The Work of Education | Principle #2

In today’s episode I’m talking about the second principle of Charlotte Mason’s Twenty Principles. The Twenty Principles are the basis for her educational philosophy. Without these, we can’t apply the method. The second principle is “Children are not born good or bad but with possibilities for good and evil”. Today we discuss what the principle means, and how we can apply it in our own homes.

Leading Thoughts

  1. First and foremost, we need to train our children.
  2. We need to teach our children the Knowledge of God through the Bible to direct those good tendencies and attenuate the evil.
  3. We need to offer the educational feast that Mason recommends and abandon traditional educational methods.

Listen to the podcast above to hear more!


“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21, (ESV)

The fact seems to be that children are like ourselves, not because they have become so, but because they are born so; that is, with tendencies, dispositions, towards good and towards evil, and also with a curious intuitive knowledge as to which is good and which is evil. Here we have the work of education” (A Philosophy of Education, p. 46).

“It is our business to know what parts and passions a child is made up, to discern the dangers that present themselves, and still more the possibilities of free-going in delightful paths” (A Philosophy of Education, p. 47).

“His soul must be prepared for a Savior whom we all need, in whom to delight, who commands all adoration and loyalty. Teachers can present a broad feast with the best books to appeal to his desire for good, and should forego the use of textbooks, marks, and prizes that feed his desire for vanity and approval of others that trick him into learning rather than set him on a road to realize his potential for good. Her method can help his possibilities for good and hinder the evil ones.” -Liz Cottrill, ADE


Home Education by Charlotte Mason

A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Habit Training Resources:

Laying Down the Rails by Simply Charlotte Mason

Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Charlotte Mason Motherhood podcast. Thank you so much for listening!

  1. Mason, Charlotte. Home Education. Simply Charlotte Mason, LLC, 2017.
  2. Mason, Charlotte. A Philosophy of Education. Simply Charlotte Mason, LLC. 2017.

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