Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She didn’t have children of her own but instructed others on how to educate.  She published a number of books and was sought after to speak on the subject of education.  Her principles were a groundbreaking change to the Victorian period style of education.

The Charlotte Mason method of education has become popular in the homeschooling community (which Wikipedia attributes to the 1987 publication of Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s book For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School).  The Method centres around the idea that education is to be an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life, and shouldn’t just be to train for a particular job or pass an exam.

In practical terms, it usually includes these components:

  • Knowledge of God: as found in the bible and to be of primary importance.  The bible is to be read every day.
  • Living books: favoured over textbooks as a means of introducing children to topics written in a way that brings the subject matter alive
  • Nature study: observing and recording things in nature
  • Narration: the practice of telling back a story
  • Copywork: copying well-written literature for handwriting practice
  • Outdoor time: some form of daily physical exercise
  • Habit and character training: teaching children to behave in the right manner
  • Memorisation of scripture and poetry: to meditate on quality material, not to simply memorise facts
  • Language learning: learning a second language
  • History: learned through reading quality history books. Children also keep a timeline book.
  • Fine Arts: exposing children to art, music and poetry, and studying composers and artists.

We follow some of the principles of the Charlotte Mason method to a degree in our homeschool, although some Charlotte Mason purists would say that there is no middle ground!  We also do unit studies, notebooking, and some of our resources fit more into the Classical method (which is more systematic).  We’ve simply gleaned the best of a number of different ‘streams’ and found what works for us.

Charlotte_MasonHere are some of my favourite Charlotte Mason homeschooling websites:

I would love to hear how others have incorporated Charlotte Mason principles into your homeschooling.

{You might also be interested in my book lists for some great titles to add to your homeschool library, and this post on ’what is a living book’}.

{Some of the information in this post was sourced from this article on Wikipedia}
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3 thoughts on “Charlotte Mason Homeschool

  1. Terri

    Wow! I didn’t realize that we incorporated so much Charlotte Mason into our learning! What do you think she’d call “quality history books.” We might be weak here. We use Story of the World and I supplement with occasional biographies or historical set fiction. We have a couple of “DK” books for them go graze through. And pretty weak on copy work.

    Although I’d have to say that what I make a point to include in our curriculum reflects Charlotte Mason like content–I’m more of a Maria Montessori when it comes to my technique. I thought I read Mason didn’t much approve of Montessori. We have a low-grade rigidity and they know they can’t push me beyond that, but I am willing to manipulate them and work with their learning styles, strengths, weaknesses, and passions most days. Doesn’t sound like Mason would approve of that. No biggie. Works for us. 🙂


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