I love Charlotte Mason’s principles and philosophies.
I try to apply these in our homeschooling; learning and adopting her wisdom and approaches as my children mature.
Background overview of Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason was a teacher and education lecturer in England in the late 1800′s. She wrote detailed volumes, The Original Home Education Series, which inspired parents who sought to give their children the best education possible. Her educational philosophies and teachings were so well received that she established the Parents National Union (PNEU) . They set up branches up in many major towns and cities. A monthly magazine called “The Parents Review“, which Miss. Masons edited, was circulated. Charlotte Mason founded her college in Ambleside, England in 1892. Her educational writings have continued her movement among modern homeschoolers.
What is a Charlotte Mason education?
Let me confess straight up that I am not a Charlotte Mason expert, nor a CM purist, but I love to learn about and apply her methods and approaches, developing as I go along.
A Charlotte Mason education is not a curriculum, but many of us adapt and apply her education principles to our curriculums. Charlotte Mason education works well with most classical or literature-based curriculums and those with a strong history and fine arts emphasis. CM purists follow her schedules, subjects, book lists and methods like those presented free at Ambleside.
Other general posts ~
- “How Gentle are Charlotte Mason’s Ways?“
- Grace to say “Yes”
- Celebrate Charlotte Mason
- Theme for the Day ~ how to fit all the CM extras into your week
Where to begin?
I would suggest you read some of the wonderful Charlotte Mason books I listed on my Book List. You can read all Charlotte Mason’s original writings or online free. From there, begin your Charlotte Mason education with one or more of these CM principles:
Start with Living Books
Chose great books, classics, with full-bodied characters and engaging, informative style, stories that change lives and live in hearts and minds. Read these aloud daily to your children and let them narrate back (re-tell you) the story. Here’s some posts:
- Learning Through Living Books
- Loving Living Books
- Charlotte Mason on Living Books
- Great Books … Great Friends
- Ambleside Online is a free Charlotte Mason online curriculum. There are book lists for each year and a detailed reading schedule.
- Read Alouds ~ The Homeschooling Glue
Narrations are the cornerstone of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. Rather than workbooks, tests, enrichment exercises, all your children need do is ~ listen and remember as many details, facts or information from the material just read. Children must pay close attention while they listen to the story so that they can make it their own and express what they remember and understood as they narrate. (Oral narrations first, then dictated and finally at about 10 years, children start to write their narrations themselves.)
Copywork is a simple, yet effective method to ensure children learn to write well. This is for both handwriting lessons, as well as learning and memorizing great thoughts, developing a rich vocabulary and an appreciation of good literature in the passages they copy.
- Copywork Pages
- Copywork ~ Famous Quotes from World Leaders
- Inspired by Nature ~ Famous Quotes Copywork Pages
- Our Latest Copywork And Dictation Pages – using Miss. Mason’s principles with our Sonlight curriculum
- Learning Language Arts - using dictations and copywork
Charlotte Mason emphasized short, but highly concentrated “3R’s” lessons for excellence and diligence. We use copywork for handwriting and dictation. All my children learnt their handwriting using my laminated handwriting charts. With quick, simple lessons, children master the letter formation. Copywork reinforces handwriting lessons in a meaningful way without any handwriting programs.
- Handwriting Free and Easy
- Charlotte Mason on Handwriting
- Handwriting Pages
- Laminated Handwriting Chart ~ but use your own font style!
A typical Charlotte Mason education encourages regular, weekly nature walks. Children are encouraged to explore, make detailed observations, journal and delight themselves in the beauty of nature.
- Nature Journals
- Nature Journal ~ baby Robins in a nest
- Make a Bag for Nature Study
- Nature Journal notebook pages
- Season and Outdoor Hour Challenge Cover Pages
Picture Study and Music Appreciation
Each month study a famous composer and a famous artist and his/her works. Each week review the person’s life and appreciate a new masterpiece or a composition.
- Fabulous Fine Arts Fridays
- Famous Musicians – a wall chart featuring some of the most famous musicians
- Famous Musician Biography Pages
- Music Appreciation Log Sheet
- Famous Artists - biography pages, lapbooks, notebook pages, art appreciation lessons
- Famous Artists Wall Chart!
- Famous Impressionists - biography pages, lapbooks, notebook pages, art appreciation lessons
- Famous Impressionist Artists Wall Chart
- A New Art Page ~ here are all our art activities on 1 page
- How do I use the Art Era Timeline?
- Children Talking about their Art
Just as you study a composer and an artist per month, you can add hymn study, focusing on one hymn weekly for a month.
- Hymn Study Schedule for 2011
- How is our Hymn Study going?
- Hymn Schedule 2012 12 new hymns, words, references, pictures hymn writer and musician
- Hymn Booklet Vol 1 Vol 2 neat, narrow booklet with all 2011 and 2012′s hymns
- Hymns 2012 Copywork dotted lines for young writers
- Hymns 2012 Copywork lined pages
Scripture Memory System
Found at Simply Charlotte Mason‘s website, a free download, this simple, yet highly effective, systematic Scripture Memory System, add new verses and revise old verses regularly.
- Memorizing Scripture the Simply Charlotte Mason Way
- Memory Verse Cards – Salvation
- Memory Verse Cards – Christian Living
- Memory Verse Cards – Prayer, Purity and Victory
Book of Centuries and timelines
As you study history, artists and composers, add details, pictures and illustrations to a timeline or Book of Centuries.
- Mom’s Book of Centuries – Record of Work – with free template downloads and lots of links.
- Make your own Frugal Timeline Book
- History Timeline – Our wall chart at the end of the year
Miss. Mason contributed a series of books on the Geography of England and emphasized skills and interest in map work and detailed geographical observations.
Foreign Language the CM Way
Teaching and learning a foreign language using Charlotte Mason’s approach.
The Atmosphere of Home
Most Charlotte Mason’s children enjoyed free afternoons, playing outdoors, doing crafts, handwork and hobbies. Not only were children to have this freedom, but mothers too, were encouraged to be natural, flexible, free and enjoy picnics, be outside, discover “masterly inactivity” !
Training, discipline and motivation
Miss. Mason’s wisdom on training and discipline is awesome. Her writings about habits is especially inspiring.
- On Track with Habit Training?
- Charlotte Mason on The Habit of Attention
- Just this 1 Thing!
- Motivation Within (Part 1)
- Motivation Within (Part 2)
- Turning those frowns upside down – Motivation!
“Mother Culture” for mom
Mix “Have” to with”Love” to wisdom for encouragement and inspiration for mommies.
Our Typical CM-inspired Homeschool day
Although these posts are not strictly CM posts, they show how we try to carry out her principles and methods, and I felt I should include these posts to encourage new moms and those who are shifting over to Charlotte Mason.
- Relationships – the Real Reason
- How do pre-schoolers learn without formal school?
- What our typical school day looks like
- Starting School ~ those first days …
Charlotte Mason blog carnivals:
These carnivals share many Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool posts:
- Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival
- Charlotte Mason blog carnival – Education is an Atmosphere
- Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival – Education is a Life
Here are a few excellent resourceful posts to inspire:
- Charlotte Mason Basics – Jimmie’s Squidoo lens with stacks of links and resources
- The ABC’s of Charlotte Mason
- A Subject by Subject Approach to Charlotte Mason
- Would you like to submit your posts to Charlotte Mason Carnival? http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_2378.html
Links to some of my favourite Charlotte Mason blogs and sites:
- Ambleside Online
- Charlotte Mason and Home Education
- Charlotte Mason Help
- Childress Manor Academy
- Cottage School
- Fisher Academy blogspot
- Handbook of Nature Study
- Harmony Art Mom
- Jimmie’s Collage
- Last In Line
- Milestones Academy
- Moments With Mother Culture
- Penny Gardner
- Simply Charlotte Mason
- The Tangle Wood School
- Charlotte Mason Made Easy (offers a 12 week online course)
- All Things Bright and Beautiful A weekly choice of Art, Music and Poetry to inspire a love in the hearts using a CM approach.
If you wish to ask for advice, comment privately or make a suggestion, please feel free to write on the contact form on About Me page, I will respond to your private e-mail ASAP :)