In today’s episode, I interrogate Art Middlekauff! For a long while now, I’ve had some questions about how to do Bible lessons and whether there is a deep, effective, and yet non-analytical way to teach Scripture in the homeschool context. Art has done a lot of thinking on this subject, and he turned out to be the perfect person to talk to. Join us as we discuss what analysis is, compare it to what is sometimes called poetic or synthetic knowledge, and hear what solutions are offered to us by the Bible lesson practices of the 19th century educational philosopher Charlotte Mason.

Yes. there really is a deep, effective, and yet non-analytical way to teach Scripture in the homeschool context -- Charlotte Mason shows us how.


Thank you to our sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Newbie Tuesday, the monthly newsletter for Charlotte Mason enthusiasts. Written with beginners in mind, Newbie Tuesday is deep enough to refresh experienced Charlotte Mason educators as well. Each issue is devoted to a single topic — some part of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. There’s a letter from the editor, an article introducing the philosophical underpinnings, another article on the practical applications, and then yet another article on transitioning older students to the concept or practice. It’s also packed with a bunch of resources for further reading around the web, in books, as well as practical tools for implementation. Best of all … it’s free! So go subscribe!


Listen to the podcast:


About today’s guest:

Art Middlekauff and his wife Barbara have been home educating their three children for more than a decade. Over this time, he has been studying Charlotte Mason’s writings and attempting to apply her living ideas to his family’s homeschool. In this course of time he has written several essays about Charlotte Mason’s theology and philosophy in the two volumes of Essays on the Life and Work of Charlotte Mason, published by Riverbend Press. He walks in Mason’s theological tradition as a member of an Anglican church near Detroit, Michigan. Art also leads product development for a Chicago-based software company.


Show Notes:




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16 Responses

  • This was so, so good! I didn’t realize how much I needed this! I’m going to listen again. One question I have, is are you doing this as a part of “school” time or is this a part of the whole family reading together, like in the evening?

  • Loved this podcast! I’ve listened to it twice! (But in full disclosure, it’s mostly b/c I was interrupted a *few* times the first time through! HA!)

  • I was coming to look for the app. Thanks! I loved the discussion, curious about the commentaries. Wondering if Calvin or Matthew Henry might work for us, too … I do love me some catechism, though. .

  • Question about the N.T. Wright study guide linked. Through searching, it seems like there are 2 sets of books…? One set are study guides, and the other is “{book} for Everyone” (ex. Mark for Everyone). Was he referring to the study guides or the actual books?

    • Good question! You know, I was trying really hard to link the correct version, but now that I look at it, I think this is the right one! He specfically called it the Prison letters and said it was more of a commentary. Good catch, Beth!

  • I was trying to find a user friendly version of the J. Patterson Smyth books, but was having very little luck. Found out today that many of them are in the new Yesterday’s Classics Collection (vol 3) and I think it is on sale this week. Anyway, hope this helps

  • Thank you, thank you! Excited to look into some of these resources. Downloaded Art’s Saviour of the World Bible app yesterday! (And I just started Pyle’s King Arthur again this week with my youngest.?)
    Thank you for all of the work you’re putting into this podcast! It really is SO rich & extremely helpful.

  • I’m just going back and listening to this podcast for a second time as I’ve been floundering on HOW to do a Charlotte Mason Bible lesson in the upper grades. Such wonderful and helpful info!
    Quick question… in the upper grades (7 and above) what commentary would you recommend for the Old Testament lessons? Seems like NT Wright and Savior of the World round out the New Testament lessons well, but what about the Old Testament?

  • This is (yet another) great episode. I always learn so much from you ladies and your guests!

    I was wondering, as a Roman Catholic who was raised eating and drinking catechism as far back as I can remember (we read the Bible but we memorized the Baltimore Catechism), how and when should one introduce catechism?

    I did a nice, light, kindergarten catechism with my son this past school year, but then I forayed into catechism for children receiving their first sacraments (confession, communion and possibly confirmation), and some of it seems a little too intense for a child of 6 or 7, especially if we want the child to focus on getting to know the person of Christ. What I ended up doing was presenting only the most essential elements of the catechism necessary for partaking of the sacraments, and I’ve left the rest for another time. But when should this other time be?

    Also, since Mason was Anglican, did she ever talk specifically about sacramental preparation?

    Episode #29 is lined up in my queue here, but I wanted to just ask in case either my question isn’t answered in #29 or I just forget about the question altogether! Again!

    • Hi Victoria!

      We started a simplified version of the catechism before our children were even school age, but I, too thought that there could be too much of a good thing in the younger years when I tried to do the full catechism with kids at about 6 or 7.

      I do not recall Charlotte Mason ever talking about sacramental preparation — I really think this is because she considered that to be off limits to her — the jurisdiction of the Church rather than the school, if that makes sense. Even with the Catechism, she says very little. The only thing I remember that was more specific to church was that she did have the mothers taking her Mothers’ Education Course read a book on how to use the Anglican Prayer Book. But that was for moms, not kids.

  • Is this the same N.T. Wright who is a proponent of New Prospective of Paul? Does anyone know how orthodox (as in traditional, not Eastern church) the commentaries are?

    • I haven’t read them as my pastor warned me to steer clear of Wright, at least for devotional purposes. He said it’d be worthwhile to see what synthetic thinking/writing looks like, or even to understand what the NPP is, but that he wouldn’t recommend it in this context.

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