Category Archives: Joy of Learning Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day Month

"It seems to me that a critical ingredient which allows a home to be truly nurturing is the mother’s free choice to take on the role of homemaker. If she takes on that role in freedom, without any coercion from husband, partner, friends—or children—but out of her own self-knowledge of what she can and will do allied with the deep belief that this is the right course of action, then carrying a household can be a satisfying and deeply meaningful task. If the homemaker can infuse her home with her own warmth of soul, making it a refuge—a sanctuary, even—then both she and those who live in that home will flourish. Further, others who come into her home, be they relatives, friends, or neighbors, will be able to feel and experience it as a welcoming and nurturing place to be. If the homemaker or mother is the central figure upon which the strength of the home rests, then she needs to have taken up that role gladly, acknowledging it as a call of destiny."

—Donna Simmons of Christopherus Homeschool Resources

As an anthroposophist, Donna is coming from a different perspective than mine, but so much of what she writes resonates with my understanding of life as a Catholic, a mother, a wife, a woman. What she describes as a "call of destiny," I see as a vocation, and in these words from her Waldorf Curriculum Overview I see an appreciation of the quality Charlotte Mason called "atmosphere," which I have written about at great length myself. This notion of a mother "infusing her home with warmth"—yes, yes, that’s exactly right, and this is just what I needed to read as I continue packing up my home here and turning my thoughts toward the new home that is waiting for us out west.

Access, Time, and Road Maps

"What children need is not new and better curricula but access to more
and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their
experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and
advice, road maps, guidebooks, to make it easier for them to get where
they want to go (not where we think they ought to go), and to find out
what they want to find out."

—John Holt, Teach Your Own

How Much Does He Care?

"Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking—the strain would be too great—but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest…The question is not,—how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education—but how much does he care?"

—Charlotte Mason

The Joy of Learning Quote of the Day*

*Where "day" = "as often as I remember to do it." How’s this for a fun idea? In addition to regular posting, I’m going to start posting daily quotes about How People Learn Stuff. Such as:

"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him, he does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense."

—John Holt, How Children Learn

"Tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it." Boy is that right. Actually this is just what Maria Montessori was talking about in that quote I posted on Bonny Glen the other day.

"Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants—doing nothing but living and walking about—came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: would you not think I was romancing? Well, just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child’s way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love."

So there you go: your Joy of Learning Quote of the Day, where "quote" is sometimes plural.