Read Good Books

Find any advice on being a good reader, and you will see good reading being stressed as a requirement. You don’t get good output without good input.

Charlotte Mason said, and I agree, that the mind requires ideas as the body requires food. How do we provide food for our children’s bodies? We serve them plenty of nourishing food, we serve meals regularly. We don’t expect them to just eat whatever they find in a haphazard, careless way. We might study some nutrition so their meals are well-balanced, and we don’t let them spoil their appetites with too many sweets between meals. But what we don’t do is try to digest their food for them first and then serve them pellets of vitamins. We don’t do blood tests at every meal to make sure they absorbed the right nutrients. We don’t put windows on their stomachs so we can examine their digestive processes.
The mind needs regular, healthy meals. Children are born loving to learn. Has anybody ever has to teach a normal child to ask why? of course the child is capable of learning without gimmickry, the same way a child can digest his food without additional supports. The natural hunger of the mind does not need to be tampered with or supplemented unless something is wrong.

What is the proper food for the mind?  Ideas, and Mason said children come into contact with good ideas through reading the best books.  In volume 6, she spend the first half explaining her educational principles and she specifically mentions books over 90 times.  The books are just that important.

Learning is good for the soul.   This is true for children, and it is true for adults as well. Next time you feel frustrated, burnt out, and empty, consider taking a little time to find something good and worthwhile to learn.  It need not be earth-shattering.  Just discover something outside yourself that will feed your mind.


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