What did Charlotte Mason mean when she said that “education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life”? Dr. Carroll Smith, founder of CMI, sat down with Rebekah LeClaire, an experienced Mason educator and school administrator, to talk about this question.
“I think Charlotte Mason was really trying to get at a bigger idea, bigger than “environment.” She was going for something much broader, much deeper, [and] I think much more far-reaching and profound.” ~Rebekah LeClaire on education as atmosphere
Rebekah Leclaire is a long-time Mason educator with over 20 years of experience. She holds a degree in Elementary Education and has taught in public and private schools. She also founded her own multi-age kindergarten, The Avenue, in Fredericksburg, TX, and homeschools her daughter.
Dr. Carroll Smith was introduced to Charlotte Mason many years ago through Mason’s book An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education. From there the seeds of ideas given by Mason in her various books have slowly taken hold and have grown year by year as Carroll worked as a middle school teacher, a principal and a college professor. He founded the educational nonprofit, The Charlotte Mason Institute, to promote the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason and cherishes the relationships that have gown over the years through a collective camaraderie with people interested in seeing education from a very different paradigm. He enjoys reading, gardening and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra live in Roanoke, VA.