Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exploring Charlotte Mason

While I had heard the name Charlotte Mason I didn't think much about it. Through the years we've explored ABeka - School at Home, Five in Row Unit Studies, The Classical Well-Trained Mind, a little Sonlight and the list goes on.  I finally decided eclectic, using a little of this and little of that is what suited us:)    Two years ago we began Nature Classes with a small group of moms and several of them used Charlotte Mason. Hmmm.... what is that? One mom told me about Ambleside and how much they loved Shakespeare. At first thought of hearing this I thought well that doesn't sound like something we would enjoy.  Then I began hearing more and more. This fall I joined a local CM Co-op and loved everything we were doing!  Wow, this is CM. So I began more research and asked to borrow The Charlotte Mason Companion from one of the moms.  I'm still reading it and will return it to her the next time we meet. More and more I love all that I learn about this approach.  The mom I borrowed the book from sent me many, many wonderful links covering more about CM.  I have read so much the past couple of weeks trying to break it all down and figure it out. While some of what we do already falls in line with what CM explains I want us to continue on to add more and more CM to our days:)

From reading this is my understanding so far:
  • Short Lessons 15-30mins
  • Narration
  • Dictation, which reinforces spelling
  • Transcription (Copywork)
  • Grammar
  • Free Afternoons for Handicrafts, Cooking, Gardening, Visiting lonely neighbors, Playing an instrument, Exploring nature,
  • Living Books (Not Textbooks expect for Math)
  • No "grades" or homework, this is taken care of through the lessons each day
  • Few Lectures
The Study areas include:
  • Nature Studies
  • Art
  • Music Hymns/Folksongs
  • Picture/Artist Study
  • Music Appreciation
  • Poetry including Shakespeare
  • History
  • Science
  • Math
  • Handicrafts
  • Literature
You can learn more here:

Simply Charlotte Mason
Jimmies Charlotte Mason Q & A


Marsha said...

It is the Living books that throw me off. I'd like to know more about those.

April said...

Living Books are basically just full literature books or nature guides, etc vs bits and pieces of a book or textbooks.

At the homeschool book sale this morning I picked up: For only $15:) I hope to begin squeezing in time to read these!

I also got the Companion Guide so I can finally return Kerstin's copy to her:)
Kerstin, Erica and Tamara all use CM and could tell you so much more about it. I know Kerstin uses the Charlotte Mason Help website and Tamara uses Ambleside Online. There's links here on my blog for them.

April said...

Also those websites as well as the simply Charlotte Mason Website has lists for the living books they recommend:)

Marsha said...

Thanks April. I hope I have a chance this week to look at them.

Michellel said...

I love using living books. We have used a Unit study approach pretty much since we began. I highly recommend these nature journals if you don't already have some. The picture really does not do it justice. It is hard bound and really is something you would want to keep forever. We will be using it this year with our nature group.