Charlotte Mason was an influential educator in the 19th century who advocated developing the soul and spirit of a child. Her method is literature based, with English and other subjects taught in an integrated way. This approach has become wildly popular with homeschoolers with many curriculum providers utilizing the Mason Method. You can check out Ambleside Online to get a sense of what the Charlotte Mason home schooling method is all about.
- Focuses on outdoors and nature.
- Children learn through reading real books, narration (tell about what they just learned – oral not written), copywork (copy sections of good literature), and creating Nature Notebooks or lap books (also called notebooking).
- They study the fine arts and foreign Languages.
- Use few, if any, textbooks or workbooks.
- Instead, they read literature related to the topic of study.
- Quality is more important than quantity.
- Goal is to instill a love of learning.
This teaching method might work well for you/your student if you:
- want to create a learning environment that encourages your child to explore and appreciate the world around him, perhaps not rigidly sticking to a schedule,
- see a value in evaluating your child’s learning on things other than formal written tests,
- want to offer a well-rounded education, including enjoying art, nature, music and of course lots of books,
- don’t mind being very involved in the process of your child’s education – discussing books, giving dictation, listening and encouraging narration, and enjoying poetry, art and music together,
- have a child who is doesn’t mind not having lots of boxes to check off.
Charlotte Mason Resources:
- ABC’s of Charlotte Mason.
- A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola.
- Charlotte Mason Study Guide by Penny Gardner
- For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
- Learning Language Arts Through Literature – curriculum based on Charlotte Mason.
- Ambleside Online – free Charlotte Mason based curriculum