Charlotte Mason called education the "Science of Relations." What does this look like in our homes and classrooms?
What is a relational education? What does an education practically look like when it is shaped by Charlotte Mason's key idea of education as the "science of relations" (Philosophy of Education, p.xxx)?
"Children, as persons, are born into and meant for relationship."
A relational education begins, Mason would claim, by recognizing that children, as persons, are born into and meant for relationship.
Mason summarizes or categorizes her claim into four key relationships: children relate with themselves, with others, with the world around them, and with God. Expanding each of these areas, a relational approach to education...
- Nurtures self-knowledge and respects the personhood and uniqueness of every child and as such values the inherent dignity of each student, parent, and educator as they work alongside one another.
- Aims to create connections and relationships with other people across time and place, those who lived in the past, who live today, and who will live in the future.
- Builds a child's relationships with the universe, with creation, with nature, beginning with tracking, locating, identifying all that lives and grows within a mile of where a child lives–the child builds relationships with the plants, insects, animals, fish, birds, trees, and landforms close to themselves, and continues to investigate more broadly and deeply as they grow–keeping a nature notebook, recording labs, and so on.
- Opens the way for relationship with God–acquaintance with the biblical narrative is prioritized, transcendence and mystery are respected, and the entire approach makes space for the divine Spirit to engage with the child as learner and recognizes that He is ultimately the author of all truth.
- ALVEARY: rich and relational curriculum for 21st Century students in homes and classrooms.
- RESOURCES & COURSES for Educators. Natural History Clubs, training and support for those guiding neuroatypical students, online study groups, publications, accreditation, courses and certifications.
- Annual GATHERINGS: Learn in community.
- BLOG: articles to provide insight and encouragement.