Snow flowers

It’s hard to believe that winter is nearly here. The leaves are off the trees and it seems like there is nothing green growing in sight. Yet this time of year is important to the growth process. Something is happening under the soil—something that is necessary for spring blossoms.

It’s the same with our children. Charlotte Mason believed that the goal of true education is growth. Children learn in order to grow, not just to know. And just as a winter woodland scene can appear to be bleak, so we go through some seasons with our children when we don’t see evidence of growth.

I’m in that season with my youngest, who has special needs. We’ve been working on simple single-digit addition for years now and I thought we were making progress. Even evidence of slow growth can be motivating.

But lately it seems like we’ve entered a season of a bleak landscape; I’m not seeing evidence of growth in her math lessons anymore. It is during times like this that I must rely on past experience.

Just as we have grown accustomed to the cycle of the seasons in nature—spring turns to summer and fall and then winter,— so we must grow accustomed to growth seasons in educating. We don’t panic when the leaves fall off the trees and the air grows biting cold, for we know that winter is a natural part of life. Just so, I don’t panic when all my daughter’s evidences of “math growth” go underground and are hidden from view, for I know that a resting period is a natural part of her growth patterns.

Winter is a season, whether in nature or in our children’s education. Time to rest, contemplate, and assimilate is an important part of the growth cycle.

Who knows what blossoms we may see come spring!

Would you like regular reminders that children learn in order to grow, that growth often happens where we can’t see it, that our job is to cultivate the soil and nourish the seed, that we can’t force growth on our own time table? Our 2014 calendar journal, A Growing Time with Charlotte Mason, is designed to provide just such encouragement throughout the year.

You will find in its pages a helpful article each month about some aspect of growth, plus inspiring weekly quotes, clean and simple calendars, and plenty of room to record your thoughts.

Order your 2014 calendar journal today and have it in hand for a new year of growth!


  1. Thank you for your continued encouragement. This is just what so many of us need to hear right now.

  2. Thank you for this. I have been so discouraged lately. My 13-year-old has Autism, my 7-year-old has sensory processing disorders and is dyslexic, and my 4-year-old isn’t getting the alphabet. We have been through quite a lot this year and haven’t been able to get much school done. It’s been very stressful and there are days we don’t get anything accomplished with school. Then, out of the blue, my oldest son, who can’t memorize his multiplication or addition facts, will tell me he has figured the tax amount and shipping costs of his Christmas list from an outdoors company online. My youngest son with dyslexia, will tell me what some words say in his Calvin and Hobbes book, because he sounded them out CORRECTLY. You are SO very right. Children need time to absorb the nutrients of learning just as nature needs time to rest and absorb nutrients from the ground.
    I will try to be more patient in seeing these busy times as needed growing times for my young brood. Thank you again for the article. It was so very much needed during my own time of growth.

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