Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Charlotte Mason

Who was Charlotte Mason?

Charlotte Mason lived at the end of the 19th century in England. A teacher, she later became an education reformer who operated her own college for teachers based on the methods she had developed. Miss Mason believed that all children were born persons, not half-formed adults. She also believed that all children were deserving and capable of a liberal, or broad, education.

Miss Mason’s educational philosophies and methods are outlined in her six-volume series on education. It is available to read here online. You can also read a summary of her 20 Principles of Education. Her methods include living books over dry textbooks, narration, tons of time outdoors, nature study, and exposure to art, music and great literature throughout childhood.

Why Charlotte Mason?

The first thing that drew me to the Charlotte Mason method was, of course, the living books. As a lover of books, who appears to be raising two more lovers of books I knew that using great literature and interesting, well-written non-fiction would be an optimal method of learning. In fact, that is exactly the method I have used (without ever even knowing it) to learn. Whenever a subject interests me, I search out the best books I can find about it, spend my days reading, and then use my blog “narrate” back the information. That alone was enough to prompt me to take a closer look.

Since I have started exploring the rest of her methods there is a simplicity and practicality to them that simply make sense. I have just begun my journey of exploration with her methods, but look forward to delving deeper and learning more.

Charlotte Mason Resources

These are listed in various other places on this blog, but I did want to provide a central location for my favorite resources.

Under construction – please check back for updates.

Ambleside Online

Mater Amabilis

Simply Charlottte Mason

Penny Gardner’s Charlotte Mason Website

Ambleside Online Year-O Yahoo Group – For using a CM approach to preschooling.