Emily and I love talking about great ideas, and inevitably, those ideas become new adventures. Saying that one thing leads to another is a huge understatement, but here we go again with the next one.
When we opened the library, we desired to share great books with other homeschoolers and doing that led to realizing that we needed to teach on the use of those living books. That, ultimately, meant that we began holding short seminars to share what we were learning about Charlotte Mason and implementing her methods in our home. Soon this venture led us to join a local Mason support group, which is where we met many other friends also learning about this method, including Nicole Williams (www.sabbath-mood-homeschool.com) with whom we drove to our first Charlotte Mason I Institute conference. There, we received strong encouragement to continue library work and Mason instruction, and made even more friends.
Thus, life expands exponentially. In the following years we began this website to share with even more new friends about living books, private library work, and, of course, Ms. Mason's ideas. Nicole also launched a website for sharing with others about her Mason journey, which, due to her natural affinity with nature and science, led her to further illuminations about teaching those subjects, as well as to share the practical planning and organizational tips she had learned through researching Mason's schools.
Our large local Mason support group has since divided into three groups, two of which are led by Nicole and me. Bear in mind, that all this time, we have valiantly been attempting to continue to grow in our faithfulness to our own teaching of our children. Emily married and rapidly joined us; her two little boys 19 and 2 months old, join us at our monthly natural history club outings, come to our discussion groups,and work in the library. This fall, Nicole volunteered to lend a hand in the library (see next week's post on that development in the library). Needless to say, the three of us have bounced ideas back and forth, pestered one another with questions, and just generally have a grand time exploring the practical side of putting Mason's principles to work.
Through the library and our growing acquaintance with other families in the greater Mason community, we are increasingly made aware of the need for more understanding of a Charlotte Mason education. At times, we are burdened because the requests for help that come to each of us become overwhelming. We wish we could help each one personally.
Which is precisely the reason we are taking yet another step. Starting this Friday (October 2nd) we hope to let you and your friends eavesdrop on our conversations and join us in thinking about working out a CM education as we make weekly podcasts available to you! Our prayer is that through this new podcast, the souls of children will be awakened to the knowledge of God, knowledge of man, and the knowledge of the universe in an appetizing way, and that this generation of teachers of those children will find joy in serving.
Listen in, join the conversation, share these ideas with your friends, and continue your own understanding of Mason's method along with us. Education, after all, is not school, but a life, and life has a way of growing and spreading.
"For knowledge is delectable," Mason writes, and "The work of education is greatly simplified when we realize that children, apparently all children, want to know all human knowledge; they have an appetite for what is put before them, and, knowing this, our teaching becomes buoyant with the courage of our convictions." (Toward a Philosophy of Education)
For the joy of reading,