Parents Are Peacemakers (1 of 7)

Peace. Such an important topic for our homeschools and lives. I would like to share with you a little-known booklet titled Parents Are Peacemakers, Six Talks with Parents on Bringing Up Children by Charlotte Mason biographer, Essex Cholmondeley. Written in 1944, its purpose was to introduce parents to the PNEU and the  philosophy that shaped it. I think it offers practical help and examples  for those wanting more advice on bringing up children in a Charlotte Mason paradigm.  I will publish this little gem in seven installments, rolling them out as I transcribe them. A link to a google doc at the end of each post will make it convenient for printing.

The topics will include:

1. Notes for Those Who Conduct the Talks
2. Making Peace At Home
3. The First Need: Leadership
4. The Second Need: Healing
5. The Third Need: Feeding
6. The Fourth Need: Teaching
7. Christ's Way of Peace

This first, brief post is "Notes for Those Who Conduct the Talks" and contains excellent advice on how to run these sessions with  parents. My favorite bit is "be in the chair rather than in the pulpit" as the  facilitator. The advice found here is solid for anyone leading group meetings of any sort.

I hope you enjoy this series!  I think this booklet could be used with book discussion groups, in Sunday Schools, or just for the mom and dad looking for a more help with their parenting.

Teaching from Peace,



                The attitude of all present, including those who conduct the meetings, should be one of finding out together what is best for children. The leader must have faith that the most “ordinary” father or mother has much to contribute. Be “in the chair” rather than “in the pulpit”; determine that each talk shall give real opportunity for meeting, mind to mind, experience shared. A sense of hostess-ship and hospitality is needed, giving a welcome, making everyone at ease, introducing them to ideas and thoughts courteously, keeping a happy orderliness in proceedings. A kindly sincerity encourages discussion and kindles initiative in individual listeners.

                Talk for about five to seven minutes, then get the parents to talk. Ask for examples and experiences from real life and use these when you continue. Keep the thread but let it be an elastic one, building up upon what the meeting gives you. In Talk VI, discussion would best be left until the end.

                Illustrations from real life are most important. If those given in the talks do not suit a particular audience, others should be chosen from personal experience of real children and real families (but not local ones). Every Leader must know her audience and give instances which will be normal and acceptable to them.

                Give the talks as a series. They lose their force if used separately. Together they form a unity; apart they present little fragments of the whole aspect of education which “bringing up” implies.

                Those who find these talks helpful should read the books of Charlotte Mason.  In them they will discover a constant source of wise counsel and inspiration concerning the whole life of a growing up person. “An Essay towards a Philosophy of Education” and all the  volumes of the “Home Education Series” can be obtained from the  Parents’ National Education Union, 171, Victoria Street, London, S.W. 1.

                I owe a debt of gratitude to Lady Reid for her encouraging co-operation and most kind advice while the Talks were being written.

E. Cholmondeley.

Whaddon House,
                Bruton, Somerset,

Google doc - Parents Are Peacemakers - Notes For Those Who Conduct The Talks (1 of 7)