For this book review I read School Education by Charlotte Mason. I was curious about her ideas for setting up a curriculum, so that was then next book I read. It was fantastic! And I gained a greater understanding of her philosophy.
Some highlights include:
- The chapters on authority. I loved how she explained where authority comes from and what it means for parents and children. She also explains how we can't rely on man's reason as the ultimate authority. It was a fascinating chapter.
- The explanation of masterly inactivity. We guide our children and provide opportunities for them, but we don't oversee everything they do, nag at them, hover over them, etc.
- Why children should be schooled at home until they are older. The home and family are the best schools for life and society.
- Mason's declaration that "education is the science of relations." We should be helping children develop relations with everything around them. Their relationship with God is the foundation of their education. Then their relationships with people, past and present, is next most important and forms the greatest part of their education, and I think that is because people are God's greatest work and glory and should be ours, too. History, literature, art and science all help children connect with people. Experiential education and being part of the community is another part of connecting with people. Then, a child's relations with nature, his body and "material" comes next. I think that all those things help us connect with God, too, if we teach it properly.
- The family unit helps a child understand the world he lives in. For example, the head of the home helps a child understand his relationship with God.
- Teaching our children to take care of and develop their bodies is very important so that they are prepared to do whatever work God asks of them. I'd add, the same goes for our minds and emotional states.
- Use books that inspire ideas, not that summarize information and facts.
- Children need to be taught to act, not to be acted upon in education.