Monday, September 10, 2012

The Making of a Charlotte Mason Education

Everything about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education gives me amazing visions of our future. I see classically trained children full of knowledge of good books, amazing music, beautiful art, and good habits. I envision attentive children amazed by God’s creation and eager to learn more about the beauty He has given us. When I read Miss Mason’s original writings, next to the Bible, it is one of the only sets of writings to, without fail, make me want to be a better person.

 And then reality hits me... usually about the time I get to “tea time.” That’s where life in the rural south gets in the way for me. My cultural background doesn’t leave much room for fancy, daily teas.  Honestly, the only thing I think about tea is "sweet" and "cold". There have been moments when the Victorian fashion of Miss Mason’s philosophy of education has made me want to throw in the towel. But I always come back to this...

 “...we hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the supreme educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education (which may, at the same time, be reached by a little child) is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with God in which our being finds its fullest perfection.” (Vol 3 p 95)

To me, this is the pinnacle of a Charlotte Mason Education. The core is that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life... and doesn’t the very reliance on the Supreme Educator in all things cover each of these three?

So, this is my journey of how I will make it work. I will make it work with a love for bluegrass and barbeque. I will make it work with a husband that ‘seng hunts (ginseng), cut baccer (tobacco) when he was young, and "ain't gonna" change. His favorite apparel is cowboy boots and Carhartts. I will make it work...

We’ll spend our summers fishing on the lake and catching crawdads. We’ll drink cold, sweet iced tea. And we’ll also get a feast of good ideas. When we’re not listening to bluegrass, we will listen to Mozart. The Impressionists will continue to be rotated and placed on the kitchen table. We will refuse worksheets, busy work, and long lessons. We will learn through life and living books. And in all we do we will seek to glorify the One who makes it all possible.

Hope you will come along on this journey with us.


  1. Michelle, I LOVE your blog! I can't wait to follow you on your journey. And, yeah, ditch the tea (unless it's southernly sweet, of course) and grab an RC Cola and Moon Pie. :) Charlotte would understand.

  2. How fun that you are documenting your journey here Michelle! What a blessing that you are choosing to have a *hands on* approach to the shaping of the little ones the LORD has entrusted you with! HE is Good. And HE is Faithful! What a blessing it is to know that HE walks this path with us!!

    Many Blessings to you!