The CMP Review — Week of June 24

The CMP Review — Week of June 24

June 24, 2024

“So let us not be depressed and rudderless. Let the young mothers take fresh courage, knowing that as they sow so will they reap, and that no personal sacrifice is too great to ensure the friendships of our daughters. It is laid in the foundation of the earliest education, and the home atmosphere is the most important factor. And I would exhort those who know the precious gift of friendships to help other mothers and daughters to draw nearer to each other. Let us take for our motto: “We must all help each other in this world because it is a debt we owe each other.” (Steinthal, “Friendship Between Mothers and Daughters”, PR16, p. 417)


June 25, 2024

In 1926 a notice appeared in the January issue of the Parents’ Review. “The attention of Members is called to this Course,” it said, “which is open to all Members of the P.N.E.U. and the Parents’ Union School Association.” Charlotte Mason’s sixth volume had just been published the year before, and now educators were being invited to read it together:

The five volumes of the Home Education Series are set for study. These books were specially prepared from time to time by Miss C. M. Mason for the use of the Parents’ National Educational Union. The method of these volumes is a progressive amplification of the principles of the Union… The course also includes Miss Mason’s latest and most important work, An Essay towards a Philosophy of Education.

Ninety years later a new notice appeared on the Charlotte Mason Poetry website. Educators around the world were invited again to read the six volumes and experience the “progressive amplification of the principles” of Miss Mason. The Idyll Challenge was born, a two-year reading schedule with group discussions. Eight years and four challenges later, the format has proven effective.

What does reading the volumes accomplish? Several parent-educators have compiled their testimonies and together we issue the next challenge. Perhaps this is the year for you to start reading the Home Education Series for yourself. Wherever you are in the world, we probably have a group for you. But space is limited. Read more and sign up here.


June 26, 2024

Recently, my dream of meeting a longtime online friend in person was fulfilled. Tricia of nature+nurture and I are what Charlotte refers to as “Friends brought to us by the Circumstances of Life.” She says:

It is not the friends of our election who have exclusive claims upon us; the friends brought to us here and there by the circumstances of life all claim our loyalty, and from these we get, as did David Copperfield, kindness for kindness, service for service, loyalty for loyalty, full measure, heaped together and running over. (Ourselves, Book II, p. 32)

Have you read Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on friendship? In Ourselves, Miss Mason references great literature to help us and our children recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships. You can read her thoughts here.


June 26, 2024

Being a dad is hard work. Being a homeschool dad is even harder. We have to provide and protect. We have to remain vigilant, even when called to the ends of the earth.

But there is more to manhood than slaying dragons. We also have to provide love and guidance to our dependents at home. Cultivating tenderness while maintaining authority is a tall order. It can seem even harder than our battles in the world.

That’s why every dad needs wisdom. My friend David Dangerfield found it in an unexpected place. The dad of large homeschooled family including adult married children, he had already learned quite a bit from experience. So he was surprised to discover that Charlotte Mason, though never having kids of her own, had countless priceless insights on child development and education to share.

“I truly believe she was inspired by the Holy Spirit during her work,” wrote David, “and we can all benefit from the wisdom contained within her volumes.”

This wisdom is available for you too. You can join us in the Idyll Challenge, a group of men committing to reading and discussing Charlotte Mason’s six volumes. Registration only opens once every two years. We’re accepting new members now. Come and experience what David, and so many other fathers, are talking about. Find out more here.


June 28, 2024

When I was a child, we used to always have fireflies in our backyard during the southern Ontario summers.

Here and now in Manitoba, they are a rare event.

This year, we’ve been treated to quite the firefly display right in our own backyard! What a spectacle!

I’ve been unable to get a nighttime photo of the fireflies in action, but here’s one friend that came for a daytime visit.

My bird girl who is also expert in flying things of all sorts told me that this is the male. Because he is larger than the female we also saw (but I did not photograph).

Do you see fireflies regularly where you live?


June 29, 2024

Look at this. It is so full of promise of wonderful things to come!

When I see something like this milkweed about to burst forth in bloom, I am reminded of God’s promises to us.

Will the monarchs come and lay their eggs here this year? Maybe. Maybe not. Hopefully so.

But, either way, the Lord is with us.

And we await the coming of the kingdom with expectation and longing and hope.


June 30, 2024

In his 1983 book The second Christianity, John Hick describes the faith of the Old Testament prophets:

God was known to them as a dynamic will interacting with their own wills; a sheer given reality, as inescapably to be reckoned with as destructive storm and life-giving sunshine or the fixed features of the land or the hatred of their enemies and the friendship of their neighbours. He was not to them an inferred reality but an experienced reality.

Dr. William Lane Craig points to these words as an explanation of the idea that we “can know that God exists wholly apart from arguments simply by experiencing him.” In fact, warns Craig, “there’s the danger that arguments for God could actually distract our attention from God himself.”

Perhaps this is part of what Jesus had in mind when He said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes.” And so Dr. Craig invites us: “If you’re sincerely seeking God then God will make his existence evident to you.” Charlotte Mason invites too, in her poem “I Thank Thee, O Father!” Read or hear it here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *