If you have looked into homeschooling much, I am sure you have heard all about the different methods of homeschooling. One popular method is the Charlotte Mason homeschooling Method.
Who was Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who believed there was more to education than passing a test, getting into a good college, or training for a job. She felt that education was a discipline, atmosphere and a life. She believed that education was about finding out who we are and how we fit into the world that God created. This kind of thinking was not popular during the 20th century when education became more about exams and workers. It regained popularity in the late 1980’s after Susan Macaulay’s book For the Children’s Sake came out, reintroducing parents to Mason’s methods and philosophy.
Charlotte Mason believed that children are more than just blank slates. She felt they were able to deal with knowledge and ideas far earlier than what some educators gave them credit for. Her thoughts were that teachers did not need to act as the “middle man” filling their heads with information, but that children should do the bulk of work in regards to dealing with ideas and knowledge. Charlotte Mason’s pupils were introduced to education that included first hand exposure to real books in each subject, and hands on experiences related to art, music, science, and poetry.
What is a Charlotte Mason Education?
The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte‘s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”
Charlotte Mason believed students should use real books instead of textbooks. These living books were typically written in a narrative or story form. The subject in these books typically tend to “come to life”.
Students using the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method are required to narrate the books in their own words. This secures it in their minds. Students in this method do not use “fill in the blank” or multiple-choice worksheets. They point out ideas they glean from reading and make mental connections between it and ideas they may already have.
Spelling and Handwriting are taught using passages from living books. Time outdoors is encouraged, this way students can interact with God’s creation firsthand. Famous artists and composers are introduced early on.
Students are encouraged to try learning from a wide variety of sources from knitting, singing, foreign language and more. The Charlotte Mason method also emphasizes the habits of having ones full attention on learning, as well as putting their best effort into their work.
That is the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method in a nutshell. For more information about a Charlotte Mason education check out these resources:
Charlotte Mason Curriculum Suggestions
Simply Charlotte Mason
Living Books Curriculum
For the Children’s Sake
A Charlotte Mason Companion
Misty Bailey loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.