Saturday, March 22, 2014


Every day this week, the outdoors has called to us. From early morning glances out the sun-filled window during breakfast, to mid-day breezes through a cracked window next to the couch while reading. This week has been warm and sunny. Trees are budding and flowers are blossoming. Birds are chirping and lady bugs are crawling. It was a week to play outside - a lot. 

While our style of learning does not strictly follow the methods of Charlotte Mason, we do lean that way in many areas. The following are some insightful quotes from her book Out-Of-Door Life For The Children.
"Nature knowledge is the most important for Young Children - it would be well if all persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his 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."
"Children are born naturalists... every child has a natural interest in the living things about him which is the business of his parents to encourage... but few children are equal to holding their own in the face of public opinion, and if they see that the things which interest them are different or disgusting to you, their pleasure in them vanishes, and that chapter in the book of Nature is closed to them." 
"Let us suppose mother and children arrived at some breezy open wherein it seemeth always afternoon. In the first place, it is not her business to entertain the little people: there should be no story-books, no telling of tales, as little talk as possible, and that to some purpose. Who thinks to amuse children with tale or talk at a circus of pantomime? And here, is there not infinitely more displayed for their delectation? Our wise mother, arrived, first sends the children to let off their spirits in a wild scamper, with cry, hallo, and hullaballo, and any extravagance that comes into their young heads."
"This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing invaluable work: she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses for an object at the right moment - when they ask, 'What is it?' and 'What is it for?'"
"They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heavens."
"A great deal has been said lately about the danger of overpressure, of requiring too much mental work from a child of tender years. The danger exists: but lies, not in giving the child too much, but in giving him the wrong things to do, the sort of work for which the present state of his mental development does not fit him. But give the child work that Nature intended for him, and the quantity he can get through with ease is practically unlimited. Whoever saw a child tired of seeing, of examining in his own way, unfamiliar things? This is the sort of mental nourishment for which he has an unbounded appetite, because it is that food of the mind on which, for the present, he is meant to grow."

No comments:

Post a Comment