Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Meat for the Mind


I have started reading Charlotte Mason's series on education. After a little research I decided to begin with her sixth volume, A Philosophy of Education. All of her books can be found here. A second hand copy of her complete set was passed on to me for which I am thankful.

Miss Charlotte Mason lived from 1842-1923. She was a British educator who believed, ". . . the function of education is not to give technical skill but to develop a person; the more of a person, the better the work of whatever kind." Vol 6 pg 147

Charlotte Mason presented the theory that "as the body requires wholesome food and cannot nourish itself upon any substance so the mind too requires meat after its kind." Vol 6 pg 5

Charlotte wrote about three instruments of education: Education is an Atmosphere, Education is a Discipline, and Education in a life. The author expounded on the latter instrument by penning these words:

"Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin, and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another, whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony; but we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food. Probably he will reject nine-tenths of the ideas we offer, as he makes use of only a small proportion of his bodily food, rejecting the rest. He is an eclectic; he may choose this or that; our business is to supply him with due abundance and variety and his to take what he needs. Urgency on our part annoys him. He resists forcible feeding and loathes predigested food. What suits him best is pabulum presented in the indirect literary form which Our Lord adopts in those wonderful parables whose quality is that they cannot be forgotten though, while every detail of the story is remembered, its application may pass and leave no trace. We, too, must take this risk." Vol 6 pg 109

I was further challenged by this thought . . .

"It is well we should recognise that the business of education is with us all our lives, that we must always go on increasing our knowledge." Vol 6 pg 54

It is so important to keep our own minds fed. How can we feed our children's minds if we neglect our own. The same applies in our walk with the Lord. How can we 'train' our own children into a relationship with God if we are neglecting our own relationship with Him?

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