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For the Children's Sake

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,921 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
Every parent and teacher wants to give their children the best education possible. Everyone would like education to be a joyous adventure and celebration of life, as well as a solid preparation for living. Sadly, most education today falls far short of this goal.

But as Susan Schaeffer Macaulay shows it doesn't have to be this way. Education can be a wonderful, life-enrichi
Paperback, 165 pages
Published September 1st 1984 by Crossway Books
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The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise BauerDumbing Us Down by John Taylor GattoA Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMilleHow to Read a Book by Mortimer J. AdlerHow Children Learn by John Holt
Best Homeschooling Books
9th out of 190 books — 261 voters
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer MacaulayEducating the Wholehearted Child by Clay ClarksonDumbing Us Down by John Taylor GattoCharlotte Mason Companion by Karen AndreolaThe World of Wickham Mossrite by JL Morse
My Favorite Books About Homeschooling
1st out of 19 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamie Cain
Mar 01, 2010 Jamie Cain rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jamie by: Lorrie Deringer
This is one of the best books on education I have ever read. WHile I am not a home-schooler (I am headmaster of a classical Christian school), Macaulay's introduction to Charlotte Mason will go on the "reread periodically" pile.

I appreciate Macaulay's style--free, casual, and engaging. Her writing is more than readable; it's a joy to read. I finish reading and feel refreshed. In this, she joins a select group of authors in my experience.

Her content is excellent too. She carefully parses Charlott
Leah Beecher
Oct 13, 2013 Leah Beecher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an unbelievable treasure finding this book was for me. Feeling that the reasons I was going to start homeschooling my two oldest daughters being, I did not like their current public school and we could not afford private education, were both negative reasons, and would make for a negative experience of home education, I agonized over what philosophy of home education I wanted to embrace. It is very important to grab hold of a positive reason to teach at home, for a happy home and happy chil ...more
Jul 30, 2015 Debra rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, education
I bought this book several years ago when my oldest was very young. It didn't really resonate with me then, and I never finished it. Since then, I have many years of homeschooling under my belt and already apply a lot of the practices that are in this book.

This books is based on the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason from the 1800's.

There is a lot of valuable information in this book of Christ-centered learning. My favorite is from the chapter that describes "children are born persons"
Josiah DeGraaf
In many ways, Macauley builds a powerful case for why, especially in education, but also just generally in life, we need to view children as persons created in the Imago Dei, and how this must absolutely transform our method of education. She made several valuable insights on how children are able to accomplish a lot more than we give them credit for, and how all of education is linked back to the Imago Dei within each one of us. This book was therefore very enlightening to me, and has changed t ...more
Ryan Handermann
One of the best books I have ever read about education. This work is essentially an exposition of Charlotte Mason's work on education in the late 19th century, with a more Christian slant from Macaulay. She advocates that children are people (a novel idea), each with individual needs and talents, hence, education should be catered specifically to each child, and not handed out in uniform boxes. This means things like shorter school days, math in the morning, science as real life exploration, giv ...more
Oct 03, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
I give this book 5 stars!!! I highly recommend it to all!

I had to pay some late fees to the library in order to finish it, but it was so worth it. I'd love to own a copy of this book. It drove me crazy that I couldn't highlight it and mark it up.

This book really cemented in my mind the value of the Charlotte Mason Education style. It is so practical, clear, & Christian-based. Any parent or teacher will benefit from its values and ideas. A great resource for public, private, and homeschool.

Jul 22, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jessica by: Mandi Gerth
Shelves: home-education, 2016
Written by the daughter of Frank & Edith Schaeffer a wonderful book on education based on the principles set forth by Charlotte Mason. No matter what road you walk down in educating your child you read this book that you may be adding good things to education and filling the gaps. No education will be perfect but we can do our best to build up whatever it is we are doing.
Graeme Pitman
Jul 09, 2016 Graeme Pitman rated it really liked it
“How colorfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child! What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out! And we don’t stop there. We don’t respect the children’s thinking or let them come to any conclusions themselves! We ply them with endless questions, the ones we’ve thought up, instead of being silent and letting the child’s questions bubble up with interest. We tire them with workbooks that would squeeze out the last drop of anybody’s patience. We remove interest ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mom
First read this book in 2010. Reread all the parts I had highlighted. This needs to be a book I read each year as a refresher..krb 1/31/16
Mar 22, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
This book started slowly for me but I definitely warmed to it. The chapter concerning religious education - specifically that there is no division between the secular and sacred but that the sacred permeates all areas of learning - was my favorite.
Apr 29, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
Good book to add to your library on education and children.
Dec 31, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2009 Ali rated it it was amazing
The first homeschooling book I ever read. This book opened my eyes to my God-given responsibility to provide a quality Christian environment for my children to learn. It also introduced me to Charlotte Mason, a Christian educator who believed children are thinking, feeling persons with all the personality and attributes of adults; not merely a vessel to be filled, but "a spirtual organism, with an appetite for all knowledge." I highly recommend this book for those thinking about homeschooling!
Kristen Gebbia
Jul 08, 2016 Kristen Gebbia rated it really liked it
Okay, so maybe I'm a little bit ahead of the game here....but I'll unashamedly admit that I'm really looking forward to homeschooling Brooke. I didn't grow up with a particular "method" of homeschooling, but from what I'm reading, it seems mom inadvertently taught us in a style very similar to Charlotte Mason. What I love about this style is that it allows the kiddos to be free to explore; to learn through creativity; and to develop a life long love for learning The beauty of this method is that ...more
Melissa Munaco
Mar 19, 2013 Melissa Munaco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
This is one of those books that I know I will continue to come back to again and again over the years as our children go. A timeless call to true education and all that it encompasses. It inspired me and gave me hope!
Whitney Holley
Dec 18, 2015 Whitney Holley rated it liked it
This book is fantastic at introducing, or explaining clearly, the education methods of Charlotte Mason. It is outlined in such a way that it would be easy to reference Mason's own writing for a deeper study and would certainly be a great resource for anyone wanting to teach with this philosophy in mind. I was thrown off my some of Macaulay's views though. I myself am Christian but certainly much more progressive than the author. I found some of her explanations simplistic and confining and would ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Ginny rated it it was amazing
So thankful God put Charlotte Mason on earth and that she so openly shared her experiences in education. What a breath of fresh air, this needs to be read by every principal, educator, parent, grandparent, aunts, uncles, etc. So edifying and what a great foundation for living the abundant life God wants for everyone. Glad I can implement these principles in my own life as well as in my days raising my children.

Macaulay does a great job of relaying the work and philosophy of Charlotte Mason and
May 28, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
This was a concise, brilliant explanation of Charlotte Mason's philosophy, not just on education but on children themselves, and the need to educate the whole child--body, mind, and soul. This is what the command in Deuteronomy means: "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 ...more
Becky Pliego
I needed to read this book in this particular season of my life. However, I didn't know it until I finished the last page.
Apr 12, 2016 Lmichelleb rated it really liked it
Looking for something fresh and yet timeless as you explore a desire to truly educate your children? This is your ticket!

Susan Schaeffer Macaulay introduced me to Charlotte Mason in such a beautifully enticing way I couldn't refuse further investigation! I've now read Miss Mason's works for myself, but would never have thought to without the nudge from this book. When I was considering homeschooling my children, the picture of education painted in this book was exactly what I was yearning for, w
Charise D.
Jan 14, 2016 Charise D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, teachers
Recommended to Charise by: Cindy Rollins
I have read that it's important to have positive reasons for homeschool as opposed to negative (a mere desire to avoid humanistic teachings or indoctrination by the state, etc.), but before reading this book I had only a vague idea of what those positive reasons could be. In For the Children's Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay describes an educational method that not only reminds me how easy and exciting learning was before I went to school (I remember those days far more clearly than my time in th ...more
Tina Surette
May 27, 2015 Tina Surette rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing and really made me change some of the things that I think about parenting. Although this was such a small focus of the book, it made me realize that I need to help my children to obey me by giving them small and easy things to do that they would have obeyed me in anyway and then work from that point to asking them to do harder and harder things. I also found there to be wonderfully helpful ideas in this book as pertaining to teaching art, literature, history, music apprecia ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Lekeshua rated it it was amazing
Susan Schaeffer Macaulay done a great job in sharing her encounter and understanding of Charlotte Mason. The cottage sounds amazing and inspires me to capture the same with my children and any other child I may have the joy of encountering. When you understand that children are people too it opens a new world and understanding. Giving the children the opportunity to be exposed to great ideas and let them naturally learn is very important. I never realized how much adults talking can get in the w ...more
Mar 18, 2015 Brian rated it liked it
A good supplement to anyone in the current "Classical Education" movement. The thing she brings to the table that I value the most is her insistence that all of education be UNRUSHED. Even though we may be one of the laziest generations to exist in the history of the world, we are also one of the busiest (and should that surprise you?) Macaulay recommends taking a relaxed approach, giving time to smell the roses, so to speak, and more importantly, to read the books aloud, go on walks, and have t ...more
Aug 31, 2015 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
These days it seems the only people familiar with the name Charlotte Mason are those who have contemplated educating their children at home. Even then, it is through word-of-mouth or stumbling upon a convention workshop or perhaps a magazine article that one is exposed to Charlotte Mason's philosophy and methodology. I was one of those people. I would have loved to have had this book fall into my hands during my child-raising years. In under 200 pages one is presented a Charlotte Mason "crash co ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Stacey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with kids
Recommended to Stacey by: Kim Davis
I read this book to help me formulate what I want for my kid's education. The author rejects most of our current education system as too restrictive and is in favor of a more "real" education based on life and relationships. If it sounds hokie, it isn't. Instead she encourages you to expose your children to new experiences, books, art, and people, and allow them to determine what they've learned (as opposed to asking them directed questions and giving them multiple choice tests. She notes that t ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling
I just finished reading this book. It was written by a woman who was impressed with the ideas of Charlotte Mason, an educator working in England beginning in approximately 1850. Charlotte Mason is a big name in homeschooling because she had a very distinct educational philosophy, generally a bit gentler, less rushed, and child-centric than your average approach. Susan, the author of this book, presents some of Charlotte Mason's ideas in a more modern light and adds her own research and observati ...more
Emily Powers
Sep 14, 2009 Emily Powers rated it it was amazing
This book will sit on my nightstand, at the ready, indefinitely. For the Children's Sake and Charlotte Mason's educational theory have helped me to realize, "Christians can't develop a Christian view of education by accepting the usual aims and views our society and then adding a 'Christian message' or interpretation. No, we start from a different basis. We have another worldview" (Susan Schaeffer Macaulay). This book is foundational for all Christian parents, regardless of whether you choose to ...more
Nov 15, 2010 Sara rated it liked it
This book wasn't exactly what I expected, probably because it is so overtly Protestant. It reminded me of some of my first experiences in home school. We had Christian-based course work, which irritated me greatly. I'm not sure why, but it did...and still does. The first part of Macaulay's book, I viewed with distaste, especially when she recommended Pilgrim's Progress as an interesting, suitable read. My brother and I loathed that book in home school. It lacks interest and subtlety. I stopped r ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this six years ago on the recommendation of someone I respect. It resonated with me, and I've always used at least a few of the principles of Charlotte Mason in teaching my children (specifically the living books concept), though I've mostly fallen more under what I guess some would call neoclassical. Now that I have several years experience under my belt, I wanted to read it again. I see so much wisdom here, and between listening to The Mason Jar on the Quiddity podcast and studyin ...more
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Susan Schaeffer Macaulay grew up in Switzerland at L'Abri Fellowship, which was founded by her parents Francis and Edith Schaeffer. She and her husband Ranald Macaulay established and led the L'Abri branch in England for several years. She is also the author of For the Family's Sake and contributed to Books Children Love and When Children Love to Learn.
More about Susan Schaeffer Macaulay...

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“No parent/home/child/teacher/school has an all-round 100 percent wholeness. We all have limitations and problems. But I must never think it is all or nothing.
Perhaps I'd like to live in the country, but I don't. Well, maybe I can get the family to a park two times a week, and out to the country once every two weeks.
Maybe I have to send my child to a not-so-good school. Well, maybe we can read one or two good books together aloud. If you can't give them everything, give them something.”
“It does not mean that adults think of a child as a blank sheet of paper on which they imprint their ideas, impressions, and knowledge. Neither does it mean leaving the child unattended like a weed growing in a sidewalk. It is a balanced understanding of education as the provision of possibilities for a person to build relationships with a vast number of things and thoughts.” 1 likes
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