Who is Charlotte Mason? She was a teacher living in England during the late nineteenth century.
What is a Charlotte Mason education? Her ideas focused on teaching the whole child which was unique at the time.
Children were taught to work diligently and emphasized good character traits. A Charlotte Mason education means using living books, copywork and narration, nature studies, foreign languages, as well as art and music study.
The use of Living books bring the subject alive when learning about new ideas while textbooks are not used. Historical fiction would be an example of a living book, a subject is introduced in a story format. In the elementary years, copywork and oral narration form the bases of language arts, using good literature or the Bible, students learn to write well through imitation. In the mid to late elementary, written narrations are added. Narration can be in the form of pictures or journals, it does not have to be a report.
Science is taught through nature studies, children should spend large amounts of time outside to observe and sketch what they see. Students are encouraged to keep a nature journal to keep a record of what they’ve observed.
Music study focuses on a composer and his work while art study focuses on an artist and his work. The time is taken to listen and observe, the child narrates what they see or how they feel as they listen or observe the piece of art.
Students are exposed to a foreign language orally first before they are required to any reading or writing.
There is an emphasis on short lessons, this allows a short amount to focus on learning which is more productive than longer lessons with children dawdling.
A Charlotte Mason education is easy to implement, there are various homeschool curricula available who follow Mason’s philosophy. However, it can be as easy as picking living books and practice copywork and narration from it.
Favorite Charlotte Mason books
- A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
- A Charlotte Mason Education
- Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series, Vol. 1: Home Education
- When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today
Favorite Charlotte Mason blogs
This post is a part of my 31 day series – Ultimate List of Homeschooling Questions.