26 chapters as follows:
1. The Family - The family, like a miniature nation, has a
responsibility to be self-sufficient yet to reach out to benefit others.
2. Parents as Rulers - Parental rule should be like that of a benevolent king. Parents are obligated to raise their children to be dutiful citizens and not to pass off this responsibility to someone else.
3. Parents as Inspirers - Children inherit certain tendencies, both good and bad, and it is up to the parents to replace bad traits with good habits.
4. The Life of the Mind grows upon Ideas - Children aren't blank slates; they are already capable of learning. All parents need to do is to present inspiring ideas, set a good example and teach proper habits.
5. The Things of the Spirit - Parents must teach their children to trust God. Scientific evidence may support faith, but shouldn't be the pillar upon which faith rests.
6. Primal Ideas derived by Parents - Most Christians were introduced to God as children by their parents. Children should learn that God is always present, and that they owe God their loyalty.
7. The Parent as Schoolmaster - Children should learn self-control well before school age. An undisciplined child allowed to run wild and free will be difficult for a school teacher to teach.
8. The Culture of Character - Even if children don't inherit the best traits, they can learn habits to make the most of what they have and build true character.
9. The Treatment of Defects - Less appealing traits can be replaced with good habits, but even good traits must be watched so that they don't become unbalanced and turn into faults, such as leadership gone bad and turned into tyranny.
10. Bible Lessons - Parents, not Sunday Schools, are responsible to teach children about God. Even though science may try to discredit scripture, parents can be assured that their faith is secure and should be passed on to the next generation.
11. Faith and Duty - A secular writer has useful suggestions for using myths and stories to teach morals. Along with the Bible, these can give examples of noble characters to emulate.
12. Claims of Philosophy as an Instrument of Education - We need not choose between scientific naturalism and idealism. Since we are a combination of body, soul and spirit, education should include both.
13. Man Lives by Faith - Trust is the foundation of all relationships, whether man to man, or man to God. Parents must use available resources to teach trust in God.
14. Parents' Concern to Give the Heroic Impulse - Classic poetry such as Beowulf can inspire children with great and noble charaters.
15. Is It Possible? - Do we truly believe in God's power to regenerate fallen men? With the tool of habit, God can build our childrens' character.
16. Discipline - A Serious Study for Parents - Training should be with gentle guidance in building good habits rather than harshness.
17. Sensations and Feelings: Sensations Educable by Parents - Children should be trained to increase keenness and accuracy of their five senses with nature observation and memory enhancement.
18. Feelings Educable by Parents - Parents should gently make children feel pleasure or remorse for behavior, and parentalexample should make children feel reverence for God.
19. What is Truth? (Dealing with Lying) - Lying is a symptom of a deeper character flaw, such as carelessness with accurate details or selfishness, and that, rather than the symptom, should be dealt with.
20. Show Cause Why - Knowing why they are educated - is it to get a good job, or for personal enhancement through knowledge? will influence how much of himself a child invests in learning.
21. A Scheme Of Educational Theory - Children of different social classes have different educational needs, but all need habits for character training and ideas for inspiration.
22. A Catechism of Educational Theory - Replacing good habits for bad ones builds character and is the main task of education. Discerning good and bad ideas and choosing the good ones is the goal of education.
23. Whence? - Charlotte Mason looks back on where she has been. Children are more than blank slates, they are persons. If we feed them ideas, they will learn.
24. Whither? - What are our goals for the next generation? To raise the best, most fulfilled citizens who will bless society, we need to use nature, habits and inspiring ideas.
25. The Great Recognition Required of Parents - Both secular and spiritual truth are divine, and all subjects, whether religious or practical, are God-inspired. We need not separate education into secular and Christian.
26. The Eternal Child - Children are naturally trusting and humble. If we teach them not to be too inward-focused on themselves, they will grow up to help others.
2004 Leslie N. Laurio
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