Monday, 14 May 2012


'Mothers seldom talk down to their children; they are too intimate with the little people, and have, therefore, too much respect for them: but professional teachers, whether the writers of books or the givers of lessons are too apt to present a single grain of pure knowledge in a whole gallon of talk, imposing upon the child the labour of discerning the grain and of extracting it from the worthless flood.'
(Vol 1, Part V Lessons As Instruments Of Education, p.175)- Charlotte Mason

'Twaddle is what parents and educators today might call “dumbed down” literature. It is serving your children intellectual happy meals, rather than healthy, substantive mind- and soul-building foods. Charlotte Mason advocated avoiding twaddle and feasting children’s hearts and minds on the best literary works available.' taken from

As you can see I have been doing a fair bit of reading about Charlotte Mason and her techniques! The notion of 'twaddle' was of particular interest to me. As a teacher of young children I was often frustrated with the range of books chosen by curriculum schemes and schools as appropriate for children. I never understood the need to read such pointless 'non-story' stories!
My other 'pet hate' is adults talking down, talking 'babyish' or silly voice to children. I never get why parents feel the need to call a dog- a doggy. Or a cow- moo cow!! 'Look at the baa lambs!!' Oh it really grates on me! While my son was young everything was given is correct name, no silly baby voices were used! Admittedly this was because it annoyed me, but now I am glad I have a problem with it! As Charlotte Mason says in her quote above '....too much respect for them...' As a mother we must respect our children and treat them as the individual, albeit developing, human being that they are, not an alien to our planet!!!!

But what about the awkward times when grandparents, friends and other family members use such 'twaddle'?? I have found simply being a role model for how you expect your child to be treated is most effective. For example- Aunt Sue- 'Look at those cute little baa lambs, see the baa lambs Johnny?' (parent cringes, tongue bitten, deep breath then...) Parent-  'see the LAMBS Johnny, what cute lambs, can you say lambs/count the lambs etc.' At least you feel, as a parent, your staying true to your beliefs/methods and maybe the 'twaddle user' (if around you enough!) will cotton on! My son soon cottoned on and would correct an adult who used 'baby language' when speaking with him!

twaddle talk This is a short clip that explains twaddle and reading. Take a look!

CM explained- Just found this clip! I think it is a really good explanation of CM methods. What do you think?

I'd love to read your comments or thoughts on twaddle and Charlotte Mason so please leave me a comment below.

Finally, some pics of Cornwall, Football, Coco and outdoor fun!

Despite the rain and wind we hit the beach!

 Boat ride looking for seals

About to explore a tin mine.....

 Woodland wander....


 Playmates! They are inseparable! 


  1. Thoroughly enjoying our learning experience Victoria. Jacob is thriving and so interested in the world around him. Well done you two!

  2. Angie Arrowsmith15 May 2012 at 22:57

    Brilliant photos,we all had such a good time in Cornwall. Can't wait to do it again!

  3. Hi there. Glad I found you. I homeschool my 6 year old down in Dorset (and we too have just had a holiday in Cornwall!) using CM. We read lots of lovely chapter and picture books - that with lots of outdoor time is pretty much our homeschooling curriculum. This year we're focusing on Astronomy, Earth science and weather/seasons. I often find I have to order lots of US books to avoid twaddle but I am building up a good collection. At some point in the future I'm hoping to open a living book library for homeschoolers. Good luck with everything. Tania

  4. Hi Tania
    Thanks for your reply. I look forward to hearing more about your living book library in the future.


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