Twaddle is a word I enjoy. Of course when Charlotte Mason used this word she didn't intend it as a complement or as a fun word to say, but as a criticism for something akin to mind junk food. Back in the days of teaching in a class room I was impressed by the eagerness with which younger students approached school. Then something happened somewhere, in my experience, around third grade where school became a drudgery. They didn't seem excited by the ideas, but rather many students complained about an assignment being "stupid" or "boring". There probably are many reasons why this shift in thinking took place, but I think one was because students weren't given interesting things to read or dwell on. The mind doesn't get strong on mental junk food. Real living books with ideas and thoughts written by someone who cared enough to research and take the time to write something (not a text book committee) are interesting and feed the mind. Another mind numbing contributor was busy work or seat work.

This year I have been teaching kindergarten and preschool to two of my children. At the beginning I ordered a "school in a box" curriculum for homeschoolers for teaching phonics and numbers. I worried about missing something, so had these workbooks and teacher's guides to make sure the bases got covered. My primary focus for my particular kindergartener was reading. She was eager to learn, I was eager to have her learn. Well, while I intended to use the Mason method I still pulled out my workbooks every day at first. I wish you could see the teacher guide. Things are crossed out with twaddle scribbled over them.