Charlotte Mason knows that these little ones suffer from an aversion to God. "There is in human nature an aversion to God… a natural and obstinate aversion to Him." (IV:179-180) Miss Mason asserts that both the orthodox and the liberal recognize the fact of this aversion. The orthodox identify it as "that 'original sin which is the natural fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam.'" (IV:180) The liberal identify it as "that jerk of the shoulder from the hand of authority which belongs to freewill." (IV:180) Charlotte Mason knows that human effort, all the power of the flesh, cannot bring a child to God. "We cannot make a child 'good'; but, … we can lay paths for the good life in the very substance of his brain. We cannot make him hear the voice of God; but, again, we can make paths where the Lord God may walk in the cool of the evening." (V:142)
On another note, Kim wrote about Less is More --linking to Drew Campbell's Advice to a Harried New Homeschooler among other good reads. (HT: A Walk in the Woods)
It brings up an important point, one that Cindy at Dominion Family used to bring up frequently. You will only be able to do a few things well. Make sure that those few things are the important ones.
Kim pretty much listed the biggies for me -- things I particularly want to focus on this year.
- teach the tools and habits that smooth the road for future learning
- make sure the youngest ones don't get ignored; they need Mom-time
- use real books; guides and teacher's manuals are secondary.
- have access to art supplies
- build a habit of time outside
- keep watch on your house and family -- what needs attention? what's getting in the way? what good things are already present, that you can celebrate and build upon?
Notice that it's all about getting rid of clutter -- time clutter, material clutter, brain clutter. Better still, don't let the clutter in to begin with.
( Patrick pondering Aquinas-- I took the photo from my daughter's blog).