Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch. - Jane Austen from Mansfield Park
I am always a little uncomfortable when asked what program I use for time management purposes. I have a hard time recommending these tools because I think that people will then try to slavishly follow whatever the recommmended book says - and usually fail. There is something about all of it that seems incompatible with Mason's methods. Maybe the problem is in the spirit of the application??? I'm not sure. Even when I share my schedules, I have to state so many caveats along with them.
Part of the reason for my uneasiness is that Mason is on to something deeper and more important. She deals with time in a different light. This starts to be apparent after studying her philosophy and trying to live it out in our homes. I'm slowly getting better at this - figuring out this gift of time and how to spend it here and now for Eternity. Just read this wonderful quote on time written by a student at Charlotte Mason's teaching college at Scale How in 1918.
At Scale How time was to be respected, given to the thing or person claiming it rightfully. Then there would always be time, without over-pressure or distraction. This sense of time value was hard to achieve but it bore the test of experience during the two years' training. What an effort of faith it all was...it did not seem possible to find a moment for everything, yet if no time was wasted there was plenty of it and no hurry. - Cholmondley, p. 150
Time was to be respected...given to the thing or person claiming it rightfully...effort of faith...plenty of it and no hurry. I know our homes and schools aren't set up like her training college and that we have meals, children, spouses, churches, etc. that are important to us. But Mason talks repeatedly about the key to so much of this - attention. On the part of the teacher as well as the student. Can you see how every person is then respected?
Here is a piece of advice to apply this concept. It's a small thing, but the way I attend and spend the time during this part of lessons says so much to my students.
Mason states "Do not bury yourself in the book while the children are reading aloud. Give your full attention to the reading, then when the time for narration comes receive what they tell you with your whole mind. They will tell it all the better to someone who is listening and who is not consulting a book." To this, Cholmondley adds, "To carry out these two pieces of advice needed great power of attentive reading beforehand and of attentive listening during the lesson."
In other words, we need to be fully present for them. That's more important than keeping a perfect house or schedule.
Admiration, Hope and Love,
(Quotes taken from The Story of Charlotte Mason by Essex Cholmondley)