Friday, March 22, 2013

The Season for Reading

Winter seems a bit reluctant to let go its grip this year. At the very season when we hope to be getting moving, yearning to burst out from the drag of dull winter sameness, much like the buds we are longing to see burst into flower, we are thwarted by early spring snowstorms and lingering bitter chill. Tending to children's lessons can be tedious at this point and even the most contented souls long for some new and fresh breeze to blow through the cobwebs in our minds.

Dare I suggest turning to a book? That is probably what you are weary of at this time of year. Still, a mother recently wrote to tell me of the fresh energy she was receiving from getting rolling with my reading challenge of a few weeks ago. That list of ten books included some fun reading and some informative reading. I recently ran across this quote of Charlotte Mason and thought her exhortation to her student teachers was  apt for all of us who are so often surrounded by children studying, but prone to neglect the habit of study ourselves:

Charlotte Mason wrote to “My dear ‘Bairns’” after she had left the College in 1895: 

“Where shall we get new ideas? ... READ, not only in the Book, which one cannot read without life-giving thoughts, but almost any good book , poetry, biography, history, essays, ‘good’ novels—all supply our need. …..Never be without a  good book at hand. If you find yourself sinking to a dull commonplace level, with nothing particular to say, the reason is you are not reading, and therefore, not thinking...one other little word of counsel –STUDY. I know that all GOOD TEACHERS have some study each day in preparing for the next day’s work, but besides this study, add two or three subjects definitely on your own account. Do not think this is a selfish thing to do, because the advantage does not end with yourself. Every hour of definite study enriches your mind and increases your power, so that, the more you study in your spare time, the more there is in you to bestow upon your pupils.”
--The Story of Charlotte Mason, p.161-2.

So I encourage you not just to help your children persevere to the end of this school year, but kindle some fresh ideas of your own through your own book pursuits, and you will be nourished within, have something fresh to offer others, and feel rejuvenated yourself. 

For the joy of reading,

Liz

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