Homeschooling Styles: Charlotte Mason

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Charlotte Mason was a British educator during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, upon whose ideas the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling is based. I can’t give you a better description of a Charlotte Mason education than you’ll find in this article, found on Ambleside Online’s website. However, I can briefly tell you that CM’s ideas are based on the fact the children are intelligent, capable beings who don’t need information “dumbed down” in order for them to understand it.

Ms. Mason felt strongly that children need to learn from “twaddle free living books.” Twaddle includes all the things the insult children’s intelligence — books that have been “dumbed down” or made so politically correct that they are simply boring bits of facts with no life to them.

On the other hand, living books are books that make the subject come alive! Living books are whole books written by an author with a passion for his subject. They are historical fiction, non-fiction, literature — books that take the reader to the place or inside the subject about which he is reading to help him truly understand what he is studying.

Charlotte Mason believed in the educational benefits of things like copywork, narration, nature study, poetry, the Bible, art, free afternoons to explore and much more. She believed that children learn about the world by becoming a part of it through “first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas.” (Ambleside Online)

Ambleside Online, as previously mentioned, is probably the best source of information and resources for the CM style of homeschooling on the web. They have a free, online curriculum for preschool through 12th grade, including book lists and schedules.

Another great source of CM-style resources is the Simply Charlotte Mason website. Here you’ll find math, spelling, science and Bible resources. There’s a CM book search, scheduling guide, on-line planner and much more.

One of my favorites is the Scripture Memory System and I highly recommend the Your Business Math series. This is an awesome resource that you won’t want to miss!

Recommended Reading

A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levinson

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

An Article by Karen Andreola

Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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