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(Original Homeschooling #4)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Ourselves, the fourth volume of Charlotte Mason's Classic Homeschooling Series, is a character curriculum book written directly to children. Book I, Self-Knowledge, is for elementary school students; Book II, Self-Direction, is for older students. Self-Knowledge discusses our human desires and appetites; the "helpers" in our minds, such as intellect, sense of beauty, imagi ...more
Paperback, 462 pages
Published October 1st 1989 by Tyndale House Publishers
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4.50  · 
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 ·  117 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. I got more out of it than I ever thought possible, and it might have changed my life. Mason puts a lifetime of wisdom in simple but profound terms, and I honestly enjoyed the whole thing. By starting with appetites and ending with the soul, she explores the complete human as we know ourselves. Reading just a chapter of this book is helpful, but reading the whole is illuminating. Of course some of her attitudes are dated, but her defense of her ideas is thorough and convi ...more
Some thoughts: Charlotte Mason wrote Ourselves for young people, but it really is a book that anyone from about the age of twelve and up can benefit from. I can see that reading it as a teenager might have helped me be more careful about the habits and thought patterns that I allowed myself to form. But then again, I might not have been so open to her advice and cautions at that age. ;)

Ourselves is also an excellent book to read if you need clarification about her views on "The Way of the Will"
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Because it was originally published in 1905, the tone and some of the content seem quaint and antiquated. In spite of that, Ourselves ranks among the most worthwhile books I have read to my children. An openly Christian book written to help children develop good character, it is divided into two books. The first, "Self-Knowledge," is for children under 16 and the other, "Self-Direction," is for children 16 and older. Because of the density of the text, we read it a few paragraphs at a time at br ...more
Sherry Elmer
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At the beginning, I thought this would be my least favorite of Charlotte Mason's books. It is written to children, and the whole concept of "Mansoul" seemed a little silly to me. However, it turned out to be a wonderful book and worthy of the time of any child or adult who is interested in education, particularly self-education.
This has been my favorite volume of Charlotte Mason's writings so far! The visualization of the kingdom of Mansoul is for me a lasting impression of who I am made to be by God. I look forward to discussing this with my children when they read it!
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: me
This might actually be my favorite so far (I haven't finished Formation), of Charlotte Mason's works. I can't articulate why yet, still mulling over it, but I absolutely loved it. I especially found Book 2 to be challenging and beautiful!
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another home run with Charlotte Mason....

This book focuses on ourselves and obtaining appropriate habits. I enjoyed her comments especially about sloth and over eating. She says about food, "Never think of your meals till they come, and, while you are eating, talk and think of something more amusing than your food." (pg. 13 in Book 1 of "Ourselves" which is in the fourth volume in the series) She also discourses on not letting our taste buds rule us.

She references several times to the value of t
Sandra Zack
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Though the start of our journey in home schooling beginning with 9th grade was a bit rocky, we have finally settled on Charlotte Mason and it's just a perfect curriculum for us. Reading Ourselves together is inspiring both mother and daughter!
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
To be read and reread regularly. So much good stuff.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This volume, more than any of the others, is the most widely applicable of Mason's books, and she wrote it for students as much as parents--no matter what schooling approach is in play.

Get past the first allegorical chapters and enjoy the rest! I put this one off because of those first few chapters--and because it was more about one's own character rather than directly about education, so I didn't "need" it as much to apply to education. Right? Ha! Finally read it--really read it--this summer, a
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
I am really enjoying reading the whole series of the Charlotte Mason books. This is book 4 and is written for students, with the first part written for younger students and the second part for older students. However, it is useful for us all! I have learnt a lot reading this book and it has helped flesh out some of the philosophy from earlier books and gives lots of examples. I love in particular how books are key to learning in Miss Mason’s educational philosophy and this book contains lot so o ...more
The first half of this ("Book I") is quite good, given the target audience of Victorian and Edwardian teen girls, though I didn't love it as much as Mason's first three volumes. Book II was a bit heavy-handed for my taste. I'm ambivalent ... see her points, but not convinced about this particular delivery - especially at the idea of having my teen son read it when the time comes. It's not poor, it's just... okay.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wise woman and amazing book.
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Charlotte Mason, a renowned British educator, lived during the turn of the 20th century. She turned the idea of education being something of utilitarian necessity into an approach based upon living ideas. She believed that education is "an atmosphere, a discipline, a life" and a "science of relations." Her methods are embraced around the world today, especially among the homeschool community.

Other books in the series

Original Homeschooling (6 books)
  • Home Education (Original Homeschooling #1)
  • Parents and Children (Original Homeschooling #2)
  • School Education: Developing A Curriculum (Original Homeschooling #3)
  • Formation of Character (Original Homeschooling #5)
  • A Philosophy of Education
“Having found the book which has a message for us, let us not be guilty of the folly of saying we have read it. We might as well say we have breakfasted, as if breakfasting on one day should last us for every day! The book that helps us deserves many readings, for assimilation comes by slow degrees.” 14 likes
“ Ariel released from his tree prison, a beautiful human being leaps out of many a human prison at the touch of sympathy .” 12 likes
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