The Home School and Classroom Air

Ideas may invest as an atmosphere…'The idea may exist as… a mere instinct, a vague appetency towards something, . . . like the impulse which fills the young poet's eyes with tears, he knows not why: To excite this 'appetency towards something'––towards things lovely, honest, and or good report, is the earliest and most important ministry of the educator.[1]

Ideas are in the air!  It is the work of the educator to awaken the student to these ideas in this thought environment through her being. Direct teaching does not convey these affections. It is in the atmosphere, a force in formation, all around, natural – emanated by persons breathed in by those in relationship, a student with his teacher.

Every look of gentleness and tone of reverence, every word of kindness and act of help, passes into the thought-environment, the very atmosphere which the child breathes; he does not think of these things, may never think of them, but all his life long they excite that 'vague appetency towards something' out of which most of his actions spring. [2]

 Look, tones, words, and actions are transported in the thought environment from person to person. And actions rise from what has been taken in and from what has been omitted. The questions before the educator are, what is in the air emanated by me and is it worth passing along?

[1] Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children, 36.

[2] Ibid.