This principle often comes up in our discussions, a true reason to show grace for ourselves and for each other as Charlote Mason homeschoolers- the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher. This final principle can be woven into all of her earlier principles.
“We allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and 'spiritual' life of children, but teach them that the Divine Spirit has constant access to their spirits, and is their Continual Helper in all the interests, duties and joys of life.” Charlotte Mason’s 20th Principle
The Divine Teacher is a Biblical idea, not just one from Charlotte Mason. John 14:26 says, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
Understanding this principle takes a lot of the pressure off of homeschoolers. There is no need to perform perfectly. We can trust that the Holy Spirit is working in our children. We don't relegate God to certain compartments- He can be found in all subjects, in all areas.
Charlotte Mason called this the "mother's key" to education. She said:
"God doth Instruct.'-- In the things of science, in the things of art, in the things of practical everyday life, his God doth instruct him and doth teach him, her God doth instruct her and doth teach her. Let this be the mother's key to the whole of the education of each boy and girl; not of her children; the Divine Spirit does not work with nouns of multitude, but with each single child." Parents and Children, page 273
There is no telling how or when the Holy Spirit will teach our children or work on their hearts. What may look to us as unresponsiveness may very well be quiet "be still and know" type of learning. But, we can look for those "aha" moments, those unbelievable coincidences that arise while reading with our children, and know that the Holy Spirit is at work in our homes.
"Our Co-operation Indispensable-- Our co-operation appears to be the indispensable condition of all the divine workings. We recognize this in what we call spiritual things, meaning the things that have to do more especially with our approaches to god; but the new thing ti us is, that grammar, for example, may be taught in such a way as to invite and obtain the co-operation of the Divine Teacher, or in such a way as to exclude His illuminating presence from the schoolroom." Parents and Children, page 274
"We are told that the Spirit is life; therefore, that which is dead, dry as dust, mere bare bones, can have no affinity with Him, can do no other than smother and deaden his vitalising influences. A first condition of this vitalising teaching is that all the thought we offer to our children shall be living thought; no mere dry summaries of facts will do; given the vitalising idea, children will readily hang the mere facts upon the idea as upon a peg capable of sustaining all that it is needful to retain. We begin by believing in the children as spiritual beings of unmeasured powers--intellectual, moral, spiritual-- capable of receiving and constantly enjoying intuitions from the intimate converse of the Divine Spirit." Volume 2, p 277
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