Friday, June 11, 2010

The Best

I first need to say that getting rid of our home computer and moving just to my laptop as done wonders for me getting off the computer. Not that I was on it a lot, but I found it too easy to get on before. Now I almost loath it! My laptop is slow and often crashes and it takes me a much longer time to check my emails. Making a comment on someone's blog takes up to 5 minutes. So that little experiment is working well. Maybe too well?

Back to the point. I've been reading Charlotte Mason's Original works. (Lazy can be really pushy that way sometimes). I've wanted to buy them for years, but have never gotten around to it. Remember they are on one of the recommended reading lists in the back of the TJEd book.

I have had "aha" after "aha" with these books. I wish I had read them BEFORE I had children. This was the owner's manual I was always wishing I had. I will make sure Olivia does a through study of them before she becomes a mom though. Lots of gems in those books. I could write for years on some of my thoughts from them and I've only read two of them.

Last night I was finishing up book two. I sure wish every adult would read book two. They sum up one of my husband's campaign points, "The Family is the First Sovereign Unit of Society." That's one of the "truth's that we hold self-evident" or at least we should, but everyone seems to be forgetting. All of a sudden parents aren't capable of making choices for their family.....I digress again....

A couple of months ago there was a heated topic in "The Great Debate/Conversation" about why we all wanted "the best" for our children. Wouldn't it be more realistic to be happy with good and better things and not be so fixated on the best? I maintain that having the best in our family should be our ideal. Sometimes that means letting go of some really good things. Sometimes that makes us look weird. Sometimes that even challenges our thought process. Sometimes we have to do hard things. We've all read Elder Oaks extensively in that discussion. He says our ideal should be the best.

Moving on to Charlotte though. I discovered some quotes from Charlotte Mason about the very same topic. Here are her two bits:

"Children must be Nurtured on the Best. ...They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in heir lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told...and we shall train a race of readers who will demand literature-that is, the fit and beautiful expression of inspiring ideas and pictures of life." Book 2, "Parents and Children" pg.263.

"Children must have the Best Books. One more thing is of vital importance; children must have books, living books; the best are not too good for them; anything less than the best is not good enough; and if it is needful to exercise economy, let go everything that belongs to soft and luxurious living before letting go the duty of supplying the books, and the frequent changes of books, which are necessary for the constant stimulation of the child's intellectual life." Book 2, "Parents and Children" pg. 279.

Thank you Charlotte. You bring up some excellent points.
Charlotte Mason loved daises. I've always loved daises myself. Now I know why crazy4boys has daises everywhere. I want a daisy background. I'm going to buy some daisy seeds while I'm in town. Maybe I'll name my next girl Daisy.


Cassandra said...

So you really do think they are a good read for those who are not yet parents? My local libraries (I have access to four) do not carry any of CM's books. I'd have to buy the entire set to read them. We don't have kids yet and probably won't for at least for another year! :(

The Lazy Organizer said...

Cassandra, yes, All women should read these books whether they ever have children or not. I'm sure you have some contact with children somewhere in your life. If I were single I would read them just to get my own education that I never got as a child.

Deanna, now you see why I had to be so pushy about the books. They are better than the best. I think I could keep CM and get rid of every other non-fiction book in my house besides the scriptures.

I'm still trying to figure out why some people think there is something wrong with having nothing but the best in your home and family. Actually I know why they say it. It's because they want to live mediocre lives. What I really don't understand is why they would want to do that.

buzy bee said...

YEA! I'm glad your reading them too... althought I still have only read 15 pages so you'll beat me too. It's nice to have the Best to read.

crazy4boys said...

I do. I love daisies. And thanks for throwing my own educational ideas back at me. We do follow a mostly CM style here, but I've gotten rather lazy about having the BEST books. I discussed this with my husband tonight and he thought I was WRONG and so was Charlotte. So we discussed some more and he got this sort of sick look on his face like, "Oh stink, my wife is right and now we have to change. Again."

He thought that as adults we should be spending time with the best books but kids should be able to read whatever they want as long as they read (which I've been sort of going along with). I likened it to eating good food - if the kids are used to eating fast food/junk food, that is what they will want and they will think real/whole food is disgusting. Also, in our home we should be teaching the very best, the highest ideal so that when they see/hear/read things outside our home that aren't the best they will be disgusted by it and thus shun evil. If our home is not a model of the best, they will never know what the best is.

It's also sort of like headgates. It's easier to read Calvin and Hobbes or Magic Tree House than it is to read some of the classics. If you have that easy entertainment around, they will chose that first.

Time to get out my boxes again and give away more books. This time though I think we'll discuss it with the kids and help them make the choices themselves so hopefully they can learn how to discern the good from the bad from the best.