March 18, 2013

Education is an Atmosphere

     I'm excited to be hosting this for the first time, after being a reader for over a year.  I have been homeschooling for less than two years and am only schooling one child (sometimes with younger foster children around), so I consider myself a newbie. :)
     I fell in love with the Charlotte Mason method as soon as I discovered it while researching educational styles and philosophies.  Ms. Mason believes that "Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life", and I wholeheartedly agree.  This carnival is focusing on the first of the three instruments of education.  It seems to me that the concept of education as an atmosphere is both simple and profound.  Read more of Ms. Mason's thoughts here, in chapter 6 of Home Education, Vol. 6.
When we say that "education is an atmosphere," we do not mean that a child should be isolated in what may be called a 'child-environment' especially adapted and prepared, but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the child's' level.
          - Charlotte Mason's 6th principle

     Its easy to understand how education comes from atmosphere. You make your school room simple and at a child's level, right?  Well, that is more Montessori than Mason.  Mason believed we shouldn't water down materials and real-life things for children, but that they should live in a more natural environment.  Not only did she mean they should spend much time outdoors in nature, but that indoors they should be exposed to beauty - art, music, and literature of the highest quality.

     Sounds simple, right?  But how to do it....redecorate the house?  clear clutter?  I don't think there's one right way to create an atmosphere of education, but it does take intentional thought and preparation.  We have to guard what comes into our homes, because what is in our homes goes into the minds of those in the home.  Easy to understand, but wow! What responsibility!
Without further ado, here are the links for this week's carnival!

In Education is Atmosphere, Silvia believes that there are 2 extremes to be avoided in creating an atmosphere - the artificially cheerful, which creates dependent children, and the completely neglected, which causes vulnerability to bad influences.

The Atmosphere of Books
takes a look at how much we should or should not shelter our children in what they are reading. She says, "There’s no need to avoid reading them books that portray God and the world just as they are."

Nebby writes a thought-provoking post: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.  She delves into what constitutes an atmosphere of education, how habits create discipline, and how, in order to let life teach our children, we must learn to let go of some control.

Nadene has sprinkled some great Charlotte Mason quotes in An Atmosphere. She talks of some of her own joys in homeschooling and encourages other home schools to move to an atmosphere of inspiration and values, avoiding the "glass terrarium" approach.

Megan at The Winding Ascent talks about Nourishing Life: Parents as Inspirers.  What a full post! 

Harmony Art Mom answers a reader's question in High School - Can You Mess It Up?  This great post offers advice, resources and encouragement for those in or entering the high school phase.

Quotes for Nature Lovers from Anna Botsford Comstock
is a lovely teaser.  The post links to GooglePlay so you can download your own free copy of The Handbook of Nature Study and enjoy more from Comstock!

I got a kick out of reading about Pamela and The Frog Eggs in My Cracker Barrel To-Go Cup!  Now I want to go down to our boggy area and find some frog eggs to study, too.

La Casa Giocosa (or "the Joyful House") shares an unexpected connection between a Renaissance man and Charlotte Mason.

In this Nature Study Monday post, Fisher Academy delves into Bug Camouflage.  Can you spot them?

Journey and Destination reviews and recommends Four First Rate Living Books to Read.  I haven't heard of these, and am taking notes!

Ann has put together several posts for us at Harvest Moon By Hand:
Joyous Lessons discusses a couple different aspects from CM's Volume 1.  Both posts offer practical tips, firmly based on Charlotte Mason's method.
Mama Squirrel says this about Online treasures: The Book of the Great Musicians,
"You would probably figure it's just another book of boring biographical notes and maybe some music terminology.  Not so:  this is a very creative, open-ended little guide for young musicians!"  What a treat!  This book is mentioned by CM, and is available at

Last, but not least is Parenting Challenge - Creating an Atmosphere for EducationSurviving Mexico writes about the different way she accomplishes such an atmosphere.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment!  I'd love to hear from you :)


  1. Nicely done, Laurke. Your comments were a good appetiser. Thanks for hosting the Carnival.

  2. Thanks for hosting, and for including our post!

  3. Thank you for hosting! Looks like I have some wonderful reading to keep me busy this afternoon!

  4. Thanks for hosting the CM Carnival...nicely done and arranged.

  5. Thank you for all your hard work in arranging this carnival, Laurke! I look forward to savoring all the posts.

    From joy to joy,

  6. Do it!!!! Go find yourself some frog eggs and have some fun! Only, don't head to the Cracker Barrel and ask for some. They might think you're a bit daft.

    Thanks for putting together all these posts so well.

    1. Field trip to historic rail park today, but maybe Thursday or Friday we can get down there. Still a muddy mess right now, but maybe that's best? LOL I'll try to do a post about it if we're successful in finding some. Not at Cracker Barrel. :D

  7. Eek! I think I forgot to send in my blog for the carnival this time! And it even fit the topic...

  8. Thank you for hosting such a lovely carnival! I have loved reading through these posts! I'm always amazed how widely Charlotte Mason's principles can be interpreted and applied to our current homeschooling senarios! Always challenged and growing! Blessings!

  9. Wonderful carnival! It looks like I have some interesting reading this morning to get my day started. Thanks for arranging it so well; and for including my posts.

  10. Thanks for doing this, Laurke. As usual, I learn from all the contributions and from you.

  11. Thank you for hosting, Laurke. Looking forward to following up on all your links. Have a lovely day :-)

    1. You're welcome! I'm sure you'll enjoy everyone's posts; I know I did!

  12. Where can I find out about the next carnival topic and host / date ?

    1. April 2 - Education is a Discipline (Ch6) and you email submissions to Amy in Peru of Fisher Academy.

      Her website for reference is - you can get on the email list from there :)


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