With regard to the horror which some children show of beetle, spider, worm, that is usually a trick picked up from grown-up people.
~ Charlotte Mason, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children
Children should be encouraged to watch, patiently and quietly, until they learn something of the habits and history of bee, ant, wasp, spider, hairy caterpillar, dragon-fly, and whatever of larger growth comes in their way.
~ Charlotte Mason, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children
As for emulation, a very potent means of exciting and holding the attention of children, it is often objected that a desire to excel, to do better than others, implies an unloving temper, which the educator should rather repress than cultivate. Good marks of some kind are usually the rewards of those who do best, and it is urged that these good marks are often the cause of ungenerous rivalry. Now, the fact is, the children are being trained to live in the world, and in the world we all do get good marks of one kind or another, prize, or praise, or both, according as we excel others, whether in football or tennis, or in picture painting or poem-making. There are envyings and heart burnings amongst those who come in second best; so it has been from beginning, and doubtless will be to the end. If the child is go out into an emulous world, why, it may be possibly be well that he should brought up in an emulous school. But here is where the mother’s work comes in. She can teach her child to be first without vanity, and to be last without bitterness; that is, she can bring him up in such a hearty outgoing of love and sympathy that joy in his brother’s success takes the sting out of his own failure, and regret for his brother’s failure leaves no room for self glorification. Again, if a system of marks be used as a stimulus to attention and effort, the good marks should be given for conduct rather than for cleverness – that is, they should be within everybody’s reach: every child may get his mark for punctuality, order, attention, diligence, obedience, gentleness; and therefore, marks of this kind may be given without danger of leaving a rankling sense of injustice in the breast of the child who fails. Emulation becomes suicidal when it is used as the incentive to intellectual effort, because the desire for knowledge subsides in proportion as the desire to excel becomes active. As a matter of fact, marks of any sort, even for conduct, distract the attention of children from their proper work, which is in itself interesting enough to secure good behaviour as well as attention.
~ Charlotte Mason, Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series, Vol.1
I hope this is what my children will remember of me and their homeschool days …
The Reading Mother
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Celert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings –
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such.
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a Mother who read to me.
~ Strickland Gillilan
Another gem from Sister Adeela of River City Homeschoolers who has been ever so diligent and prolific, ma shaa Allah :)
She has put together a delightful six-week summer session nature study programme, suitable for all ages. It aims to encourage children to have direct contact with nature and to familiarise them with the Quranic verses and ahadeeth pertaining to Allah’s signs in nature. It is a wonderful way to bond as a family and your kids will also get some hands-on activities as well as try their hand in art and craft and journaling.
My kids just LOVE the outdoors and going on their “explorations” – they really take to heart Charlotte Mason’s words: “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” LOL! Anyway, I am looking forward to using Sister Adeela’s ideas.
She has kindly allowed me to share her ebook on my site, so click on the image below to save a copy for yourself.
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