Retaining knowledge by “telling again”

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“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. Vol. 6, p. 159-160)

Single readings help build retention

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

A single reading is insisted on, because children have naturally great power of attention; but this force is dissipated by the re-reading of passages, and also, by questioning, summarizing and the like.

Acting upon these and some other points in the behavior of mind, we find that the educability of children is enormously greater than has hitherto been supposed, and is but little dependent on such circumstances as heredity and environment.

Nor is the accuracy of this statement limited to clever children or to children of the educated classes: thousands of children in Elementary Schools respond freely to this method, which is based on the behavior of mind.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 6; Preface to the ‘Home Education’ Series)

The mind is a spiritual organism

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“We hold that the child’s mind is no mere sac to hold ideas; but is rather, if the figure may be allowed, a spiritual organism, with an appetite for all knowledge. This is its proper diet, with which it is prepared to deal; and which it can digest and assimilate as the body does foodstuffs.”

(From the preface to Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 6)

The difference between intelligent reading and cramming

A Charlotte Mason Moment: 

“There is much difference between intelligent reading, which the pupil should do in silence, and a mere parrot-like cramming up of contents; and it is not a bad test of education to be able to give the points of a description, the sequence of a series of incidents, the links in a chain of argument, correctly, after a single careful reading. This is a power which a barrister, a publisher, a scholar, labours [sic] to acquire; and it is a power which children can acquire with great ease, and once acquired, the gulf is bridged which divides the reading from the non-reading community.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 3, p. 180).

The importance of getting nourishment from books

Let the child lie fallow till he is six…

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“Let the child lie fallow till he is six, and then, in this matter of memorising, (sic) as in others, attempt only a little, and let the poems the child learns be simple and within the range of his own thought and imagination. At the same time, when there is so much noble poetry within a child’s compass, the pity of it, that he should be allowed to learn twaddle!”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 1, p. 253)

Does Heart of Dakota follow Charlotte Mason’s approach to learning?