1922 Time Table
I would like to introduce a “new” time table to the community. You can find it here. I made it in the style of the transcribed 1908 Time Table for easy comparison. I do not share this table as something for us to copy in detail in our homes but simply as a tool to help us. While studying this table has helped me to make decisions in my home, our actual tables are quite different.
I think this time table is significant for two reasons. First, if my assumptions are correct, it is the last time table we know of from Charlotte Mason’s life. She died in January 1923, and I believe this time table corresponds to Programme 94 which was used in British schools from September to December 1922. Second, it provides a lot of information that is not as easily discerned in the 1908 Time Table.
The Discovery of the Time Table
For a workshop I gave at the 2018 Charlotte Mason Educational Retreat, I chose to closely examine Programme 94. I chose Programme 94 not only because it was the last programme used in its entirety during Miss Mason’s life, but also because it is the only complete programme* I have found from her lifetime. By complete, I mean that we have every programme and every exam for all forms. But there was no corresponding time table, and I was trying to work with the 1908 Time Table. However, the limited information provided there did not satisfy me, and I went in search of more time tables.
A friend directed me to a document called A Liberal Education for All. The PNEU published the document in 1928, but because of how closely I was studying Programme 94, I made a startling discovery. Near the end of the document is an undated time table and unnamed programme. As I began to look at the programme, I realized it was Programme 94.
Here is where I made an assumption. I assumed that if the PNEU was providing a sample of a time table and a programme, they would have provided a matching set. And indeed, there are no discrepancies between this time table and Programme 94. The best thing to look at is the upper form sciences, which often changed names. The science names on the time table match the names on the programme. This is why I believe this time table dates to 1922.
Information From the Time Table
It is clear on the 1922 Time Table that Form I lessons were no longer than 20 minutes. The 1908 table includes one daily 30-minute lesson for this form. Considering this difference I thought that perhaps after more experience, the PNEU made the decision to shorten the lesson. Or perhaps, it is possible that two lessons were actually buried in the 30 minute slot, and this was simply made clearer on later time tables.
In Form II, on both time tables, lessons were a maximum of 30 minutes.
Forms III and IV introduced one 45-minute lesson on the 1922 table. In 1908 there were two or even three lessons of about this length. The day for Forms III and IV was also 15 minutes shorter, ending at 12:45 PM instead of 1:00 PM.
Forms V and VI had several lessons 40 minutes or longer which were identical to the 1908 schedule.
I have often heard the question asked of the Form I, 1908 Time Table, “When did the students have history and literature?” The answer has always been that it occurred during the reading time. I believe this is true, but I like that the PNEU expressly added the subjects of history and tales to the 1922 table.
Overall, while content remains essentially the same–in fact there is only one difference between the 1908 and 1922 Forms V and VI tables–I like that the 1922 table adds detail. It differentiates in places between levels A and B in the same form. We learn that by 1922 students only studied three languages (Latin, French, and German or Italian) instead of four languages (Latin, French, German and Italian).
This is my favorite part. Below the time tables for Forms I-IV, the PNEU gave us additional information for narrations. Narrations occurred at the end of each lesson.
Written narrations were introduced in Form Ia (3rd grade) with “an occasional written narration.”
Form IIb (4th grade) was completing one written narration a day, and Form IIa (5th and 6th grade) was completing two.
Forms III-IV (7th to 9th grade) were completing at least two written narrations a day.
The PNEU did not give us this information for Forms V and VI, but I would assume the students certainly didn’t do fewer.
While the 1922 Time Table sheds a lot of light on what might have been happening in PNEU schools, there are questions I still have. What was “Week’s Work” on the Form I table? I have seen guesses but nothing more. Why do the programmes specifically list Composition for Forms II and III on Thursday yet it shows up on the time table on Friday? Is it a transcription error or something more? What did Form IIB do where Plutarch’s Lives is listed on the time table? Why do the titles on the time table not always match the programme? For example, in the Form III programme, French History is listed. However, only General History is on the time table.
The programmes and time tables were fluid and changing from term to term and year to year. There are even hand written changes on the 1922 Time Table. Was this the PNEU making changes for future time tables? Or was it someone making adjustments for his own school or home?
I hope you enjoy this time table as much as I do. I look forward to the Charlotte Mason community continuing to grow and answering the questions together. Above all, I hope this helps you to continue to work out a Charlotte Mason education in your own home.
- Transcribed programmes on AmblesideOnline. This is where I began my search. This source gave me a transcribed copy of Programme 94 for all forms.
- Programmes and Exams for Forms I-IV. I wanted to find original programmes if I could, and I found these on Archive. This source gave me original programmes and exams for Forms I-IV.
- Programmes for Forms I-VI. A friend directed me to this copy of Programme 94 as I was trying to find the source of AmblesideOnline’s transcribed programmes for Forms V and VI. This added programmes for Forms V and VI.
- Programmes and Exams for Forms I-VI. Another friend shared this pamphlet with me. This was the last piece of the puzzle. The exams for Forms V and VI are included here as well as the rest of the programmes and exams. The PNEU published this copy in 1928, and I have found minor, though what I consider insignificant, differences between this copy and the actual programme published in 1922. Most of the differences reflect that this needed to be a stand-alone sample programme.
When Dawn was getting ready to homeschool her children, a friend shared with her a Charlotte Mason Education. Overwhelmed, she panicked and ran the other way. It would be a bumpy six-year journey back. In 2014, when a friend started a local Charlotte Mason Co-op and reading group, she finally embraced a Mason education. It took the building of community to provide the motivation she needed for the inspiration of self-education for her family and she continues to be a part of this co-op and reading group, now in their fifth year. She is humbled and blessed to assist others on the journey and helped launch the Charlotte Mason Educational Retreat in 2016. She has also spoken at the Weekend of Living Ideas and Living Education Retreat. Though she cannot see around the bend, she’s excited as she looks ahead to the future.