Welcome back to week 4 of the Charlotte Mason Home Education Read Along. This week we will cover pages 17-19, Despising the Children. Let’s get to it!
Despising the children
We are reading pages 17-19 of the Home Education Volume in the Original Charlotte Mason Home Schooling Series. (the pink books)
Children should have the best of their mothers
” “Despise: to have a low opinion of, to undervalue” — thus the dictionary; and, as a matter of fact, however much we may delight in them, we grown-up people have far too low an opinion of children.”
Charlotte’s bluntness is refreshing! She makes it clear that, while she is not fully against the hiring of nursemaids to care for the children, children should have the mother’s “freshest, brightest hours” and that mothers should carefully watch over her children’s early years, including the type of nurse she employs. While most of us today don’t hire outsiders to care for our children as they did back in Ms. Mason’s time, we can exercise wisdom in what type of influences are in our children’s lives, from entertainment, to friends, to the types of activities they are involved in. But the most important, I think, is the type of influence WE are in our children’s lives. If we value them as we SAY we do, then we would offer them the very best of ourselves always. Failing to do so is an act of ‘despising’.
I like the quote where Charlotte says “He knows better, it is true, but then he does not trust his intuitions; he shapes his life on any pattern set before him, and with the faint of human nature upon him he is more ready to imitate a bad pattern than a good.” The depth of this truth sobers me. I have seen this happen with my own children when I wasn’t watchful over them as I should have been. And, really, it happens with all of us, no matter our age, but children’s hearts are so very pliable and they lack the maturity to discern as we do.
Children’s Faults are serious
This section is hard for many mother of young children to accept, but it is still a necessary teaching. We should not ‘wink’ at or dismiss our children’s wrongdoings. They should be corrected at the first sign. What I love about this section most is that Charlotte points out that this is for the benefit of, not just the child’s character, the mother’s peace also! We make our job SO much harder in the future by not addressing offending behavior in our children now and by not being consistent in our discipline. Any older mother will tell you from experience that this is true! As Ms. Mason says:
To laugh at ugly tempers and let them pass because the child is small, is to sow to the wind.
What is YOUR takeaway from this week’s reading on Despising the Children? Don’t forget to download this week’s questions below!
If you are wondering where all the posts in this series are, you can find them and the printable organized at the end of THIS POST. If you are interested in a Charlotte mason “curriculum”, our favorite resource is Ambleside Online.
See you next week!