This is, briefly, how it works:––
A child is a Person with the spiritual requirements and capabilities of a person.
Knowledge 'nourishes' the mind as food nourishes the body.
A child requires knowledge as much as he requires food.
He is furnished with the desire for Knowledge, i.e., Curiosity; with the power to apprehend Knowledge, that is, attention; with powers of mind to deal with Knowledge without aid from without––such as imagination, reflection, judgment; with innate interest in all Knowledge that he needs as a human being; with power to retain and communicate such Knowledge; and to assimilate all that is necessary to him.
He requires that in most cases Knowledge be communicated to him in literary form; and reproduces such Knowledge touched by his own personality; thus his reproduction becomes original.
The natural provision for the appropriation and assimilation of Knowledge is adequate and no stimulus is required; but some moral control is necessary to secure the act of attention; a child receives this in the certainty that he will be required to recount what he has read. Children have a right to the best we possess; therefore their lesson books should be, as far as possible, our best books.
They weary of talk, and questions bore them, so that they should be allowed to use their books for themselves; they will ask for such help as they wish for.
They require a great variety of knowledge,––about religion, the humanities, science, art; therefore, they should have a wide curriculum, with a definite amount of reading set for each short period of study.
The teacher affords direction, sympathy in studies, a vivifying word here and there, help in the making of experiments, etc., as well as the usual teaching in languages, experimental science and mathematics.
Pursued under these conditions, "Studies serve for delight," and the consciousness of daily progress is exhilarating to both teacher and children.
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Series v6p18-19
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CM Series: Vol.6 pg.300ff
PR Article: The Open Road