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Episode #7 | Children Are Born Persons
It’s important to understand principles, to have a framework, before we move on to applying Mason’s methods.
So for the rest of the season we’ll be discussing the big ideas in Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles. First, Children are Born Persons.
“We believe that the first article of our P.N.E.U. educational creed—“children are born persons”—is of a revolutionary character; for what is a revolution but a complete reversal of attitude?”
Why is it so revolutionary to think of children as persons? And how does this mentality change how we parent and teach children? In this episode we’ll explore what this seemingly simple phrase means, and how our current culture measures up.
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“This is how we find children with intelligence more acute, logic more keen, observing powers more alert, moral sensibilities more quick, love and faith and hope more abounding; in fact, in all points as we are, only more so; but absolutely ignorant of the world and it’s belongings, of us in our ways, and, above all, of how to control and direct and manifest the infinite possibilities with which they are born.” (Parents and Children)
“These are things everybody knows; and for that very reason, nobody realizes the wonder of this rapid progress in the art of living, nor augurs from it that a child, even an infant child, is no contemptible person judged by any of the standards we apply to his elders. He can accomplish more than any of us could in a given time, and, supposing we could start fair with him in the arts he practices, he would be a long way ahead of us by the end of his second year.” (Charlotte Mason, Children are Born Persons article)
“Boys and girls are, on the whole, good, and desirous to do their duty… While many of us err in leaning too much to our own understanding and our own efforts and not trusting sufficiently to the dutiful impulse which will carry children through the work they are expected to do.” (Charlotte Mason, School Education, pg 40)
“I am considering a child as he is, and I am not tracing him either, with Wordsworth, to the heights above, or, with the evolutionist, to the depths below; because a person is a mystery; that is, we cannot explain him or account for him, but must accept him as he is.” (Charlotte Mason, Children are Born Persons article)
“BF Skinner could be described as a man who conducted most of his experiments on rodents and pigeons and wrote most of his books about people.” (Alfie Kohn, Punished by Rewards, p 6)