Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ramblings from a Charlotte Mason meeting

"There is no escape for us, no short cut; art is long, especially the art of living." ( pg 315)

This was one of my favorite quotes for this evening's reading. "the art of living". We are living! We are God's masterpiece and he is still painting our life story as we live. We are HIS art. We cannot escape the master's hands. 

My next favorite quote here in the paraphrased version from page 326, Charlotte Mason is adding to her definition of what Knowledge is:

"The message we really need is, 'With all that is in you, get understanding.' In one sense, understanding is an active thing that the conscious mind does to assimilate knowledge. And that's relative--the mind can't do that if it hasn't already acted on the intellectual food that was presented to it. The Gospels keep repeating the poignant question, 'Why won't you understand?' This is what's wrong with our nation--we don't understand. I'm not just talking about ignorant people. Even educated men and women use erroneous arguments, rely on prejudices instead of principles, and mistake cliches for ideas. Perhaps these failures aren't ignorance so much as insincerity. But insincerity is a result of ignorance. Darkened intelligence can't see clearly. 'It's as bright as day for those who know,' but knowing doesn't come easily for those who 'cram to pass tests instead of to really learn,' as Ruskin says."

The scripture that kept coming to mind in reading these pages was Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Over and over CM was trying to make the reader understand what TRUE knowledge is and Proverbs 9:10 kept resounding in my mind. The Holy Spirit is the one who tells us what to learn and "know". 

Do we as homeschooling moms remember how important it is to let the Spirit of God teach our kids? It is our duty to present to our children great works of art, nature, literature, poetry, mathematics, biographies, science, music and history. 

But it is not our job to digest this knowledge for them. When we present this information to our babies, are we digesting it for them or are we stepping aside and allowing God's Spirit to come forth and nurture that seed we planted? Are we letting the Spirit make this written work become "knowledge and truth" to them? OR are we pre-digesting the information for them? True knowledge has to come from The Spirit according to Proverbs. We cannot be the Holy Spirit to our kids!

I used an example of vitamins in food we eat. My body might need vitamin c and your body might need more vitamin A. When you digest the food your body will take the proper amount of vitamins that it needs, whereas my body will take what it needs. Our needs are not the same! The same is true for our learning. Who are we to pre-digest the food for our kids and tell them what they should have learned from a lesson? Are we stepping aside and letting God speak to the heart and mind of our child? What does that look like? How do we do that?

I am learning so much from reading Charlotte Mason's books. She does such a wonderful job explaining how to do this. Thank you all for participating in this learning adventure with me!

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