Friday, April 5, 2013

A Large Room

Charlotte Mason's wisdom found in her writings has been one of the primary forces in our home educating journey for the past 17 years.  The feast we have been encouraged to spread before our children through her teaching has unveiled a world of awe and wonder.  Learning through "books and things" has truly opened our eyes to the glories of God's world.

Charlotte was passionate about life...a full life.  God calls it an abundant life.  Charlotte said, "Life should be all living, and not merely a tedius passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking - the strain would be too great - but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest."  (Vol. 3, pg. 170)

In our family, much of our learning comes from living books.  Having the blessing of over 15,000 at our fingertips, we can readily pull off a book on any topic of interest.  Taking Charlotte's advice to heart, we are constantly reading books "in liberal supply and variety."  In the end, I want Charlotte's goals for my children...

"The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?"  (Vol. 3, pgs. 170-171)

What I find sad about current American schooling is that we do not value knowledge and wisdom...nor do we value children.  We sit them down at desks all day, fill their minds with drivel, and send them out as "educated." 

"We give him miserable little text-books, mere compendiums of facts, which he is to learn off and say and produce at an examination; or we give him various knowledge in the form of warm diluents, prepared by his teacher with perhaps some grains of living thought to the gallon. And all the time we have books, books teeming with ideas fresh from the minds of thinkers upon every subject to which we can wish to introduce children."  (Vol. 3, pg. 171)

I encourage you to give your children a broad education.  Open the Word of God to them.  Read them wonderful history, science, fairy tales, fiction.  Look at beautiful paintings.  Listen to beautiful music.  Read poetry, Shakespeare.  Learn another language.  Go outside and drink in the beauty of the world as it is waking up from winter slumber.  Live!

Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul.


  1. I shared this in Facebook and quoted 10 thumbs up! :) Thank you for your wise words. Hope you're feeling OK!

  2. Wow! I'm in the big time if I'm on Facebook! ;)
    We're recovering, thank you. Praising God we're alive...