So you took the Homeschool Style Quiz and you found out you are a Charlotte Mason Homeschooler. Or maybe you just want to learn more about this homeschool style. The Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling was named after (you guessed it) Charlotte Mason. Charlotte was a British teacher who invested her life in improving the quality of children’s education. She believed that we need to educate the whole child, not just their mind. She believed that, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” So let’s take a look at what that means.
The Atmosphere of the Charlotte Mason Homeschool
The atmosphere in your home is so important. We can create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning or one that is contrary. We can model learning for our children by participating alongside them or we can show our children that it is boring and therefore something they probably won’t be interested in either. Charlotte believed that who we are as people, our ideas, values, and personality… make up 1/3 of our children’s learning.
The Discipline of the Charlotte Mason Homeschool
Charlotte believed that teaching our children to be disciplined, to develop essentially good habits, will form 1/3 of their education. For example, Charlotte Mason homeschoolers do a lot of copywork. Through repetition and teaching our children the value of working hard and doing our best, they will have the discipline they need to succeed in their education. Many curriculums that are Charlotte Mason inspired recommend doing less with higher expectation, rather than doing too much and risking your children doing their work with a lazy or half-hearted attitude.
The Life of the Charlotte Mason Homeschool
One of the key phrases you’ll hear in the Charlotte Mason homeschool method is “Living Books”. Essentially, these are stories written by experts on the subject who are passionate about it and make it come to life for our children. She didn’t believe in busywork, she believed that learning should be intentional and if we are giving our children a worksheet to do it should be meaningful, not a coloring sheet with no purpose. She thought children needed experiences to give them a framework for learning. She advocated for lots of time spent exploring, and outside enjoying God’s creation!
She believed that children should have a “feast” of learning in front of them, exposing them to a vast array of subjects, thoughts, and ideas so that they were exposed to a wide variety and able to find what interested them.
What does the Charlotte Mason Homeschool method mean for my family?
If you either are a Charlotte Mason homeschooler or want to be, how that looks in your homeschool may be different than how it looks in mine. You will probably want to find curriculum that is Charlotte Mason inspired. You will be going on lots of adventures to the library to find good literature to expand your children’s minds and copy from/dictate. You will be looking for living books that bring different subjects to life for your kids. You will be going on nature walks and exploring poetry and museums and music! You will be modeling a love for learning for your kids, by reading or copying right alongside them, and always learning about new things. You will probably be intentional with your school work, having lots of discussions about life, ideas, topics, interests, and more and teaching your children how to express themselves. You will look for opportunities to grow, learn, explore, and discuss new things in amongst your day, even when (especially when) the books are closed. You probably won’t have dry textbooks around that you have to get through and will become very familiar with the art of copywork. You will be going on a journey together with your children! And what a ride it will be! Pin this post for later!
Curious to know more about what it looks like?
I did a podcast recently about the CM homeschool style in action: a practical guide to using CM in your homeschool. Check it out HERE! Also, if you haven’t done so, head on over and take the homeschool style quiz if you haven’t already, and take the time to read about each of the homeschool styles. The more we can become aware of the focus of each style, the more we will find what resonates the most with us, and sometimes that is fluid and changing!