Teaching in the Bible and Charlotte Mason

Dear Reader,

I am not one to think that every aspect of life is spelled out for us in the Bible (eg. “the Bible all-manna diet”), but I do believe it is the Word of God. I also believe that it gives us a lot of clues as to how to teach and learn. Nothing here is The Way to Educate. But God created us, and He knows best how we work, and He has taught His people a lot over the centuries, so it is reasonable to me to look at how He teaches us to get clues as to how to teach our children.

I have recently come to be a fan of Charlotte Mason’s approach to education, and what appeals to me most in her approach is that it seems so biblical. Miss Mason advocates the use of “living books” which are full of ideas, not fluff (which she calls “twaddle”). Throughout the Bible, we find that God teaches His people through stories as well. The bulk of the Bible is narrative. In the Old Testament in particular, there is little formal theological writing. What we get instead is stories of God and His people. Miss Mason says that the student should be free to make their own connections and conclusions from the material put before them. God also I think invites us to draw our own conclusions often. He teaches us patterns of behavior, both ours and His, through types and antitypes which occur repeatedly. Thus His people’s hearts were prepared for the Savior and they were made aware of their need for a Savior through the stories of the flood and the exodus and again and again in the book of Judges. The list of these types could go on and on. We are also prepared repeatedly for the idea that God will preserve a remnant of people, again through the flood and the story of Lot and the Babylonian exile. These patterns filter into our hearts and our minds as we read the familiar stories over and over again.

Another way God teaches His people is through His creation. Paul tells us in Romans that all creation testifies to its Creator. In Proverbs we are told specifically to go look even at the smallest creatures to learn about their virtues. Here again I think Miss Mason’s approach is biblical. She too urges us to take our students out into nature. To regularly observe it and to learn from it. 

Nebby

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