CMP Review 2023-06-20

CMP Review 2023-06-20

June 20, 2023

In 1904, Charlotte Mason wrote that “The Parents’ Union exists to advance, with more or less method and with more or less steadfastness, a definite school of educational thought of which the two main principles are—the recognition of the physical basis of habit, i.e., of the material side of education; and of the inspiring and formative power of ideas, i.e., of the immaterial, or spiritual, side of education.”

This two-pronged focus, emphasizing both ideas and habits, has been tricky to maintain in the 100 years since Mason wrote those words. But in 1936, at a gathering of hundreds of Parents’ Union members in Ambleside, two leaders spoke in tandem about these two disparate ideas and how they apply to character training. Mary Hardcastle spoke on ideas and Claudia Shelley spoke on habit.

Today as we read Charlotte Mason’s six volumes we sometimes puzzle over Mason’s intricate and subtle thought. What does she mean by the “Way of the Will”? How about “the habit of perfect execution”? Help is available to us in the form of these two rare and insightful papers from 1936, written by graduates of Mason’s own House of Education.

But more than interpreting Mason’s thought for us, the papers also inspire us in new directions that build on Mason’s foundation. What would concepts like “the sacrament of the moment” and the habit of a “daily quiet time” mean to people who knew Miss Mason herself? With Katherine Dlugolonski as the voice of Mary Hardcastle and Jennifer Talsma as the voice of Claudia Shelley, now you can find out. Listen to or read these two timeless papers brought to life for the first time in almost one hundred years. You can find them together here.

📷: @aolander