Today I read this words of Charlotte Mason from the Introduction to Vol. 6:
A child requires knowledge as much as he requires food.
He is furnished with the desire for Knowledge, i.e., Curiosity; with the power to apprehend Knowledge, that is, attention; with powers of mind to deal with Knowledge without aid from without––such as imagination, reflection, judgment; with innate interest in all Knowledge that he needs as a human being; with power to retain and communicate such Knowledge; and to assimilate all that is necessary to him.
He requires that in most cases Knowledge be communicated to him in literary form; and reproduces such Knowledge touched by his own personality; thus his reproduction becomes original.
The natural provision for the appropriation and assimilation of Knowledge is adequate and no stimulus is required; but some moral control is necessary to secure the act of attention; a child receives this in the certainty that he will be required to recount what he has read. Children have a right to the best we possess; therefore their lesson books should be, as far as possible, our best books.
They weary of talk, and questions bore them, so that they should be allowed to use their books for themselves; they will ask for such help as they wish for.
As I look back at our just completed school year and I read these words of Miss Mason, I realize that once again I have inserted myself far too much in the process. What is scary about this for me is that I am not allowing James to fully engage with the stories and thus make them his own and learn and retain what *he* needs to learn and retain. I also fear that I have robbed him of a lot of joy that could come from the wonderfully rich stories that we read this year.
These things I must remember —-
- James has the power of mind to deal with the Knowledge without aid from without
- He will reproduce the Knowledge touched by *his own* personality;
- No stimulus is required
- He will ask for such help as he wishes for
If there are any of my readers that have any advice to offer (besides putting duct tape on my big mouth), please feel free to comment.