the parents 'talk-in' and expound their rations of knowledge and thought to the children they are educating, the better for the children...Children must be allowed to ruminate, must be left alone with their own thoughts.
The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days.
Every common miracle which the child sees with his own eyes makes of him for the moment another Newton.
Let children alone... the education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone, not teasing them with perpetual commands and directions - a running fire of Do and Don’t ; but letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose.
Authority is just and faithful in all matters of promise-keeping;
it is also considerate, and that is why a good mother is the best home-ruler.
Education is a life; that life is sustained on ideas; ideas are of spiritual origin, and that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. The duty of parents is to sustain a child's inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food.
A child is a person in whom all possibilities are present - present now at this very moment - not to be educed after many years and efforts manifold on the part of the educator
So much for the right books; the right use of them is another matter. The children must enjoy the book. The ideas it holds must each make that sudden, delightful impact upon their minds, must cause that intellectual stir, which mark the inception of an idea.
Every person exceeds our power of measurement.
Therefore, teaching, talk and tale, however lucid or fascinating, effect nothing until self-activity be set up; that is, self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature.
The peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas and furnish the imagination with pictures.
Profound thought is conveyed in language of very great simplicity and purity.
None of us can be proof against the influences that proceed from the persons he associates with. Wherefore, in books and men, let us look out for the best society, that which yields a bracing and wholesome influence. We all know the person for whose company we are the better, though the talk is only about fishing or embroidery.
For the mind is capable of dealing with only one kind of food;
it lives, grows and is nourished upon ideas only; mere information is to it as a meal of sawdust to the body; there are no organs for the assimilation of the one more than of the other.
There is no education but self-education.
A child gets moral notions from the fairy-tales he delights in, as do his elders from tale and verse.
Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend.
The teacher who allows his scholars the freedom of the city of books is at liberty to be their guide, philosopher and friend; and is no longer the mere instrument of forcible intellectual feeding.
The children's lessons should provide material for their mental growth, should exercise the several powers of their minds, should furnish them with fruitful ideas, and should afford them knowledge, really valuable for its own sake, accurate, and interesting, of the kind that the child may recall as a man with profit and pleasure.
We talk of lost ideals, but perhaps they are not lost, only changed;
when our ideal for ourselves and for our children becomes limited to prosperity and comfort, we get these, very likely, for ourselves and for them, but we get no more.
Do not let the endless succession of small things crowd great ideals out of sight and out of mind.
Imagination does not stir at the suggestion of the feeble, much diluted stuff that is too often put into childrens hands.
Let children feed on the good, the excellent, the great! Don't get in their way with little lectures, facts, and guided tours!
Let the parent ask "Why?" and the child produce the answer, if he can.
After he has turned the matter over in his mind, there is no harm in telling him - and he will remember it - the reason why.
Education, like faith, is the evidence of things not seen.
The children know all about everything so well that it never occurs to them to play at the situations in any one of these tales, or even to read it twice over. But let them have tales of the imagination, scenes laid in other lands and other times, heroic adventures, hairbreadth escapes, delicious fairy tales in which they are never roughly pulled up by the impossible —even where all is impossible, and they know it, and yet believe.
Composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been allowed due use of books.
Children should Transcribe favourite Passages.
A certain sense of possession and delight may be added to this exercise if children are allowed to choose for transcription their favourite verse in one poem and another.
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. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child's intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find.
The problem before the educator is to give the child control over his own nature, to enable him to hold himself in hand as much in regard to the traits we call good, as to those we call evil:.
Education is the science of relations
We attempt to define a person, the most commonplace person we know, but he will not submit to bounds; some unexpected beauty of nature breaks out; we find he is not what we thought, and begin to suspect that every person exceeds our power of measurement.
The most common and the monstrous defect in the education of the day is that children fail to acquire the habit of reading.
Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.
Every walk should offer some knotty problem for the children to think out-"Why does that leaf float on the water, and this pebble sink?" and so on.
Wise and purposeful letting alone is the best part of education.
We have never been so rich in books. But there has never been a generation when there is so much twaddle in print for children.
Our aim in education is to give a full life.
We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking - the strain would be too great - but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest.
Give your child a single valuable idea, and you have done more for his education than if you had laid upon his mind the burden of bushels of information.
The indwelling of Christ is a thought particularly fit for the children, because their large faith does not stumble at the mystery, their imagination leaps readily to the marvel, that the King Himself should inhabit a little child's heart.
Education is a matter of the spirit. No wiser word has been said on the subject, and yet we persist in applying education from without. No one knoweth the things of the man except the spirit of man which is in him; therefore, there is no education but self-education, and as soon as a young child begins his education, he does so as a student. Our business is to give him mind stuff. Both quantity and quality are essential.