I read this quote in GTD for Homemakers by Mystie Winckler this morning:
“We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession–– that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours.”— Charlotte Mason
It has been my experience that most homeschooling mothers are highly intelligent and well-educated individuals, be it via a formal time spent in university, or passionate and constant autodidactism. I enjoy my time with the fellow home educating parents I know here on PEI, regardless of their educating methods or personal backgrounds. They are interesting, and enjoy learning alongside their children. When I think of them, I tend to think that Charlotte Mason’s prediction was an accurate one.
But there is, as always, the other side. The side that blows a hole in her theory. Which is what I see when I look around at most of my generation. Women have never been so well-educated, and yet we have never been so quick to choose career over raising our families and being present with our young ones during the first years of their lives. Yes, I am aware that there are single mothers out there who MUST work outside of the home full time to make ends meet. But most full time working mothers I know do so out of preference, or to support a lifestyle that while seeming normal to us, would have fallen under the category of luxurious—and absolutely chaotic— to previous generations . Quite frankly, had I finished my studies in nursing and initially pursued a career before having a family, I may have found myself making that choice as well. There is the fear of “wasting” one’s degree or education that comes with putting career aside to raise children, from what I have been told. So while we are more capable and educated than ever before, we are also more likely to hand off our babies and children day after day to be cared for by others. It’s a bit sad when you think about it…
I don’t think Charlotte Mason saw that one coming.