What is the Feast? | Principle #13

In today’s episode I’m talking about the thirteenth principle of Charlotte Mason’s Twenty Principles. This principle focuses on the “feast” that Mason focuses on. What does a Charlotte Mason education entail? What does it mean to offer a wide variety of subjects? What are those subjects? Learn more in this episode!


Principle #13: In devising a syllabus for a normal child, of whatever social class, three points must be considered:

  1. He requires much knowledge, for the mind needs sufficient food as much as does the body.
  2. The knowledge should be various, for sameness in mental diet does not create appetite (i.e. curiosity)
  3. Knowledge should be communicated in well-chosen language, because his attention responds naturally to what is conveyed in literary form.

Leading Thoughts

  1. There are three main categories of knowledge that a child’s education requires:
  2. Knowledge of God
  3. Knowledge of Man
  4. Knowledge of the Universe

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For it is a mistake to suppose that the greater number of subjects the greater the scholar’s labour; the contrary is the case as the variety in itself affords refreshment, and the child who has written thirty or forty sheets during an examination week comes out unfagged. Not the number of subjects but the hours of work bring fatigue to the scholar…” (A Philosophy of Education, p. 158).

“Literature at its best is always direct and simple and a normal child of six listens with delight to the tales both of Old and New Testament read to him passage by passage, and by him narrated in turn.” (A Philosophy of Education, p. 160).

“The boy or girl aged from ten to twelve who is intimate with a dozen or so of Plutarch’s Lives, so intimate that they influence his thought and conduct, has learned to put his country first and to see individuals only as they serve or dis-serve the state. Thus he gets his first lesson in the science of proportion. Children familiar with the great idea of a State in the sense, not of a government but of the people, learn readily enough about the laws, customs and government of their country; learn, too, with the great interest something about themselves, mind and body, heart and soul, because they feel it is well to know that they have it in them to give to their country. (A Philosophy of Education, p. 187)


A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason (pages 154-234)

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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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