I've been thinking about this poem all day:
Refugee in America
There are words like Freedom
Sweet and wonderful to say.
On my heart-strings freedom sings
All day every day.
There are words like Liberty
That almost make me cry.
If you had known what I knew
You would know why.
Various thoughts flooded my mind as I read this.
Sad thoughts that the Freedom and Liberty he found in America often seem to be in jeopardy.
Indescribable thoughts of how this relates to my life as a follower of Christ. Even though my freedoms seem threatened at times, the freedom and liberty that are mine in Christ can never be taken away. I have a hope and a future.
Finally, as we are about to begin another year of homeschool, I can't help but relate these thoughts of freedom and liberty to the beauty found in Charlotte Mason's Methods (to learn more specifics, click here, here, or here).
I went to public school. For me, this was not such a bad experience as some have; yet, there are still things I will never forget and wish for my children to learn in a different way. Still, even in the home setting, a family could make "school" still too much like "school" with rigid structure and cold atmosphere and mind numbing books. I recently got to see in real life some of those homeschool curriculums of which I've heard stories. It made me feel stressed just looking at these huge stacks of textbooks. I've also been making a big effort to once again purge our home of "twaddle" (Mason's word to describe books with oversimplified language which has the end result of shutting down the mind's creative thinking process).
Mason's methods and principles have brought so much life into our home. Our minds are nourished and challenged with ideas. My whole family ends up being fed a feast from which each fills his plate with the nourishment needed. It truly is a living education, and more than that, it is a way to live. Charlotte's method may have seemed "new" in her day and often seem "new" compared to many of today's methods of education, however, the Solomon tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (Eccles. 1:9-10). And the more I think of it, many of her methods of teaching reflect the way that Jesus taught his disciples and interacted with those He met.
He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
He came that we could enjoy abundant life (John 10:10).
For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
I'm so thankful that the Lord has led our family to this beautiful method of learning and living. Maybe you are interested in Mason's method; if so, I encourage you to dive in and research it. However, maybe you rejoice in the curriculum your family has found, if so, then I rejoice with you. I think because I've felt burdened by the yoke of slavery under the curriculums and methods that other families hold in high esteem, I understand and am extremely grateful for the fact that the Lord leads each family to what is right for them. I am so thankful for the freedom we have to choose differently! For me and my family, this method brings abundant life and joy and freedom. Why wouldn't I use it? :) And again, Langston's words ring in my mind, "If you had known what I knew, you would know why."