For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay is a book that may change the way you think about education. Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, daughter of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, draws from the works of Charlotte Mason to describe education from the foundations up emphasizing a “joyous adventure and celebration of life, as well as a solid preparation for living.”
This warm and enthusiastic book encourages respecting each child’s individuality, providing a rich learning environment for our children, serving our children, providing for their growth, expecting excellence, developing good habits, and creating an atmosphere of acceptance; in short, “nurturing the minds and spirits” of our children.
To this end, the author lays out specific ways this type of eduction can be provided to our children. Living books are recommended as the best way to “let the children at the best of life.” This allows them to develop relationships within the areas we commonly think of as subjects. For example, a historical narrative is read, literary biographies are included to further bring alive an era, the flow of history is maintained and none of it is “told in isolation.” Composition involves copywork, narration and dictation. In the areas of art and music the student is allowed to feast on the works of the great.
Those of us who choose to develop our own styles will find For the Children’s Sake particularly helpful in providing a rich learning environment that respects the individuality of each child.
I would rather my child had a limited curriculum and access to limited educational resources, and yet learned by basking in the atmosphere of someone who had true pleasure in the books that were pursued, than that he should go to some well-equipped and soulless situation where, theoretically, he could ‘learn’ at optimum speed.