Monday, August 7, 2017

Sipping Pages Like Tea

Sipping Pages Like Tea
I'm excited. Charlotte Mason's writings are back in print. Now in a large format. My new set has arrived and I've been writing in the margins! I love my new books. As always I am sipping the pages slowly, like tea.

The company Simply Charlotte Mason has published the series anew. We authorized use of the copyright material on the covers and the front-matter of our pink volumes. They asked Dean to write an introduction for this new edition. Here's a piece of it: 

"The 21st century has brought changes in the way people access, read, and store books. The demand for printed books has diminished while the demand for e-books has increased. Sadly, we are no longer able to continue our printing of The Original Homeschooling Series. Yet thanks to kindred spirits at Simply Charlotte Mason, we have been able to pass the baton, so to speak, and partner with them to see The Original Homeschooling Series safely back in print."

I'm happy to announce that the beautiful old-fashioned font is intact. The pagination remains the same, too.

Both are what I've become so fond, and so familiar, reading. I like how my eye can land on the page on the exact geographical spot of the pages of my pink volumes.

This is good news for those of us who are involved with personal and group study.

It preserves footnoting and referencing so that we can all be literally on the "same page."

More good news. The print is larger (for my old eyes) and the ink is darker and easier to see.
How is it that I'm noticing gems I hadn't noticed before? Was this bit always here? I asked myself.

Re-reading is re-discovering. And Miss Mason's ideas are Christian-life-wisdom for people of all ages; even grandmothers.

Beautiful old-fashioned font is intact. Pagination is the same. A larger, darker size print. Yeah.

Peony taken on Dean's walk, like a flower in the painting.

These days, I share tips with my daughter long distance, over the telephone when she asks. She is home-teaching. What exhausting effort Sophia puts into her bright, rambunctious children.

Sometimes she gets muddled. I suspect a probable cause. She sees an endless scroll of questions on Facebook sites. Here young mothers seek specific advice on learning materials. Then, a myriad of well-meaning, but conflicting answers flood in.

"I think you might be experiencing information-overload," I tell her. "Reading a product review and also a couple pages of a well-written book is a calmer, more consecutive, and less confusing practice," I remind her.

Old oil painting. Gift from Dean. A bouquet that never withers.

In the days of her girlhood, I endeavored to live Charlotte Mason's advise. I rarely talked about the philosophy with my children.

Now Sophia is the home-teaching mom. She is learning what to "think" as well as what to "do."

It's always a joy (and relief) to hear what she has decided to apply, and that it is working satisfactory, if not splendidly well, as yet.

It takes time to see progress with anything newly adapted. I commend her hourly effort.

The pages of Miss Mason's books are a big help with child training, home atmosphere, and discipline.
They provide a guide to the kind of books that open the door of a child's mind and create that wonderful "intellectual glow" on the faces of the children that make all the time and effort worthwhile.

I enjoy laying one of my new Charlotte Mason books open where my lap-top computer used to rest before it died. (I'm in no rush to replace it.) I like to read 2 or 3 pages in an afternoon quiet-time. That's all.

I might pencil a note in the margin. Also, whatever especially speaks to me I copy into a hardcover-notebook.

See the bunny? It sleeps under the lilies and ate every lily leaf and parsley leaf there. Humph.
A slow reading is the only doable one for me. Even during my years of young motherhood, when I sometimes had to contend with a quickening sense of urgency in wanting to understand Miss Mason, I sipped the pages like tea.

I didn't worry about having to understand absolutely everything I read. Ideas have a way of growing on you. Weeks or months would go by when I let "thoughts think themselves."*1 I would go about the business of life. Ideas have the potency to stand up to simmering on the back burner.*2 The "life" part (the application of practical ideas) is where the most patience and persistence is required. Keep plodding, my friends.

"Steadfastness is, of course, of the essence of all Loyalties," says Miss Mason.*3 

19th century cradle, gift from Dean. I wonder whose baby slept in it.

Here's a link to the new series for sale at Simply Charlotte Mason. 

It contains hidden gems to uncover. Gems to grow-by.

End Notes
*1  Charlotte Mason, Parents & Children, pg 156 "Thoughts Think Themselves."
*2  Ibid, pg 34 "Now is it not marvelous, that recognizing as we do the potency of ideas, both the word and the [concept] it covers, enter so little into our thought of education?"
*3 Charlotte Mason, Ourselves, Bk 1, pg 123
Karen Andreola
"A Philosophy of Education" is one of my favorite volumes and probably the most often quoted in "Companion." 


  1. Oh Karen, I love how you put this. Sipping the pages like tea. How wonderful. I must say that I have done that with your wonderful book, A Charlotte Mason Companion. I sip my way through it every summer. I probably have a few parts memorized! It is dog-earred, soft, and worn. Just like a good book should be!

  2. I love the pictures! They are so peaceful and calming. Your description of reading as "sipping pages like tea" is perfect!

    God bless you!

  3. This is wonderful. I love your advice to Sophia. We need calmer ways of going about our home teaching decisions than frantically searching the internet and weighing a million opinions. Love that fluffy peony. Precious cradle. Thanks for sweet post to start my day considering the delight of ideas simmering on the back burner. Melissa S.

  4. Just this past Saturday, a neighbor and I were discussing how the hurry-up-culture seeks to influence our lives. My husband and I have been spared a good bit of misery by adopting a policy of waiting a little while. Very few situations are true emergencies.

    I like the new printing!


  5. I am not in need of a new set because I have the "pinks" you published 20 years ago, but the new set is something to celebrate. As I have said elsewhere, I am happy that this was a collaborative effort between you and SCM. And what a nice format for note taking.
    I will always be thankful that I did not have internet access as a young mom. I would have been in a dither with so many conflicting opinions. Friends and family were enough. ;-)
    Lovely post as always, Karen. I hope you're well.
    <3 Kristyn

  6. I think the reprinting is wonderful! I'm happy to see the original books as part of the covers, and the wide margins are so nice also!

    Great advice to Sophia. There is a thing as too much input and it overwhelms.

  7. This is exciting! I love the large print! And margins!! You put into words exactly what I am feeling. I have this "...sense of urgency in wanting to understand Miss Mason". Thank you for the image of "sipping pages like tea", Karen! It sounds much nicer! Claudia from Kansas

  8. This part really stood out to me:
    "I didn't worry about having to understand absolutely everything I read. Ideas have a way of growing on you. Weeks or months would go by when I let "thoughts think themselves."*1 I would go about the business of life. Ideas have the potency to stand up to simmering on the back burner.*2 The "life" part (the application of practical ideas) is where the most patience and persistence is required. Keep plodding, my friends.

    Thanks for sharing about the new versions! :) My pink-backs are falling apart, I'm rather rough on books. Bless you, Karen.

  9. It is always a pleasure hearing from you, ladies. It is good to hear the pink volumes are finally falling apart. They can be "coiled" at a printers.

    I miss blogging weekly. I'm back on-line today after a complete 5-day screen-fast. I was out-of-state visiting my grandchildren; playing baby-dolls with the 2 year-old, building Lego with the 6 year-old, feeding guinea pigs dandelions greens from the lawn, creating a board game with the 9 year-old, reading aloud, going to the playground, eating peaches, walking the isles of a large used-book store with my home-teaching daughter. It was hard saying good-bye to them this morning.

    I have to credit Mary Pride. Years back I think I remember it was she who recommended sipping Miss Mason's original writings "like tea". I remember thinking, "yes" that's just the way to do it.

  10. How can he possibly be 9 years old? My newest great-niece is closing in on 9 months. I love watching them grow. It sounds like you enjoyed a lovely, full visit. I am glad you were able to go, and I sympathize with you about saying good-bye.


  11. That's exciting news! How special to see books in print. I prefer them, also because I have the feeling I am much more in command of my time. I like how you let them sit on the table for easier access.
    Information overload is a thing I also struggle with. I completely understand you feel no rush to replace your laptop! Keep enjoying your real books (and watching your bunnies!).

  12. It is always exciting when books are re printed. Hats off to Sophia and all the homeschool mothers. It is not an easy job. The new books are very nice especially since they are in large print.

  13. So good to read your post. I had missed reading them lately. I thought that I was subscribed for updates, maybe not. Just resubscribed. Some months back, you were very kind in replying to my comments about CM methods in high school. Over the summer, for the first time to attend anything of the sort, I attended a CM retreat and heard Nancy Kelly speak. It was refreshing. Good to read your comments about the new printing; I have the little pink ones but wondered about ordering the larger ones. I may just do it after reading your comments. I read mine a lot these days.

  14. So what volumes would you recommend to start, if a person cannot buy the complete set at once?

    1. Hi Nancy, I like Volume One "Home Education." It is especially helpful if you have young children. But the basic principles apply to older students, too. The volumes are meant to be read in order. But if you are pressed for time with a student who in his last years of high school I would recommend next hopping over the Volume Six "Philosophy of Education."