It is no easy matter to give its proper sustenance to the mind; hard things are said of children, that they have ‘no brains,’ ‘a low order of intellect,’ and so on; many of us are able to vouch for the fine intelligence by children who are fed with the proper mind-stuff; but teachers do not usually take the trouble to find out what this is. We come dangerously near to what Plato condemns as “that lie of the soul,” that corruption of the highest truth, of which Protagoras is guilty in the saying that, “Knowledge is sensation.” What else are we saying when we run after educational methods which are purely sensory? Knowledge is not sensation, nor is it to be derived through sensation; we feed upon the thoughts of other minds; and thought applied to thought generates thought and we become more thoughtful. No one need invite us to reason, compare, imagine; the mind, like the body, digests its proper food, and it must have the labour of digestion or it ceases to function.
From the great Charlotte Mason, seen at www.Amblesideonline.com.