Charlotte Mason was a British educator in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She believed that children are persons in their own right deserving of respect and that they learn best when they are given time to play, create, and be involved in real-life situations.
The Charlotte Mason method emphasizes short lessons covering a wide variety of subjects, as well as developing good habits. Students show what they know by giving narrations, participating in discussions, and keeping journals and a history timeline, rather than by taking tests. This style of homeschooling uses rich literature and “living books” rather than traditional textbooks or children’s books.
Typical Charlotte Mason homeschool days might be filled with: nature walks and a nature study, journaling, copywork, dictation, handicrafts, art and music appreciation, foreign language, trips to museums, map work, memorization, as well as the usual academic subjects.
- Time-tested with a successful history spanning more than 100 years;
- Budget-friendly with many downloadable materials available online;
- Compatible with unit study and classical homeschool methods;
- Rich literature – living books – is emphasized;
- Useful methods that nurture a love for learning and reinforce good, lifelong habits;
- Many subjects can be covered with multiple siblings together.
Points to consider
- Materials and websites generally reflect Christian-based philosophies;
- Methods are well-suited to younger students; resources for students approaching high school level might be harder to find;
- Advanced studies in math and science will need to be supplemented by homeschooling parents;
- Resources and ideals reflect the past and don’t mention screen-based modern technology such as computers or television.
- A Charlotte Mason Education by Katherine Levison
- A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola
- The Original Home Schooling Series by Charlotte Mason
- For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
- charlottemasonhomeschooling.com (Living Books Press)
* The Resources on this page are examples of resource options that many homeschooling parents have found helpful. Note that they are not created or distributed by HOMESCHOOL.TODAY. For your convenience we occasionally add links to helpful websites, books, etc. but these will open in a separate tab.