Charlotte Mason

 

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 ~

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:

Narrations

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

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.

Handwriting

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.

Nature Study

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.

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.

Hymn Study

Just as you study a composer and an artist per month, you can add hymn study, focusing on one hymn weekly for a month.

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.

Book of Centuries and timelines

As you study history, artists and composers, add details, pictures and illustrations to a timeline or Book of Centuries.

Geography

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

Free Play

Kate picking wild flowersMost 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.

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.

Charlotte Mason blog carnivals:

These carnivals share many Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool posts:

Here are a few excellent resourceful posts to inspire:

Links to some of my favourite Charlotte Mason blogs and sites:

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 :)

Blessings,

7 thoughts on “Charlotte Mason

  1. Pingback: A New Charlotte Mason Page « Practical Pages

  2. Thanks for all this information, it’s great i’m interested in starting home educating my children in this way. I’m a TA and am finding it difficult to switch out of school mode! I wanted to look at the book list but the link didn’t work?

    • @littleroo24, Charlotte Mason spoke to my heart as I read about her approach in my early days of homeschooling! As I have continued reading and learning about Charlotte Mason’s principles, I have grown enormously as a person and a teacher. I think that if I had to return to formal school teaching again (just hypothetical, but one never says “never”), I would not be able to teach in the same way I had before my CM understanding.
      I have fixed the broken Book List link – thanks for your ‘heads-up’!
      Blessings on your homeschooling journey.

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