Kelly, Stephanie and my sister Michele at the monthly meeting of Homes with Heart and CM, a Central Iowa mothers' group supporting those who use Charlotte Mason's methods.
One of my favorite Charlotte Mason moments this school year took place without the children. Please tell me, my busy home school friends and mothers, that you haven't forgotten about Mother Culture - that time of necessary refreshing and revitalization which Miss Mason herself encouraged us to take.
While visiting the Midwest, I attended a meeting of the homeschool group to which my sister belongs and enjoyed mother culture at its finest. Using Catherine Levison's A Charlotte Mason Education as the framework one mom hosts while another presents on the subject for that month. This particular meeting Michele -- my personal CM mentor & sister -- presented on the art of narrating.
My sister gifted each of us with a homemade narration cube and key. It's narration fun for the whole family and you can make your own by visiting Penny Gardner's practical site.
A roll of our narration cube has come up with the heart so I'll relate a few of my favorite parts of the evening.
Michele opened with sentiments from the psalmists relating to the act of knowing. I loved "My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Psalm 45:1
The narration of Bible passages was also discussed and we were given a stunning example from Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschool Series of the power of narration. Other than bits and pieces, I haven't read Volume 6 and was struck by the response of a 13-year-old to the examination question:
"The people sat in darkness" . . . "I am the Light of the World." Shew as far as you can the meaning of these statements. She was not asked to write in verse, and was she not taught by a beautiful instinct to recognise that the phrases she had to deal with were essential poetry and that she could best express herself in verse?
The people sat in darkness––all was dim,
No light had yet come unto them from Him,
No hope as yet of Heaven after life,
A peaceful haven far from war and strife.
Some warriors to Valhalla's halls might go
And fight all day, and die. At evening, lo!
They'd wake again, and drink in the great hall.
Some men would sleep for ever at their fall;
Or with their fickle Gods for ever be:
So all was dark and dim. Poor heathens, see!
The Light ahead, the clouds that roll away,
The golden, glorious, dawning of the Day;
And in the birds, the flowers, the sunshine, see
The might of Him who calls, "Come unto Me.'"
-Vol. 6 Section I The Knowledge of God pg. 168