Friday, August 29, 2008

So Much Going On....

... finding time to post here has not made it on my plate.

We hosted our Preschool Open House this week.. It was such a pleasure to see old friends, make new ones.

In between preparing for that, I've also been helping my mom pack, sort and move to the beach. We'll drive her down this weekend.

I've also been working on lesson plans and the new preschool newsletter. Here's the first CM Parent article of the new school year. I briefly explained CM to the parents at Open House. The newsletter articles, I'll use to go into further detail developing the Four Pillars over the course of the year. All this is in an effort to come alongside the parents and support them in their duty as parents and uphold their authority in the family. "The family is the unit of a nation."

The Essence of Charlotte Mason by Me

Charlotte Mason’s many ideas on education revolve around one central truth: Children Are Born Persons. She recognized that although, young and inexperienced, children, are created in the image of God,; therefore, worthy to be respected and reverenced. Our very Lord says: “Let the little children come to me, an do not hinder them. For such is the kingdom of heaven.” Miss Mason challenged the understanding of her day (and ours) that children are not mere possessions or cogs in a machine; nor, are they blank slates or empty vases to fill. No, she held fast that children should be loved not for who they may become, but, rather who they are now. Ms. Mason developed an effective educational philosophy that transcends time. Believing that education should be an instrument serving the child, she outlines her ideas in four pillars. First, Education is an Atmosphere. More than a learning environment, this is an atmosphere of love, truth, humility, security, and forgiveness where the child knows he is accepted just as he is: loved by God. Our children need to experience the daily reality of those living life in a relationship to our Living King (MacAulay, For The Children’s Sake, p.105). His mind must be respected so he may flourish in the energizing atmosphere of sharing truly worthwhile interests with people who like him as a person (70). Secondly, Education is a Discipline. We purposefully plan for the contact between child and truth not leaving it to mere chance (105). More than just rules of etiquette, we learn who God is and what He requires of us: To love Him and love others. Parents & educators are responsible for whether we teach helpful habits or non-helpful ones. “If we fail to ease life by laying down habits of right thinking and right acting, habits of wrong thinking and wrong acting fix themselves of their own accord” (CM. Vol. 6 p.101). Thirdly, Education is a Life. The life of the mind feeds upon ideas. Ideas are of spiritual nature and are conveyed “by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony; but we must sustain a child’s inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food” (109) The apostle Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8 to think on these things...“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy….” Because of her great respect for the mind of a child, Miss Mason believed in giving children the best ideas from the best authors, artists, composers, poets, etc. Lastly, Education is a Science of Relations. Spreading a generous and rich curriculum before the child gives him opportunity to build relationships with a vast number of things and thought (MacAualy, p91). This relationship building occurs both in our out of school. Parents & educators open the doors to knowledge. The three sorts of knowledge proper to a child: Knowledge of God, of man and of the universe. “Of the three sorts of knowledge proper to a child…..—the knowledge of God ranks first in importance, is indispensable and most happy-making.” ( CM, Vol. 6, p. 158)
More to come regarding specifics of the Four Pillars throughout the year. Questions and comments welcome.

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