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CM in the Younger Years
Workshop Notes

Thank you for joining me on the journey of educating and parenting our youngest ones (birth to 6)

Below are the notes + resources from the workshop

Deuteronomy 6

 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Charlotte Mason is a Method, not a System

“In the first place, we have no system of education. We hold that great things, such as nature, life, education, are ‘cabined, cribbed, confined,’ in proportion as they are systematised. We have a method of education, it is true, but method is no more than a way to an end, and is free, yielding, adaptive as Nature herself. Method has a few comprehensive laws according to which details shape themselves, as one naturally shapes one’s behaviour to the acknowledged law that fire burns. System, on the contrary, has an infinity of rules and instructions as to what you are to do and how you are to do it. Method in education follows Nature humbly; stands aside and gives her fair play.” (vol 2, p168)

 

“It is only as we recognise our limitations that our work becomes effective: when we see definitely what we are to do, what we can do, and what we cannot do, we set to work with confidence and courage; we have an end in view, and we make our way intelligently towards that end, and a way to an end is method. It rests with parents not only to give their children birth into the life of intelligence and moral power, but to sustain the higher life which they have borne.” (vol 2, p33)

Our Job:

“In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it for the most part out in the fresh air.” (Vol. 1, p. 43)

 

“The educational error of our day is that we believe too much in mediators. Now, Nature is her own mediator, undertakes herself to find work for eyes, ears, taste and touch; she will prick the brain with problems and the heart with feelings; and the part of the mother or teacher in the early years (indeed all through life) is to sow opportunities and then to keep in the background, ready with a guiding or restraining hand only when these are badly wanted. Mothers shirk this work and put it, as they would say, into better hands than their own because they do not recognise that wise letting alone is the chief thing asked of them, seeing that every mother has in Nature an all-sufficient handmaid, who arranges for due work and due rest of mind, muscles and senses… (Elsie Kitching)

 
Child’s job:

“The consideration of out-of-door life, in developing a method of education, comes second in order; because my object is to show that the chief function of the child––his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life––is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses; that he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge got in this way; and that, therefore, the endeavour of his parents should be to put him in the way of making acquaintance freely with Nature and natural objects; that, in fact, the intellectual education of the young child should lie in the free exercise of perceptive power, because the first stages of mental effort are marked by the extreme activity of this power; and the wisdom of the educator is to follow the lead of Nature in the evolution of the complete human being.” (Vol. 1, pp. 96-97)

​3 Tools of Education
  1. Atmosphere - How are we cultivating an atmosphere conducive to learning for our child?  Additionally, what kind of emotional/physical atmosphere are they surrounded by?

  2. Discipline - What areas of discipline can we slowly work on to build good habits, to lay a foundation for learning?

  3. Life - What educational food are we feeding them?  Living ideas or stagnant thoughts?

 
Eight Areas of Growth for a Young Child

 

  1. Habit Training - “Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend. ” (1/118)

  2. Read - living books, beginning phonemic awareness (“The children should have the joy of living in far-lands, in other persons, in other times–a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story-books.” (Vol. 1, p. 153))

  3. Explore - “The consideration of out-of-door life, in developing a method of education, comes second in order; because my object is to show that the chief function of the child––his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life––is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses;

  4. Clean or cook - 

  5. Count - number awareness

  6. Self Care - taking care of themselves and their surroundings

  7. Tell - teach them to narrate what they see, think, experience

  8. Develop relationships

Living Books vs. Twaddle

“They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told.” (Vol. 2, p. 263)

 

ANCHORS + BLOCKS

Anchor your day with the immovable things that always have to happen (ie: meals, classes, family obligations, baby’s nap, etc)

 

Then work in blocks around that - you’re working your day backwards.

 

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