Over the past eight years, my homeschool has enjoyed implementing Charlotte Mason methods into every area of study. Many homeschool parents have questions over how to employ the method. The method is not difficult yet it may not suit every homeschooling situation. The following overview and brief outline of the hallmark Charlotte Mason basics may help you determine if the fit is good for your family.
Overview of the Charlotte Mason Method:
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method is centered on the idea that education is three-pronged: atmosphere, discipline, and “life”.
Atmosphere is simply the child’s surroundings. Mason believed that a third of a child’s education is built on atmosphere.
Discipline makes up for another third of the child’s education. Habit training and character training are examples of what is intended by discipline. Charlotte Mason believed that habit training would naturally encourage a child to perform at her best.
Life is academics. Charlotte Mason did not see education as the process imparting dry facts. All subject areas are built on the concept that subjects should be “living”. Textbooks are discouraged since the power to immerse the child in the subject is muted. A child is given historical fiction to study a time period or taken on a nature walk to experience natural science.
Charlotte Mason Basics:
Consider the Charlotte Mason motto, “I Am, I Can, I Ought.” Students are encouraged to perform at their best in all subjects, competing only with themselves. Charlotte Mason students have short classes with focus on excellent execution of material. Charlotte Mason educators employ nature study, narration, copy work, living books, study of fine arts, and the lack of textbooks. The goal is to instill a love of learning and a curiosity about life.