What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

This is the eighth in my Getting Started Homeschooling Series. Check out the rest of the articles in this series:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Why Should I Homeschool?
  3. What Do I Do First?
  4. Homeschooling Laws
  5. The Different Homeschooling Methods
  6. What is Deschooling?
  7. What is Unschooling?
  8. What is the Charlotte Mason Method?
  9. Homeschool Distance Learning
  10. Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
  11. Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
  12. Abeka Homeschool Curriculum
  13. Creating Your Own Curriculum
  14. Homeschool Planning
  15. Homeschool Support
  16. Homeschool Socialization

You may have heard a lot about the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. But what is it? Is it expensive? What does it entail? Where can I find more information? What materials do I need? I’m sure you have these questions and many more, so read on…

What is the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling?

First of all, we have to cover what the Charlotte Mason method is. Basically, it’s an education through literature, hands-on activities and good life habits. Charlotte Mason was a British teacher who believed that education was not merely about passing a test; it’s an experience to help us get ready for life. It was her belief that children should be taught by living and reading, and that education is a way of life rather than just a series of boring and tedious textbooks.

Bible Study is an integral part of this philosophy; Charlotte Mason believed that it was the most important part of an education. Many homeschoolers who employ this method are Christian; but even if you’re looking for secular curriculum the Charlotte Mason method can be beneficial.

There are somewhat specific methods of teaching specific subjects: history is taught using biographies, documents and history books. Literature can be matched with the history lessons by reading books either written in the same time frame or books that are set in that time.

English skills are taught by reading out loud, copying passages from favorite books and dictation. Science begins with the smaller child learning by observation about the world around her. What a great way to get children excited about learning! This also teaches younger children HOW to learn…observe, ask questions and seek the answers.

What materials do I need?

Books, the outdoors, pencils, paper, and a good library! LOL There are many books out there that can help you with the process, especially if it’s new to you.

Ambleside has a wide range of information on the Charlotte Mason method of education. Newbies will L-O-V-E Ambleside…they even have a free curriculum plan for you to use! Then all you need to do is get the books, either buy them or get them from your local library, and do fun activities with your kids!

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