[I]t is not too much to say that a parent who does not follow reasonably a method of education, fully thought out, fails--now, more than ever before--to fulfil the claims his children have upon him. (page 8)
With some of the generous birthday money from my parents and parents-in-law, I finally purchased the complete set of Charlotte Mason's writings. I decided to buy this set, but they are indeed bare bones. I think the books you can buy separately look like a nicer edition.
I'm hoping to keep myself at a slow pace so I have time to really soak in what I'm reading so I've decided to post a bit now and then as I go along. I'm even (shock! horror!) underlining passages (in pencil, of course).
So far, I'm about ten pages into her "Preliminary Considerations" of Home Education and am so glad I made this purchase!
She says we should aim for:
the preparation of the child to take his place in the world at his best, with every capacity for good that is in him developed into a power. (page 9)
I am pleased to find Ms. Mason begins her work with a discussion of the goals of education. She hasn't made any mention yet of preparing our children to work in the world (though we should do so, of course). It's about helping our children find the talents God has given them, the sparks of virtue, and guiding them as they develop those virtues, including those habits that promote learning at all ages.
She has also already mentioned the "relationships" that constitute learning: relating what we are currently hearing or reading to that which is already known. It makes sense to me that making those connections helps place new knowledge within a context and therefore increases our ability to remember and apply what is presented.
I am reading an article for work now about Habits of Mind that, though written from the perspective of higher education institutions on the preparation of students for college, sounds remarkably like Charlotte Mason's writings. If only I believed high schools would listen...
You can also read all the original writings online. Here's Home Education, and here's a page with links to all six volumes.