Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thou hast set my feet in a large room

The title of this blog comes from the 31st Psalm, as quoted by Charlotte Mason in her writings on the education of children:

"Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life.––We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking––the strain would be too great––but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him? I know you may bring a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink. What I complain of is that we do not bring our horse to the water. We give him miserable little text-books, mere compendiums of facts, which he is to learn off and say and produce at an examination; or we give him various knowledge in the form of warm diluents, prepared by his teacher with perhaps some grains of living thought to the gallon. And all the time we have books, books teeming with ideas fresh from the minds of thinkers upon every subject to which we can wish to introduce children." (Charlotte Mason's original Home Education series, Vol 3 pg 171-172)

I believe the rearing and education of chidren to be one of the greatest callings any person can undertake. The children I call my own are in fact children of our Heavenly Father, who have been entrusted to me to care for, lead and teach--the greatest stewardship he could possibly entrust me with. I call on His guidance to direct my efforts.


Renae said...

Welcome to blogging! Your first steps are perfect, and your header is beautiful. It reminds me that God has given us a beautiful home to explore and enjoy. It produces food for our bodies and our souls.

Peace to you,
Life Nurturing Education

Paula said...

Thank you Renae. The grapes are currently growing in my little container garden. I like the reminder too that we need to be nourished by the true vine.