Friday, March 16, 2012

Charlotte Mason Education - Part 3

So why did I choose the Charlotte Mason method/approach for teaching our children?

Simply to create a love of learning. I started homeschooling five years ago with textbooks. After a period of time, I felt like I was recreating school at home. As I began networking with other homeschooling moms, I learned there was a whole other world of methods out there.

I then began to study the Classical Education Method, which still intrigues me. However, when our younger kids were old enough to school, it seemed so unnatural to have them memorizing dates and times. They got so much out of me reading aloud. Ruben's vocabulary grew to great proportions. Riley's love for nature became very apparent. Angel much preferred reading literature and historic works rather than her textbook. We started having family conversations about various people and historic events. As I continued researching, I found the Charlotte Mason method, it really seemed like an answer to prayer.

I'm enamored with the idea of living books, short lessons, reading history about people's lives rather than memorizing dates and events, copywork, nature study, reading scripture daily and incorporating it into our history, poetry, and picture study. I have seen these methods of teaching work in our family. It was that natural fit that I'd been hoping for. I wouldn't claim to be a Charlotte Mason purist, but we do incorporate many of her methods in our day to day education and we're loving it!

Charlotte Mason Style Websites & Free Curricula

Here are some online links for further information regarding Charlotte Mason education. They are in no particular order...

Ambleside Online  - here you will find a free k-12 Charlotte Mason curriculum including book lists and weekly lesson plans. Just click on "Ambleside Online Curriculum" and choose the year/age/grade you'd like.

An Old Fashioned Education  - here is another free Charlotte Mason curriculum. Just click on "Full Curriculum" in the upper left and then choose what year you'd like.

Higher Up and Further In  - Lindafay has created a Charlotte Mason friendly free curriculum that's based on Ambleside, but incorporates more Bible into the curriculum. Her curriculum is K-6th, then switches over to House of Education, which is the Ambleside model for upper grades.  is an updated version of the website.

Simply Charlotte Mason  - I love this site and have gleaned many things from it. In the blue box on the left you will see the "Free Curriculum Guide". Once you click this you can see how they've laid out their Charlotte Mason curriculum for 1-12th grade. If you click on each individual subject, you can see the resources they recommend. In addition, in the blue box in the left, you will see a "CM Organizer/Book Finder", here you will find "living book" lists. One last thing on this site is also in the blue box on the left, you will see "Discussion Forum". If you click on this, it will take you to the forum. I check this regularly. You do not need to be a member to read this forum. In the middle, you'll find the latest discussions. On the lower left, you'll see popular tags. If you click on Kindergarten, you'll see former posts on this topic from the past 2 years. Oh yeah, and there is a SCM Blog in that blue box at the beginning. You'll find great articles there regarding homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, and habit training. Again....I love this site!

Queen Homeschool Supply  - this is Charlotte Mason curriculum designed by a homeschool mom (as most of the above are).

The Baldwin Project  - free online books

Project Gutenberg - over 38,000 free online books  Living Books Curriculum Great resource for Bible lesson plans, handwriting instruction, math, etc. Catholic Charlotte Mason site Charlotte Mason mixed with Classical Education  Heritage History - excellent living books in chronological order - Homeschoool Art & Music Plans  - Nature Study for Homeschoolers

What is twaddle?

There are a wealth of online free resources for educating using the Charlotte Mason method. As mentioned in a former post I believe you could educate at no cost with a Bible and library care. However, for those who aren't as confident or need a guide to follow, here are some Charlotte Mason types of curriculum....

Simply Charlotte Mason
Sonlight Book Lists
Heart of Dakota
Living Books Curriculum
Lifetime Books & Gifts
Ambleside Online
House of Education
Queen Homeschool
Lamplighter Publishing
Nothing New Press
All Through the Ages by Christine Miller
Bethlehem Books
Five in a Row
Yesterday’s Classics
Higher Up and Further In
Beautiful Feet
Mott Media – Ruth Beechick books & website
Greenleaf Press
RightStart Math

Hopefully, this series gives you a good place to start. If you are truly interested in the Charlotte Mason method, I would highly recommend reading her original writings It's a 6 volume set available in hard copy or online. I confess I have not read them all, but I aspire to :)

See also Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4 of this series. 

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