Wednesday, August 27, 2014

From The Parents' Review: Only these days we do it on a phone?

"We see it in the smaller details of life. A man reads a paper while crossing a crowded thoroughfare. His forebrain is in full attention on the newspaper. He takes no heed of the traffic. But his sub-consciousness guides him. That is, his sight centre and ear centre announce the approach of a vehicle, and without telegraphing to the forebrain for directions, wire on to the walking centre on which side to move. This shows that a large amount of information and knowledge is acquired by the brain, and stored up there to be used in a quiet fashion, without always rousing the full intellectual activities. One can see what a saving of brain work there must be if the brain can act automatically, or sub-consciously, without calling on the forebrain for its aid."  --  "The Brain in Relation to Education Part 2," by A. Wilson, Esq., M.D., in The Parents' Review, Volume 14, 1903, pgs. 435-450

From The Parents' Review: Icky Bugs

 "Now, I labour under one great disadvantage in my present subject, namely, the prejudice which exists in the minds of some against beetles, nay, the very mention of the name produces in them a feeling of creepiness and horror. "What! collect beetles, cockroaches, and earwigs! ugh!" and, perhaps, some fair reader wrings her hands with dismay. She considers those ugly black beetles only fit to be trodden upon. Now, if I had time, I would set up a brief on behalf of these greatly maligned insects, which, I am sure, would lead you to respect them very much. However, at present, you must be content to learn that the cockroach and the earwig are not beetles. I admit, candidly, that both of our old friends just mentioned are very like beetles, and therefore, I must try to give you a good reason--only one out of many--why they are not put into the same class with the beetles. Suppose we had opportunities of watching the development of the eggs of the common earwig, and also those of some common beetle, say the cockchafer. Please don't confuse this with the cockroach. One morning we find that our earwig eggs have hatched; and what do we see? A number of little creatures very like the parent earwig from which they were derived. Just a few slight differences, and that is all. It is a very pretty, and not at all an uncommon sight, to see these little broods of baby-earwigs following their mother about, as chickens do a mother-hen. In a short time, also, our cockchafer eggs hatch, and we see resulting, a few little fat grubs, totally unlike their parent, and, indeed, possessing no resemblance to a beetle at all."  -- "Natural Science Recreations: Beetles," by Rev. A. Thornley, M.A., F.E.S., in The Parents' Review, Volume 3, 1892/93, pgs. 834-840

From The Parents' Review: When the children ask the questions

"Water Babies" is another favourite. As I wish to be veracious I must confess that our little ones like best the classics of the nursery - they have made few new discoveries in the literary heavens. Kingsley's satire is less natural and cheery than Thackeray's, and I don't think the small folk make much of it. But then they are, like all children, wonderfully patient of longueurs, and they wade through disguised sermons on over pressure, and on insanitary cottages, for the sake of the inimitable charm and grace of the story proper, with an impartiality which they will be happy if they maintain to maturer years. Our young philosopher's logical faculty is developing; and I well remember the chuckling glee with which he detailed to me the plausible but fallacious arguments by which Kingsley establishes the existence of the Water-baby. "What do you think about it yourself?" he added, with judicial gravity. -- "Our Children's Book Friends," by Their Sister, in The Parents' Review, Volume 3, 1892/93, pgs. 331-334

Saturday, August 16, 2014

More new Plutarch studies on the AO website

If you've looked at the AO Plutarch page lately, you may have noticed that we have changed the schedule of the Lives that we will be reading.  The schedule for the coming school year schedule will stay the same, but starting next year we will be adding a few new Lives to the rotation, and taking a couple out that don't have as much to offer the area of Citizenship.

There are revised study notes up now for this term's Life of Crassus, and for Aemilius Paulus in the spring term.  Both of these have Thomas North's text included.  Let us know how they work for you and your students!

Friday, August 1, 2014

New on the AO site: Plutarch studies and Westward Ho!

Recently added to the Ambleside Online site:

Study notes for Plutarch's Life of Marcus Cato the Censor (brand new!), with text included

Revised study notes for Plutarch's Life of Timoleon, with text included

Study notes for Charles Kingsley's Westward Ho!, used in Year 8 Literature.

Keep watching the Plutarch page...we are working on some more new things.

Friday, July 25, 2014

In which Ralph Vaughan Williams writes to the children of the P.U.S.

(posted by Anne White)

To the children of the Parents' Union School, Ambleside

February, 1951

A small girl was once having a music lesson.  Her teacher gave her a new piece to learn, which she explained was composed by a well-known musician who had lately visited the school.  'But,' said the little girl, in great bewilderment, 'I thought all composers were dead.'

Have we really been taught that all composers are dead? Then indeed our art is dead. Vital art must be creative.

It has been said that we should stand in the present with one eye on the past and one on the future.  Let us by all means build our house on the foundations of the great masters, but let us remember that the composers of our own time and of our own country have something to say to us which even the greatest masters of the past age cannot give us; that is the only way we can build a great future for our music.

We must not let let the dead lion swallow up the living dog.

R. Vaughan Williams.

From the Letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1895-1958 edited by Hugh Cobbe.  Retrieved from Google Books.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

CM Philosophy--the Really Short Version

by Anne White

If you were making a Charlotte Mason t-shirt, what would it say?

Right away you have your choice of well-used CM mottoes.  I am, I can, I ought, I will. Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.  Things, Books, Ideas.  Knowledge of God, Knowledge of Man, Knowledge of the Universe. Keep calm and CM on (I just made that one up).

If you had to use your own words, though, what would spell it out best?  I kind of like "Learning all the Time," but John Holt already used it.  Same with "Beyond Ourselves" (Catherine Marshall).

How about "Knowledge is Just One Idea at a Time?"

What's on your shirt?