From Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's For the Children's Sake:
The child should enjoy an atmosphere where life can be explored in a rich way. Little holy hedges are not what is wanted. Understanding the objective certainty of the truth of God gives an atmosphere that is free from fear. We can face up to people's ideas. Questions can be asked.We can talk about them right in the open. Indeed, the child should be able to know, read, or listen to people who hold all sorts of ideas. As they mature, it is absolutely imperative that they be trusted to have access to current "worldly" thought. Some of it has true greatness (say a play essay, or book). They should be able to enjoy what is good, and yet be able to see what ideas are wrong.
This open frank atmosphere can only be achieved when those who produce it are aware of what is good, pure, and of good report (cf Philippians 4:8)It amazes me how often on my favorite podcasts (Read Aloud Revival, Homeschool Snapshots, Your Morning Basket, The Mason Jar), the homeschooler pioneers mention two major influences in their homeschooling. The first is an interview of Dr. Raymond Moore by Dr. Dobson on the book Better Late Than Early. (It's available on YouTube! Who knew?!?) So many of those pioneers heard and were influenced by that broadcast. The second, though, is this book, For the Children's Sake.
I've never actually read this book, although I've owned it for years. I'm now reading it with Anna and a group of ladies who are going through Brandy Vencel's Start Here. We are having wonderful discussions. This section, on the atmosphere of environment was both encouraging and challenging. What does environment actually mean? Macaualay does a nice job of giving examples and questions worth considering.
I really appreciated the paragraph quoted above for the healthy attitude about how an atmosphere of openneness and discussion and inquiry are a worthwhile goal of education. We have a mom who is almost done homeschooling her two children using a CM philosophy. Her examples of the healthy ways her family interacts on any subject was inspiring and shows the fruit of this atmospheric attitude. She said her children have a strong "twaddle radar" ... not that they'd express it in those words ... and have had their tastes and affections formed and aimed at what is true and lovely. They used questions like "How does this song portray women?" "How does this movie objectify the other?" I loved this a lot.
I'm looking forward to those discussions as the children get older.