Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival: Aspects of Moral Training

Welcome to another edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival.  We are working through the third volume of the Home Education Series,  School Education, and this installment introduces Chapter 12: "Some unconsidered aspects of moral training."  "It is time we set ourselves seriously to this work of moral education which is to be done, most of all, by presenting the children with high ideals."

I found it interesting that the last time we hosted this carnival, last spring, the theme was "The Way of the Will," an idea closely related to this chapter.  From the introduction to that carnival: "Using our wills, making choices, and communicating those ideas to our children, gives us a different and deeper perspective on our teaching, on our parenting, and even on the problems we face ourselves."  Moral training is also about passing on certain ideas of character, authority, and duty: recognizing them "as universal and inevitable in the moral world as is that of gravitation in the physical."  If I jump from a tree, I'll fall to the ground; if I defy the necessity of moral authority, I will likewise cause myself unnecessary pain.  But, Miss Mason says, those natural laws are there to protect children (and parents) rather than to enslave them or terrify them (or us).

All that said, it is sometimes hard to know when to hold the boundaries, and when to let them go, especially if we get the pouty bat face.

And here is a bit of Charlotte Mason humour from Chapter 12:  "An educated conscience is a far rarer possession than we imagine; we are all startled now and then by the laxities of right-minded neighbours in matters the right and wrong of which is patent to ourselves; but probably our own moral eccentricities are equally startling to our friends."

Is there any way for us to become a little less startling to each other?  That is, although we're all beautifully unique, it would help if we had a major common source of inspiration on these things, and maybe a few backups.  Charlotte Mason agrees that "that most delicate and beautiful of human possessions, an educated conscience, comes only by teaching with authority and adorning by example."  Her main source of character training is the Bible; but she also recognizes the value of literary examples such as poetry.

And with that, we turn it over to you.

Letters from Nebby presents How to Raise Moral Children. "Charlotte rejects this sort of relativism and argues instead that there is an obedience that we owe to God as His creatures. But her point is not just that we must make our children obey but that we ourselves are also under authority and have limits upon their authority..."
School Days Scrapbook presents Morals Do Not Come By Nature. "She asserts that it's not about rules, but rather about principles, that God's law surrounds us and influences us like gravity. It's not an arbitrary,  man-made set of rules, but truths and principles based on true reality given by the designer of us and our world Himself for our benefit."

Dewey' Treehouse muses on early Brownie influence in To Do My Duty (Charlotte Mason and Moral Training).

Also on the subject of moral training, Aut-2-B-Home in Carolina presents Learning from Whales and Other Inspiring Ideas.

Fisher Academy International offers a literary example from Sir Gibbie in Pre-requisite to Moral Training

Sage Parnassus presents a Commonplace Entry.

Education is a Life presents Charlotte Mason Reading Journal: Not a "Pope."

Afterthoughts presents Helping Your Children Become More Independent: Independence in Writing.

On her math blog, Rarefied, Tammy Glaser presents On the Edge of Competency.

Joyous Lessons presents Nature Study Outing: Spring on the Way.

Umm Safufa presents Nature Study Therapy.

All Things Bright and Beautiful presents a post about their term's artist, Jacob Van Ruysdael.

And one final thought from Charlotte:
"Moral habits, the way to form them and the bounden duty of every parent to send children into the world with a good outfit of moral habits, is a subject so much to the front in our thoughts, that I need not dwell further upon it here. The moral impulse having been given by means of some such inspiring idea as we have considered, the parent's or teacher's next business is to keep the idea well to the front, with tact and delicacy, and without insistence, and to afford apparently casual opportunities for moral effort on the lines of the first impulse."

(The next CM Blog Carnival will be posted on March 25th, at The Winding Ascent.)


Nancy said...

Thank you for all your hard work in putting this together! The offerings look thoughtful and I look forward to reading each of them.

Hope you are well and can detect a sign of spring or two.


Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks, Nancy! We had (comparatively) mild and sunny weather today, with snow sliding off our roof (loudly!). BUT there is a snowstorm predicted for tonight. Have to hang in there a bit longer for spring.

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