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Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival: Of Principles and a Wide Range of Knowledge

Charlotte Mason Blog CarnivalWe’re happy to be hosting the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival this week. The carnival has been pondering the 20 Principles of a CM Education over the year, and this edition of the carnival centers on #19.

I love Principle 19. It contains so many nuggets of wisdom in just three short sentences.

Children should be taught, as they become mature enough to understand such teaching, that the chief responsibility which rests on them as persons is the acceptance or rejection of ideas. To help them in this choice we give them principles of conduct, and a wide range of the knowledge fitted to them. These principles should save children from some of the loose thinking and heedless action which cause most of us to live at a lower level than we need.

Our children are, first and foremost, persons. And part of their education should be teaching them the importance of ideas, for ideas have consequences. They should be taught to consider each idea that is presented to them and either accept it or reject it based on timeless truths and solid principles.

But how will they know those timeless truths and solid principles? This is where the difference between conventional schooling and true education glares brightly. Memorizing and regurgitating committee-selected facts (or opinions) will not instill timeless truths and solid principles of life.

It is only as we guide our children to explore, to discover, to think, to assimilate from a wide variety of excellent sources that they will grow in their ability to discern and make wise choices themselves.

Principles, not just opinions. A wide range, not just specialized skills.

Enjoy this wide range of blog posts that encourage us in those two areas.

Principles of Conduct

First, Shirley offers a timely reminder that educating our children is not just about academics; it is an “ongoing process, which prepares them for life,” in her post, What Should Education Accomplish?

Annie Kate sees similarities between Charlotte Mason’s emphasis on habits and new research presented in a book she reviews in her post, A Homeschooler Thinks About The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

Nadene reminds us that all that we do to educate our children must stem from a personal relation with each one, cultivated and nurtured individually. Be encouraged to teach the child, not the curriculum, as you read her post on Intimacy.

So many of principles of conduct flow from our own examples, our own lives. Leah looks at the importance of keeping our spiritual priorities in place and communicating that to our children in her post Education of the Heart.

Amy’s response to critters in her house, in It’s a Jungle in Here, must convey admirable principles of conduct for her children to absorb!

And Sarah shares with us a fascinating look at a former PNEU teacher’s approach to forming principles of conduct in her students in A Peek into a PNEU Type Teacher Student Relationship.

Wide Range of Knowledge Fitted to Them

As persons, our children deserve a wide variety of subjects that will feed their minds with many great ideas, not just a utilitarian limited set of skills to help them perform a job. Nebby explores this topic in her excellent post More from CM on Variety in Education.

Part of the wide range of knowledge that Patti gives her children includes nature study and handicrafts. One of her posts explains how they recently took advantage of a rainy day to explore with Nature Notebooking Owl Pellets. She also encouraged her children to create Potato Print Wrapping Paper. The photos work so well for a detailed how-to!

Carol shares some good Bible History resources and ideas that have worked well for her family.

“Tree study brings such a greater understanding of the cycles of life in our own backyards,” explains Barb. On her helpful blog you can find the details of her year-long tree studies, including her latest post on Autumn Season: Cottonwood Tree.

Brandy features a wonderful series on teaching math in a Charlotte Mason way, from a variety of authors, beginning with her Welcome to Math Week! {Series Introduction}.

Christina invites us to join her for A Walk in the Woods, as she encourages her children to explore the world around them through homeschooling and nature study.

Because the child is a person and has a natural thirst for knowledge, learning takes place every day, whether official schoolwork is scheduled or not. Celeste takes a look at the learning that occurred in her home with her post, Sunday “School”, and Angela, inspired by that post, follows up with a description of the feast that was spread during a “non school day” in her home, too, In a Day.

And Bobby Jo paints a sweet picture of how she is seeking to create a sense of wonder within her child as they observe nature around them in Walking in a Cloud and Benefitting the Soul.

Some of the wide range of knowledge that we want to give our children is tucked into great books; and some of those books, let’s face it, are not easy reads! These last two posts offer excellent counsel, food for thought, and practical tips from experienced CM moms. If you have ever wondered what to do when your child faces a difficult book, be encouraged with Liz’s post, Hard Thinking about Easy Reading and Linda Fay’s helpful Tips on Getting Children Interested in Hard Books.

The Next CM Blog Carnival

Every two weeks a new collection of Charlotte Mason-related blog posts is published as a blog carnival. All those who enjoy this regular boost to their spirits appreciate Amy Tuttle’s work behind the scenes, keeping it all organized. Thanks to Amy and to all those who have hosted the carnival this year!

If you have a blog and write about your Charlotte Mason home educating, feel free to join in as a contributor or a hostess. Or just follow the carnival as it is hosted at various blog “homes” through the weeks. So many wonderful ideas from which to glean!

The next Charlotte Mason blog carnival will be published on November 27 at Jamie’s blog. If you would like to submit your post to be included in that collection, send a note, with a link to your post, to the organizer, Amy, at charlottemasonblogs (AT) gmail (DOT) com by November 26. Any post about CM homeschooling is welcome, but if you would like a writing prompt, the optional theme will be Principle 20. You can find all twenty principles in the front of Volume 6 of Charlotte’s writings, Towards a Philosophy of Education.

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