Eternal Father, you inspired the Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, to
visit Elizabeth and assist her in her need. Keep us open to the working
of your Spirit, and with Mary may we praise you for ever. We ask this
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Today is Mary Beth's name day. When I was very sick and undergoing radiation treatments, there was just enough time alone on the table to say three Hail Marys and then to beg the intercession of St. Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. I asked her to please pray that God would make me, too, a "joyful mother of children." And in that brief time, I promised to name my first daughter for the Blessed Mother and St. Elizabeth. This is such a beautiful feast: a celebration of expectant motherhood and an exhortation to ministry. And my daughter, who is named for this special friendship, is the embodiment of those virtues of gentle nurturing and selfless charity. She is an answer to my most fervent prayers and a true joy! Do read Caryll Houselander's meditation on the Visitation.
As promised, I'm going to wonder aloud with you this summer over some of the offerings at Simply Charlotte Mason. All my downloads are printed and tidy in a pretty new binder, so I'm ready to go! I'd like to start with the free e-book Education Is... before moving on to Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habit Handbook.
Education Is is a quick read and wonderful introduction or reminder of the essence of Charlotte Mason. Charlotte Mason was a British woman of the last century who founded the House of Education in Ambleside, England, in the beautiful Lake District. She was born in 1842, an Anglican woman and a pioneer in educational reform. She founded the Parents National Educational Union (PNEU), perhaps the first homeschool support group ever. She seemed to love mottoes, and her motto for the parents of the PNEU was Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. She wrote volumes about the three educational instruments: the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and presentation of living ideas. All three components are integral to the healthy growth and development of a child:
Think about it. If we give our children only the atmosphere in our homes, they
will learn only what we already know, and our focus may turn to events and activities
at the expense of teaching our children how to think and read for instruction
However, if we give them only the discipline of habits, they will have good
character but will be lacking in mental development.
And if we give them only academics, we might very well raise smart delinquents
or, at the very least, burden our children with intellectual exhaustion. All three
components of Charlotte’s three-pronged approach are vital in the education of our
Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life. What a well-balanced, all-around
approach! ~Education Is...
Charlotte Mason asserted that children are educated by their intimacies. That makes infinite good sense, doesn't it? Children learn from who and what they hold close.
The goal of such an education is to surround the child with noble people and books and other things with which to form relationships. For a Catholic parent, the first intimacy we want for our children is a true personal friendship with the Lord. All our educating is directed to that end.
We also recognize that the child living in a home that is also his "school" will form very close relationships with his parents and siblings. It is these relationships that we pray about unceasingly. We endeavor to be good examples and mentors. We want strong. loving bonds between siblings. Despite our inadequacies, we strive in our homes to emulate the Holy Family.
The child will also have intimacies with literature and nature and music and art. With an eye toward the ultimate goal, only the finest of these are set before the child. Children need the time and space to meet fine ideas and to make them their own. The atmosphere of the home and, indeed, of the child's entire environment can be ordered towards the purpose of presenting living ideas. ~Real Learning
In Education Is we consider six particular thoughts on atmosphere:
1. Children should grow up in a natural home setting, not an artificial, adapted "child environment."
Before the Montessorians start throwing tomatoes, please consider that Miss Mason meant that "we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to a 'child's level.'" She was not writing to parents in the slums of Italy where Maria Montessori founded her Casa de Bambini. she wasnot seeking to correct severe developmental and educational delays. She was addressing the parents in nineteenth century England who were likely to tuck their children away in a fully appointed nursery with a governess, far from the comings and goings of family life--far from the intimacies which should educate the child.
2. Character traits can be learned through the atmosphere of the home.
We will discuss this at great length when we fully explore the discipline of habits, but it only makes sense that children learn a great deal through imitating the life of virtue that should be readily apparent in the actions of their parents. And that keys into:
3. We must be careful how we live, because our children will pick up attitudes and ideas from us that will affect them the rest of their lives.
How shall these indefinite ideas which manifest themselves in appetency be imparted? They are not to be given of set purpose, nor taken at set times. They are held in that thought environment which surrounds the child as an atmosphere, which he breathes as his breath of life; and this atmosphere in which the child inspires his unconscious ideas of right living emanates from his parents. Every look of gentleness and tone of reverence, every word of kindness and act of help, passes into the thought-environment, the very atmosphere which the child breathes; he does not think of these things, may never think of them, but all his life long they excite that ‘vague appetency towards something’ out of which most of his actions spring. Oh, the wonderful and dreadful presence of the little child in the midst! Volume 2, p. 36,37
4.The atmosphere of our homes is formed out of the ideas that rule our lives as parents.
As Catholic parents, we know that our sacred vocation is to raise children to know, love, and serve God.
5.Atmosphere is only part, not all, of a child's education. We must also give the discipline of good habits and the living ideas of a generous education.
It is not enough for us to strew the house with good books and works of art. It is not enough to play music in the background as we read aloud at teatime. That we do those things is certainly important. And then, we must rise to the challenge of the discipline of good habits in ourselves and in our children so that all those good ideas can flourish. And we must prayerfully consider what constitutes the curriculum of a generous education so that we know what things to put within reach of our children.
6.The atmosphere of the home should encourage freedom under authority and obedience.
Yep. It sure should. But I think I've written quite enough on authority and obedience this week;-)
Consider the atmosphere of the home in which you educate your children. My vision is much the same as the one I saw many years ago:
The atmosphere of the home we are considering is alive with living books and living ideas. There are art books and prints of works by the great masters. There is a garden, however small, where wee hands are invited and encouraged to touch, to feel, and to grow. And every afternoon, at four o'clock, there is teatime. Flowers on the table, Mozart on the CD player and a goodie or two on the table. The children are seated around the table where they are given the undivided attention of their mother and encourage to talk; to discuss and to relate living ideas; to celebrate the feasts of the liturgical year. That is the atmosphere of education. ~Real Learning
These days, teatime is likely to be earlier in order to get out the door to soccer practice and they are a fair number of balls and ballet shoes scattered about, but all in all, this vision has served us well.
So, tell me, what does an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life look like to you? Post your thoughts to your blog and leave a link in the comments (Mr. Linky was a disaster).
The "O" post is up at Serendipity! At long last, Michael continues his journey-- encountering fairies, discovering flowers, meeting saints, and learning letters. Thank you for your patience as we've struggled to get back on the Alphabet Path. You'll be relieved to know that we've several more stories all queued up and we're just putting finishing touches on booklists and rabbit trail ideas. Look for the rest of the letters to follow in quick succession.
I'm not so keen on blogging lessons in real time. This is the first year I've written plans as I went and it's really not my style. So, I'm going to double-time through the summer. We've got lots of great ideas for history and science blocks for next year and plans to have the lessons written well before the fall:-). Here's my hint to what's in store. The first history block will draw heavily upon the books in the Fourth of July basket on the sidebar. And those lessons? All laid out and kid-tested. We're just going to put a polish on them and bring in some fresh ideas!
The other day, Katie (5) stumbled across a book I'd used to prepare Mary Beth to be at Karoline's birth. Katie got quite an eyeful.
Katie: I am never having babies. That is totally gross how they come out!
Me: But Katie, you want to have ten kids, how's that going to work if you don't want to have babies?
Katie: I don't know, but I'll figure out another way. I'm not having babies that way.
and then a long pause
Katie: You know, if I were a baby I would refuse to come out like that. I'd put my foot down and make them figure out another way.
Katie was a footling breech born by urgent c-section to avoid cord prolapse. She literally put her foot down and made us figure out a different way.
Back when I was on a homemaking roll, I invited your questions. Little did I know that I was about to spend the next few months too
sick pregnant to do anything much in the homemaking department, never mind write about it. But I have been thinking about those questions! One, in particular, is an easy one to answer and so I thought I'd toss it out there to get those homemaking juices flowing again. Dawn asks:
My biggest problem is paper clutter. What do I need to save, how do I organize what needs to be saved, what can I throw away? Most of the flat surfaces in my home are hot spots for paper and it drives me NUTS! I know what to do with the toys, the clothes, the books...but I'm at a loss when it comes to paper. How do you deal with it?
My first suggestion is that you sort the mail over the recycling bin. If you can help it, never touch something more than once. And my second suggestion is that you read this post by Kim and put those wheels in motion. Once you've nailed down her file system, the rest is easy!
Now is the time to look very closely at candidates. We are at a turning point in history when it comes to abortion and euthanasia. The voters who decide the next president and Senate will also decide the makeup of the Supreme Court and federal judiciary for generations.
An especially telling difference exists between Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John McCain, R-Ariz.
How each perceives and talks about unplanned children is extremely illuminating. McCain is living the joy of his real-life response to a “surprise child.” Obama, missing the mystery and blessing, sees only a burden.
You may remember from a few weeks ago, Obama’s answer to a
question at a town hall meeting regarding HIV and STDs: He said, “Look, I got
two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first
about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished
with a baby” Read the rest here.
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A few weeks ago, I read a thread from a Catholic attachment parenting list. The thread expressed concerns with this post. Ironically, when Sally wrote her essay, she was addressing those who thought that we cannot parent effectively without spanking. The people who were objecting to my post were objecting to any discipline or training at all. Attachment parenting has never advocated a “no consequences” approach. It has promoted a deep attachment to the child and a gentle (but firm) discipline style. Gentle discipline does not mean lack of all discipline whatsoever.
In the post I read, a brief time alone as a means of correcting a child is likened to abandoning the child. I was asked, “when did God ever abandon us?" He didn't and He doesn't. But Jesus spent time alone in the Garden of Gethsamane. And Jesus himself called out to His Father, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Of course He hadn't abandoned Him. But even Jesus, the human son who was God, felt abandoned. Sometimes, in real life, we can feel like we've been abandoned. Sometimes, in real life, God allows us to feel that in order to draw us closer. In order to attach more firmly to us.
“Attachment parenting” has come to have broader meanings than it used to have. A false dichotomy has been set up by some users of this parenting term.They say that they want to propagate “teaching through attachment” vs. “using rewards and consequences.” Life is full of rewards and consequences. There have been very real consequences for our actions since the Garden of Eden. Parents who are attached--truly tuned in and understanding of their children--will quickly recognize that children need to be taught how to handle the rewards and consequences of life with virtue. And that is our duty as Catholic parents. Nothing can be called "Catholic Attachment Parenting" if we don't intentionally set about train our children in virtue. Children are not born adults. They are born persons. Young, immature persons who desperately need the firm and loving guidance of their parents in order to make wise choices and to grow in wisdom and stature.
The Catholic AP list moms, "wonder if it is possible to merge [Elizabeth's] orderly home/life style with complete surrender to attachment parenting and abandonment of punishment." I am not completely surrendered to any parenting philosophy developed by man. I am completely surrendered to the will of God. Big difference. I will not dig in my heels over an "Attachment Parenting" checklist (that seems to change) to the detriment of my children's moral development. Furthermore, my goal here is not to be Attached Parent of the Year; it is to raise godly men and women who will bring glory to their Lord.My babies (and sometimes big kids;-) sleep in my bed. I'm nursing a toddler through a hyperemesis pregnancy in order to tandem nurse for the fifth time. I've never hired a babysitter. We don't spank. We take our kids with us everywhere, particularly when they are younger than three. I think we're pretty attached according to Attachment Parenting as I first understood it. I love Sally's term for her approach to training a child to meet the rewards and punishments of life: It's grace-based parenting;it's Heartfelt Discipline. Attachment parenting is simple when the children are very young. It's not easy, but is simple. You meet their wants and so you meet their needs. You pour out yourself body and soul for little ones who rely on you for their everything. It's hard physical labor, demanding as it is rewarding. This is your body, given up for them.
And then it gets more difficult. I've always thought that home education is the logical progression after attachment parenting babies and preschoolers. We still want to stay connected in order to effectively nurture our children and home education affords us the opportunity of huge quantities of time in which to do that. We need every minute of that time because it's been my experience that it comes as quite a shock to a child to learn that the world doesn't revolve around him. And he learns it when he's eighteen months, again when he's about five and in a very big way at fourteen. Every step of the way, the attached parent nurtures and disciples the child. She teaches him, first through her own example and then through careful training and discipline, that he is here on earth to know, love, and serve God. Only. That's it. In order to live up to that calling, the child is going to need a huge quantity of virtue. And he's not going to get it by demanding it;nor will he get it simply by breathing the air. Someone is going to have to truly put the child's needs first and do the hard work of training him in virtue.
Charlotte Mason wrote that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. So, when the moms at the Catholic AP List wonder if it's possible to have an orderly home and lovely lifestyle merge with "complete surrender to attachment parenting and abandonment of punishment," I tell them that an orderly home and lovely lifestyle support a family striving for holiness. I contend that an orderly home and a lovely atmosphere, together with attachment parenting and the expectation that a child will live up to the high moral standards of a family render punishment almost unnecessary. I also respect the fact that sometimes I will be called to punish in order to teach. An orderly home provides the child much-needed structure. There is enormous comfort in a rhythmic family life. An attached parent brings the child into the rhythm of the family--not the other way around. If there is an established and thoughtful and well-guarded family rhythm, the new child relaxes into that and is secure in its predictability. If chaos is the standard operating mode, the child quickly becomes a chaotic tyrant. Attachment parenting does not mean that one is ruled by an immature infant. It means that a mother intentionally sacrifices to meet the needs of her baby and to ensure that he always is safe and secure. But she is the big person. She is in charge. And he is very, very grateful for that.
The Catholic AP List moms say that they are trying to do away with consequences. I think that is an unhealthy idea. Why would we want to do away with consequences? If my husband decides not to go to work, there are consequences. If I don't clean the kitchen for several days, there are consequences. If we give in to our passions and commit mortal sins, there are eternal consequences. Why in the world would you want to raise a child in an artificial environment devoid of consequences? I'm not into complicated reward and punishment lists. I've never had one. We have no token economy, no complicated system of rewards and punishments. We just have real life and there are rewards and punishments aplenty built into authentic family life.
I don't believe that in a healthy family, chores are optional and nothing should be "required"of a child. One of my chores is driving to soccer practice. There are lots of days I don't feel like making that rush hour drive. I do it because it's important to my children and because deep-down I know there is value in it.It's difficult to remember that value when it's 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I'm exhausted and really just want to sleep. But I'm a grownup and someone taught me to do my duty even when I don't feel like it. And soccer carpooling is my duty. I think it's asking a lot to expect an eight-year-old to grasp that emptying the dishwasher promptly is important to the family and has inherent value. I explain that concept (several times, actually), but then I require it. And I draw the correlation. "If you can't help me in the kitchen, I will be here doing this chore when it's time to leave for soccer." Are these consequences? Am I threatening punishment? I don't know. I don't think about it too much. It's reality. There are only so many hours in the day. We all have to chip in. It's part of living in community.
I do not believe that attachment parenting excludes any discipline at all any more than I believe that unschooling excludes requiring a child to do certain academic things. That same eight-year-old doesn't know that if he refuses to do any math at all for several years, it's going to be much harder to "get it" and get enough of it when he figures out that he needs math in order to achieve his long-term goals. And then there's also that sticky little issue of compliance with state law. I'm all for following rabbit trails and keying into children's strengths. I'm all for gentle learning and lots of individual attention and guidance. I'm all for staying attached and knowing your child so well that you can discern the best of the best for him educationally. I also understand the times in life when we need to be in “survival mode,” only doing the bare essentials. And I believe in mercy and grace. I'm not for letting the child decide if he's going to work or not depending on whether it's entertaining or fun enough. Sometimes, life isn't fun; that's when we have an opportunity to practice cheerful obedience in the spirit of St. Therese.
So, no, I don't believe that an orderly home and lovely atmosphere are at all at odds with meeting the needs of our children in a healthy manner. Indeed, I believe that order and atmosphere support healthy attachment. I believe that much sacrifice is asked of a parent as she endeavors to raise a child in faith and grace. And one thing that a parent needs to remember as she continually sacrifices for the welfare of her child is that she must be mindful of her duty to make him strong so that he, in turn, will grow up to be a man who continually sacrifices for another in faith, with grace.
For more on this topic, see last week's Herald column.
Yes, you can expect more rose pictures all summer long. My roses are amazingly abundant and I think we'll have flowers aplenty from now until very early December. This cheery duo keeps me company at the computer. Isn't St. Therese darling?
We live in a teeny-tiny town. For a long time, the absolute only "restaurant" in town was Subway. Then, there was another restaurant. It, too, was Subway. I will never figure that one out. Now, we have a plethora of restaurants. We don't need Subway. And it's a good thing too, because Subway is no friend to homeschoolers.
UPDATE: Lorri sent me this explanation from Subway:
"Regarding your concerns about the Subway contest that excludes home
schools from contest eligibility, Scholastic and Subway apologize to
all individuals who have taken offense at this. Our intention was
never to make independent schooled children feel discriminated
against or excluded from this specific promotion.
Throughout the course of the year Scholastic runs a number of
contests and sweepstakes that are open to all teachers and students.
The eligibility of this contest in particular was solely put in place
to award a large group of children with the grand prize of $5,000
worth of athletic equipment. We do however understand how home-
schooled children could benefit from this type of prizing and will
make sure eligibility is open to everyone in future promotions.
We appreciate your feedback and will make sure a similar situation
does not happen in the future.
If anyone has any additional comments to make regarding this contest,
please email Scholastic directly at P&Cconnects@scholastic.com and we
will respond promptly to your concerns. Other email addresses or
phone numbers shown in this blog will not reach individuals who are
equipped to help you. Again, please direct all comments/inquiries to
P&Cconnects@scholastic.com and we would be more than happy to speak
with you regarding this.
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Rachel Balducci writes:
When I was fifteen and learning how to drive, my dad gave me countless opportunities to practice this skill. Being the oldest of eight children, I didn’t learn on a typical small vehicle, but instead tooled around in a fifteen-passenger van.
One evening, I was driving home from the grocery store; my dad was in the passenger seat and one of my brothers was buckled in behind me. We were climbing a hill in our neighborhood, heading towards an intersecting street that had a stop sign, giving us the right-of-way.
Just as we approached the intersection, my dad yelled.
“Stop,” he shouted, “stop the car!” Read the rest; do NOT miss the rest.
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Bass Pro Shops might be my new favorite store! Now we have somewhere to take all those dated video games. And the trade-in value could be quite good, depending on how we cash in.
If you take them up on their "Get Off The Couch & Go Outdoors" offer, from May 21st though the 26th you can trade in an old video game for 15% off Bass Pro Shops branded merchandise across several categories. The good folks at Bass Pro shops want our kids outside. Even if they're still going to sit, better to "Sit Somewhere Else" without game buttons in their hands. (Full disclosure: I learned about this promo while sitting on the couch watching endless loops of Sports Center. The Bass Pro Shops commercial is really clever.)
According to the good folks at Bass Pro Shops, "The donated games will all be going to Get Well Gamersfor redistribution among their network of hospitals. M rated games will find their way to troops overseas through GWG's partnership with Fun for Our Troops
Find a Bass Pro Shops near you and get off the couch and get outside!
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I received this email this morning:
I enjoyed your blog post today and am wondering if the Simply Charlotte Mason website is by a Catholic author?
I like the ideas of Bible verses to memorize and was wondering how Catholic friendly they would be? I imagine they are trustworthy since you shared the link! ;-)
Also, do you know of any Catholic sites that have copywork suggestions? That is my hardest area to get organized! :-(
Thanks for all the inspiration you share at your blog and on 4Real!
No, Simply Charlotte Mason is not a Catholic site. Nor are Sally Clarkson's books or Donna Simmons' books. When pondering educational philosophy, I take my cues from the Catholic encyclical on Christian Education,Divini Illius Magistri, in which Pope Pius XI makes a distinction between false philosophies, which are to be avoided by Christian educators, and the methods and practices, which can be adopted if they are good and wholesome in themselves.
....the Christian teacher will imitate the bee, which takes the choicest part of the flower and leaves the rest, as St. Basil teaches in his discourse to youths on the study of the classics. Nor will this necessary caution, suggested also by the pagan Quintilian,in any way hinder the Christian teacher from gathering and turning to profit, whatever there is of real worth in the systems and methods of our modern times, mindful of the Apostle's advice: "Prove all things: hold fast that which is good."
I trust that my readers are intelligent and discerning and faithful can do the same.
As for Charlotte Mason presented from a Catholic perspective, I think my book does a fine job of that. For a website, I encourage you to explore Mater Amabilis, a Catholic Charlotte Mason Curriculum for the 21st Century. Please also take a moment to see Charlotte Mason resources reviewed at Love2Learn, a highly respected Catholic review website.
As far as Catholic copywork, I pull copywork from so many sources: the Bible, good literature, poetry, the Catechism, books of the saints. Mater Amabilis has copywork suggestions for every age level, I believe.
Every summer, I return to a handful of familiar books and revel in the reunion. These are the standbys, the sure things, the books that remind me of what I really want from my home life, particularly from my home education adventure.
I re-read Educating the Wholehearted Child and sing with the joy Sally Clarkson exudes. I remember that the important things in a child's education are not at all difficult to provide. I first read this book about eleven years ago. There were far fewer choices on the home education landscape back then and most of them replicated school at home. Sally spoke sense to me. She gave voice to what I knew to be true and she offered me the wisdom of her experience. Sally weaves a real books education into a real--and very rich--family-centered life of faith. Hers is a grace-based approach to children. I have this book memorized in parts but I still like to return to it every summer and remind myself what matters most.
I also read Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. I'm fairly certain that the book on my shelf is my third copy. The first was given to me by my friend Margaret when Christian was an infant. It was a true original run--copied on a copy machine and stapled down the middle. Laura Berquist had sent a few of these out into the world when this was a fresh idea in home education. Still, Laura's children at the time were much further along the educational path than mine and Margaret clearly knew what she was doing with hers. I had much to learn from them and learn I did. Now, fifteen years later, we can all clearly see that Laura's plan and Mother of Divine Grace programs have been very successful over time. I know lots of kids who have been educated Laura Berquist-style and have gone on to do very well in college and beyond. She's proven herself to be well worth a fresh reading every summer.
Last summer, I added Donna Simmons' Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers to the list. I found this book to be refreshingly inspiring and very encouraging. Donna's warm wisdom reminds me to keep art and beauty, the rhythm of the days and the seasons, the natural wonder of the child, at the forefront when I plan and ponder. There's something about Waldorf that always slows me down, softens my breathing, and helps me remember that some of my children are still very young and very much in need of gentle rhythms.
Usually, I also pick through my Original Homeschooling Series. This set of six volumes of Charlotte Mason's writings is dog-eared and well-loved. It's highlighted, post-it noted and sometimes committed to memory. Charlotte Mason's wisdom is unparalleled in the world of education, particularly home education. I don't re-read the whole series; I just find my notes throughout.
This summer, though, I am going to focus on Charlotte Mason a bit more narrowly. The good folks at Simply Charlotte Mason have made available some e-books which are beautifully edited. It's as if they took my ratty paperback volumes, found every quote I consider worthy of re-reading, and organized them perfectly. I began with one titled Education Is.. It matters not that my own book has a chapter with the same subtitles; this book focuses it all for me anew. (And besides, I'm not much on re-reading my own book--I know what it says:-).
From there, I'm moving on to Laying Down the Rails: a Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook. THIS is the perfect summer book! This is a beautiful reminder of all those virtues we wish to instill in our children before they leave home. My only problem is that I want to work on all of them right now, and have those tracks well-laid by summer's end. The book is mostly Charlotte Mason quotes and it begs conversation with like-minded moms.
We can do conversation! My thought is to begin a summertime book study. We can read the free ebook first and then move on to Laying Down the Rails.. Then, I'd love to see us move on to Hours in the Out-of-Doors in the early autumn.
Charlotte Mason was a wise woman. She saw the whole child and understood that the family, the atmosphere, the developmental stage of the child, and the unique call of every Christian all work together to educate a child. She doesn't neglect any of these factors. She is no-nonsense in her insistence that parents do their duty to teach their children well. It's all so very sensible.
So, download away at Simply Charlotte Mason. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts about a Charlotte Mason Education. We can inspire each other to raise and educate happy, healthy, holy children for the glory of God!
While I appreciate the beauty, the materials and some of the methods of Waldorf education, I am not a follower of Rudolf Steiner, his educational philosophy, or his religion. I am a practicing Catholic who is very clear in teaching the faith to her children. Please see this post for any further explanation of incorporating methods or materials that might also appear in Waldorf schools into your home. Take inspiration from what is good and what in in harmony with the true faith and leave the rest. If you can't discern, then leave it all alone.