This year we will finish our study of Volume 3, School Education.
We meet monthly to Explore, Experience and Express the principles and methods of a Charlotte Mason educational lifestyle in a relational setting.
…the stream can rise no higher than the source,…sound theory must underlie successful work… CM Vol. 3, pg 45
…but the answer cannot be give in the form of ‘Do’ this and that, but rather as an invitation to ‘Consider’ this and that; action follows when we have thought duly. CM, Vol. 6, pg 24
Through reading and discussion, we will explore the writings of Charlotte Mason from her six-volume homeschooling series and other articles and books written about her work.
Our current book study:
- School Education, Volume 3 of the Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason.
…[teachers] must teach from a flowing stream, not from a stagnant pool. Professor W.G. de Burgh said of CM’s teachers at the Conference held in memory of Charlotte Mason, 1923.
To take part in Mother Culture is to feed herself with the Word of God, with ideas from books, nature, art, music, etc., taking care to keep growing spiritually and mentally. Karen Andreola, Moments With Mother Culture blog.
Mothers are persons, too and the cultivation of the life of the mind does not end with the closing of childhood. A mother owes it to her own well-being to nourish herself. As her healthy lifestyle spills over into the home atmosphere, her enthusiasm and the example she sets will inspire those around her.
Through directly immersing ourselves in Mother Culture  at each meeting, we will (1) experience first-hand CM’s applied philosophy and methods at work. But, perhaps, even more importantly, we will (2) tend to the personal growth of the mother/teacher by offering a set time and program once a month for the life of her mind.
This year, our Mother Culture time will include Architecture and Science.
- Architecture Study – We will take an ‘Artist Study’ approach to the study of Architecture, tracing out the life and works of Charles Bulfinch, America’s first native-born architect..
- Science – Reading and narrating from The Wave Watcher’s Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, we will be introduced to the physics of waves.
We all have need to be trained to see, and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life. CM, Vol. 4, pg 43
…no teaching, no information becomes knowledge to any of us until the individual mind has acted upon it, translated it, transformed it, absorbed it, to reappear, like our bodily food, in forms of vitality. Therefore, teaching, talk and tale, however lucid or fascinating, effect nothing until self-activity be set up; that is, self-education is the only possible education. CM, Vol. 6, pg 240 [emphasis added]
Miss Mason had her students practice the art of Keeping : a form of self-activity whereby through prolonged attention, her students performed the act of self-education, of making what they had encountered their very own.
We will narrate all our readings, keep a commonplace book for Volume 3, and a science notebook for physics.
Indirectly, the practice of these ‘forms of vitality’ in our meetings will also help us to observe and better understand the methods Miss Mason advocated.
 The term “Mother Culture” appears first to surface in relation to Charlotte Mason in an article in The Parents’ Review, the journal of the Parents’ National Educational Union (PNEU) – Mother Culture by A. Volume 3, No. 2, 1892/3, pgs 92-95. Karen Andreola made popular this concept in her book, A Charlotte Mason Companion and her blog Moments with Mother Culture.
 Laurie Bestvater, in her book, The Living Page, employs the term Keeping to distinguish the practice of notebooking employed by Mason and her students from the current concept popular in homeschooling circles. For more information regarding Keeping, refer to Bestvater’s book, to an article with free resources by Jen Mackintosh or follow along with Celeste in the monthly link-up, Keeping Company.