Bill St. Cyr's blog

The Authority of Parents and Teachers

Authority is neither harsh nor indulgent. She is gentle and easy to be entreated in all matters immaterial, just because she is immovable in matters of real importance; for these, there is always a fixed principle. It does not, for example, rest with parents and teachers to dally with questions affecting either the health or the duty of their children. They have no authority to allow to children indulgences––in too many sweetmeats, for example––or in habits which are prejudicial to health; nor to let them off from any plain duty of obedience, courtesy, reverence, or work.

Liberty or License

The anarchist, the man who claims to live without rule, to be a law unto himself, is in reality the slave to certain illogical formulae, … In like manner, the mother does not always perceive that, when she gives her child leave to do things forbidden, to sit up half an hour beyond his bed-time, not to do geography or Latin because he hates that subject, to have a second or third helping because he likes the pudding, she is taking from the child the wide liberty of impersonal law and imposing upon him her own ordering, which is, in the last resort, the child

Building Joy

In the six volumes of her Home Education Series, Charlotte Mason speaks of joy over 270 times.  This is not surprising, for the consistent experience of joy is essential to a child's well-being. Through experience, parents and teachers know how difficult it is to help the sullen child move forward. Ms. Mason would take it a step farther, arguing that “The happiness of the child is the condition of his progress.” Thus, “his lessons should be joyous and that occasions of friction in the schoolroom are greatly to be deprecated.” 

What is in the Air?

Ideas may invest as an atmosphere, rather than strike as a weapon. The idea may exist in a clear, distinct, definite form, as that of a circle in the mind of a geometrician; or it may be a mere instinct, a vague appetency towards something, . . . like the impulse which fills the young poet's eyes with tears, he knows not why: To excite this 'appetency towards something'––towards things lovely, honest, and or good report, is the earliest and most important ministry of the educator. (Charlotte Mason)

Speaking of God

 

“Do not talk down to children.”
 

To a prior generation, the religious education of children consisted of indoctrination and memorization. Today, it’s likely to be silly games, treats, and a video of animated Bible stories. Our children are sold short. An insightful hearing of Scripture, a delight in the Creator, a deep communion with the living God, all are deemed beyond a child’s capacity or interest.

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