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AmblesideOnline's Patio Chats:
17. Atmosphere Re-visited

Since we re-visited personhood, we're going to re-visit atmosphere again, too.

We already established that atmosphere is simply what surrounds you. You don't need to create an atmosphere with art on the walls, music playing, bookshelves full of books . . . atmosphere is already there. There are things you can do to enhance and enrich it, but even if you do nothing deliberately, your home and life already has (and is) an atmosphere. It's real and it reflects all the messiness, individuality, beauty and humanity of your life, and your children will learn valuable lessons from it. It's theirs, something they'll carry with them as a part of themselves all their lives, and it's different from what other people will carry with them because no two lives are the same.

It's like personhood -- there are things you can do to improve yourself and learn things, but your personhood would be just as real and valid even if you didn't do those things. Let that sink in -- nothing you can do will make you more of a person. You might become a more educated person, or a more cultured person, or a more self-controlled person -- but your personhood was there to begin with. You don't have any more personhood for making self-improvements, and you don't lose personhood for failing to do any self-improvements (although self-improvements will enhance and improve your experience through life!)

How did we end up talking about personhood again? Are you getting a sense of how important and foundational personhood is? Once you fully grasp the concept of your child as a person, it will influence everything -- the way you treat him, the way you discipline him, the way you educate him. The personhood of your child is the essence of a Charlotte Mason education. It drives every principle, and every practice of the CM method.

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