Giveaway - The Cloud of Witness!

Hello, everyone!  Just a quick post to let you know that I am giving away 2 copies of The Cloud of Witness - A Daily Sequence of Great Thoughts From Many Minds Following the Christian Seasons. Presently, it is unavailable and out of print.

The Cloud was Charlotte Mason's gift to the graduates of her college.  It was such an inspiration to me that I had it reprinted by Riverbend Press a few years ago and now hundreds of people are reading through it together - just like the graduates of 100 years ago.

You can enter on Facebook or on Instagram.  Here's how:

On FB -
1. Like my page, Sage Parnassus.
2. Tag a friend in a comment. Each different tag is an additional entry.
3. Optional: For additional entry- Share the FB post with hashtag #sageparnassusgiveaway2

On IG - 
1. Follow me @sageparnassus
2. Tag a friend! Each different tag counts as an additional entry.
3. Optional: For additional entry- Repost the IG post with hashtag #sageparnassusgiveaway2

Drawing will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

More Cloud goodies:
-Like The Cloud of Witness FB page
-Read Gloaming, Advent, and the Tie That Binds (The Cloud of Witness Part 2)
-Read Why I Love the Cloud of Witness

Teaching from Peace,

Parents Are Peacemakers (2 of 7)

The Arbour by Emanuel-Phillips Fox (1910)
      Welcome to the 2nd installment of the booklet, Parents Are Peacemakers! (See the 1st here.)  This section is still an introduction of sorts as it will help you and/or your group to begin thinking and focusing on what peace in the home might or might not look like.  Remember, these are intended to be 30 minute talks but you might be tempted to rush ahead to the main sections - please don't do that!  Take the time to think about the questions posed. And while this was written in 1944, it is still completely relevant to our time. Perhaps think about updated examples or situations as you go along. Oh, and I'd love to hear your feedback as you go through this. How are you using it?  Has it been effective?  Where has it led you or your group? Either leave a comment or send me an email at sageparnassus@gmail.com.

           Teaching from Peace,


I.                    MAKING PEACE AT HOME.

Synopsis :     (1) Making and winning the Peace.
                   (2) Must be done at home.
                   (3) Different kinds of Homes (Discussion).
                   (4) When people are getting what they need, peace comes.
                   (5) Common needs (Discussion).
                   (6) The four needs (Questions).

1.       We often hear it said that “After we have won the war we must win the peace.” Already people are planning ahead, planning for education, for employment, for insurance; for feeding hungry Europe, for building up the cities. We leave these things to the leaders of the nations. All we can do is to read and listen and think, say a word here and there to approve or criticize. Yet we must “win the peace,” I must, you must, not just Mr. So and So, Minister for Such and Such, but you and I.

If we want to make a dress or to make a cake we find a pattern or a recipe. Where shall we find a recipe to follow if we wish to make peace? It is hard to find. A good recipe tells us what to use, how to use it. “Take such and such, mix --, bake in a -- oven, for so many minutes or hours.” If some good angel gave a recipe for peace he would say: -- “Take an ordinary family, mix it with love and understanding and bake it in your homes for every day of every year.”

2.     We talk about Housewives. It takes Househusbands and Housewives to make peace at home. Parents are the peacemakers of the world and if they fail then war must come whoever our rulers may be.
Let us think about homes and houses. Let us each think of a house, one we know well, where we like to go because it is happy and friendly and the young people and older ones get on well together.

3.       DISCUSSION: description of actual homes provided by the meeting, use them when going on with the talk.

Has anyone a home in their thoughts where things go wrong? Quarrels, nagging, sulks, temper, discomfort?  A broken home, one that is beginning to crack?

That family of which you told us –the children were noisy, all about the place – but they could be quiet when told. Mrs. X. gave a good tea, not just “Now Mary run round for the fish and chips,” at any moment of the evening. Mr. X was a bit tired after his work but he had his tea and his pipe and he and Tom mended the cycle together. They all seemed to be getting what they needed: Mr. X needed rest, his wife needed that chat with you, the children needed play and activity after school, Tom needed help, they all needed their tea and companionship. That other quarrelsome family – everyone wanted to have his own way and meant to get it too, no matter what the needs of others might be.

Then again, that  empty home to which Nancy returned after school was over, let herself in, gave herself tea, amused herself alone and put herself to bed. Father and Mother were both out at a cinema, two or three evenings a week, was it? Nancy was quite used to it. What a lonely place! Loneliness does not make peace, it makes a hungry heart and fear is round the corner.

4.       The peaceful home was the one where each member of the family was getting what he needed. What do people need? Let us think of that. There is a difference between what people want, what they would really like and what they really need. Certain things we all need, grown ups, children, everyone.

5.       DISCUSSION: group the suggestions into needs of body, needs of mind, e.g., food, warmth, healing – love, justice, hope, companionship, security, etc., etc.
A long list –do you notice that in a really happy home they all get attention? Not all at once, all the time, but each need gets answered, some time, in some way. We are in need and we feel a desire, we want something deeply, passionately –affection, notice, a friend, quiet, whatever it may be. Our needs are the ground of our human nature from which our thoughts, hopes, fears and joys grow up. Children are especially needy people. That is why Fathers and Mothers must be peacemakers, must give loving thought and care in order that the children may have their four great needs supplied – Leadership, Healing, Feeding, and Teaching.


Parents Are Peacemakers (1 of 7)

Peace. Such an important topic for our homeschools and lives. I would like to share with you a little-known booklet titled Parents Are Peacemakers, Six Talks with Parents on Bringing Up Children by Charlotte Mason biographer, Essex Cholmondeley. Written in 1944, its purpose was to introduce parents to the PNEU and the  philosophy that shaped it. I think it offers practical help and examples  for those wanting more advice on bringing up children in a Charlotte Mason paradigm.  I will publish this little gem in seven installments, rolling them out as I transcribe them. A link to a google doc at the end of each post will make it convenient for printing.

The topics will include:

1. Notes for Those Who Conduct the Talks
2. Making Peace At Home
3. The First Need: Leadership
4. The Second Need: Healing
5. The Third Need: Feeding
6. The Fourth Need: Teaching
7. Christ's Way of Peace

This first, brief post is "Notes for Those Who Conduct the Talks" and contains excellent advice on how to run these sessions with  parents. My favorite bit is "be in the chair rather than in the pulpit" as the  facilitator. The advice found here is solid for anyone leading group meetings of any sort.

I hope you enjoy this series!  I think this booklet could be used with book discussion groups, in Sunday Schools, or just for the mom and dad looking for a more help with their parenting.

Teaching from Peace,



                The attitude of all present, including those who conduct the meetings, should be one of finding out together what is best for children. The leader must have faith that the most “ordinary” father or mother has much to contribute. Be “in the chair” rather than “in the pulpit”; determine that each talk shall give real opportunity for meeting, mind to mind, experience shared. A sense of hostess-ship and hospitality is needed, giving a welcome, making everyone at ease, introducing them to ideas and thoughts courteously, keeping a happy orderliness in proceedings. A kindly sincerity encourages discussion and kindles initiative in individual listeners.

                Talk for about five to seven minutes, then get the parents to talk. Ask for examples and experiences from real life and use these when you continue. Keep the thread but let it be an elastic one, building up upon what the meeting gives you. In Talk VI, discussion would best be left until the end.

                Illustrations from real life are most important. If those given in the talks do not suit a particular audience, others should be chosen from personal experience of real children and real families (but not local ones). Every Leader must know her audience and give instances which will be normal and acceptable to them.

                Give the talks as a series. They lose their force if used separately. Together they form a unity; apart they present little fragments of the whole aspect of education which “bringing up” implies.

                Those who find these talks helpful should read the books of Charlotte Mason.  In them they will discover a constant source of wise counsel and inspiration concerning the whole life of a growing up person. “An Essay towards a Philosophy of Education” and all the  volumes of the “Home Education Series” can be obtained from the  Parents’ National Education Union, 171, Victoria Street, London, S.W. 1.

                I owe a debt of gratitude to Lady Reid for her encouraging co-operation and most kind advice while the Talks were being written.

E. Cholmondeley.

Whaddon House,
                Bruton, Somerset,

Google doc - Parents Are Peacemakers - Notes For Those Who Conduct The Talks (1 of 7)

Advice On Cutting Back

Since studying O'Keeffe, The Lawrence Tree is a popular perspective (14dd)
As I prepare for the Grace to Build Retreat next weekend, I have been steeping myself in all things peace-related for my talk, The Importance of Peace.  Often, as I consult with moms and dads, the following questions need to be addressed -  "What do I say 'yes' to? What do I say 'no' to?" Here is a sage piece of advice set in a whimsical  narrative from an old Parents' Review article, "Family Life."

We cannot all do everything, and yet this seems to be the aim of some people, and they wonder that they fail. Life is like a drawer that will not shut, and never can be orderly; it is too full. Suppose that you had such a drawer representing your life. At the bottom of it would lie a few things which should have been done a month ago. Then a layer of letters and bills; bundles with india-rubber rings which are breaking; in one corner your Bible; in another your account book; a bit of a child's work you promised to finish; on the top of all the baby's broken toy. Every time you touch the drawer you make hay of it, and further confusion ensues. The fairy of old childhood days, whose wand puts all in order, passes by. You look at her with imploring eyes. "Yes! I will do it, but only in my own way." You stand and watch. She takes the drawer right out, and while you shudder, she turns the contents all on the floor. She puts the drawer back clean and fresh, and, just as you expect she will replace the contents, she leaves the room, saying, "Oh! no, you only know what should be in; pick up all you can use, and I will come back, and sweep away the rubbish."

Teaching from Peace,

house in autumn