CM 2 Episode #4 A High School Charlotte Mason Education Part I Julie H. Ross
Links and Resources:
Episodes Summer 4 Using Charlotte Mason to Homeschool in High School
Episode 4: Julie talks about why homeschooling in high school can be so beneficial, and covers questions that many parents have about homeschooling during this time. She discusses that the principles and methods don’t change for the high school years but allow us to provide a feast of knowledge for our children.
Julie H Ross believes that every child needs a feast of living ideas to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As a former school teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and Assistant Director of a Homeschool Academy, Julie Ross has worked with hundreds of students and parents over the past 20 years. She has also been homeschooling her own five children for over a decade. Julie Ross developed the Charlotte Mason curriculum, A Gentle Feast, to provide parents with the tools and resources needed to provide a rich and abundant educational feast full of books, beauty, and Biblical truth. Julie lives in South Carolina. When she’s not busy homeschooling, reading children’s books, hiking, or writing curriculum, you can find her taking a nap.
Vol 3 p 180
There is much difference between intelligent reading, which the pupil should do in silence, and a mere parrot-like cramming up of contents; and it is not a bad test of education to be able to give the points of a description, the sequence of a series of incidents, the links in a chain of argument, correctly, after a single careful reading. This is a power which a barrister, a publisher, a scholar, labours to acquire; and it is a power which children can acquire with great ease, and once acquired, the gulf is bridged which divides the reading from the non-reading community.
Other Ways of using Books.––But this is only one way to use books: others are to enumerate the statements in a given paragraph or chapter; to analyse a chapter, to divide it into paragraphs under proper headings, to tabulate and classify series; to trace cause to consequence and consequence to cause; to discern character and perceive how character and circumstance interact; to get lessons of life and conduct, or the living knowledge which makes for science, out of books; all this is possible for school boys and girls, and until they have begun to use books for themselves in such ways, they can hardly be said to have begun their education.
The Teacher's Part.––The teacher's part is, in the first place, to see what is to be done, to look over the work of the day in advance and see what mental discipline, as well as what vital knowledge, this and that lesson afford; and then to set such questions and such tasks as shall give full scope to his pupils'
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Welcome to the Charlotte Mason Show, a podcast dedicated to discussing Ms. Mason's philosophy, principles, and methods. It is our hope that each episode will leave you inspired and offer practical wisdom on how to provide this rich, living education in your modern homeschool. So pull up a chair, we're glad you're here.
Today's episode of the Charlotte Mason Show is brought to you by Medi-Share. Find out more about this affordable Christian alternative to traditional health insurance at medishare.com.
Hey everyone. Today I'm gonna be talking about using the Charlotte Mason Method in high school, which I know can be very nerve-racking for a lot of families. So, I just wanna give a couple seconds here for people to hop on. I'm running a few minutes late today. It was...I feel like it's always something at our house. Maybe it's just my family, but if anybody else can relate, let me know. Because I feel like there's just always something that comes up in our lives.
So, today I was taking my daughters to art camp, and I go outside and my husband took my car for work. We share the bigger kind of car. Sometimes he uses it for work. And he left me the little car. Hey Amy, welcome! He left me the little car, but he didn't leave the keys. So, I, of course, am...you know, we're running late, we're supposed to be at the art camp by 9:30, it's already 9:15, and I don't have any keys. And ??? but my teenage daughter likes to use the little car, as we call it, so she was at a sleepover... Good morning, Patricia! And I knew by the time I like, got a hold of her and woke her up, and she drove to my house like, art camp would be over.
So, praise the Lord, I have awesome neighbors. So, my neighbor let me borrow her car so I could drive my kids to art camp today. So, that's why I'm running a few minutes late. It's just, I feel like, I plan everything out, and then, just something always happens. Is it just me, or does that happen to you guys?
Anyway, that's what I wanna, you know, talk about today. So, today we're gonna talk about homeschooling in high school. Duh, duh, duh! So, just to give you a little info into my family. I should probably tell you why I'm, in case you're new, or somebody shared this with you, I'm Julie Ross, I'm the creator of A Gentle Feast, a Charlotte Mason curriculum for the entire family, and so...Hi, Courtney! Courtney, you're so sweet to watch this and help me at the same time, so... I'm glad you're here.
Yeah, so, when I...when my oldest daughter was three or four, we were at a Bible study, and the girls that kept the nursery were homeschool kids. So it was like a homeschool co-op. But one of the rotations or classes or something was to help keep kids in the nursery. And I just remember, I loved that those girls were so articulate. They were so kind. They weren't like other teenage girls that I had met. Their teaching and whatnot. And so, I was like, this is the kind of girls... Good morning, Leah! Welcome! It's good to see you here. These are the kind of girls that I wanted my daughters to be. I wanted my daughters to be like these teenage girls, and so I said to my husband, like, hey I think I wanna homeschool our oldest child. And he was like, you wanna do what?
And so, it took a little while for me to kind of explain what homeschooling was. Like, it was back in the day where you didn't even have a concept of that, or knew anybody who homeschooled. And, he's like, okay, you can homeschool our kids. He's like, I guess, cause you have a teaching degree. Like, you might know what you're doing. You went to school for four years for this. I guess you can homeschool our kids.
But I really want them to go to public high school. So the plan had always been, that we would homeschool our kids up until high school, and then they would go off to school. Well, the variety of life circumstances and things, that didn't happen. And I'm actually been homeschooling them through high school now. And so, and actually it's been an amazing blessing. And so, I'm so glad. That was never my intention. I always wanted them to homeschool all the way through. But that was the kind of the arrangement that we had come to as a couple. And I think in his mind, it was really, you know, you could homeschool them when they're young. But I really want them to go to, you know, go to college and university, and get a good job, and you know, all those fears that our culture kinda has in it. And I'm not really sure if homeschooling can do that, so all I can do that for a little bit, but then like, when they're high school, they have to go to real school. It's kind of like the, some of the, mentality there. And just seeing them grow in their knowledge as high school students and the things that they're able to do. I think he's really been able to see, like, that there's a lot of value in continuing to homeschool through high school.
So, I have a daughter who will be a senior next year. And this is the four-year-old I was talking about that I, that was in the Bible Study that I asked them if I could homeschool. And those...it goes like this, people. I know, like, people used to always say that to me and I was...I had three kids under the age of three, and they were all like, crying at one time. ??? I had one of those double strollers and then I had a baby in a front pack. And people at the grocery store would be like, oh they grow so fast. I'm like, I want it to go fast! You realize I haven't slept in like, three years, people.
But, now that I'm on the other side, I understand what they're coming from, right? They know... the days are long, the years are fast, and you blink, and you're looking at colleges now. It's like, what? Like how did that even happen? And so, and then I have another daughter who will be in 10th grade next year. We keep going back and forth. She had wanted to graduate high school early, and so, she took a lot of high school classes in 8th grade. And so, I was just calling her, like, a 9th grader then, for simplicity sake. But now she's decided that she wants to get a soccer scholarship. And so she really wants to spend more time playing soccer, and so, now she's gonna be a 10th grader next year, so...
Anyway, if you've heard me say different things about that child, that's why. But, age-wise, she should be in 10th grade next year. And, just to give you a little insight into them, one of the things I love about homeschooling teenagers is the time that it gives them to explore other interests in, just, experience the real world. Other than just school. You know, because they're not in school all day long, and here, our public high school starts at 8:30 in the morning, and it doesn't end till four. And so, that's a long time to be gone to be in school, and that really limits what they can do outside of school.
So, but, because we homeschool, my daughters are able to do a lot more different things. So, my daughter who's a senior, she does cheerleading for our homeschool sports teams. She also works like, 25 hours a week at Chick-fil-A, which is awesome. Because she gets a discount. And she gets a discount on her own food, but every once in a while, she brings me home some fries. And I love me some Chick-fil-A. Anybody else? Can I get an amen? Alright.
And, but, working at Chick-fil-A has been an awesome experience. She's training to be a manager, and she's, you know, in the real world, learning what it takes to earn money, to work with customers, to have a boss. You know, all this experience that you can't get from a textbook. She also works part-time, she has several part-time jobs. One of her other part-time jobs is she works for a photographer. And I'll talk about photography in a second. And then, she also is the social media marketer for our homeschool sports league up here. And that's a volunteer position. It's not paid, but it's great real world experience. So, no matter what classes she takes, in the future, or what kind of job she ends up getting, right? Social media marketing is, you just need that all over the place these days.
So, she's learning really valuable life skills also with her classes. So, because she's a senior next year, and she has met a lot of her high school requirements, she is going to take classes at our local community college. And that flexible schedule really helps with all these different things she's passionate about.
And the other thing I really like about homeschooling in high school, especially with the Charlotte Mason Method, is you're still giving them this wide feast. So, in high school, all the time, we try to like, pigeon-hole kids into, okay, you wanna get a degree in this, you gotta take classes in this. And you're really gifted at this, and you're gonna do this. Or maybe you're in a technical program and you're like focused on getting those training skills. And they miss this generous and wide feast, right? And it might be really super awesome at chemistry, but they're not becoming these well-rounded person that Charlotte Mason talks about.
And so, I love that my kids have had exposure to these variety of different things. And so, one of the things that my senior has become really interested in is photography. And so, talk about, like handi-crafts, right? So, it's cool to see your older kids kind of like choose what they wanna do and what they're interested in. And so, gosh, this was about three years ago, she decided she wanted to learn how to take really good pictures. So for Christmas, all the grandparents and we all went in and got her like a really nice camera. And I bought her some online courses in photography, and also a class in photoshop. And so, she, I mean, she did all that on her own, on her own time. That's the other thing about the beauty of the Charlotte Mason Method in high school, you know. You're talking four and a half hours of school, and so, of lesson time. So that gives them a lot more time to do these interests as well as, you know, work and get those life skills.
But, so, she learned how to do photography all on her own, went out there, practiced, and so, you know, now she's getting paid. She made a ton of money doing people's senior pictures. She built her own website. I didn't teach her how to build the website. Like, she just went on YouTube and watched a bunch of videos and figured out how to do it.
So, I'll link to her website. But it... to me, it's really cool to see them grow in these things, becoming more of, just who God created them to be in their different giftings. It really comes out in high school. And it really comes out when they're homeschooled in high school, and they have the time. And they have been exposed to this large feast. You know, the famous Charlotte Mason quote, it's not how much the student knows, but how much the student cares, and how large the room is that his feet are set in.
And so, we're giving our kids this large room, and we don't know how God is gonna use it, and how these different things that they've learned to love and appreciate are gonna come out. And so it's really neat, as they become their own adults, to kind of see these different things come out.
And then my daughter who's gonna be in 10th grade, you know, like I said, she's really super into soccer. And I think, in our culture, we can really be...well, I don't know about everywhere in America. I live in the South. So in the South, like, sports are super big deal. So, I mean, people often go crazy and if you have a kid who's naturally gifted in one sport, it seems like all of this family's time is centered around that one child and that one sport. You know, we have people whose kids are six and seven, and they're gone every night of the week, and they're gone every weekend traveling around playing baseball.
And, so it really was something we had to be very prayerful about. Like, we wanna encourage her in this area. We seen a lot of gifting in this area. But this can't be the be-all, end-all, right? We do want that well-rounded person and so it has to be time for these other things as well.
And so, even though she's...wants to get a scholarship in soccer, right? We're still not, like, okay, you can spend every free waking moment you have playing soccer. No. Like, we still wanna be exposed to other things. So, she plays the drums for the worship band at our church. And, you know, she'll spend her free time practicing her drums and that musical part. She also is really into hand ??? That was about like a year ago for her handi-crafts. She said, Mom, I wanna learn how to do like the calligraphy stuff. And so, I just bought her online, I can't even remember. I'll have to ask her. But anyway, it was like thirty bucks. Some online hand lettering class and she taught herself how to do hand lettering, and she's actually making some things for me now, for this little planner that I'm making for to go along with the curriculum, like, if someone just wants a printed planner. So she's making all the turn signs and the cover, and stuff, and you know. Just wanna encourage her in that. And she sells...she makes little cards that she sells to raise money for the missions trip she's going on.
And so, again, it's those...like, the handi-crafts aren't just like something you make out of macaroni that you're gonna throw away, right? You're teaching them how to make and do things that are creative, that are actually skills that can actually bless people. And can be used later on, which is super cool.
I didn't mean to go that long about my own kids, but I'm just trying to show you that, like, there is a lot of value to homeschooling in high school. Okay, so one of the things I often hear about homeschooling in high school or homeschooling with the Charlotte Mason Method in high school is, is this rigorous enough? Is it gonna prepare them for college? Is it gonna help them on the SAT? You know you hear all these questions. Kind of like, you know, the fear that my husband had. Like, okay, this is really cute and all, and I'm glad you all are out there in nature, and the kids have time to play, you know. And you're teaching them how to sew and they're reading these great books, but you know, at some point here, like, we gotta get, like, really serious. And it just makes me laugh when I hear stuff like that, because, like if you look at what a high school student, using the Charlotte Mason Method, is reading, it's just kind of mind-blowing. So, I'm gonna try to lift these up and show you, so just hold on one second.
So, this is what my 10th grader will be using next year as part of the blue year. So this is half the stack. So this is chemistry and her literature, and her geography books are in here. You know, but in our culture, I think it's one in four Americans read a book last year. So, adult Americans, you know? And so when you think about the, just the level of books that a student in a Charlotte Mason education is reading in high school, it really is phenomenal.
So, anyway, I think really, if someone looked at what a student in the Charlotte Mason Method was using in high school, they would realize that it is extremely rigorous, that it is extremely challenging, right? It's different, right? We're not giving them a bunch of...a stack of workbooks and be like, okay, at the end of the year, I want you to give these all back to me, filled in and I'm gonna check 'em off. Right? So, it's different than what we're used to giving students in high school. So, it can kind of take some explanation and some thinking about, but it's still extremely rigorous.
The other thing that, I think is important to consider when you're high schoolers when you're homeschooling your high schoolers, is to think about, what am I preparing them for? So, most people are like, I'm educating my child at home so I can prepare them for college, I can prepare them to get a really good score on the SAT, I've heard that as well. And that Charlotte Mason kind of has a different reason, right? That we're preparing our kids for life. And so, you know, some people view education as a means to an end. The end is getting into this college, right? And what we do is a means to that.
Or, is education the end in itself? Is the value, the love of knowledge, and the...like I said before, the large room that we're setting our children in and preparing them for life. It was interesting, the other day, on our, like, local Facebook group, this lady posted a question. I mean, you could tell she was very stressed, she had a lot of different questions. But the one that stuck out...a few things stuck out in my mind with her question, was, she said, my child's behind. I'm gonna homeschool him for the first time next year, and I don't know what to do them caught up. What curriculum is out there that's best gonna prepare my child for college?
And she had a whole bunch of other questions. And then, one of the commentors said, well, how old is your child? Cause she didn't say that in the thing, you know. And her child was four. Four! And she already is like, ‘my child's behind. And I need to get my child ready for college. What do I need to do? I'm gonna homeschool him, and I'm gonna...what do I need to do?’ And it was like, um, I didn't respond to her Facebook message, cause I probably could have written a paper. But, you know, my blood was like, aagh! But, it showed me, and I hear it often, of this mentality of, kids are behind because we have these, you know, set standards of kids should this by the time they're four. I'm like, what ??? behind in? Like tying her shoes? I don't really know. Not even tying her shoes. My kids were like, eight by the time they tied their shoes.
Coloring in the lines? Playing with Play-Doh? Like, what is a four-year-old... what would they be behind in? But, you know, we have these set standards, so we get this pressure and this anxiety that our children are behind, apparently, really early now. And then we get this mentality of, like, what do I need to do to reach this end. And really, that goes against Charlotte Mason's first principle, that children are born persons. They're persons. They're not machines. It's not, plug this in, and out comes this, right? Which is what our whole, kind of, educational system is modeled upon these days, you know? If the teacher gives them this information and drills them in it, and then they can spit it back out on the test, right? We're input, output. And that's a whole mechanical process. And that's not what our students are. So we're inspiring a whole person, a soul, right? A person who has their own interests and personalities and so we need to keep that in mind. Even our teenagers are persons too, yes.
Yeah, totally feel like we're pushing too soon, yeah. I totally understand that too. So, in...I'm gonna read several quotes from Charlotte Mason here, because I really think it's important to read what she has to say. so this from Volume Six, A Philosophy of Education. And, this is in the introduction. She says that people themselves begin to understand and to clamor for an education which shall qualify their children for life, rather than for earning a living. As a matter of fact, it is the man who has read and thought on many subjects who is, with the necessary training, the most capable, whether in handling tools, drawing plans, or keeping books. The more of a person we succeed in making a child, the better he will be, both to fulfill his own life and to serve society.
Whew!! Mind blown! Okay, I'm gonna link to this quote because, like, ??? You know, we're preparing them for life, not for earning a living. And those are two completely different things. And she said, even, you know, a man who has read many books and who's thought about many different things, that wide feast, with the necessary training, they're gonna be really good at handling tools, drawing plans, keeping books. No matter what career path they end up being, and we all know, like, career paths go like this, right? I mean, I don't know how many of you, you're spouse, like, knew what they wanted to be, went to college for that, and has kept that same job the whole...their whole life, right?
I mean, that's what my dad did. Like, my dad had the same job for 35 years, but, in today's society, like, people are just constantly changing jobs. Jobs are constantly changing. The expectations for the jobs are changing. And so if you're a person who has this wide feast, you can learn these different things. But you're still a well-rounded and knowledgeable person.
Anyway, I love that quote. I'll send that to you.
Today's episode is brought to you by A Gentle Feast. A Gentle Feast is a complete curriculum for grades one through twelve that is family centered, inspired by Ms. Mason's programs and philosophy, and rooted in books, beauty, and Biblical truth. You can find out how smooth and easy days are closer than you think at AGentleFeast.com.
Then, I'll also link to another post that I thought was really good, by Art Menakoft, from Charlotte Mason Poetry. And so, he was talking about the SAT, and...I mean. ??? You know. And it really is sad that so much rides on that one test, it really does. And so that's what causes that anxiety, people. Here in South Carolina, for my daughter to get a really significant college scholarship, which would really help us out financially, like, she has to have this certain score on the SAT.
So, it's not like a negotiable, or maybe we could take it or maybe we won't, or, you know. But you have to take it, right? And so, in his article, he was talking about his experience with the SAT with his son. He wanted to go to a really well-respected mechanical/science/mathematics kind of university and needed to get a very, very high score in order to get into that school and to get the scholarship that they needed. And so, you know, he talks about how, you know, the first time his son took it, he did not do very well on it and he was crushed. He felt like, you know, have the methods failed? They used the Charlotte Mason...obviously, he writes for their blog, but, you know. Have these methods failed? Have I been doing it wrong? Have I failed?
And I think, as homeschool moms, the reason we get so scared in high school is because we feel like it's all on us, right? If my child doesn't get into college, or they get to college and they don't know what they're doing, or they don't get a good score on the SAT, who are we gonna be looking at here, right? I'm the one that's had them for, you know, however many years you've been homeschooling them. So it's on me, and that is a ton of pressure. And it can create so much fear and anxiety. And like Charlotte Mason talks about, that education is an atmosphere. And when the atmosphere of your home is filled with tension and anxiety and trying to perform, like, your kids pick up on that, right? Especially teenagers. They're not dumb.
They feel that atmosphere and that air that we breathe, and even if we don't even see it. And so, it's really important and I just really encourage you to kinda think through these things and pray through them. Talk to your spouse about them, and say, you know, what are we preparing our child for? What is our goal here? And, so anyway, back to art story, he was saying that they ended up hiring an SAT tutor and his son took the test three more times, and his score went up five hundred points. Which is like, red flag, somebody must have been cheating. I mean, that's like, nobody can boost their SAT score that much.
And one of the things he said in the article that just struck me so much was, I could have spent fifteen years preparing my child for life. Wait. I could have spent fifteen years preparing my child for a test, and five months preparing them for life. But rather, I chose to spend fifteen years preparing them for life and five months preparing them for a test. So, he and his son did this tutoring for like, five months. And his score went up that much. And so, he's like, we spent five months preparing for this test, but my child spent fifteen years being prepared for life.
And that's what I want. I don't want it to all be about a test. I don't want it to all be about where you're gonna go to college. I want to be about preparing them for life, and then if we do need to prepare them for a test, cause we do. Let's all be honest, right? We have to. You can... you don't need to spend years doing it. In five months he was able to boost his score that much. And so, my daughter is going to an SAT tutor. I just recommend, like, your junior or senior kid's year, you're probably gonna need to do that. Budget that. And she told me, she tells the kids that the SAT is a evil test created by evil people to trick children. I'm like, great! I'm so glad we get to take that.
But, it just made me laugh. And she said the reason she says that is because it really is meant to weed out the very top number of kids who are going to score extremely well on it. And so, the questions really are tricky in order to...it's not just a test of what a kid knows. It's not a mastery test. It's really tricky to get out that few high scores. And so, what she does, and what many SAT ACT tutors do, is teach them the tricks. They're learning tricks so they can get a good score on this test. They're not getting knowledge. Their souls aren't being nourished and fed by preparing for this, right? It's just teaching them those tricks, and so, that was just kind of eye-opening for me, because we put so much stock in this as the be-all-end-all.
Oh, another thing she said. So my daughter took both the SAT and the ACT. Just to kind of see, like, which one she actually did better on. And then I'm like, okay, we'll pay for a tutor to tutor you in the one that you actually do better on, rather than trying to like, do both tests. And so, she actually did better on the SAT English. Her math on both was, yeah...but, she did really well on the SAT English. Like, her score could stay where it is. And now they do a composite score. They take your best English and your best math from a variety of tests, no matter how many times you took it, and put those two together. That's what the colleges will look at now. Which I wish they would've done that when I was in school. But, that's another story.
So, her SAT, it was just really high, and, but, she didn't like the ACT English at all. And so I told the tutor that, and she said, well that's really interesting. And I said, well, why do say that? And she said well, most students like the ACT English better. And the reason is because, they read passages and then they answer the questions about them, and she said, most kids like that better because they're used to that. They've done that for years in school and the answers are right in the text. All they have to do is go back in the text and they can find the answers on the ACT. She said the SAT is a lot of... English...is a lot of higher-level thinking and reasoning skills. And so, they can't just go back and find the answer to the question.
But, they do have to cite, they're like, little numbers on the side..they do have to cite where in the text they got the evidence to support their thinking, right? And so that was really interesting to me when the tutor said that. I was like, well, of course, she liked that better. Right? She's used to reading and thinking about it and talking about it. And, you know, all these things that we do in the Charlotte Mason Method. So, I just wanted to encourage you that as well.
Another thing I think that we fear in high school is we fear the need that we have to fit it all in, right? Okay? We only have four more years. And we have to fit all this huge body of knowledge into my child's brain. And the next four years. And we can get super stressed about that. And then that...so in that Philosophy of Education, she talks about continuation schools. I don't really know what those are. I Googled them and tried to find it and I couldn't find anything. So, Leah Boden, if you're still on here, you might know more about it from being in England, I don't know, but what I could gather from the chapter on these continuation schools, was it was for high school level children, but that they would be working and then doing these schools because she talks about how they would only have these students for eight hours a week. And, as we all know, that's way less time than we have with our kids, right? And so, she said that...well, I'm just gonna tell you what she said about the kind of philosophy...maybe this was just something they were talking about doing in England at the time? I'm not really sure.
But she said, with the best will in the world to give boys and girls something on which to chew the cud, real mind stuff for digestion and assimilation, we find that the flood gates are opened and an ocean of things, good to know, overwhelm us. And we have eight hours a week. So she's not, like, we only have eight hours a week. What are we possibly gonna teach these kids? And that's why I just love her. She's like, look at the possibilities! The flood gates of knowledge can be opened because we have eight hours a week with these teenagers.
We seize on that blessed word, compromise, and we see two possibilities. Okay. So the two possibilities are, we only have them for eight hours a week. What are we gonna do in these eight hours to prepare these high school-aged students for the world, who are working and they don't...they're not in school all the time. Okay? She says, now, good citizens must have sound opinions about law, duty, work, wages, whatnot. So, we pour opinions into the young people. Pouring it into them, right? From the lips of a lecturer or a teacher, his opinions, which, they are intended to take as theirs. In the next place, there is so much to be learned that a selection must be made. The teacher makes this selection, they're like, oh, what's important, what needs to be learned, right? And the young people are poured into like a bucket, which ??? is not exhilarating to any soul.
So, again, it's that mentality that we still see today. Right? We're gonna pour and stuff as much as we possibly can, into their mouths, and when, you know, Charlotte Mason talks a lot about a feast, and so that's why I named my curriculum A Gentle Feast. It's gentle in the fact that we're laying it out. We're laying out this generous curriculum, and we're gently bringing our students to it. We're not forcing the stuff down their throats.
And so she says some grab this ??? teachers and authorities are satisfied. We did our job. We covered what we had to cover. And if, when the time comes, the young people leave school discontented in an uneasy, if the work bored them and their leisure time bored them. If their pleasures are mean and meager, and if they become men and women rather eager than otherwise for the excitement of the strike, then it's because we have failed them.
And then the other alternative she talks about, are her methods. But she goes into it in the same methods that she reviews if she had the students for six days a week like she.. her schools were set up to be. So, she's like, it doesn't matter if I only have them for eight hours a week, it doesn't matter if I have them for six days in a week. The methods of teaching children are the same. And so I just think that's so fascinating when you think of, like, people who are stressed, oh no, ??? right? It's taking that mentality that she was talking about and trying to force-feed everyone. And how it will leave them bored and discontented. they won't have... I think it's interesting too, she even said they would be bored in their leisure time. She talked about this wide feast, that they don't know how to properly rest. And that their pleasures are mean and meager. They don't take pleasure in music and art and the things that they would if they were to use her methods.
And so, the methods that she goes on to explain are the same methods that she used in all of her programs. And she also says, let me see, where is it? Okay, that...so she gave an example...this is on page 294...of, she listed 213 proper nouns that a girl of 13 used in her examination papers. So Charlotte Mason gave end of term exams. And they're just, extended narrations. She does talk though, of, if you read the chapter in here on secondary education, she does talk about how vital those exams are. So, it's their getting that narration, they're learning it every day, but they need those exams, especially in the high school years, to kind of cement everything that they've kind of learned and processed and make those connections in their brain even deeper.
So, she lists, on the pages, it'll be backwards, I think, cause I don't know how to fix it on my computer, but, so here's a list of all these names. That a 13-year-old used on their end of term exam. I don't even know what some of these are. I'm just gonna be honest. I mean some of these might be countries that are called something else by now. But, okay, I'm just gonna read you the A's. So these are nouns that a 13-year-old used on their exam in the Charlotte Mason education. Amazia, Aerial, Ashire, Arcott, America, Austrian Army, Artimedorius, Antiemaffidius ??????, mountains? Do we know where those are? ...
Okay. Like, I have advanced degrees and I'm like, I know probably five of those. So, but she was saying, even for this continuation school, that you know, they might be able to only know a fraction of these names that a girl using her whole program would know. But still, they would a fraction. If I knew a fraction of these names, I would be like, way smarter than I am right now. So, again, it's the point of offering this large feast, no matter how much time we have. It needs to be a large feast that we're still preparing them to be these wells rounded people.
So like i said, her methods do not change in high school. The same methods, the same principles that we've used all along, they stay the same. Our goal for education does not change. And let me read to you what she says that is. This is form six, yes, okay. This is page 267. Children so taught, using this wide and generous feast she talks about, children so taught are delightful companions because they have large interests and worthy thoughts. They have much to talk about and such casual talk benefits society. The fine sense, like a atmosphere of things worth knowing and worth living for. This, it is, which produces ??? and we feel that Milton was right in claiming magnanimity is the proper outcome of education.
So the proper outcome, and, if you guys did the green mirror, you know who Milton is. He was one of the poets studied in that year. But the goal, the outcome, the proper outcome of education is mag...I never could say that word right. Being magnanimous. I can say that one better. Being magnanimous.
So, what does that mean? So, I looked it up in the dictionary, it means that they're high minded, they're generous, they're noble, they're people of courage, people of strong character, and that they have the virtue of a great heart and mind. That's ??? right? And so, how do we use her methods in high school? What...again, same things, but it's just good to refresh them sometimes. So, what are we looking at here? So, the first thing that does not change are the time tables. So, I mean, you can look these up. I use, I give some kind of sample schedules and the Gentle Feast. If you have that. But if you don't, you can find that...these online. That, even in high school, those short lessons are extremely important. The largest... the longest lesson in high school is 45 minutes. Most of them are still about 30 minutes long and that enables you to get things through much faster.
You're like, well that's not long enough time. In order to get a credit, it should be an hour, right? But when you think about all the little things that they're doing that adds up and into that. I used to be a classroom teacher. I mean, a lot of time is spent taking attendance, checking homework, calling roll, people gotta go to the bathroom, people gotta go get a drink, I gotta hear a story, what team did last night. We gotta wait for so and so to answer the question. You gotta hear from a variety of people. Whereas, you know, in Charlotte Mason Method, the kid is reading and narrating themselves. And so that goes so much faster. And that's what enables you to cover all of those books that I showed you in one year, right? To cover all this variety of subjects.
So, I was gonna read you a little bit from what she says here, again, in Volume Six. And we'll kinda pull out some of those principle methods that she teaches. Every teacher knows a class will occupy itself diligently by the hour and accomplish nothing. Even though the boys think they have been reading. So, like, this is my experience too. But they're actually doing nothing. They're actually not doing what they're supposed to be doing. We all know how ill we can stand in examination on daily papers over which we pour. Details fail us. We can say, did you see such and such an article. Or, did you see that Facebook post? But, we're not able to outline its contents. I know I read about that, but I can't remember any of the details.
We try to remedy this vagueness in children by making them take down and give up notes of a given lesson. But we accomplish little. The mind appears to have an outer court into which matter can be taken and expelled, this is the, you know, this brain science I love that she includes, without ever having to enter the inner place where personality dwells. Here we have a secret of learning by rote of purely mechanical exercise, of which no satisfactory account has been given. But which leaves the patient or people unaffected so that rote learning, I'm gonna learn this, I'm gonna take a test, and I'm gonna forget it. I'm gonna learn it, I'm gonna take a test and forget it. All that's happening in that outer court of the brain. We want this to become permanent knowledge. We want them to have a permanent record of that and so, you know, her methods use that.
Now, there is a natural provision against this mere skimming. Give the children the sort of knowledge that they are fitted to assimilate. Served in the literary medium and they will pay great attention. So, she's saying we can get beyond this, we can move that knowledge from this outer court into the inner court by giving them living books that literary medium. That she talks about.
What's gonna happen next though? A clever questionnaire. So after they've read these living books, how are we gonna make that knowledge permanent? Are we gonna give them a questionnaire? I bet you can guess what she's gonna say. She says, questions, as Dr. Johnson told us, are an intrusion and a bore. But, we have a word of ancient wisdom for our guidance. The mind can know nothing except what it can express in the form of an answer put to a question by the mind. Observe, not a question by an outsider. Not a question the teacher came up with, or a question from a textbook, but the textbook writers came up with. A question the mind puts to itself.
And then she goes on to give an example of someone who's doing that. And then she says, intentional, go, halt. All this stays if accustom it to a crutch. So, where we're allowing students to read things through multiple times. So, like I gave you an example with that ACT questions. A lot of students do in school. When I taught school, we used this. They were given a passage to read and then they're given questions about the passage. But, they go...we teach them. There's the skill that we teach them. Is in order to answer the question, go back and look at the text and read it again to try to find your answer. So, we're teaching them not to pay attention the first time they read it. We're teaching them, we're conditioning them, that I can go back and, if I really need to find it...well, first of all, I'm gonna wait and find out what I need to find. What the teacher, what the people think's important. And then I'll go back and find it. So the first time is just a real casual reading. And then, oh, she wants me to find out about Andrew Jackson's campaign strategies. Well, now I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna do that detailed reading.
So, we're conditioning them not to pay attention, actually.
So, Patricia, I see you have a question. Just take one second, I'll be right there. But we don't want to do that. We want to teach them to pay attention the first time they read something. That's part of the Charlotte Mason Method from day one. Just those little bitties, right? Well, I'm gonna read this to you once, and I want you to pay attention cause you're not gonna get to hear it again.
She says, as teachers, we offend deeply in this matter. We think that we shall be heard for much speaking, and we repeat and force and explain and illustrate. Not altogether because we love the sound of our voices. She's so funny sometimes. She just cracks me up. She's saying, as teachers, we talk a lot, we explain, we repeat ourselves, we give more illustrations if the kids aren't understanding. And is it because we just love to hear ourselves talk? I like to talk, so maybe that's why I became a teacher, I'm not sure. But, we deprecate knowledge and, this is really, I mean, she doesn't mince words sometimes. We deprecate children. We do not understand that the mind and knowledge are two members of a ball and socket. Each of them is irrelevant without the other.
So, yeah, she's pretty strong about what she thinks about teachers explaining things over and over and over. Which is, that's it how it was when we were in school. Yeah. I mean, that's so totally, it was when I was in school. I kind of felt like...I'm gonna date myself here. Have any of you ever seen the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and the teacher is like, ??? he talks in a monotone like this. Then he's like, asks a question, and he's like, anyone? Anyone? Or like Charlie Brown's teacher, where it's like, wah, wah, wah. You know, like Charlie Brown's teacher's ever saying, right? It's just, he's like, wah wah wah.... and we're teaching them not to pay attention.
And so, again, these habits are the same. So, what are we giving them in high school? And I'll get your question in one second, honey. We follow the time tables still. Those short lessons to increase the habit of attention that's still a vital goal. Okay, good, Patricia, ??? We give them a wide and generous feast. We're still exposing them to art and music, we're exposing them to a variety of thinkers. That generous feast doesn't go away. We're using literary sources so, as much as possible, the books that we use are still, they're living books, they're written in a literary form, they're written by authors who are passionate about their subject. We're putting our child's mind in contact with the great minds of people who have written great things.
We still use narration as the primary method in high school. She talks about that what it's, we learn by retelling. And that's what makes those permanent imprints in our brain. So that doesn't go away. It changes, slightly, so that's a thing to consider. But narration is still the primary method. We're not gonna give 'em a bunch of workbooks now to prove that they are learning what they need to learn. It's still narration. We don't stunt the growth of ideas through questioning and lecturing. And this is a big one. And I won't read the quotes, but she talks a lot about this. That through living books, our children are given these ideas that are gonna take root and grow and connect with other ideas in their minds. But we can cut that process short with a bunch of questions about what they just read, or about a big lecture. Then that doesn't mean in high school we don't, we can't have a discussion, right? But they have to narrate first. But narration's what permanently making that idea permanent. And then we can have a discussion about the book or the topic or whatever.
But again, it's not lecturing. it's a discussion. there is a difference. And that we're still respecting the child as a person. So, I think in high school, it's important to remember what the role of a teacher is. That doesn't change either. And so, it says treat, this is on page 261 ??? Treat children in this reasonable way, mind to mind. Not so much the mind of the teacher to that of a child. That would be undue influence. But put the minds of thinkers who meet the child, mind to mind, in their books. Teachers, okay here's the teacher's job, performing the grateful office of presenting the one enthusiastic mind to the other. Here. I'm gonna put you in contact with Winston Churchill. Here. I'm gonna put you in contact with Harper Lee. I'm gonna put you in contact with, who else are we reading? Paul Johnson. I'm gonna put you in contact with Shakespeare. Okay? I'm gonna move out of the picture, here. My job is to make these, make this feast for you. It's your job to eat and assimilate what you need to know. So that doesn't change either.
So, just summarize, here, give you my little narration for today. I talked about how a Charlotte Mason education in high school is certainly rigorous enough. Their goal of educating our children at home, not just in high school, but all the way through, is that they will have a love of knowledge. That they will have a large room, a store of living ideas that they can draw from for their entire life, no matter what path they go on. That we're preparing them for life and not for earning a living. That the Charlotte Mason Methods don't change when you get to high school, that you're still following her principles. That the narration might change and that's one of the... that's what I'll talk about in our next video. And how to do that with a high schooler. And some of the more practical things, but the overall philosophy does not change. And the overall general principles don't change as well.
The other things that I wanted to talk about, what I said, were narration, literary analysis, that becomes ??? about that a lot in high school. What to do if your child's narrations in high school aren't living up to your expectations, or how to get those narrations a little bit more solid. So, that's what I will talk about next time. So, thanks for watching. I hope that this just gave you a little bit of insight and a little bit of inspiration for how to homeschool in high school with the Charlotte Mason Method. And then, in our next video, I'll go into some more practical details.
So, I'm gonna go back through if you have a question, you can leave it in the comments. If you wanna share this with someone who you think might be interested in that as well, they can watch it back from the beginning. And then I'll put some links in here to some of the things that I referenced if I can remember them all. But if there's something I forget, please let me know. So, anyway, I hope you all have a great day. And I'll talk to you soon. Bye.
Thank you for joining us today on the Charlotte Mason Show. I'm your host, Julie Ross, and I would love to meet you in person. All of the Great Homeschool Conventions have been rescheduled to 2021. Go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com to find a convention near you.
But you don't' have to wait until 2021 to experience the amazing speakers and vendors at the Great Homeschool Conventions. They now offer an online convention that you can find on GreatHomeschoolConventions.com.
Also, if you would like the show notes for today's episode, go to Homeschooling.mom. If you take a moment to subscribe to this podcast in iTunes and leave a review, I would greatly appreciate it. It helps get the word out about this podcast to our audience.
Thanks for joining me today. Until next time, may your home be filled with books, beauty, and Biblical truth.
A Special Thanks to our sponsors: