Charlotte Mason: The Mind Needs It Food

schoolwork Jan 2013 (5)

“Their minds could make their lives more fulfilling, more useful, more filled with beauty, with very little cost to us. It’s good for us to realize that education is something that continues throughout life. We must always be learning more and increasing our knowledge….

Of all the ways we hinder mind growth, perhaps the most subtle way is with comprehension questions. It’s no different than expecting a child to show us how his food is being digested at all different stages after dinner! Requiring that of a child wouldn’t help his digestion. In fact, he would starve! The mind is the same. It needs its food, and it needs to be left alone to assimilate and digest knowledge on its own…..Yet we use tests like this to produce youth who are quick at trivia, but have no ability to reflect and no intellectual pursuits….

It has been proved that the joy of knowledge itself is enough to carry a child successfully and happily through all twelve years of school.”

Volume 6, page 55-56, 58

 This section in the Charlotte Mason volumes has greatly influenced my methods of homeschooling my high school age students, especially when it comes to reading and narration…and even testing. I find when I am using Charlotte Mason’s idea to the best of my ability, our learning is much more meaningful. We find the joy in the actual knowledge of something real in our lives and not just trying to achieve  a grade on an exam. I have written quite a number of posts here on my blog about the idea outlined in the post above.

Would you like to read a few of the entries I think illustrate this concept very well? I will list them below…I invite you to take a few minutes and click over to read them, hopefully finding some encouragement from my experiences.

Good Books and Self Education: “They have reached the point in their life that they are curious about so many things that I can not possibly cover all of it during our school hours.”

Charlotte Mason Knew the Secret to Learning Relationships: “We don’t have to waste time getting our students to answer pre-made sets of questions in their every day work and we don’t need to test them at the end of each unit.”

An Appreciative Look or Comment: “Without the need for questions and answers from Tapestry of Grace, we managed to have a really good discussion with things that had been on our minds as we read. As usual, I gained some insight into the character that is developing in my children.”

Please visit and share with us at the CM blog carnival! We'd love to have you! I am submitting this entry to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and if you have any entries you would like to submit, you can send them to this email address: [email protected].

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