I recently finished Karen Andreola's A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning. This book was such a lovely introduction to Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is wanting to learn more about her methods.
Anyway, today I had the brilliant idea that just maybe Mrs. Andreola has a blog, and what do you know, Swagbucks pointed me in the right direction. I was trilled to find such a beautiful site, just as inspiring as the book. Visit Karen here.
I recently discovered that there are lectures online from the Childlight USA's Charlotte Mason Education Conference. They can be downloaded to your computer or MP3.
I have only listened to two so far. Maybe I subconsciously assumed that because this was, at least in part, a homeschool conference, the speeches would be less than stellar. (Why do I still have these underlying prejudices?? I AM a homeschool mother. Maybe my own insecurities are bubbling up to the surface?) Let me just tell you, the two speakers I've listened to so far knocked. it. out. of. the. park. These two doctors were very articulate and so interesting that I was sorry when they closed their lectures.
The first lecture I listened to was Dr. John Thorley's "'Science of Relations' vs. 'Examinable Content'" (last one on this page). If you know anything about Charlotte Mason, you'll recognize the phrase "science of relations." Dr. Thorley is from the UK, and with his accent he sketches some of the history of the UK's "state" school system (he explained the difference between that and what are called "public schools" in England). While this may seem like a snore, it was actually quite fascinating. Not only has he taught in the state schools, he has also been a school inspector, and I believe he has also taught in a Charlotte Mason-style college.
The second lecture I listened to at 4:00 this morning (I took a pill with caffeine WAY to late...SO, I worked on a transcription file, took a long bath, read 50 pages from Justin Cronin's The Passage, and STILL couldn't sleep), and despite the exhaustion, I was spellbound through all but the last 10 minutes, when it all caught up with me. I awoke an hour later to find it finished and sleep was no longer a problem!
Anyway, the lecture I am referring to is Dr. Jack Beckman's "The Books that Changed My Life." Anybody who knows me knows reading is a passion of mine, even if I don't have as much time to read as I would like. I love books and I love books about books. Now I've discovered I love Dr. Beckman talking about books! In this lecture, Dr. Beckman presented some of his favorite books and why they have been important to his life. He is a very engaging speaker, and when he read passages aloud, he brought the term "living books" to a whole new level. I couldn't help thinking of you, Aunt Pam, and you, Aunt Ardella, as I listened. You would resonate with his passion for books.
Whether you're a subscriber to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education or no, I have no doubt you would enjoy any of these links. Enjoy!