ABC's of Homeschooling: C is for Charlotte Mason

26 April 2011
ABCs of Homeschooling

C is for Charlotte Mason

Oh how I love Charlotte Mason. I am not sure at which point I came across her philosophy...but I think it was during a online homeschool conference a year or so wait! It was before I was homeschooling and I was researching about it when a church friend suggestion Ambleside Online...but the whole concept of just reading (was foreign to me!) --and so I left it alone and now I love the site!! ;) Sometimes words of wisdom are given, sometimes we ignore and sometimes we just have to follow. lol.

The first year we homeschooled, it was a box curriculum and I am grateful for having it our first year because it made us realized what works and what doesn't work.

I read many a books about her philosophy and the one I really enjoy is: A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. I am really enjoying it right now...and plan to eventually get CM series too.

You can read her (Charlotte Mason's) series online at Ambleside Online. Ambleside is such a wonderful site for me to use. I base most of my curriculum off of the site, but I don't use it entirely.

What I love about Charlotte Mason:

  • No Homework

  • Free Afternoons for doing what they love..playing outside, practicing Guitar, Games

  • Living Books--love the reading list and there's no 'twaddle' here

  • Picture & Music Study (which makes me put it in the curriculum where at I normally would not)

  • Nature Study (this is a big one also--forces me outside the house! I love every minute of it)

  • Narration (this saves the amount of paperwork that we DON'T have to do) Grades are usually Pass or No Pass (besides Math)

  • Habit -CM says that everyone has habits; good and bad. But we must instill GOOD habits within our children (and ourselves) --good for routine

  • Many, many other advantages to this particular philosophy...

Great Blogs that I make frequent traffic too are:

1. Ambleside Online
2. Charlotte Mason Help
3. Handbook of Nature Study
4. Simply Charlotte Mason
5. Jimmie's Collage (CM Carnival)
6. Living Books Curriculum
7. Under the Golden Apple Tree

I have a couple of post about why we chose Charlotte Mason. You can read them here and here.

Life in our homeschool has been truly enjoyable after we took on the Charlotte Mason way of education. Thanks for stopping by!!

Quotes I love from Charlotte Mason:

Teachers mediate too much. --Everything is directed, expected, suggested. No other personality out of book, picture, or song, no, not even that of Nature herself, can get at the children without the mediation of the teacher. No room is left for spontaneity or personal initiation on their part. (Vol 1, Part V Lessons As Instruments Of Education, p.188)

The most common and the monstrous defect in the education of the day is that children fail to acquire the habit of reading. (Vol. 1 Part VIII--Reading for Older Children, p.227)

Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age. (Vol. 1 Part XVIII.--History, p.280)

Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there, in every child's mind, waiting to be discovered, and is not the result of any process of disciplinary education. A creative fiat calls it forth. 'Let him narrate'; and the child narrates, fluently, copiously, in ordered sequence, with fit and graphic details, with a just choice of words, without verbosity or tautology, so soon as he can speak with ease. (Vol. 1 Part IX.--The Art of Narrating, p.231)

"Children should be taught their duty toward God. It is their duty. That which they owe, to love Him "with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength" these things are seldom taught as they should be."

**If you are a CM you have any favorite blogs or tips? Thanks for sharing!!

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Rebecca said...

OH, Charlotte Mason speaks to my soul "Let him linger"......thank you for posting this today!!!!!

musicalmary said...

We use many of Charlotte Mason's philosophies in our homeschool, as well. I also love Jimmie's Collage!!

Have a wonderful day!

Jessica S. said...

At Rebecca: Welcome! I <3 CM! :)

Jessica S. said...

At Mary: Yes, Jimmie's Collage is a recent newly find...but she's great too!! :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

The Cast said...

That quote about failing to acquire the habit of reading is so true.

Dawn said...

Oh I LOVE Charlotte Mason! Her teaching methods go well with my special needs son. I have been a frequent visitor at all the sites you listed except the Apples one... all wonderful! I need to re-read my CM books because I'm falling away...
I love the literature based programs (Any and ALL!) but my boys don't go for mostly reading so I've had to adjust. Great post! Thanks for linking up!

Kimberly said...

sounds wonderful!
I have never read any of her books/stuff.

sounds like a fun and natural way to learn.


Lori said...

I love Charlotte Mason. I enjoyed the Andreola book but I think my favorites were the ones by Catherine Levinson (I think that's her name). We've not done a lot of narration or copywork, but are otherwise a Charlotte Mason style homeschool family. Great post!

Michelle Smith said...

Great post! Although we began homeschooling from more of a Classical framework, we have gradually come to embrace more of a Charlotte Mason philosophy instead.

Thanks for including the web links. I knew about most of them already, but it always helps me find new ones and refresh my memory if I haven't visited somewhere in a while. :)

Jessica S. said...

Thank you all!! Yes, I really do love CM!! @Lori: I have that book on my wishlist!

@Kimberly: I hope you read up a little bit about CM!! It's always a positive read. ;)

@Michelle: Yes, I do some classical framework too..we will start Latin this year! :) Kinda scared, but jumping in! ;)

@the Cast: That is my FAVORITE quote. ;)

@Dawn: Thank you for stopping by. With my borderline ADHD boys...CM has helped with their attention spans...the short lessons have really helped us achieve our daily goals (for the most part). :) lol.

Dr. Benjamin Bernier said...

'Meditations' by Charlotte M. Mason,

Dear Jessica,

My name is Benjamin Bernier,

I am a pastor, and homeschool dad of seven boys, who made his doctoral dissertation studying Charlotte Mason's Philosophy.

I came across your blog looking to contact people with an appreciation for Charlotte Mason's philosophy who may like to know about my recent publication:

Scale How 'Meditations' by Charlotte M. Mason,

The meditations are a record of a series of Sunday talks delivered by Mason during the year 1898, at the House of Education, "Scale How" in Ambleside Uk, where she presents a verse by verse commentary on the first chapters of the Gospel according to St. John.

I found this collection while doing research at the Armitt library in Ambleside. Most people are not aware that Mason wrote these, and that they are an amazing source of devotional inspiration, a direct disclosure of Mason's religious views and instructive in the art of Christian meditation.

That is why I am spreading the word so that more people may benefit from this important resource in Charlotte Mason's work.

Let me know if you have any question,

You may find more information at my blog:

Thank you for your time and attention,
At your service,

Benjamin Bernier

“This duty of devout meditation seems to me the most important part of the preparation of the mother or other teacher who would instruct children in the things of the Divine life.”
Charlotte M. Mason.

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin E. Bernier

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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