If you are researching different homeschool methods or styles, you may have heard of the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling and wondered if it would be a good fit for your family.
Charlotte Mason was an educator in 19th century England. She believed that children should spend most of their early years outdoors exploring nature, cultivating good habits, learning handicrafts, and being read aloud to. She believed in short lessons that don’t overwhelm the child, and quickly moving on to the next subject or lesson so the child isn’t distracted. These short lessons, leave many extra hours in the day, which is great for an overwhelmed mama with multiple children.
I had already been homeschooling for about 5 years when I first heard about Charlotte Mason. My son was about to go into 6th grade and I had a dyslexic kindergartner, an ornery preschooler, and was pregnant with my 4th baby. My husband worked full time as a paramedic and was going to school as well. With life being so crazy I found us having a difficult time getting our school work done and I felt like we had lost all of our homeschooling joy. I was tired and burned out and just wanted to enjoy my kids and not have to teach them from a book with a teacher’s manual.
When I first heard about Charlotte Mason’s ideas, I knew they were the perfect fit for our family and I couldn’t wait to get started! If you too, are looking for a change and for meaningful time with your children during school you may love the Charlotte Mason idea.
Here are some ways to help you to transition into a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool:
Start with a good morning routine
Charlotte Mason believed in forming good habits and having a routine. To start your day off right, you need to start it with a good, solid routine. This will lay the groundwork for the rest of your day.
Read more about our morning routine to get ideas for incorporating table time into your homeschool day.
Add living books to your homeschool
What is a living book? Simply Charlotte Mason explains what a living book is if that term is new to you.
Living books are a great way to transition into the Charlotte Mason lifestyle. I love laying good books around on subjects that my kids love to learn about. This will make it so much easier for them to just grab a book and start reading it because it interests them. Living books can spark great discussions to generate further learning experiences. You can take a favorite passage from a book and use it for copywork, narration or dictation.
Find out about how to incorporate living books into your homeschool.
Nature study is one of our favorite components of a Charlotte Mason homeschool. Just transitioning outside for a few minutes a day with a nature notebook and a bag to collect treasures, is a great start to having your children be familiar with nature study. The more time you spend outside, the more your kids will want to learn and explore more and more.
I have written a ton of posts on nature study that may be helpful.
Recommended resource: Nature Notebook
In this unit, students will use a combination of written narration, drawing, and labeling alongside Nature Anatomy – The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman to learn all about the Earth, plants, animals, and much more.
We have a lot of nature study posts with free resources:
If you truly want to have a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool I highly suggest that you look for curriculum that is Charlotte Mason inspired. Many publishers of Charlotte Mason style products have done countless hours of research and study on her methods. Their curricula would be a great fit to ease into the Charlotte Mason way.
Ambleside Online is a great start as they have book lists, artist, hymn and composer study lists and so much more. You can follow their lists as a guide using your library to get started!
We also share tons of free Charlotte Mason Resources and tips, and ideas.
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!