Brain-work: The cure for hysteria and other “nervous maladies”

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“Here comes in for consideration the question of ‘overpressure’, a possibility – too serious to be passed over without investigation – which parents naturally dread more for their girls than their boys. In the first place, work, regular disciplinary exercise, is so entirely wholesome for the brain, that girls, even more than boys, should be the better for definite work with a given object. It cannot be too strongly put, that, as a matter of health, growing girls cannot afford to be idle, mentally; it is just as pernicious that they should dawdle through their lessons as that they should lounge through the day. There is no more effectual check to the tendency to hysteria and other nervous maladies common to growing girls than the habit of steady brain-work.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 5, pp. 180, 181)

Editor’s note: The habit of steady brain-work is just as effectual for busy little boys who would otherwise spend their school time giving their parents many “nervous maladies.” Want an example of this? See the link below:

No Spinning?

The method is as old as the mind of man, the distressful fact is that it has been made so little use of in general education…

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“As for all the teaching in the nature of ‘told to the children’, most children get their share of that whether in the infant school or at home, but this is practically outside the sphere of that part of education which demands a conscious mental effort, from the scholar, the mental effort of telling again that which has been read or heard. That is how we all learn, we tell again, to ourselves if need be, the matter we wish to retain, the sermon, the lecture, the conversation. The method is as old as the mind of man, the distressful fact is that it has been made so little use of in general education.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 6, pp. 159, 160)

PS: If you’re interested in learning some practical ways students can study for Charlotte Mason-style dictation passages, have a look at this blog article linked below!

Ways to Study for Charlotte Mason Dictation Passages

Reading must be purposeful!

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“Casual reading – that is, vague reading round a subject without the effort to know – is not in much better case: if we are to read and grow thereby, we must read to know, that is, our reading must be study – orderly, definite, purposeful.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 5, p. 382)

The difference between intelligent reading and cramming

Thinking is inseparable from reading

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“People are naturally divided into those who read and think and those who do not read or think; and the business of schools is to see that all their scholars shall belong to the former class; it is worth while to remember that thinking is inseparable from reading which is concerned with the content of the passage and not merely with the printed matter.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 6, p.31)

The importance of getting nourishment from books

Books alive with thought and feeling

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“Why in the world should we not give children, while they are at school, the sort of books they can live upon; books alive with thought and feeling, and delight in knowledge, instead of the miserable cram-books on which they are starved?”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 5, p. 291)

Caught Between a Textbook and a Living Book