The CMP Review — Week of September 18

The CMP Review — Week of September 18

September 18, 2023

I would like to highlight an author and illustrator I will always make room on my shelves for. Many have read Kate Seredy’s A Tree for Peter during advent and the Christmas season. It’s a favorite here which we circle back around to regularly. A few years ago we read through Kate Seredy’s other beautifully illustrated stories, which often celebrate themes of family, heritage, and the human spirit. Which of Kate Seredy’s books has touched your heart the most? Share your favorite moments or themes from her enchanting tales with us. Is there an author or illustrator who will always have a place on your bookshelves? Share your favorites below!


September 19, 2023

“Two years ago I had the privilege of visiting the Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella in Florence,” wrote Rose Amy Pennethorne in 1935. “I was shown over the Chapel by a policeman, and having never seen the colours of the frescoes before, I was struck by the prevailing colours of green, white and red. The policeman remarked, ‘The colours are a prophecy.’ I felt that the whole building was a prophecy.”

How could Pennethorne have felt it was anything less? A few years before she had studied at the House of Education where “a reproduction of the frescoes had its place in a central position for all to live with.” According to Essex Cholmondeley, “the students called it the ‘creed picture,’ coming slowly to understand how not only every increase in knowledge and power came by the Divine Spirit, but also the way of using the things and opportunities of daily life.”

The fresco was known as the “great recognition” at the House of Education, but when Pennethorne visited it in 1933, she surely saw its official name: “The Triumph of Saint Thomas Aquinas.” The name prompts a question that has confronted Charlotte Mason educators ever since: to what extent is Thomas Aquinas at the heart of Mason’s educational creed? What is his relationship to the Great Recognition? Find out by listening here to the story of the development of one of Mason’s most celebrated ideas.


September 20, 2023

Do you take your nature journal with you on your travels? Sometimes it’s all I can do to squeeze space in my carry-on as well as a few minutes to get out my paints. Months and years down the road, I’m always so glad I did.

Tip: Be sure to put enough contact information (and, perhaps, a reward amount) inside the front cover of your sketchbook just in case it gets inadvertently left behind.


September 21, 2023

Our transcription team experiences the joy of knowing that we are making vintage resources available not only to the English-speaking world, but to the entire world. We have enjoyed working with many organizations, and have been especially thrilled to work with the team at Charlotte Mason France. They have worked tirelessly to translate Charlotte Mason’s works into French, including many articles originally transcribed by our team.

But sometimes reaching the world requires more than a word-for-word translation. When Charlotte Roman (@romancharlottereve) considered the beloved Changing Year by Florence Haines, she realized that the names of species, the literary references, and the proverbs all catered to English culture. She had a vision to translate not just the words but the ideas into her own beloved language and heritage.

In Miss Mason’s final volume, she explains that in narration, “what [the child] can do is to assimilate and give this forth in a form which is original because it is modified, re-created, by the action of his own mind.” In the same way, Charlotte Roman has fulfilled her vision and created, illustrated, and published La Nature au fil de l’année, a thoroughly French remake of the classic by Florence Haines.

Join us in celebrating the work of Charlotte Mason France and @romancharlottereve, and let us pray for the continued release of living books and living ideas to the French-speaking world. To check out Charlotte Roman’s inspiring new book, follow this link.


📷: @romancharlottereve

September 22, 2023

For years and years, our daughter has been fascinated by glass blowing. Who can blame her? Taking raw materials and heating them up and turning them into something beautiful! How amazing is that?

I have been looking for classes nearby (there are none) or even near where my family lives (none there either) for a few years. And then, on vacation this summer, I found a 20-minute one-on-one class for her to take.

We gifted her the class as a surprise. Was she ever pleased!

The instructor was really great, guiding her through the all the steps, allowing her to do much of the work herself. She chose to do a pumpkin. She chose her colours. He showed her how to pick up the accent colour glass bits. He had a fancy ribbed mold to make the pumpkin shape.

I think her favourite part was the actual blowing. The only bit the instructor did himself was to add the peduncle quickly at the end.

It really is lovely and was such fun for her to do (and for us to watch)!

Has anyone in your family ever tried glass blowing?


September 23, 2023

One of my little 6-year-old neighbour friends comes running and says “Mrs. Greco! Mrs. Greco! Come and see the mushrooms in the shape of a big exclamation point on your lawn!”

How sweet is that?

😍 🍄


September 24, 2023

How do we keep our hearts faithful to the Lord, and encourage our children to do the same?

If we think believers are “silly sheep,” then perhaps our best bet is to “fence them in,” to keep our children (and ourselves) in a safe, enclosed space which we hope will keep the robber out.

But what if sheep can be sensitive instead of silly? What if they can learn to know the voice of the shepherd that is “music in their ear”? And what if they can learn to shun the voice of a stranger?

Today we begin a series of poems by Charlotte Mason on Jesus the Good Shepherd. Listen or read to the beautiful poem by Miss Mason about sheep who delight in the music of their Lord. Find it here.


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