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Why We Choose the Charlotte Mason Philosophy
If you’ve landed here, it may be because you’ve browsed many different ideas for homeschooling and now the question remains: Why do we choose the Charlotte Mason philosophy? Why her method? Out of all the wonderful ways to educate your children, what makes this one so much better than all the others for our family?
For us, the answer was easy: peace. I remember reading a long time ago a beautiful post on AfterthoughtsBlog about how to schedule for Charlotte Mason. The words that rocked her world, rocked mine as well:
What led us to Charlotte Mason
I’ve had many people ask me, Why do you choose Charlotte Mason’s philosophy versus all the other methods you know. Just a bit of background, I’m finishing up my degree in education and have spent the last year learning all I need to know to be successful in the classroom. If any of you reading this is a certified teacher, you’ll know that that doesn’t mean much in the homeschooling realm.
In all my training, I’ve found it harder and harder to not “public school” my children at home. I’ve leaned into the Lord for guidance for their heart and I’ve leaned into the Charlotte Mason method of beautiful, gentle learning for their education. Why we choose Charlotte Mason is ultimately a personal one that needs to be considered prayerfully. However, I think upon further reading of Miss Mason’s work, you’ll find it easy to fall into line with the Charlotte Mason Philosophy with little problem.
I have spent hours pouring over many different Charlotte Mason works. Books like For The Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macauly, A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola, The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater, Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison, and of course Miss Mason’s actual work, the six volume series beginning with Home Education.
What does that look like practically? Well, a brief summary of what this looks like practically is as followed.
Our days start off with hymns, poetry, candles, and buttered toast and eggs. It then leads into beautiful animal stories from Rudyard Kipling, exciting geographical adventures from Holling C. Holling, and well illustrated poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson.
Each of those is followed by narration, usually orally but also sometimes illustrated. I’ve found my girls retain better when they draw their narrations. Copy work is done in the form of copied narrations that I have written down.
We spend some time in Ancient Egypt or the medieval ages with The Good and the Beautiful History year 1. This is filled with dramatized stories, stories read by me, and engaging work for the children in the form of maps, or art projects.
We also spend time doing individual Language Arts work in The Good and the Beautiful Pre-K and Level One because it truly is good and beautiful. It incorporates, phonics, sight words, spelling, art, and starting in level 2, geography. It’s open and go and my family loves it.
Looking back over all that, I see LOTS of doing, but in my heart, there is peace. I’ve culled and cut and edited our schedule until there is peace in my heart and my home. My children love school and there is never arguing when it’s time for reading or narration.
That, right there, that is why we choose Charlotte Mason.