Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's a lifestyle, not a system

From today's Charlotte Mason quote at A Full Life:

If a human being were a machine, education could do more for him than to set him in action in prescribed ways, and the work of the educator would be simply to adopt a good working system or set of systems.

But the educator has to deal with a self-acting, self-developing being, and his business is to guide, and assist in, the production of the latent good in that being, the dissipation of the latent evil, the preparation of the child to take his place in the world at his best, with every capacity for good that is in him developed into a power.

Though system is a highly useful as an instrument of education, a ’system of education’ is mischievous, as producing only mechanical action instead of the vital growth and movement of a living being.

Yes. Living beings cannot be pegged into systems. For us, a combination of CM and unschoolish ideas, seasoned with some classical flavor, allows for individuality, flexibility and the following of interests and passions in way that a more prescribed curriculum (or system) might not.

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