Monday, October 30, 2017

Christmas Countdown with Charlotte Mason, Week 5 of 12: Heroes of Faith

8 weeks until Christmas...

Here is this week's passage from Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children, Chapter 26: The Eternal Child

"Children are Objective in Tendency––Now, the tendency of children is to be altogether objective, not at all subjective, and perhaps that is why they are said to be first in the kingdom of heaven. This philosophic distinction is not one which we can put aside as having no bearing on everyday life. It strikes the keynote for the training of children. In proportion as our training tends to develop the subjective principle, it tends to place our children on a lower level of purpose, character, and usefulness throughout their lives; while so far as we develop the objective principle, with which the children are born, we make them capable of love, service, heroism, worship."
In the spirit of Charlotte Mason:

Love, service, heroism, worship: these are the things that education should equip us to be and do. Love must have an object. Heroism includes fighting to save and protect others, with little thought for ourselves. Serving and worship also need someone or something outside ourselves.Were you educated with a view to "developing the objective principle?"

If not, Charlotte Mason suggests finding some little children to hang around with, and taking notes from them. (Something that Jesus also recommended.) 

Things to do this week:

If you don't have children close at hand, maybe this is a week to explore family memories and photographs. Or re-read stored-away books that brought you or your children wonder. (Some of my friends recommend The Christmas Mystery, by Jostein Gaarder.)

What's the big holiday this week that has nothing to do with pumpkins? All Saints' Day, November 1st. When our children were younger, that was the night for good clothes, the lace tablecloth, and an invisible "guest" chosen from Christian history. Such events don't need to be for children only; we continue to remember and honour those who loved, served, worshipped, and acted as heroes of faith.

Do you wear aprons? I hardly ever do at home (what do I do that's so messy?), but they are useful for helping out in the kitchen at church or somewhere, and they're also a good symbol of service. (Or you might just think they look cute.) A few years ago, I helped review a downloadable apron pattern, and while it wasn't hard to make, I was a bit shocked at the amount of new fabric it took. Fortunately there are ways around that, and this video on My Green Closet (starting at the 2:30 mark) shows how to upcycle an existing dress into a useful apron. Or you can use skirts, men's shirts, or old jeans. Tip Junkie has more apron ideas.

I don't know why, but the beginning of November always feels a bit Return-to-Narnian around here. I'm thinking of apples, sausages, and cold forest mornings. There's always the off-chance of a bit of snow, or even a lot of snow by the end of the month. Time to get hats and gloves ready for cold weather.

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