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Throughout this week I am continuing to share with you some of the Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods that you will find discussed among the homeschooling community. Many of you already know your method--some might be just finding out what they lean to. I woulnd't be surprised is many of you have discovered that your style leans towards the Charlotte Mason method. Because that name is bantered around all the time, I thought I would take a moment today to share WHAT Charlotte Mason method is.
What Is the Charlotte Mason Teaching Method?Before we get into what the method is, let's quickly touch basis on WHO Charlotte Mason was.
(all of this information can be found by simply typing in her name online--sources are vast, but I like Simply Charlotte Mason the best)
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived 1842-1923, who invested her life in improving childhood education. Living during a time when education was determined by social status (poor taught a trade, rich were allowed to study fine arts and literature), she envisioned a more broad curriculum that included
all children--regardless of status. She believed that we must educate a child as a whole person--not just their mind; therefore creating her three prong approach to education: atmosphere, discipline, and life.
In a Charlotte Mason education, you will find the following things to be true:
* a love of the outdoors
nature study is an integral part of the Charlotte Mason method with hours spent studying the world and the creatures/plants in it. Nature study notebooks will be used regularly to record findings.
* a love of living books
No dry facts or textbooks with this method. Every book is a living and rich book, typically written in narrative or story form, but the an author with a passion for their subject. A home library filled with such books is encouraged.
*no multiple choice/fill in the blank assignments or assessments
The Charlotte Mason method focuses on your children being able to narrate back to you the information they have learned, using rich language, and sharing connections they have made to the subject in their mind. It is through their narration they truly demonstrate their understanding and "learning" for any given subject.
*use passages from literature to teach copywork and spelling
Make the copywork/handwriting and spelling words be from quotes and bible passages, so they have meaning beyond a list of words.
*an emphasis on the fine arts
This method incorporates a lot of art and music as they child becomes familiar from the early age to great artists and composers.
*an emphasis on character training/habit building
The focus is on educating the whole child, not just their mind, so that they can be successful adults. This includes an emphasis on character and habits. To teach them to dedicate focused attention on their studies, and to build a love of learning.
*will incorporate a wide variety of sources and activities
You will use Shakespeare and the Bible, you may do handicrafts or go tramping in the woods on a trail, geometry, singing, and foreign languages. Charlotte Mason method explores a vast area for seeking knowledge.
It is interesting to know that MANY MANY people use aspects of the Charlotte Mason method in their homeschooling--because her philosophy is in essence why many CHOOSE to homeschool. But I have found there aren't nearly as many purists when it comes to Charlotte Mason--people who strictly adhere to her philosophy and CM material.
Favorite Charlotte Mason Blogs
But because I know there are many out there curious as to how you can use the Charlotte Mason method for ALL of your homeschooling--here are some of my favorite blogs for learning more about Charlotte Mason homeschooling:
*Simply Charlotte Mason
The source for all things Charlotte Mason related!
*Where My Treasure Is (my good friend Anna's blog. She is a hard core CM homeschooing mama and her blog is rich with treasure and links. I encourage you to read many of her back posts and see what the CM method looks like in action!)
*Every Bed of Roses a Charlotte Mason blogger (and fellow crew member)
*A Charlotte Mason Home
Charlotte Mason Method Resources
Let me start you with something you will love...Ambleside Online. It is a whole website DEVOTED to offering a FREE Charlotte Mason curriculum.There are even original Charlotte Mason materials that have been digitalized for your use. And LONG lists of Living books to start stocking your library with.
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
This is an excellent book to read as you get started on your homeschool journey. It was full of things that I made sure to highlight or copy out for my own self to remember later. It really helps you explore what education can and should look like with a parent at the helm.
The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities by Charlotte Mason
This is a compilation of writings by Charlotte Mason about topics on Nature Study, teaching natural philosophy, and the importance of children being out-of-doors.
A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levinson
The author takes key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way to allow parents to maximize their time homeschooling. With weekly schedules, a challenging and diverse curriculum will inspire and educate your child. This books shows you HOW to start!
Last Thoughts about Charlotte Mason Method
I really really really relate to the Charlotte Mason method. We however are not purists, so we dabble into non-CM curriculum too. But we use many of her principles in how we do school. We incorporate a LOT of living books. We pick curriculum geared towards Charlotte Mason philosophy. We spend a lot of time outdoors. We do copywork and character training. I always check out the Charlotte Mason curriculum booths at the homeschooling conventions.
I find it interesting that when many take the Mardel Assessment, they end up with Charlotte Mason as one of their top 3 methods they are most similar to. I think this is because her philosophy just encapsulates so many of our views on what education should look like for children.
I really hope that this has given you insight on what it means to be of a Charlotte Mason Homeschool Method, so you are more familiar with what is being talked about whenever you hear that term!
In closing, I wanted to share that there are TWO of my fellow Homeschool Review Crew bloggers who are featuring aspects of the Charlotte Mason method in their 5 Days of Homeschool Blog hop this week. So make sure you check out Chareen at Every Bed of Roses for 5 Days of Charlotte Mason Resources, and Erin S. at For Him and My Family for 5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books
Here are some more of the fabulous review crew bloggers for you to peruse:
***Well that's it for today's post. I hope you will join me next time, as we explore another of the Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods--the Classical approach. It's about as un-Charlotte Mason as you are going to get! LOL