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Some CM Ideas

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If you ever are interested in reading Charlotte Mason's own words, then consider taking the time to study her Original Home Schooling Series (6 volumes). Volumes 1 and 6 deal specifically with curriculum and her suggestions on how to teach students at home. Those who wish to study her methods and read actual reports from her home school parents and teachers should consider the PR Aticles (very slow to load so be patient). These contain a wealth of practical, intellectual and theoretical studies in education and the philosophy of schooling at home or government schools.

I recently browsed through the PR articles after some time away from them and found the time well-worthwhile. Leslie Noleani has done a fantastic job transcribing these wonderful articles and putting them online for free use and reading. Below are some of my thoughts on the PNEU schools, Miss Mason's Educational Philosophy and in particular the teaching of certain subjects.

The Rule of the Home School

"Five of the thirteen waking hours should be at the disposal of the children; three, at least, of these, from two o'clock till five, for example, should be spent out-of-doors in all but very bad weather. Brisk work and ample leisure and freedom should be the rule of the Home School. The work not done in its own time must be left undone. Children should not be embarrassed with arrears, and they should have a due sense of the importance of time, and that there is no other time for the work not done in its own time." Miss Mason, Vol. 3, 1892/3, pg. 297

Objectives Upon Completion of Year 8 (approx. age 14)

The eight years' work-from six to fourteen-which I suggest, should and does result in the power of the pupils:

  1. To grasp the sense of passage of some length at a single reading.
  2. To spell and express themselves in writing with ease and fair correctness.
  3. To give an orderly and detailed account of any subject they have studied.
  4. To describe in writing what they have seen, or heard from the newspapers.
  5. They should have a familiar acquaintance with the common objects of the country, with the power to reproduce some of these in brushwork.
  6. Should have skill in various handicrafts.
  7. In arithmetic, a knowledge of vulgar and decimal fractions, proportion, practice, etc.
  8. Of elementary algebra and geometry.
  9. Of elementary Latin grammar, and, say, the first two books of "Csar," and some "Virgil."
  10. They should have some power of understanding spoken French; should be able to speak a little; be able to read a fairly easy French book.
  11. In German, much the same as in French, but less progress.
  12. In Italian, pronunciation and the power to read a little.
  13. In History they will have gone through a rather detailed study of English, French and classical History (Plutarch).
  14. In Geography they will have studied in detail the map of the world, and have been at one time able to fill in landscape, industries, etc., from their studies of each division of the map.
  15. They will have learned the elements of physical geography, botany, human physiology, and natural history, and will have read interesting books on some of these subjects.
  16. They should have sufficient knowledge of English Grammar.
  17. They should have a considerable knowledge of Scripture history and the Bible text.
  18. They should have learned a good deal of Scripture and of poetry, and should have read some literature.
  19. They should have learned Tonic sol-fa and a number of English, French and German songs.
  20. They should have learned Swedish drill and various callisthenic exercises.

Ms. Mason, The Parents Review Volume XIV 1903 pgs 721-760

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