Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why the Best?

I've been reading Charlotte Mason's Original works (see best book list).  I've wanted to buy them for years, but have never gotten around to it. They are on 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 Liberty does a through study of them before she becomes a mom though. There are 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.

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 I have had to let go of some really good things. Sometimes that means I look weird. Sometimes that even makes me challenge my thought process. Sometimes we have to do hard things. I've 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 that further Elder Oaks' thoughts. 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.
I appreciate this encouragement to make sure I am seeking the best.

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