In this chapter Charlotte discusses some basics related to teaching English, French & Latin. She states that it is better that a child should begin with a sentence and not with the parts of speech, that is, he should learn a little of what is called analysis before he learns to parse. Or said even more simply, he should learn to get the gist of things before being bogged down with the nitty gritty.
The basic method she mentions is listening with narration, other activities being added along the way. When it does come to parsing, much of the grammar of each language seems to be picked up through narration and/or pointed out naturally at first, advancing in detail with further learning. The teaching of these multiple languages seems to correlate and so contribute to the mastery of comprehension and grammar of all.
Which seems absolutely brilliant to me as I have seen the beauty of that correlation and contribution in teaching my own kids. Teaching Latin and a foreign language at the same time as going over the basics of English grammar, around year 5 or 6 I about shouted out loud as I saw all the lights come on. VERY fun.
Also not surprisingly, we once again find attention a major power in education, especially in acquiring a new language:
"This hitherto unused power of concentrated attention in the study of languages whether ancient or modern appears to hold promise of making us at last a nation of linguists." Vol. 6, pg. 213I was encouraged by the simplicity of lessons described in the chapter. While I think she left a lot unsaid, I do think the simplicity shouldn't be compromised. Based on what I've learned from past attempts and in the mean time, I'm looking forward to improving the aspect of language development around here. ;) To read more of CM's own words, click here.
This has been another 'thinking out loud' post, along the lines of chapter 10, section II:II of CM's Homeschooling Series, Volume 6, Towards a Philosophy of Education. Did you know that the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is going through this volume systematically? Interested? Check out recent posts and the schedule for future posts here.