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Episode #16 | Education is an Atmosphere (Relationships with People)
Charlotte Mason famously stated that parents and teachers have three instruments available to educate children: atmosphere, discipline, and life.
What did Charlotte mean by “atmosphere?” She explains: “When we say that “education is an atmosphere,” we do not mean that a child should be isolated in what may be called a ‘child-environment’ especially adapted and prepared, but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the child’s level.”
In this episode I discuss why children learn better when in mixed-age classrooms, and what they learn from the natural relationships of their family and community. Finally, I discuss how children form a relationship with God and how we can nurture an atmosphere that invites the Spirit.
“First, we must control our behavior. Next, we must control the environment of our home. If we have done this, the children will control themselves.” (Glenn Latham, The Power of Positive Parenting)
“We all know the natural conditions under which a child should live; how he shares household ways with his mother, romps with his father, is teased by his brothers and petted by his sisters; is taught by his tumbles; learns self-denial by the baby’s needs, the delightfulness of furniture by playing at battle and siege with sofa and table; learns veneration for the old by the visits of his great-grandmother; how to live with his equals by the chums he gathers round him; learns intimacy with animals from his dog and cat; ” (Vol 6, pg 96)