Charlotte Mason Method of Education

Charlotte Mason Method of Education

Recently, flipping through some parenting-oriented Instagram pages I discovered for myself a Charlotte Mason Method of Education. After some extra research, I’ve noticed that it’s a popular one among Home Schooling Parents. Home schooling attracts me for a certain period already. Honestly, if we had 3 kids not too far apart from one another that would be my only one choice. There are endless possibilities for home schooling in Canada, that’s for sure.

Being a full time working parent I keep seeking for effective and interesting educational techniques for our daughter. My main and unchangeable idea is to teach our daughter to be curious about the new things, to know how to learn new things and to be assiduous. They all eventually will read, count and write…but ere those mastered as result of interest or force?!

I noticed how systematical daily and short reading, writing and math exercises form a habit of learning!  And having such a great habit is a key! So, we try to feel our short weekday evenings with something fun, something new, something challenging and something super interesting! Probably, that’s why Charlotte Mason Method grabbed my attention. Lots of her principles are so familiar to me and therefore I wanted to discover more.

We can send kids to extra activities 5 -7 days a week, but if kid has zero interest towards learning all that is useless. It will be exhausting for both parties: parents who drove no clue how many kilometres and kids who “have” to go, but don’t really want any of these. Children have two guides to help them in their moral and intellectual growth – “the way of the will,” and “the way of reason.”

Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason (1 January 1842 – 16 January 1923) was a classical English educator in England at the turn of the twentieth century. She proposed to base the education of children upon a wide and liberal curriculum. She was inspired by the writings of John Amos Comenius, Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin. (Source: Wikipedia)

Image: Wikipedia / The Armitt Museum and Library; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Charlotte Mason Education strategies have helpful and important advises regarding “how to” and “how don’t “educate your children.

  1. Respect

Children were born persons and should be respected as such; they should also be taught the Way of the Will and the Way of Reason. Charlotte Mason Method motto for students was “I am, I can, I ought, I will.”

  1. Formation of Habits

Charlotte Mason was very focused on the formation of habits in children of young ages. The believe is that teaching our children to be disciplined, to develop essentially good habits, will form 1/3 of their education. Therefore, goal is to help kids form habits that will make their lives run easily in the future. Habit is a matter of doing something so often that you eventually do it almost without thinking about it

“The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children. All day she is crying out, ‘Do this!’ and they do it not; ‘Do that!’ and they do the other. ‘But,’ you say, ‘if habit is so powerful, whether to hinder or to help the child, it is fatiguing to think of all the habits the poor mother must attend to. Is she never to be at ease with her children?” Charlotte Mason

  1. Short Lessons

Charlotte Mason Method lessons are short, especially for young children. The goal is to train the child to focus fully on their work, but only for amount of time they are developmentally capable of. In early elementary it would be 10-15 minutes per subject. Many curriculums that are Charlotte Mason Method inspired recommend doing less with higher expectation, rather than doing too much and risking your children doing their work with a lazy or half-hearten attitude.

“Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” Charlotte Mason

  1. Narration

Her philosophy was that once they ‘retell’ what they heard or read, the information was then stored and became theirs and could be remembered. Letting a young child do this orally helps them develop analytical thinking skills. At the beginning, narration is not an easy task at all for the kid. I still remember our first attempts with Elizabeth and those were tough. Therefore, I strongly advise introducing narration in your educational routine.

  1. Dictation

Dictation exercises introduce and reinforce spelling and grammar concepts.

  1. Nature Study

Children should spend as much time as possible outdoors, especially as young students. Get children involved in the nature around them, learn from creatures they observed. That’s why, journaling is the form of education Charlotte Mason way to get her students to draw and catalog what they were see and learn.

Charlotte Mason Method of Education

“Provide a child with what he needs in the way of instruction, opportunity, and wholesome occupation, and his character will take care of itself: for normal children are persons of good will, with honest desires toward right thinking and right living. All we can do further is to help a child to get rid of some hindrance––a bad temper, for example––likely to spoil his life.”

Not sure how to effectively implement Charlotte Mason Method? Joy in The Home shares on How to Teach

In plus, I found beautiful and FREE Decorative Prints of Charlotte Mason Quotes may be found on Table Life Blog. I’ve already printed and framed ours. They look great!

Happy Learning!



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  1. 1

    This was interesting ! As a mommy it’s always good to read different way of education.
    And let me tell you that your blog is so pretty !
    Thanks for sharing !

  2. 2

    I have two younger children. Each has their own way of learning. My son can learn almost anything without much effort but my daughter struggles with a lot of the things my son found easy. I am always looking for new approaches. Thanks for sharing

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    Very interesting! As a mom and from a long line of teachers, I have to agree with these methods. It’s so important to truly teach the way that is best for each child, something that is lacking too often in many schools. As parents, we can change that.

  5. 5

    We do homeschool and Montessori at home and I love Charlotte Mason as well, very eloquent and well put together. Wish the public systems would put more of these ideas into their curriculum planning! Thanks for sharing!

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    I think too much of the school curriculum focuses on test scores rather than fostering creativity and ensuring students actually understand what they are learning. This method seems to pull from Maria Montessori’s method of teaching! I’m definitely going to do a bit more research on it.

  8. 11
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    My son has just turned four and lately, I have discovered that he dislikes writing and that I will have to make some major effort to keep him focused. Thank you for sharing the approaches.

  10. 15

    I have not heard of Ms. Mason, but it sounds like indeed she has made an impact in homeschooling for sure. I wonder if my friend that homeschools her daughters is aware of this method.

  11. 17

    I’ve never seen your blog before until now and I love it. Makes me want sweets. Lol! I had no idea about this method of teaching until reading this post. It’s so interesting and definitely an idea I can get behind.
    Thanks for including some freebies to try out!

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    What an interesting way to teach! I agree that showing respect to our children is important. It teaches them that they matter.

  15. 24

    As a homeschool mom I love CM. Over the years we’ve incorporated a lot of her methods into our day. Narration has been a huge component for us. It’s amazing how much it helps a child (or adult!) mentally organize the material.

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    Nothing can be more interesting than having to learn something new. This is even more exciting because of it’s effectiveness and social ways of learning.

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    I’ve never hear of this method before, but it highlights some of the important lessons on learning. Like, small lessons. You never want to throw too much on their plate all at once.

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    This is the first time I read about Charlotte Mason. It’s nice to know that there are more learning methods out there that can really work. I love this method, I hope I learned this way as I was growing up. Thank you so much for sharing. This is really interesting!

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    I’m a teacher and this method sounds awesome! I love the idea of forming habits in kids at an early age. Also getting outside is so very important!

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