Sometimes, after reading so much goodness out of Charlotte Mason's 6 volumes, I just want to write about the beauty and simplicity of her decidedly unique and innovative philosophy. You know what I mean? As when the most simple definition that you've read a dozen times before suddenly reveals a depth of meaning previously unrealized in your life? That's what this post is about.
It comes from Volume 6, p. 157 where she is describing the curriculum and who the curriculum is to serve. And if every homeschool parent or teacher were to grapple with this concept, this idea, I think that many people might go about the education of children in a different way.
Mason talks about how a curriculum shouldn't be written and executed in order to fit only privileged children and their future roles in society (gentlemen). Probably not an issue for most of us these days. If we focus on just the 3 R's, that would not be affirming their personhood and most likely be too utilitarian. Vocational training? Too narrow. Test prep or latest educational fad? No. Just no.
So who should it be written for? Mason says the following:
1. A CHILD OF MAN
"Who has a natural desire to know the history of his race and of his nation, what men thought in the past and are thinking now; the best thoughts of the best minds taking form as literature, and at its highest as poetry, or, as poetry rendered in the plastic forms of art."
2. A CHILD OF GOD
"Whose supreme desire and glory it is to know about and to know his almighty Father."
3. A PERSON OF MANY PARTS AND PASSIONS
"Who must know how to use, care for, and discipline himself, body, mind and soul."
4. A PERSON OF MANY RELATIONSHIPS
"To family, city, church, state, neighbouring states, the world at large."
5. AN INHABITANT OF A WORLD FULL OF BEAUTY AND INTEREST
"The features of which he must recognise and know how to name, and a world too, and a universe whose every function of every part is ordered by laws which he must begin to know."
Doesn't every parent hope to give this to their child? If you are curriculum shopping, take this little list with you. You may end up somewhere that you never dreamed of. I know I did.