Methods: Charlotte Mason

When Children Love to Learn

Elaine Cooper (ed)

Who, in the homeschooling or education world has never heard of Charlotte Mason, the late 19th/early 20th century British education philosopher? Her writings, which helped to change the face of schools in England, had been long-neglected until the penning of books like Susan Schaefer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake or Karen Andreola’s A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning.

Who was Charlotte Mason?

Charlotte Mason (18?? - 1923) was a Protestant educator who is often considered a pioneer of the homeschool movement. While I would recommend using some care in reading books by and about her philosophies, her common sense and understanding of how children learn have made her ideas very helpful to many homeschoolers - whether Protestant or Catholic. Her ideas on the use of narration and dictation for reading comprehension and the use of the very best in music, art and literature are particularly insightful.

Charlotte Mason's Original Home Schooling Series

Book cover: 'The Original Home Schooling Series'
Charlotte M. Mason

6 volume set, reference work for adults.

Living books instead of textbooks for teaching. "Narration" or retelling what one has read, rather than fill-in-the-blanks workbooks. Short lessons of 10 to 30 minutes, leaving time for handicrafts and exploration in the afternoon. Plenty of time outside in God's creation, learning to draw and identify plants and animals. If you are using any of these ideas in your homeschool, you may owe a debt of gratitude to Charlotte Mason.

A Charlotte Mason Companion

Book cover: 'A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning'
Karen Andreola

I have talked to a number of people who read For the Children's Sake, loved it, and wanted more. Karen Andreola has really provided for that need with this book. It was delightful to read Mrs. Andreola's personal experiences and ideas for applying the philosophies of Charlotte Mason to her own family's homeschooling years.

Real Learning

Book cover: 'Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home'
Elizabeth Foss

Elizabeth Foss, mother of seven homeschooled children (ranging in age from 16 down to toddler), has done a great job synthesizing her approach to "educating a child in the heart of the family given to that child by his Creator" in her book, Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home.

For the Children's Sake

Book cover: 'For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School'
Susan Schaeffer McCauley

The information in this book is mostly gleaned from the writings of Charlotte Mason, a 19th century educator who has had a great deal of influence on the homeschooling movement of the late 20th century.

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