I am very happy to be hosting this week’s edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival. To learn more about the carnival or to find other editions,please see Fisher Academy International. The text for this month comes from Charlotte Mason’s third volume, the chapter entitled “We are Educated by our Intimacies — Further Affinities.” If you haven’t read it yet you can do so at Ambleside Online here.
A Charlotte Mason education is all about relationships. We seek an intimate knowledge of the material we study, not just a rote memorization of facts. This is what Charlotte speaks of when she uses those old-fashioned words “intimacies” and “affinities.” In this month’s section, she is talking particularly of the relationships which our children develop beyond the core academic subjects. You may know a kid who loves rocks, who knows the names of all the birds, who can identify airplanes flying high overhead. These are his or her affinities. For more on what kinds of interests we should allow our kids to pursue and on how to get them interested in anything at all, check out my post “Developing Intimacies.”
Camille at Surviving Mexico gives loads of practical examples when she shares all the interests her son developed this summer in “We are Educated by our Intimacies — Further Affinities: Otherwise Known as What We Did This Summer.” I admit I am a little overawed but everything they managed to do in a summer!
Celeste at Joyous Lessons shares with us some of the interests her family has found while exploring the California Coast in “Nature Study at the Beach:: A Series.” I particularly loved this quote about how our intimacies only grow with increased exposure:
“But with that growing familiarity comes not less interest but more, as I have found to be the case with all of our nature study. More “friends” to greet each visit. A deeper awareness of even the littlest changes. An understanding of which features are season-specific, which are weather-specific, which are time-specific, which are location-specific, and which are just all-around unexpected.”
Socialization is a hot button topic for homeschoolers, and though Charlotte does not mention it by name, she does in this chapter talk about the importance of what she calls comradeship. You can read more about that right here at Letters from Nebby in my post “Comradeship.”
And speaking of comrades, we homeschooling moms could use some too. Jennifer urges us to attend CM conferences and to learn from others in her post at Charlotte Mason Institute entitled “United for the Advance of a Cause.”