Why I Love Charlotte Mason’s Education

I still thrill to this passage as much now as the first time I read it over two decades ago:

“A Captain Idea for us,––Education is the Science of Relations.––A child should be brought up to have relations of force with earth and water, should run and ride, swim and skate, lift and carry; should know texture, and work in material; should know by name, and where and how they live at any rate, the things of the earth about him, its birds and beasts and creeping things, its herbs and trees; should be in touch with the literature, art and thought of the past and the present I do not mean that he should know all these things; but he should feel, when he reads of it in the newspapers, the thrill which stirred the Cretan peasants when the frescoes in the palace of King Minos were disclosed to the labour of their spades. He should feel the thrill, not from mere contiguity, but because he has with the past the relationship of living pulsing thought; and, if blood be thicker than water, thought is more quickening than blood. He must have a living relationship with the present, its historic movement, its science, literature, art, social needs and aspirations. In fact, he must have a wide outlook, intimate relations all round; and force, virtue, must pass out of him, whether of hand, will, or sympathy, wherever he touches. This is no impossible programme. Indeed it can be pretty well filled in by the time an intelligent boy or girl has reached the age of thirteen or fourteen; for it depends, not upon how much is learned, but upon how things are learned.”

From volume 3

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3 Comments

  1. Frances
    Posted December 21, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    No disagreement here, but what does she mean by “A Captain Idea”?

  2. Headmistress
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    a guiding principle, a leading idea in Education, which sort of ties together the rest, or the sort of thing where you start in the right place so that one idea leads to another. She got the notion from something Coleridge wrote, but I forget exactly what at the moment.

  3. Headmistress
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

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