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Some friends of ours are getting married this summer. As I’ve watched their relationships with their spouses-to-be grow, it struck me how silly it would be if one of them would say, “Okay, I now know my fiancé’s telephone number, favorite food and color, height, weight, and birthday. Whew! I’m so glad that’s over with and I can quit learning about him!”
No! We expect those in a relationship to continue learning more about each other over the years. And that learning is not a chore; it is a delight, because of the personal nature of the relationship.
Charlotte Mason’s view of education was all about relationships. Her desire was to see the students form personal relations with God, with other people—both past and present, and with God’s creation around them.
We’re missing the main point of education when we remove that relational aspect. When the emphasis is on facts and passing tests, it’s understandable that students will begin to focus on the manmade finish line. I know too many people who went through a traditional, textbook-style education and couldn’t wait for graduation because then they would be finished learning. To me that’s sad. They are missing out on the joy of a lifetime of discoveries and deeper relationships.
The Joy of Learning
One of the main reasons I chose the Charlotte Mason Method for our homeschool is because I wanted my children to love learning for the rest of their lives. I wanted them to know the joy of learning.
It is a joy when you are learning through wonderful living books.
It is a joy when you are allowed the time to marvel at God’s creation around you.
It is a joy when you are encouraged to focus on the relational aspect of people in history—what ideas ruled their lives and how those ideas affected them and others.
It is a joy when you have partaken of a feast of subjects and ideas and have learned how to spread that delectable feast for yourself.
The school years are only the beginning. We have the privilege to introduce to our children a wide range of ideas, encourage them in their personal relations with those ideas, and watch the ongoing learning that occurs as a natural result—learning that is a delight, because of the personal nature of the relationship.
Such a rich life our children have in store for them when we keep their love of learning alive with the Charlotte Mason Method!