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For the Children’s Sake

As a Charlotte Mason school, Plumfield Academy seeks to work in partnership with families who share a common vision of education.

Plumfield is for parents who want a challenging, stimulating, and content rich education for their children without the stress, anxiety, and pressure so often seen in present day academics.

Plumfield is for parents who enjoy their children and want them to experience an unhurried childhood while at the same time being carefully guided onto the path of wisdom and maturity.

Is Such an Ideal Possible?

Charlotte Mason thought so. One hundred plus years ago, this visionary educator saw the devastating effects of test-centered learning, the stultifying effects of a lack of child-driven free play, and the mind numbing effects of replacing whole books with multiple worksheets.

She believed the best education for children could only happen in the context of a balanced life of serious worthwhile study, delightful play, service to others, and family time with peaceful evenings.

Begin with the End in Mind: What is the Goal of Education?

We see the goal of education as twofold:

  1. The daily attainment of knowledge. Personal-integrated knowledge, so that a student can say: “Thirty minutes ago I did not know about this idea or this story. Now, I know it to such a degree that I can tell you about it.” This daily growth in knowledge includes a growing understanding of self and others.
  2. The ultimate goal is transformation into an authentic and responsible human being, rooted in love and concerned for the well being of other persons and the created world. Such a student of life would be a truly caring individual or what Charlotte Mason called “a magnanimous person.”

A magnanimous person thinks great thoughts, but also is generous in over looking injury or insult – for example, he or she arises above pettiness or animosity. His intellectual pursuits do not make him ‘too good’ to do lowly chores (Andreola, A Charlotte Mason Companion, 277)

A magnanimous person is open, forgiving, non-pretentious, generous in self-giving, and, therefore, a pleasure to be with.

How Do We Work Towards this Inspiring Ideal?

The short answer is —
  • We maintain a person honoring atmosphere
  • We inspire students with rich ideas in living books
  • We cultivate sound academic and relational habits

At  the heart of this method lies the cultivation of sound habits, as Charlotte Mason once observed:

If we fail to ease life by laying down habits of right thinking and right acting, habits of wrong thinking and wrong acting fix themselves of their own accord. (Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education, 101)

Therefore, at Plumfield, we seek to cultivate:
  • the spiritual habits of prayer, Scripture reading, love of nature, and reverence for life.
  • the intellectual habits of attention, concentration, reflection, curiosity, accuracy, thoroughness, careful work, clear thinking, and self expression.
  • the moral habits of humility, truthfulness, obedience, courage, fortitude, and integrity.
  • the relational habits of justice, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, helpfulness, and courtesy.
  • the physical habits of eating for health, proper exercise, self control, self discipline, and respect for personal space.
  • a balanced life of hard work, enjoyable play, and service to others.

With This Goal in Mind, We Serve the Family & the Child

Plumfield Academy exists to support families.  We believe parents are the first educators of their children.  And if the goal of education is the magnanimous person, then it is abundantly clear that the school supports the home in the work of education, not the other way around.

Plumfield Academy exists for the children’s sake.  Our approach to life fosters a simple, unhurried childhood.  Children at Plumfield are not pushed into a premature adolescence, but are free to be who they truly are in order to develop their academic and relational gifts to the full. Therefore, Plumfield Academy is a good learning place for children who are happy to be children.

Children who:

  • enjoy others and want to get along
  • enjoy hearing and telling good stories
  • delight in music, art, drama, engineering or problem solving
  • love playing in the great outdoors
  • enjoy imaginative games of their own making.

We invite you now to hear What Parents Say About Plumfield to discover how Plumfield Academy is working to serve the needs of these families.