The CMP Review — Week of May 29

The CMP Review — Week of May 29

May 29, 2023

We’ve had such a delightful experience witnessing the journey of a Carolina Wren family right from nest building to fledging. My children and I spent countless hours on our porch, captivated by their tireless efforts in nurturing their chicks. The wrens’ commitment to feeding their young was awe-inspiring, relatable, and we were amazed by the fascinating assortment of bugs they brought as meals. Not only did we get an up-close view of their parenting skills, but we also noticed how meticulously they maintained their cozy nest as home. Such a great reminder of the incredible wonders of nature.


May 30, 2023

Nancy Hatch studied at the House of Education and spent a lifetime meditating on the principles she learned there. At the top of her list was Charlotte Mason’s first principle. “One of Charlotte Mason’s greatest contributions to educational thought was her statement that the child is a person,” wrote Mrs. Hatch. “She herself called it a revolutionary idea.”

After spending many years as a headmistress of a PNEU school, she began writing and speaking on the topic of “children as persons.” Mrs. Hatch engaged with the full scope of the idea, including the inherent rights of the child. But that raised an interesting question. Did the notion of authority and obedience somehow encroach upon the personhood of the child?

Hatch’s firm answer was “No.” Writing in 1961, at the beginning of the “countercultural decade,” she insisted that “It is misleading [to] suggest that authority violates the rights of the person.” The real problem, she explained, is that “the obedience most often inculcated by parents is no obedience at all, it is a mere invention to save themselves trouble in dealing with their children.”

Read or listen to Mrs. Hatch’s careful explanation of how obedience, when rightly understood, is not inimical to, but rather essential to, the personhood of the child. Find it here.

📷: @aolander


May 31, 2023

Do you, like Charlotte Mason, take a daily dose of poetry?

This is my current selection. By the way, my eldest son recommended Ursula Le Guin to me. He absolutely loved her Steering The Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, which he read in high school.

I haven’t read it myself so can’t give you a personal recommendation, but the book focuses on the craft of wordsmithing. One chapter title references my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson, called “Indirect Narration, or What Tells—Exercise: Telling it Slant” so I’m thinking that’s a good sign.


June 1, 2023

This week is a very special time for me at The Armitt in Ambleside. This is the year of the special exhibition on the life and legacy of Charlotte Mason, entitled “Learning through the Natural World.” The exhibition includes unique workshops such as the one I attended on Tuesday conducted by Leah Boden and Lynn Seddon and entitled “Nature as Teacher.”

But this week is special for another reason. I have visited The Armitt many times over the years as part of my effort to better understand Charlotte Mason’s life-changing ideas. My ultimate goal has been to apply these ideas in my home. I saw fruit in my own life, and I had faith that I would see fruit in the lives of my children too.

My daughter grew up in a home where we intentionally but imperfectly followed Miss Mason’s principles. She finished homeschool a few years ago and is making her own way in the world. But when she had a few days at the end of a college trip, where do you think she wanted to go?

I like to think of this visit as my daughter’s way of saying thank you for everything Charlotte Mason has given us. My daughter is here helping me to do research. And you can help too. Everything at Charlotte Mason Poetry is done by volunteers. It’s a labor of love. Post a comment if you want to be part of it.


June 2, 2023

Lilac season is very short, but it just smells so wonderful!!!


June 3, 2023

How do you spot another Charlotte Mason educator?

A House of Education graduate had a suggestion published in the April 1904 issue of L’Umile Pianta: “As it is almost impossible for most if not all of us ex-students to wear the [HOE] College Colours, as either a tie or a hatband, will ex-students all agree to wearing a small rosette or bow of the green and brown, as it would quickly catch an ex-student’s eye, without being otherwise conspicuous.”

What would be the benefit of this code of accessories? “…it is delightful to find an ‘Amblesidian’ within visiting distance, which is sometimes the case, but it’s often not quickly discovered. For instance, I see in our Magazine the address of a student who has just begun work within easy walking distance of my own post.”

So, how about your neighbor down the street or the woman at the park with her children? Perhaps they homeschool and use the CM method. Maybe we should try wearing a small rosette or bow of green and brown. Perhaps someone will notice and we’ll find a new friend for life.


June 4, 2023

In the Gospel of John, we read that Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He.” The Greek word for “lift up” (ὑψόω) also means “exalt.” What is Jesus referring to in this saying?

Charlotte Mason provides an interpretation in her poem about the day that Jesus pleaded “in passionate urgency with the men He had come to save.” Read or hear it here.