This week for book club we turned to Chapter 2 of the book “For the Children’s Sake” entitled “Children are Born Persons”. The title of the chapter is actually a quote from Charlotte Mason. Right off the bat, Susan Schaeffar Macaulay seeks to impress upon us the importance of this quote and warns us not to just read it and move on, but to consider it. She stresses that “He is a separate human being whose strength lies in who he is, not in who he will become.” (pg 12).
I have to say that this was a very profound statement to read. I was educated in a traditional school system, and I realize after reading this chapter that I need to confront all my ideas about what school is and how it is done. This child is not a pitcher to be filled with ideas that I like. I must first turn to my child: observe him, talk to him, consider him. I need to truly get to know my child. Not just usher him through exercises and daily routines, passing through the day without ever really engaging him.
SSM continues this theme through the rest of the chapter as she helps us understand how we may get to know our children: by reading books with them, by listening to them. She stresses here that we must leave off giving them “twaddle” defined on page 15 as “the mentally inferior and useless stuff produced or written for children by adults.” In contrast, we need to give them books with ‘literary power’ (pg 32). “As for the matter of these books, let us remember that children can take in ideas and principles, whether the latter be moral or mechanical, as quickly and clearly as we do ourselves.” (quote from Charlotte Mason) She warns, though, that “the adult, whether teacher or parent, has to be able to enjoy and understand what he or she is reading with the children.”
She leaves us with this final quote, “Life is just too interesting for boredom!” – page 41
What an encouragement I have found “For the Children’s Sake” to be! I hope you enjoyed this simple narration of Chapter 2 🙂 I realized after reading this chapter that my approach to Chapter 1 with our book club (go here to see that) was a very “traditional” school approach where I was plying my book club friends with questions that I thought up, very much like what SSM warned against in Chapter 2 (page 16).
What did you think of Chapter 2?
I hope you found this helpful.
May God Bless You on Your Walk!