CMP Review 2023-08-29

CMP Review 2023-08-29

August 29, 2023

When I mentor and advise homeschool parents, I often hear concerns about obedience and attitude. I am told of children who won’t do the lessons they are supposed to enjoy, won’t engage in the activities that are supposed to be fun, won’t do the things they are supposed to do.

When I hear these concerns, I usually turn to the “will, skill, hill” model. Sometimes children don’t do what they’re told because they will not. Sometimes they don’t do what they’re asked because they can’t — they lack a certain skill. And sometimes they want to do the right thing, and they are able to do the right thing, but something in their environment makes it painful or hard.

So often we assume the problem is just with the child’s will. It is much harder as a parent to look in the mirror and examine whether we’ve failed to give our children a skill, or whether we’ve created an insurmountable hill.

Rhoda Harrison studied at the House of Education and then ran her own PNEU school. She became an expert on the education of little children using Charlotte Mason’s ideas. The PNEU even published a booklet by her on the topic.

Rhoda’s first article on the early years was published in 1936. The article means a lot to me because it tells a touching story of a little girl who disobeyed. Some would have punished this little girl for her stubborn will. But Miss Harrison had the courage to take a step back and look in the mirror. She discovered a hill. And that discovery made all the difference.

Read or listen to the many ideas and principles developed and shared by Rhoda Harrison in her vintage 1936 article here.