"Now, that work which is of most importance to society is the bringing-up and instruction of the children - in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more than anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman. It is a great thing to be a parent : there is no promotion, no dignity, to compare with it. The parents of but one child may be cherishing what shall prove a blessing to the world. But then, entrusted with such a charge, they are not free to say 'I may do as I will with mine own.' The children are, in truth, to be regarded less as personal property than as public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the very most of them for the good of society. And, this responsibility is not equally divided between the parents : it is upon the mothers of the present that the future of the world depends, in even a greater degree than upon the fathers, because it is the mothers who have the sole direction of the child's early, most impressionable years. This is why we hear so frequently of great men who had good mothers - that is, mothers who brought up their children themselves, and did not make over their gravest duty to indifferent persons." Charlotte Mason, 1893, "Home Education", pages 1 & 2.
Written over one hundred years ago, can the words of this little-known British educator and philosopher have an effect upon our lives today? Does she have anything to say about a new perspective, or at least a different one, a new way to educate our children and live our lives? I am greatly interested in this question. I invite you to follow me as I examine her.
For example, this paragraph, the second in her first book, already raises some questions. Who gave the children to the parents in the first place, and for whom should they be raised? Society? Or God? Charlotte lived during a period of social and religious examination; her terms and her understanding may not be the same as ours. Yet, I will not discard all simply because I disagree with her view that religion will save society. Many good people today hold the same opinion. Instead, I wish to focus upon the influence of home and training, of education upon character, and upon the best method of shaping that influence.
Lynn B Hocraffer
Go To The No-Frames Charlotte Mason Study Loop Homepage.
This site will continue to hold my own notes, essays, and collection of information. Use the links below to navigate this site, and use your 'Back" button to return here. All material on this site or posted to the list discussions should be considered copyrighted, so please ask before you forward or publish it elsewhere (though of course quoting in private posts is fine, just be sure to credit the author.)
CM Notes Frames Version of this site
Popcorn & Peanuts Our Family Homepage
Announcements Personal Announcemnts
Current Studies The Current Studies of the CMason Study Loop, some of which I write.
Some Past Topics of the CMason Study Loop.
Garden of My Friends and Links Personal friends, and quite a few other Charlotte Mason sites.
CM High School My personal essays and research on high school the CM way.
Seashell Math Sample lesson and discussion of how we learned to do Math the CM way.
Quotes from "The Story of Charlotte Mason" A few favorite quotes and passages I refer to in other studies, from Essex Cholmondeley's 1960 biography.
Popcorn & Peanuts Resource Pages Table of Education links, by subject and sometimes age.
Booklists Our favorite books, arranged by age, grade, and sometimes by topic.
Essay Links Want to find all the essays on this site? Table of Contents.
Is Charlotte Mason Unschooling? Essay on Unschooling.
Holiday Stress Busters My Christmas page, with a collection of stress-busters that work for any season.
"Saviour of the World" Charlotte Marie Mason's 6 Volume poetry series, a Gospel in Verse. My personal Books Online project.
"Meet the Lady" My personal outline study through the Original Home Schooling Series.
"Charlotte Mason Education" notes My personal study notes of Catherine Levison's book, including many essays by my friends Sheila and Cindy, and a few of my own.
"For the Children's Sake" notes My friend Cindy's, and my own, personal study notes of the popular book by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
"Study Guide" notes My personal study notes of the OHSS using Penny Gardner's book.
If you need any of the Charlotte Mason books or other materials being discussed, you will find where to order them on
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