Charlotte Mason Homeschool
Charlotte Mason was a British author, teacher, and lecturer of the late 1800s. Her philosophy of education has persisted for over a century and has regained popularity, especially among a subset of homeschooling families. On this page, you will find out more about the Charlotte Mason education model, learn how to use the Charlotte Mason method for homeschool, and discover how families integrate Time4Learning’s online curriculum into their Charlotte Mason approach.
What Is the Charlotte Mason Home Education Style?
Charlotte Mason put a heavy emphasis on using high-quality literature, which she called “living books,” to teach children. She believed that education should involve the whole person, not just the mind. According to Mason, education is “an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
In terms of homeschooling, the Charlotte Mason approach translates to:
- The abundant use of narrative literature
- Plenty of time spent outdoors exploring
- The development of an appreciation for art, music, and nature
- Journalling, narration, dictation, and copywork
How Does the Charlotte Mason Method Work?
The Charlotte Mason teaching method consists of activities and attitudes that help a child learn self-discipline as well as academic subjects. Mason’s motto was “ Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Specific steps to her method include:
- Narration – an activity that consists of the child telling back a story she has heard or read. It is done orally when the child is young, and as she grows older, she begins to write out her narrations.
- Copywork – transcribing a piece of literature as handwriting practice.
- Nature Study – a study of living science, with a focus of observation of things seen on nature walks.
- Living Books – books written in an alive, engaging way by an author who has a passion for the subject. This would be in contrast to textbooks, which are often created by committees to achieve government-set school standards.
Benefits of a Charlotte Mason Education
Families who choose to use the Charlotte Mason homeschooling style are usually looking for a holistic approach to education. The Charlotte Mason educational model seeks to help students create positive habits that affect not just their schooling, but their lives. Some of the benefits homeschoolers hope to receive from a Charlotte Mason education include:
- Keeping students engaged with their learning by keeping lessons short and manageable
- Instilling a love for literature through the use of living books
- Teaching a child to express him/herself clearly and articulately through narration practice
- Reinforcing spelling and grammar concepts through dictation exercises
- Exposing students to fine arts–particularly art and music
- Infusing a student’s life with an appreciation of nature and the natural world
Charlotte Mason Curriculum for Homeschool
The majority of curricula designed specifically for Charlotte Mason homeschooling is more along the lines of recommendations than a full curriculum. Even a Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum package may only include bundles of books along with suggestions on how to use them by grade and subject.
Because the Charlotte Mason approach is focused on the whole child, rather than a simple curriculum, homeschoolers often find it more effective to mix and match curriculum options. This allows families to incorporate the best books, fine arts programs, core academic lessons, and nature studies into a holistic and personalized program for each homeschooler.
How to Use the Charlotte Mason Method with Time4Learning
Time4Learning is an online, standards-based program that combines interactive lessons, multimedia reinforcement activities, printable worksheets, learning games, and assessments with reports into one homeschool curriculum. Because it focuses heavily on reading and writing—particularly in the elementary and middle school years—many families that ascribe to the philosophies of Charlotte Mason find it to be a strong core or supplement for their language arts program.
Some of the ways Time4Learning is optimized to the Charlotte Mason method include:
- Short lessons – Charlotte Mason recommended starting out with short lessons and slowly increasing them as children get older. Time4Learning’s lessons are automatically customized to correspond with grade level.
- Art appreciation – Time4Art is available to all Time4Learning students in grades 4 or above for 6 months free of charge!
- Twaddle – the dumbing down of education is something Ms Mason heavily advocated against. The Time4Learning curriculum is a rigorous core curriculum that meets or exceeds the standards in every state.
- Good habits – because T4L is so flexible it allows for parents to adjust lessons and schedule to foster good habits in their homeschoolers
We live in a world where knowledge of technology and computer proficiency is important for children to learn. Future jobs, high school online learning experiences, and many teenage social experiences involve technological advances that may not be satisfied with a traditional Charlotte Mason curriculum alone. Computer proficiency opens the door to the vast stores of educational information available online and paves the way for the technological demands of college and future careers. . Children benefit from learning how to navigate the computer, and Time4Learning can fulfill that need in a fun and engaging way.
Additional Resources on Homeschooling Styles
Want to know even more about the different approaches to homeschooling? The following pages can help:
- Homeschooling Styles Overview
- Eclectic Homeschooling
- Traditional Homeschooling
- Classical Homeschooling
- Montessori Homeschooling
- Homeschooling with Unit Studies
- Waldorf Homeschooling
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