Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Month with Charlotte Mason, #8

Now all that we have said about habits and so on is really important and key to understanding Charlotte Mason, but in all this we’re still missing something basic, and this is one of the most important things to teach: the love of learning. “How much does he care?” Charlotte Mason asked.

Here are some easy ways to kill someone’s love of learning:

1. Never give kids anything more interesting than technical exercises and drills.

2. Don’t let them think their work is really important (John Taylor Gatto)

3. or that whether they do it well really matters.

4. Compare them with each other frequently

5. Make them go over all their mistakes, and confuse them by letting them see wrong sums and spellings as much as the correct ones.

So how do we encourage that love of learning? How do we bring the children into our schola, and make them want to come back for more?

Charlotte Mason said that we want to motivate children to continue learning by allowing them to see the learning landscape or “vista” before them, an opportunity spread out but not discouragingly vast. They need to get the sense that they are getting somewhere, that they are able to solve problems and think through answers, and that they want to know more and do more.

“In other words, he learns as his elders elect to learn for themselves, though they rarely allow the children to tread in paths so pleasant.” Ouch?

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