The CMP Review — Week of July 17

The CMP Review — Week of July 17

July 17, 2023

“Let us arm our children for the slings and arrows of later life by cultivating the spirit of innocent laughter. Let us give them something to laugh at, to laugh at without any suspicion of malice. Thus only do they learn the relative importance of events and how not to make mountains out of mole-hills. We cannot expect in them a subtle sense of humour, but we can fill their young lives with wholesome laughter, and Lewis Carroll and Rudyard Kipling are always at hand to help us.” (Conyers Alston, “Children and Books,” PR37, p. 191)


July 18, 2023

In Charlotte Mason’s final volume, she summarized the key element of Bible lessons in her method:

The children narrate what has been read after the reading… Now this is no parrot-exercise, but is the result of such an assimilation of the passage that it has become a part of the young scholar. It is only by trying the method oneself on such an incident, for example, as the visit of Nicodemus or the talk with the woman of Samaria, that we realise the wonderful dearness with which each incident is brought out, the fullness of meaning with which every phrase is invested by such personal effort.

Don Rhymer took Mason at her word and applied her method to the Gospel passages about Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. What he found was something more than just the power of narration. He also found fresh insights into how Jesus Himself helped the people He encountered to understand and assimilate God’s Word. These insights can powerfully inform how we discuss Scripture with our own children. Listen to Rhymer’s exposition of these ideas in his inspiring lecture recorded live at the Living Education Retreat earlier this month. You can find it here.


July 19, 2023

Great news! The Charlotte Mason Arithmetic Series from Simply Charlotte Mason has placed 3rd in the Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards!

So many things make this award special. Not only are the Practical Homeschooling awards based on customer satisfaction and not just the number of votes a resource receives, but it wasn’t so long ago that people doubted the existence of a Charlotte Mason-approach to mathematics. Probably the best thing, though, is that there are parents and children who are together experiencing the beauty, truth, and joy found in the study of math.

Thank you to everyone who voted!


📷: @aolander

July 20, 2023

Nature is not like the cinema. A good movie captures your attention, compels your senses, and choreographs your emotions. Nature does not thrust its delights upon you; it is so much more discrete. In fact, sometimes it camouflages them.

Only upon close inspection did the flower reveal its secret. It was hosting a visitor as hidden from the admirer as from the predator. The little bug’s colors so perfectly matched the petals that it seemed the Artist had painted them from the same palette on the same day. Only the motion perhaps gave him away. But I had to gaze long enough to see.

I fixed my eye until I could remember the pattern on his back, then sat on a nearby log and tried to draw what I had seen. The value was perhaps less in the painting than in the knowing that I would paint. That too compelled me to see.

Nature is not like the cinema. A good movie promises excitement without effort and emotion without engagement. Nature promises something so different. Wordsworth described it well: “A foretaste, a dim earnest, of the calm that nature breathes among the hills and groves.” A little bug breathed on me, and peace was my reward.


July 21, 2023

“The flowers [and the bugs], it is true, are not new; but the children are…”

Mind you, this fifteen-spotted lady beetle was actually new to me, too! :heart_eyes:

All of us were mesmerized!

(Vol I, p 53)


July 22, 2023

“Now, everyone carries… in his own breast—a rule by which he judges of the integrity of a workman. He knows whether the work turned out by such and such a man is whole and complete, is what we call honest work… The honest worker he considers a person of integrity, that is, a whole man.” (Ourselves, Book I, p. 168)


July 23, 2023

“Moses wants to know, to have certitude,” writes Walter Brueggemann, describing one of the most mystical and mysterious passages of the Old Testament. “Moses wants to know about the future and the mode of God’s presence with Israel.”

Moses pleads and God responds. “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest,” He assures him. Moses makes a second request. God responds again, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken.”

“Yahweh … seems to give over to Moses all that has been asked,” explains Brueggemann. “Moses, one more time, is relentless. He has now received assurance of ‘face,’ ‘rest,’ and ‘favor.’ Now he asks one more request: ‘Show me your glory.’ ‘Glory’ bespeaks God’s awesome, shrouded, magisterial presence, something like an overpowering light. It is in this passage as though the request for glory is to draw even closer, more dangerously, more intimately, to the very core of God’s own self.”

Amazingly, God grants this final request too. What does Moses see? That is the contemplation of today’s poem by Charlotte Mason. I listened to it and chills ascended my spine. It is a devotion that must be heard to be believed. Find it here.


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