Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived 1842-1923. Although she did not have children of her own to homeschool, she taught governesses how to teach their charges. Her teaching philosophy is often called the Charlotte Mason (CM) method.

When I was studying education in college, I had to study various educational philosophies and write my own. At that time, I chose a classical approach which certainly did not evidence itself in my years of teaching language arts in public schools. But many years later when life’s circumstances plunged me into homeschooling, I gravitated towards a literature based style. As I researched, I discovered that Charlotte Mason espoused a living education, full of living books. The more I read, the more I saw CM was a good fit for my daughter. Over the years, we have loosely used a CM approach to education. With Sprite now in 7th grade, I feel it has served us well and will take us into high school without any problem.

People often ask what books I recommend for learning about CM. To be honest, you should go straight to the source and read CM’s Home Education. It is in the public domain and even has a modern day translation if you find the Victorian English difficult to understand.

When I blog about CM, I tend to lean towards the practical application of principles. If you are new to my blog or to CM, I recommend you start with my Charlotte Mason Q & A . That page lists my best CM blog posts, all of which offer a practical look at applying CM to a daily routine. Another good starting place is Charlotte Mason Basics which gives a broad overview of what makes up a CM education.

Charlotte Mason Areas

horse booksImplementing a CM homeschool can see overwhelming at first. My best advice as you transition to CM is to start small. Choose living books and narration first. Master the use of those foundations first and then move on to a single other area (some options are listed below). Once it is established as a habit, add on another area, keeping the first, until you have converted your homeschool style to your satisfaction.

catching small fish

If you have questions about implementing the Charlotte Mason philosophy, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer it in a blog post.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

shae compton February 17, 2012 at 11:05 am

Hi Jimmie. I have found your website an amazing help to me as a homeschool mom. I have found so many things that I have wanted to do, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I love many aspects of CM and wanted to know if the Five In A Row curriculum is something you would recommend?


Diana Hulsey September 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hi Jimmie. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now. I really love homeschooling the CM “way”. We’re working on our 3rd year of homeschooling and my girls are 12 and 9. I started this year trying to notebook — especially history and science — along with living books. The girls didn’t do very well with just a “blank slate”, so I began writing out questions from the reading. I try to use phrases like: “Describe ______. or Tell about __________. as much as possible, but sometimes I just write a question. It seems to help them get started. However, I’m finding they are using it like a worksheet and writing as little as possible to give an answer. I think notebooking is a wonderful learning tool, but I’m really having a hard time getting them to DO it. Any suggestions?


Dollie October 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hey, Jimmie! I have been looking into the Beech Retreat and found your link on the Facebook page. My husband and I are trying to decide if we can make this happen for us to go and enjoy this together, but the more I see things, the more I WANT TO GO! Then to come here and see that you do CM, too, is more than I can handle! I NEED TO GO!

Like it or not, you have a NEW FRIEND!!!


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