Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charlotte Mason (Ambleside Online) Trial

We've only done this style for a few days. I love the little stories and how beautiful they sound when they are read aloud. The problem I am having is that the messages in the stories are sometimes way off from my own personal beliefs. Now, I want to make it clear that I am okay with my children thinking differently as long as they choose to (as adults), but while they are young I find it a dangerous thing to have them believe that they should just listen to what people tell them and believe what they have to say "Have Faith". Here is an example of a story that I had an issue with the message.

It is a cute story where a butterfly leaves a caterpillar in charge of taking care of it's babies when they hatch on the cabbage as her dying wish. The caterpillar doesn't know how to take care of baby caterpillars and assumes that they are going to come out as smaller versions of their mother (tiny butterflies) and are different than herself. She consults with a lark to ask how she will do this and the lark tells her that they are actually going to be caterpillars like her and later they, like the caterpillar, will turn into butterflies. All they need to eat is cabbage just like her. The caterpillar doesn't have faith in the larks words but later finds that the lark was telling the truth and that she really should just have faith.

Pariables of Nature, A Lesson of Faith:
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/gatty/parables/parables.html#faith

I turned this story around a bit by just leaving it up to Austyn to decide if we should just have faith when someone tells us something. He answered "No. we should not". I told him that some people do just have faith and that is okay for them, but that it is never a bad thing to question what others tell us and "Critical thinking" is always a good trait to have. It is okay to look for his own truth in the world. He doesn't just have to believe what others tell him no matter what the caterpillar's conclusion was.

As an after-thought I also thought that one of my beliefs is that we are all one (oneness). The caterpillar sees his truth as the only way and so does the lark and the butterfly. The caterpillar believed that the eggs would be different than her. In truth, they are all the same. They all have their own experiences and truths from those experiences. Just because the butterfly, the caterpillar and the lark all think and see something different doesn't make them all that different at all. And in nature they all work together as a whole (one).

I don't mind that others believe that they should just have faith. I don't mind at all. I just believe that in todays world the idea of just believing what people tell us could be harmful to a young child. This could set them up for abuse. I don't even mind if other parents disagree with me on this point. We all have our beliefs. I can respect that.

I think that at some point we do just have to believe or disbelieve in something that we can't prove, but for a young child this doesn't make much sense to introduce. It just won't work in our home. I think I will need to check all of these stories before reading them to the kids from now on.

"Allow your deepest truths to be altered. Alter them yourself, for goodness' sake. I mean that quite literally. Alter them yourself, for goodness' sake. Because your new idea of Who You Are is where the growth is. Your new idea of What Is So is where evolution accelerates. Your new idea of the Who, What, Where, When, How, and why of it is where the mystery gets solved, the plot unravels, the story ends. Then you can begin a new story, and a grander one."~ Conversations with God, Book 3

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