I’m fresh back from another great meeting of the Charlotte Mason discussion group I attend. It was wonderful. My homeschooling friends are—like me—young in this process, so I don’t often get to hear the triumphs, the long-term success stories. But the discussion the other night was led by a woman whose oldest daughter (who considers herself a Woman of Letters—how great is that!) is at college. This lovely mom led a discussion on Living Books.
We discussed Living Books—what defines a living book, what are examples from our own experiences—and how to use them in daily life. This was great timing for me, because we had just spent the day “skipping” school to read The Wizard of Oz. My sons loved this book. I didn’t expect this, since the main character is female. ((I think it was J.K. Rowling who said that girls will read & identify with boy or girl protaganists, but boys identify only with boys.) But Dorothy has some whopping good adventures! (In fact, my younger son actually narrated the chapters to his father every night at dinner.) Instead of history (which they generally love) and math and spelling, we spent all day reading chapter after chapter—at the breakfast table, on the couch, while playing with play-dough, while sitting outside, over lunch… Every time I stopped at the end of a chapter, they begged me to read on. I kept thinking, “If this goes on, we won’t get anything done!”
But Roberta, who led our discussion, testified that there are many days in their home when they did the same thing—and it has led to her own children’s love of books and ideas… exactly what Charlotte Mason promised. We just flew through Alice in Wonderland, and we started The Sword in the Stone last night.