17 August, 2012| Charlotte Mason
Just some quotes today…
Geography is, to my mind, a subject of high educational value; the peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas, and to furnish the imagination with pictures.
Geography should be interesting-
The child’s geography lesson should furnish just the sort of information which grown-up people care to possess… interesting, graphic, with a spice of personal adventure….we skip the dry facts and figures, and read the suggestive pictorial scraps; these are the sorts of things we like to know, and remember with ease.
For educative purposes, the child must learn such geography, and in such a way, that his mind shall thereby be stored with ideas, his imagination with images; for practical purposes he must learn such geography only as, the nature of his mind considered, he will able to remember; in other words, he must learn what interests him. The educative and the practical run in one groove, and the geography lesson becomes the most charming occupation of the child’s day.
The child gets his rudimentary notions of geography as he gets his first notions of natural science, in those long hours out of doors of which we have already seen the importance.
He gets his first notion of a map from a rude sketch
Give him next intimate knowledge with the fullest details, of any country or region of the world, any county or district of his own country. It is not necessary that he should learn at this stage what is called the ‘geography’ of the countries of Europe, the continents of the world- mere strings of names for the most part… But let him be at home in any single region; let him see, with the mind’s eye, the people at their work and at their play, the flowers and fruits in their seasons, the beasts, each in its habitat; and let him see all sympathetically, that is, let him follow the adventures of a traveller ; and he knows more, is better furnished with ideas, than if he had learnt all the names on all the maps. The ‘way’ of this kind of teaching is very simple and obvious; read to him, or read for h
The fundamental ideas of geography form an attractive introduction to the study. Some of them should awaken the delightful interest which attaches in a child’s mind to that which is wonderful, incomprehensible, while the map lessons should lead to mechanical efforts equally delightful. It is only when presented to the child for the first time in the form of stale knowledge and foregone conclusions that the facts taught in such lessons appear dry and repulsive to him. An effort should be made to treat the subject with the sort of sympathetic interest and freshness which attracts children to new study.
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