Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A Month with Charlotte Mason, #30 (On Dandelions)

How are we supposed to end this?

We started with A Leisurely Education. Freedom from the small round of busywork, opportunity to grab hold of something bigger, learning to see ourselves (including our children) more as we are in God's time and in God's universe. Living without futility.

And I'm ending with dandelions.

The Treehouse backyard this week has been covered with yellow dandelions. Much-maligned little flowers that provoke criticism from the neighbours (spraying's in disfavour, but they would like to see us at least hard at work rooting them out). They're not good for much except making more dandelions (okay, I know you can eat them too). The first big batch are either going to seed or were cut off last night with the lawnmower, but they'll be back. [As in, within 24 hours.] Nobody really gets rid of dandelions forever, even if they want to--they're stubborn. And we don't want to get rid of them. In spite of the seasonal allergies kicking in around here, we like our dandelions.


I get the feeling that cultivating a yard full of unfashionable dandelions is somewhat like our approach to education, and maybe our approach to life. This is a time of too many conflicting ideas, at least around lawn care. Lawn spraying is now illegal here (we didn't spray anyway), but people still expect you to have a weed-free, dandelion-free, well-trimmed piece of grass around your house...more or less the same as anyone else's. Educational powers talk about diversity while squeezing out the individual. They dump a lot of fertilizer, if you'll pardon the metaphor, and try to control what grows and what doesn't.

Keep the dandelions growing, if only as a reminder that our natures are stubborn and won't be satisfied with educational sludge. Leave enough room for the intangibles and the poetry--as Cindy said, we can always catch up on grammar later.
A game of romps (better, so far as mere rest goes, than games with laws and competitions), nonsense talk, a fairy tale, or to lie on his back in the sunshine, should rest the child, and of such as these he should have his fill.--Charlotte Mason

4 comments:

Jeanne said...

Thank you so much for an incredible month(ish). This has been a wonderful series.

Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks, Jeanne! I have learned a lot myself.

Javamom said...

I like the metaphor Mama Squirrel. I have missed you! Our second child is now married and I am mostly recovered from her and her hubby's move. Why is that important? Well, I am able to visit my friends' blogs and write a little more once again about my new discoveries and studies.

I hope to see you in September!

Richele said...

My boys present me with a bouquet of dandelions daily. Funny, I didn't mind the fertilizer metaphor either :)

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