Charlotte Mason’s 16th Principle says this:
There are two guides to moral and intellectual self-management to offer to children, which we may call ‘the way of the will’ and ‘the way of the reason.’
If education was only about subject matter, Miss Mason’s principles would have stopped at 15. She goes on to 20 because knowing history, science, and math isn’t the whole story. To Charlotte Mason, education was about character.
We can’t just waltz into a room and form a child’s character. And even if we could, character has to be maintained well after childhood, which is a small fraction of a lifetime. This is why Miss Mason instructs us to offer these guides; the children need to be prepared to manage without us.
My question upon reading this principle for the first time was how to do this. How do I pass on something that I don’t have and don’t even really understand? The answer is that I can’t. I can’t pass on to my children something I don’t possess (unless I hire a tutor, but you can’t really hire a character tutor).
We have to grab hold of the guides for ourselves, learn to walk in their ways, and then we will be in a better place to bequeath them to our offspring.
This fall, we’re going to spend six weeks diving deeply into the two ways. Even then, we will not have read all there is to read, or pondered all there is to ponder. But that speaks only to the depth of the pool we’re swimming in, not the refreshing power of the water.
In the upcoming autumn session of Deep Dive, we’re going to learn about these guides, think about how to follow them, start submitting to this wisdom and, yes, even begin passing them on to our own children.
This is for more advanced students. If you have never studied Charlotte Mason’s basic principles, this session is not for you (wait until next time we do a Charlotte Mason Boot Camp and start there). But if you’ve got some basics under your belt and are ready to explore the deep end, I invite you to join us for a refreshing swim. It’s time to go deeper.
Don’t wait to register! Doors open today and close on Saturday night. Introductions start right away and the session begins in earnest on Monday morning.
I hope you join us for good reading and delightful conversation as we dive deeply into Charlotte Mason’s two ways.
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