Monday, March 10, 2014

{My CM Journal} Not a "Pope"

I didn't end up having time last week to write the post I wanted to publish today; instead, I just want to share a quote from Charlotte Mason's Home Education (Vol. 1 of The Original Home Schooling Series).
So far as education is a science, the truth of even ten --much more, a hundred--years ago is not the whole truth of today.
'Thoughts beyond their thought to those high seers were given';
and, in proportion as the urgency of educational effort presses upon us, will be the ardour of our appreciation, the diligence of our employment, of those truths which the great pioneers, Froebel and the rest, have won for us by no less than prophetic insight. But, alas, and alas, for the cravings of lazy human nature --we may not have an educational pope; we must think out for ourselves, as well as work out, those things that belong to the perfect bringing-up of our children. (p. 185)
I appreciate Charlotte Mason so much. She had so much insight and wisdom. I have only just begun to scratch the surface of all that I can learn from her. And yet, she also is not an "educational pope" (that is, an infallible authority). I doubt she would have appreciated hordes of followers doing things just "because Charlotte Mason says so." No, we ourselves must think, and do things because they are right.

I think it may also be worth saying that we should not be going around spouting the wisdom of our "educational pope" without acting on that wisdom for ourselves. We need to "work out" the principles we learn, and in doing that we will find out for ourselves whether they are really true.