Charlotte Mason homeschooling is an educational method that is gaining in popularity as many parents seek a more natural and holistic approach to their children’s education. At its core, Charlotte Mason homeschooling is based on the idea that children should be provided with an education that is rich in living books, nature study, and real-life experiences rather than relying solely on textbooks.
This education approach helps foster critical thinking and creativity in children, as well as provides a strong foundation for future learning. If you are considering Charlotte Mason homeschooling for your family, there are a few key steps that you should take to get started.
These steps include selecting appropriate materials and creating a flexible daily routine that allows for exploration and discovery. With careful planning and dedication to the Charlotte Mason approach, you can be sure to provide your children with an education that is tailored to their unique needs and interests.
What is Charlotte Mason homeschooling?
Charlotte Mason was an educational pioneer in the late 19th and early 20th century whose ideas about childhood learning have continued to influence parents and educators today. Homeschoolers who follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy choose curricula rich in living books, nature study, and real-life experiences that foster a love of learning and a desire to explore the world.
Charlotte Mason believed that children should be given ample time and space to explore the world around them and to engage in creative projects. Charlotte Mason homeschooling is based on five main principles. First, children should be given ample time and space to discover their curiosities and interests.
Second, children should be allowed to explore their curiosities in their own way and at their own pace. Third, children should be given timely feedback so that they may correct any misconceptions or errors quickly. Fourth, children should be given the freedom to make mistakes in the process of learning. Fifth, children should be allowed to share their discoveries openly.
Benefits of Charlotte Mason homeschooling
Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education offers a more natural, holistic approach to homeschooling. If you follow the Charlotte Mason approach, you will be able to provide your children with an education rich in living books, nature study, and real-life experiences.
There are many benefits to a Charlotte Mason education. Some of these include:
– A strong foundation for future learning
– Charlotte Mason education provides children with a strong and detailed foundation for future learning. With a solid education from childhood, children are more likely to excel in college or in the workplace.
– Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
– Charlotte Mason education encourages children to see things from multiple perspectives, which helps to foster critical thinking and creativity.
– Strong writing and reading skills
– Charlotte Mason education makes room for plenty of reading and writing practice, which helps to improve your child’s reading and writing skills.
– Literary-rich language and expression
– Charlotte Mason makes room for the reading of literary books, which helps to enrich language and expression.
Selecting appropriate materials
When you’re first getting started with Charlotte Mason homeschooling, it can be helpful to select some core materials that will serve as a foundation for your entire curriculum. Some good core materials to start with include the following.
– Language Arts – Charlotte Mason suggested using a wide variety of literature in language arts. She believed that language arts should not be limited to the reading and writing of essays, but should also include poetry, biographies, and stories.
– History – Charlotte Mason believed that history should be taught as a story and not as a series of dates, which makes it easier for children to retain the information. She also believed strongly in teaching philosophy and ethics through history.
– Science – Charlotte Mason believed that children should study science as they would a foreign language, which makes the information easier to understand and retain. She suggested using nature study and reading science books as an important part of a science curriculum.
– Math – Charlotte Mason believed that children should be given plenty of hands-on learning opportunities when it comes to math. She suggested that math should be approached as a series of puzzles, which encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Creating a daily routine that allows for exploration and discovery
As you get started with Charlotte Mason homeschooling, it’s important to create a daily routine that incorporates plenty of time for discovery, exploration, and creative projects. A typical day in a Charlotte Mason homeschooler’s life might look like this:
– Morning – Begin with a short period of Bible study (15-30 minutes) or other devotions. Following this, allow for some free reading time, as well as an outdoor walk.
– Noon – Enjoy a meal that is rich in nature talk as well as reading aloud. This can be done with family or with a small group of children.
– Afternoon – Children should have ample time to explore and discover their curiosities in nature. This can be done with a special bin of nature treasures, or with a notebook and pencil in hand. Another important part of a Charlotte Mason homeschooling day is hands-on projects.
Charlotte Mason believed that children should be given ample time to engage in creative projects, which helps to build confidence and explore their curiosities.
Planning and preparing for lessons
When you are starting out with Charlotte Mason homeschooling, it’s a good idea to plan and prepare for each week’s lessons well in advance. Doing so will help to reduce the stresses and pressures of the homeschooling season and allow you to focus on enjoying your children and cultivating a love of learning.
When it comes to planning for a Charlotte Mason homeschooling week, you can follow a simple formula. First, select your focus for the week. Next, choose two or three living books from the topic and topic suggestions from nature.
Finally, add in a real-life experience and a creative project. Charlotte Mason homeschoolers often choose a theme or topic for each week of the year. A good topic to start with is the 12 months in a garden. This topic can be explored in language arts, science, and nature study.
Utilizing living books
As mentioned above, Charlotte Mason believed strongly in the use of living books in a curriculum. What are living books? These are books that are full of real life and are not dull textbooks. They are vivid books that will entice your children to become lifelong readers and learners.
Some of the best living books for children are fairy tales, fables, folktales, and myths. Charlotte Mason also believed in the importance of reading a wide variety of literature. While you may want to select a few core books to read aloud to your children, try to engage in a wide variety of literature.
Doing so will help to enrich your child’s language and expression and provide a strong foundation for future learning.
Nature study and exploration
Nature study is a core part of Charlotte Mason homeschooling. This means that children should be given ample time to study nature indoors and outdoors. When studying nature, it’s important to take notes and make observations. You can do this by keeping a Nature Journal or Nature Treasury.
This is a wonderful way to record the things that you notice in nature. You can also record it in a scrapbook or online blog. Charlotte Mason also believed in the importance of exploration in nature. This means that children should be allowed to go outside and explore freely, having no fixed destination in mind.
This allows children to follow their curiosities and discover new things about the natural world. Nature exploration can be done with a small group of children, or even a single child. While having a goal in mind is important, it’s also important to be flexible and open-minded. This will allow children to follow their curiosities without feeling pressured or stressed.
Allowing time for creative projects
Charlotte Mason believed in the importance of creative projects and hobbies as an important part of childhood. She suggested that children be allowed time each week to engage in creative hobbies, including the following:
– Art – Art can be done in a variety of different mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpting, and pottery.
– Music – Make time for musical hobbies, such as playing an instrument, singing, or music theory.
– Nature Exploration – Nature exploration can be done with or without the use of binoculars or a telescope.
– Storytelling – Make time for storytelling, whether it’s puppet shows, creative writing,