This Fetish of Progress

sweet find from local antique store 
We had our final PMEU meeting of the school year, despite severe thunderstorms.  I spoke on the high school years for those wishing to implement or continue on with the living methods of Charlotte Mason.  We talked about progress and our culture's obsession with doing, doing, doing for grades or admissions or whatever.  Busyness is the enemy of a Mason education.  Time, and lots of it, is key.  It's a "slow living" sort of concept.  Mason draws an appropriate word picture for us - 

Is there not some confusion of ideas about this fetish of progress? Do we not confound progress with movement, action, assuming that where these are there is necessarily advance? Whereas much of our activity is like the waves of the sea, going always and arriving never. What we desire is the still progress of growth that comes of root striking downwards and fruit urging upwards. And this progress in character and conduct is not attained through conditions of environment or influence but only through the growth of ideas, received with conscious intellectual effort.   Mason, Vol. 6, p. 297

For those who follow this education paradigm, the seeds are sown and the fruit appears after many years. It's about being diligent, consistent and patient for us, the teachers.  

From joy to joy,

favorite bleeding hearts
blooming now


  1. Thanks, Nancy. This has greatly encouraged me today.



  2. I'm finding this to be so true. Glad to hear it from others!

  3. this is SO right. i am so glad you said it!
    i wish, wish, WISH that it were possible for me to live near you and absorb more of your awesomeness. ;)


  4. The girl in the picture reminds me of Pamela: she clasps her hands when excited during a narration. Mason's words are so true. Pamela's waves of progress has long periods of time between crests. Lately, the waves have started to roll in quickly! :-)

  5. I don't read blogs in a timely fashion, so rarely comment, but I must say here that this is one of my favorite quotes from Charlotte Mason. It's such a wonderful word-picture, and a perfect antidote to the busy-ness of both our culture and our unfortunate educational endeavors.

  6. Nancy, I needed to hear this today. Due to a plethora of activities (all good), we tend to be busy -- in fact, busier than I'd like, in my perfect world. I'm looking forward to quieter days this summer! Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Fantastically-timed post!
    Also, I love this quote by CM. It's one of my faves.