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Charlotte Mason Poetry

Charlotte Mason Poetry Team

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Charlotte Mason Poetry is dedicated to promoting Charlotte Mason’s living ideas. We strive to share an authentic interpretation of Mason’s life work through a combination of original and vintage articles by a wide variety of authors. Our team draws from and transcribes many rare and wonderful documents from the PNEU many of which cannot be found anywhere else on the web.
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Charlotte Mason wrote that the teacher’s “part is not the weariful task of spoon-feeding, but the delightful commerce of equal minds where his is the part of guide, philosopher and friend.” It’s easy to assume that Miss Mason herself coined the phrase, but the fact is that people had been applying the label “guide, philosopher … The post Guide, Phi…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff After reading about the House of Education under the principalships of Ellen Parish and Joyce van Straubenzee, readers of the “memories” issue of The Parents’ Review were treated to a memoir of the time when Charlotte Mason herself was the principal of the school. Kathleen Conder arrived at the House … The post Mem…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In 1937, Essex Cholmondeley resigned from her position as the third principal of the House of Education. She was succeeded by Miss Joyce van Straubenzee, who presided over the renaming of the school to the Charlotte Mason College in 1938. Miss Straubenzee had previously served as the principal of the … The post Cha…
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I recently received a text message from a fellow Charlotte Mason educator. “It’s interesting,” she wrote, “to meet another mom who is doing Charlotte Mason and just told me that she has never read any of the 6 volumes.” My friend’s message revealed a common assumption: anyone who is really “doing Charlotte Mason” is also … The post Idyll Challenge …
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Tucked away in northwest England, Ambleside continues to represent the geographical heart of a Charlotte Mason education for many. The stunning landscape of the region is punctuated by sparkling blue lakes, rolling green hills, and meadows adorned with wildflowers so celebrated by the poetry of William Wordsworth. While novelist Daniel Defoe declar…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff After an opening article by Henrietta Franklin, the “memories” issue of The Parents’ Review continued with a reprint of Charlotte Mason’s “Educational Manifesto,” found today on page 214 of School Education. Next was an article by Essex Cholmondeley sharing memories about the House of Education under its second pri…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff The May 1952 issue of The Parents’ Review was dedicated to looking back. But this was no mere nostalgia or reminiscence; always the view was towards linking the work of Charlotte Mason in the past to the new work of the present and the future. Some articles touched on specific … The post Memories of the Past first …
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Charlotte Mason wrote, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” In other words, “parents and teachers should know how to make sensible use of a child’s circumstances (atmosphere) to forward his sound education; should train him in the discipline of the habits of the good life; and should nourish his life with ideas, the … The post Habits…
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In January we ran a series of vintage articles by Olive Norton, a homeschool mother of the 1950s and ’60s who became the headmistress of a PNEU School. She had a special connection with history because it was her school that the daughters of Susan Schaeffer Macaulay attended, and thus it was through Mrs. Norton … The post A Modern-Day Olive Norton …
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff On November 23, 1897, the Rev. Herbert Spenser Swithinbank (1853–1937) gave an address to the Dulwich Branch of the PNEU. His text was Luke 2:43 from the English Revised Version: “the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem.” By contrast, the King James Version reads, “the child Jesus tarried behind in … The post The…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Readers of Charlotte Mason’s Home Education know the name Arthur Burrell from the chapter on recitation: “On this subject,” writes Charlotte Mason, “I cannot do better than refer the reader to Mr Arthur Burrell’s [book] Recitation.”[1] It is hard to imagine a stronger endorsement of Burrell’s1891 Recitation: A Hand…
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Editor’s Note by Richele Baburina Little could Charlotte Mason imagine that one day the Annual Conference of the PNEU would be held at the House of Parliament. There, surrounded by portraits of England’s kings and queens, William Dyce’s oils of King Arthur and his court, along with mosaics, friezes, and sculptures depicting important moments in … T…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Charlotte Mason’s most obvious link to John Ruskin is found in her lengthy quotation from Mornings in Florence in Parents and Children. Less obvious is the link from Ruskin to the practice of picture study in the House of Education, the Parents’ Union School, and homeschools today. This fascinating piece … The post…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Mary Gillies began her studies at Charlotte Mason’s House of Education in 1914. Six years later she joined the staff of the Burgess Hill PNEU School, serving as assistant mistress.[1] Burgess Hill had been founded in 1906 by Beatrice Goode and was notable for teaching girls through all six forms, … The post Picture…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Madeline C. M. Lambert (1892–1965) arrived at the House of Education in 1912 where she learned the art of living and teaching from Charlotte Mason herself. Miss Lambert then cared for her “widowed father until she was free to teach.” Then in 1919, she was invited to help Laura Faunce … The post Picture Study, by Ma…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff As Charlotte Mason’s ideas become more and more popular in homeschools and other kinds of schools, an increasingly common question is whether her philosophy can be applied within the church context, such as in Sunday school. At Charlotte Mason Poetry, we have shared two accounts from people who have introduced … Th…
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Imagine what it would be like to have a quiet growing place for parents in a digitally saturated world. A place where parents and educators could be mentored and instructed in Charlotte Mason’s ideas without looking at a screen. A place where the beauty of the printed page could speak to the heart. Cara Williams … The post An Uncommon Quarterly fir…
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Editor’s Note by Angela Reed The defense of Latin is a tradition almost as old as the language itself. In the modern era, one can find many passionate defenders of lingua Latina in homeschool discussion forums or in Facebook groups, where they swiftly emerge out of the digital woodwork in response to posts like the … The post Latin — the elegant To…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In 1944, Essex Cholmondeley had not yet written her biography of Charlotte Mason, and she was no longer principal of the House of Education. Nevertheless she was still quite active in the PNEU, and she occasionally wrote articles for The Parents’ Review to shed light on educational issues of her … The post The Mind…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Daisy Golding was the Headmistress of the Hanham Road Girls’ Elementary School in Bristol. In 1918, her school took the bold step of adopting the Charlotte Mason method. She quickly became an expert in the method and corresponded frequently with Miss Mason herself. In June 1920, a conference was held … The post The…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In the fall of 1927, a headmistress wrote to Elsie Kitching to ask about a fine point in the practice of narration in a group setting. Elsie Kitching’s response not only clarified the fine point but also provided a robust model for how to interpret and apply Charlotte Mason’s method. … The post Concerning Repeated …
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In the final pages of the December 1921 issue of The Parents’ Review, five paragraphs appeared under the heading, “Extract from a letter.” No information was given about the writer or recipient of the letter, but the excerpt described a method by which a school with “a little organisation will … The post The Group …
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Personhood Explored: The Atmosphere of Personhood This is the final article in a series on Charlotte Mason’s concept of personhood. The first article dealt with Mason’s doctrine of personhood, discussing what Mason believed the human person is. The second article explored how Mason’s doctrine of personhood inevitably led her to urge the pursuit of …
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Personhood Explored: The Discipline of Personhood This is the second article in a three-part series exploring Charlotte Mason’s concept of personhood. The first article was concerned with personhood from the angle of doctrine. That is, what did Mason believe theologically about the personhood of human beings, and thus the personhood of children? Ou…
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Personhood Explored: The Doctrine of Personhood From the time I was very young, I felt strongly that I was a person. I felt I was a unique individual, with undiscovered depths within me waiting to shine forth. One way I attempted to “shine forth” my unique personhood as a child was in climbing a large … The post Charlotte Mason’s Paradoxical Princi…
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Two weeks ago we met Olive Norton, the homeschool mother who taught her daughter at home all the way through the secondary level. Then we learned that after graduating her daughter, Mrs. Norton became the headmistress of a small PNEU school. On a fateful January day in the early 1970s, two girls visited that school. … The post Olive Norton: The Rec…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Last week we shared the remarkable story of Olive Norton, the homeschool mother. Her testimony as a mother-teacher was reported in the 1962 issue of The Parents’ Review, soon after her daughter had left the “home-schoolroom … at the age of sixteen and a half years.” As with many parents … The post Olive Norton: The…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In December 1962, an extraordinary article appeared in The Parents’ Review. Entitled “A P.U.S. Home-Schoolroom,” it was written by a veteran homeschool mother named Olive Norton. Mrs. Norton wrote the article at the end of her homeschooling journey; she had educated her children for more than twelve years. On this …
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Twenty-two years ago I was a young father with a little boy, my first child, aged two. My father-in-law called me aside. “How are you going to educate your son?” he asked. I had no idea. I had hopes and fears for the future, but I had no vision. I wanted the best for this … The post A Father and Son Look Back first appeared on Charlotte Mason Poetr…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Frances Blogg (1869–1938) served as the Organising Secretary of the PNEU from 1896–1901.[1] During this time she was courted by and then engaged to the celebrated writer and philosopher G. K. Chesterton. After their marriage in 1901, Frances Chesterton moved on from her formal role in the PNEU, but she … The post T…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In April 1890, the third issue of a fledgling periodical entitled The Parents’ Review was delivered to subscribers. Under the standard subtitle “A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture,” this third issue included yet another heading: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”—Matthew Arnold.[1] The…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Back in March we shared a 1961 article entitled “Joy to be Shared” by a schoolteacher named Donald Beswick. He was writing at a time when the popular conception of music was undergoing rapid and radical change, and he offered a bold and compelling case for the enduring value of … The post Joy to be Bought first app…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff “Many interesting letters from all parts of the world have been received at the Office,” stated the annual report of the PNEU in 1936. For example, “a letter of enquiry was received from Vancouver, the writer having been encouraged to write by reading of Mrs. Egerton Evans’ experiences in her … The post A Home-Scho…
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In July 2019 I had the privilege of attending the CiRCE National Conference. The topic that year was “A Contemplation of Form,” and the event was nothing less than a celebration of absolutes in a world of relativism. The conference opened with a panel discussion designed to “set the tone for the conference,”[1] and set … The post The Relativization…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Merriam-Webster defines an idyll as “a simple descriptive work in poetry or prose that deals with rustic life or pastoral scenes or suggests a mood of peace and contentment.”[1] In November 1912, Charlotte Mason observed that three educational idylls had emerged on the world scene. The first idyll was described … T…
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When do children outgrow the Charlotte Mason method? The firm belief of Charlotte Mason and the PNEU was that they never do. That’s what we believe too. We’ve shared several Parents’ Review articles that address the upper forms from many perspectives, and now we’re discussing the lessons we’ve learned. In this very special episode, Antonella, … The…
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Editor’s Note, by Jennifer Talsma On December 6, 1935, over 50 people from around Ireland gathered to attend a meeting of the PNEU’s Dublin Branch, held in Milford, County Armagh. They were addressed by Mrs. Claudia Shelley and Mr. Monk Gibbon. Mrs. Shelley, who gave the address that follows, was a graduate of the House … The post Education in The …
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Elsie Kitching served as Charlotte Mason’s personal assistant for many years before succeeding her as editor of The Parents’ Review and Director of the Parents’ Union School. Kitching’s understanding of and devotion to Miss Mason’s ideas were unparalleled, making her an especially valuable interpreter of Charlotte …
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In January 1931 “the largest P.N.E.U. School in England” was at Burgess Hill. At that time, the school had been operating for more than two decades and had “a most excellent record of success.”[1] It was one of five registered PNEU schools that covered all six forms, educating young people … The post The P.U.S. Wor…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff The Craig Preparatory School of Windermere was founded in 1899 and led by William Snow, its first headmaster, until 1936.[1] When the Great War came to England, the headmaster’s son, Thomas William Snow, went to serve in France. He fought in “the 57th West Lancs Divisional Artillery and was awarded … The post Boys’…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In 1931, a letter appeared in The Times Educational Supplement. “Dear Editor,” it began, “I have been asked to answer the criticism that the Parents’ National Educational Union (a) offers help to parents for young children only, and (b) disapproves of public examinations.” The author of the letter was Rev. … The po…
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“The great recognition, that God the Holy Spirit is Himself, personally, the Imparter of knowledge, the Instructor of youth, the Inspirer of genius.” It’s an idea that infuses education with meaning and life. What could more powerfully transform the daily routine of a home educator than the thought of “the divine teaching as co-operating with … The…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Vera Pim attended the House of Education in 1926, where she received distinction in the subject of teaching.[1] After graduating, she went to Dublin and on January 18, 1928, she read an original paper at the Dublin Branch of the PNEU.[2] The paper was entitled “Education and Life,” and it … The post Education And L…
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“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 post Thomas Aquinas and the Great Reco…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff When do children outgrow the Charlotte Mason method? The firm belief of Charlotte Mason and the PNEU was that they never do. However, Mason and her followers were realistic about the challenges faced by teachers who wished to apply the method in the upper years. These challenges were openly discussed … The post The…
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“Upon first hearing the foundational principle of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, ‘Children are born persons,’ I couldn’t have been less impressed,” wrote one homeschool mother. Said another: “It’s hard to imagine that anybody even needed to say that.” She went on: “I’ve heard some people say this first principle is not really needed anymore… We know …
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff Rhoda M. Harrison was a student at the House of Education in 1928.[1] After graduating, she served on the staff of the PNEU School at Burgess Hill[2] before becoming the co-principal of her own PNEU School in Haslemere.[3] Through her study of Charlotte Mason’s writings and her own experience as … The post The Firs…
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Editor’s Note, by Art Middlekauff In 1897, the Women’s Institute was founded in Saltfleet, Ontario.[1] Ethel Somers describes its origins: The women of Canada, in their scattered homes, often many miles apart, felt the urgent need of each other’s help and advice—the need of discussing domestic problems, educational difficulties and social possibili…
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What is the ultimate purpose of education? What are we trying to accomplishing in our homeschools and our schools? In the final analysis is education about “the assimilation of facts [and] the retention of information”? Is its goal to achieve “knowledge of external nature”? Or is it more about the heart than the head? Is … The post Where Virtue is …
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by Sheila Fawcett (C.M.C) The Parents’ Review, 1957, pp. 71-73 Even in childhood I looked forward to the time when I should have children of my own. At first I thought six sons would be an ideal family, but later I reduced my aspirations to two sons and one daughter. Things turned out otherwise, and … The post The Only Child first appeared on Charl…
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