|wild turkeys in Pipestone|
So many of you responded to my last post (Bent Leather, Part 1) via email and comments to tell about how your parents were so conversant and inquiring with strangers! For the most part, this was a good thing and I found some of your stories heartwarming. Thank you.
Do we see the results of this type of education only as the students become adults? Mason tells us that her methods have a "curious" effect on the whole family. "Children so taught are delightful companions because they have large interests and worthy thoughts; they have much to talk about and such casual talk benefits society." (Vol. 6, p. 267)
|Pipestone National Monument|
But how does this happen? We looked at Mason's example of an astonishing amount of substantives used by an eleven-year-old (see the wordle) and read the vignette about Sir Walter Scott who finally discovered a traveling companion's specialty (bent leather) and was therefore able to have a lively conversation with the saddler. From the section I am reading from, Vol. 6, p. 260-268, Mason gives us some specifics.
"Perform the graceful office of presenting the one enthusiastic mind to the other."
I love the way she states this! Most of us think we need to be the bridge between the book's author and the child, but Mason disagrees and knows that the students can understand the well-written book. Indeed, it is a "graceful office" she speaks of.
"A great deal of consecutive reading from very various books."
Avoid "general knowledge" learning which results in "scrappy information." The readings are well thought-out, orderly, from excellent literature and across the disciplines.
"Telling again...it is really a magical creative process."
She had her students narrate - in one way, shape or form - everything. It is a way of learning and changes the way you think.
This is a tough one. If my child didn't hear it or wasn't listening, of course I should read it again - right? If the student knows that the material will only be read once, he learns to automatically have the habit of attention. If we know we can hear it again or look it up again, we relax in the attention department. "I dwell on the single reading because, let me repeat, it is impossible to fix attention on that which we have heard before and know we shall hear again."
|reading on a lazy afternoon|
This week we have had a special guest in our house. She, too, has been educated using Mason's methods. In light of all this talk of substantives and bent leather, I wish you could have been a fly on the wall as the effects have been very "curious". I'll leave you with a sampling of our discussions:
(All the photos in this post were taken this week in and around southwest Minnesota.)indigo farming, camel spiders, Pettigrew House, flax, TORO, "Aurora Leigh", Wollstonecraft, Sioux Uprising, okra, Beatrix Potter, petroglyphs, patriarchalism, placentas, Shanghai,coffee, frozen wastelands, Arthur Ransome, bats, fun dip, Julius Caesar, legends about St. Patrick and Landmark books
|This is lefse!|