CMP Review 2023-04-04

CMP Review 2023-04-04

April 4, 2023

“We receive, almost daily, letters from mothers who would like their children to join the [Parents’ Union School] between [ages] four and five,” wrote an exasperated director of the P.U.S. in 1926. But then she steadfastly insisted: “we need to remind ourselves that children deprived of a quiet growing time suffer later.”

“Miss Mason has sketched briefly in the prospectus of the P.U.S. what lines pre-school training and occupation should follow,” she explained. Perhaps this “brief sketch” is referring to a single paragraph in an undated P.U.S. document said to be written before Charlotte Mason’s passing in 1923. But then, as now, parents want a little more guidance.

And so the Director of the P.U.S. aimed to meet that need while remaining true to Miss Mason’s ideals. Not “lessons” but “occupations.” Not “school” but a “playroom.” And so “Occupations for Children Under Schoolroom Age” was born. Who exactly wrote it? And what was its relationship to the elusive “Playroom Leaflet”?

Today Haley Struecker tackles these questions in an insightful editor’s note, and then she proceeds to read for us the vintage 1926 document. Packed with suggestions and wisdom, it shows us even today how “parents can share the quiet growing time with their children and give them their first delightful intimacies with books and things.” Read or hear it here.