The Ultimate Guide to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
Looking for more information on Charlotte Mason Homeschooling? This post is your guide!
In this post, I will do my best to answer some of the most common questions on the Charlotte Mason Method.
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What is Charlotte Mason Homeschooling?
Charlotte Mason was an educator who believed in educating the whole person. For example, she thought that alongside your studies, you should also be learning to form good habits. Learning from your everyday life experiences. She believed children should be outdoors… soaking in the world around them.
Really paying attention to what is happening in nature while outdoors. That a child should be molded while they are young. Forming good habits, and reading good “twaddle free” literature. Being exposed to works from famous artists and composers, and memorizing scriptures/ good poetry.
What does a Charlotte Mason education consist of?
- Formation of good habits: Manners, self-control, serving others, all other fruits of the spirit ( love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), etc..
Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend… -Charlotte Mason
- Living Books: Good quality material, no-nonsense (twaddle-free), can be fiction or non-fiction. Read this post to learn more about what twaddle is: Getting Rid of the Twaddle.
To introduce children to literature is to install them in a very rich and glorious kingdom, to bring a continual holiday to their doors, to lay before them a feast exquisitely served. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child’s intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find. -Charlotte Mason
- Narration: Telling back the story. Types of Narration consist of written narration and oral narration. (Read this post for a further explanation of narration, and how to use narration in your homeschool.)
- Copywork: Copying a passage, usually for the purpose of handwriting practice. The children should use quality passages for this as well. Copying work from famous poets, scriptures, and famous quotes is a good place to start.
- Arts: Poetry, artist studies, composers….Charlotte Mason believed that a child should be exposed to these great artists, authors, and composers on a daily basis. Educating the entire person and improving culture, instead of just exposing a child to the basic subjects of schooling.
- Nature Study: Close observations in nature. Being in nature was a huge part of education in the eyes of Charlotte Mason. A child can learn so much from being outdoors.
- 10 Fall Nature Study Ideas
- 30 Free Nature Study Resources For Your Homeschool
- 13 Practical Nature Study Books You Need on Your Bookshelf
- Nature Study with Nature Anatomy
- Nature Walks: Exactly as it sounds… informal strolls in nature. Taking walks with your children… not trying to teach them lessons as you walk. Just letting the child soak in the nature around him. They will notice a lot more than you think!
- Outdoors: Spending a great deal of time outside. (a recommended 6 hours or more!) Charlotte Mason emphasized the need for fresh air for healthy minds and bodies.
Never be within doors when you can rightly be without. -Charlotte Mason
- Short Lessons: Short, to the point lessons (for young children 15-20 min lessons… a little more for math) Young children tend to lose focus when lessons are any longer than that.
- Math: Usually a hands-on approach. Living Math is a popular option.
- Foreign Language: Charlotte Mason recommended learning French as a second language. (However, any language will do.)
- Memorization: Memorizing scriptures and good/quality works of poetry. Memorization helps sharpen your mind!
- Dictation: Used in learning to spell, and helps with grammar as well! Dictation is when a child copies word for word what is being read to them.
- Bible: Knowledge of God is the most important.
Of the three sorts of knowledge proper to a child, the knowledge of God, of man, and of the universe,–the knowledge of God ranks first in importance, is indispensable, and most happy-making.
Those are just some of the things in a Charlotte Mason Education. You will see these terms quite often while reading about the Charlotte Mason method. There is so much to learn from her!
How to get started with Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
It’s important to have a really good understanding of the Charlotte Mason method before you get started. This is not a method that I would suggest “diving in”.
Why? Because in order to have a thorough Charlotte Mason education… you need an understanding of how her methods work.
Charlotte Mason is a method… not a curriculum. There is really no “open and go” CM curriculum unless you have a good understanding of how to implement her methods.
Good reads on the Charlotte Mason Method:
- Towards A Philosophy Of Education (Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series)
- A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning(TM) (This book is wonderful! I highly recommend reading it!)
- Charlotte Mason’s Original Home Schooling Series
- Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series
- Home Education (The Home Education Series) (Volume 1)
- More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
- Our Favorite Charlotte Mason Resources
Tips for Success in Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
- Portion Control (Read: The Simplest Way to Make the Most of Your Charlotte Mason Homeschool)
- Don’t doubt the method! It works!
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
- Be patient! Different flowers bloom in different seasons.
- Trust yourself as a parent. You are fully capable of providing an education to your child without all the frills of a boxed curriculum.
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT DIY CHARLOTTE MASON. It will guide you through the steps of creating your own Charlotte Mason curriculum for YOUR family.
Charlotte Mason & the Early Years
Charlotte Mason Schedule
- Do You Really Need a Homeschool Schedule? This will help you decide
- This post talks about what Charlotte Mason had to say about having a schedule in your homeschool.
Common Questions/FAQ About Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
- What is Charlotte Mason curriculum?
- Charlotte Mason homeschooling is not a curriculum. It is a method. But, there are many great curriculum options that are used with the Charlotte Mason method. One of my personal favorites is A Gentle Feast.
- Read: 11 Complete Charlotte Mason Curriculums
- Read: Our Charlotte Mason-Inspired Curriculum Picks 2019-2020
- What’s the difference between Charlotte Mason homeschooling and Unschooling?
- Read this article: Charlotte Mason vs. Unschooling: Everything You Need to Know
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
I really recommend reading her volumes (you can read them here) or at least skim them. If they are hard to understand, there are plenty of other books written about the Charlotte Mason method. (not all are written by Charlotte Mason) They are summaries of her philosophy…or her works written in modern English.
If you have any questions about Charlotte Mason’s methods, I will do my best to answer them. I am in no way an expert of the Charlotte Mason method, but I do practice her methods in my homeschool.
Leave your questions in the comments below or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.