Episode 72: Listener Q&A #15

This Charlotte Mason podcast addresses frequently asked questions: was Mason's method designed first and foremost for the classroom? Is it essential to have a poetry teatime or morning time?

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"The Parents' Union School, originally organised for the benefit of children educated at home, is worked by means of programmes followed by examination papers sent out term by term. When the same work, if not the whole of it, was taken up by Council Schools, the advantage of such an organisation was apparent, especially in that it afforded a common curriculum for children of all classes. By using this curriculum we were enabled to see that the slum child in a poor school compares quite favourably with the child of clever or opulent parents who had given heed to his education." (Vol. 6, p. 293)

In Memoriam


  1. I was wondering what caused the decline of 200 PNEU schools? Do we know what philosophy of education replaced CM?

    1. No philosophy "replaced" CM, but the wars may account for the close of schools. There are still CM method schools in operation in the UK, but I know of no statistics as to how many continued on.

  2. Hi there
    I am also often curious about the answer to Jennifer's question. In a previous episode I think you have mentioned the war being a contributing factor? I'd love to know more details though.

    The other question I often have is whether we have any information on the pupils who attended her schools / the homeschooled children, longer term? ie Do we have any information about the impact of her method of education on their lives when they were adults?

    Given the numbers, we are talking about a lot of children! I've done some very quick searches in the past but have never come up with anything. Do you know of any information along those lines? Or whether any of those thousands of children have come out of the woodwork and said 'I attended one of those schools / was homeschooled in that way and here is how it has impacted me'

    I think we, as adults, can look at the feast and think that we are giving our children such a rich education - but I would love to know how they actually feel about it once they reach adulthood.

    Thanks, Karen

    1. A search of the archives may reveal some scattered bits and clues to these questions. Some currently educated CM students have blogged about their experiences for the CMI blogs. I recently read an autobiography of Rumer Godden, in which she recounted her experience teaching her children in P.N.E.U. programmes during W.W.II. I am sure finding out how all the children "turned out" is as ambiguous or challenging to research as, say, one-room school children of Montana and their descendants. If you have the time and inclination, we also would be fascinated to hear. From time to time, I randomly find references to P.N.E.U. uses in various contexts. For example, Amy Carmichael had P.N.E.U. trained teachers and used their materials. As you know, the British Empire surrounded the globe by W.W.II and I am sure seeds of the P.N.E.U. are scattered worldwide as a result. Obviously, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay discovered a CM cottage school when she went to England with her own children in the decades after the "war," and you can read about her experience in For the Children's Sake.