Do you like imaginary food?
Or paper pizza, playdough cookies, and lime punch made from a half-melted candle. Such food is fun for dolls. It made a great New Year's party for Dollygirl's dolls. But human beings certainly couldn't make a meal of it.
And if it doesn’t work? Then, says Charlotte Mason, our error "is rather want of confidence in children.”
The teacher “bores his scholars with much talk.” We show them too many pictures. We try to read between the lines for them. We try to learn for them.
"This is how any child's mind works, and our concern is not to starve these fertile intelligences. They must have food in great abundance and variety." We need to provide intellectual meat: "History must afford its pageants, science its wonders, literature its intimacies, philosophy its speculations, religion its assurances to every man, and his education must have prepared him for wanderings in these realms of gold." And real art: "pictures by great artists old and new....Perhaps we might secure at least a hundred lovely landscapes too,––sunsets, cloudscapes, starlight nights." "To hear children of the slums 'telling' King Lear or Woodstock, by the hour if you will let them, or describing with minutest details Van Eyck's Adoration of the Lamb or Botticelli's Spring, is a surprise, a revelation. We take off our shoes from off our feet; we 'did not know it was in them,' whether we be their parents, their teachers or mere lookers-on. And with some feeling of awe upon us we shall be the better prepared to consider how and upon what children should be educated."
That's her teaser for the next chapter. How and upon what? If textbooks, lectures, and our own good intentions are so much paper pizza, then what is the real food we should be serving?