What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

Charlotte Mason was a 19th century British educator. She developed an approach to the education of children that respected the goodness and humanity of the child. This led to her formulation of an educational philosophy and practice that is still relevant today. This method focuses on instilling a sense of wonder in each child through the study of nature, art, music, and very good literature. 

What is the Charlotte Mason Method?
7 Characteristics of a Charlotte Mason Education
If you’ve been homeschooling for long, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Charlotte Mason. Her educational principles, which she developed in 19th century England, offer much to homeschooling children and families alike. But what exactly is a Charlotte Mason education? How can we know if it will work well for our family? Use this overview of seven Charlotte Mason-style characteristics to help you decide.
Home Education: A Homeschooling Classic
Home Education consists of six lectures by Charlotte Mason about the raising and educating of young children (up to the age of nine), for parents and teachers. She encourages us to spend a lot of time outdoors, immersed in nature and handling natural objects and collecting experiences on which to base the rest of their education. She discusses the use of training in good habits such as attention, thinking, imagining, remembering, performing tasks with perfect execution, obedience, and truthfulness, to replace undesirable tendencies in children (and the adults that they grow into). She details how lessons in various school subjects can be done using her approach. She concludes with remarks about the Will, the Conscience, and the Divine Life in the Child. Charlotte Mason was a late nineteenth-century British educator whose ideas were far ahead of her time. She believed that children are born persons worthy of respect, rather than blank slates, and that it was better to feed their growing minds with living literature and vital ideas and knowledge, rather than dry facts and knowledge filtered and pre-digested by the teacher. Her method of education, still used by some private schools and many homeschooling families, is gentle and flexible, especially with younger children, and includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, conveying wonder and arousing curiosity, and through reflection upon great art, music, and poetry; nature observation as the primary means of early science teaching; use of manipulatives and real-life application to understand mathematical concepts and learning to reason, rather than rote memorization and working endless sums; and an emphasis on character and on cultivating and maintaining good personal habits. Schooling is teacher-directed, not child-led, but school time should be short enough to allow students free time to play and to pursue their own worthy interests such as handicrafts.
Minds More Awake: The Vison of Charlotte Mason

Anne E. White explores what is known as the Charlotte Mason, based on the educational philosophy of the 19th century British educator. The goal is to set a child on the path to an intentional, purposeful life. White explores both the practical and philosophical understanding the Mason's practices. White includes lots of examples of how to use these ideas in your own homeschooling. 

Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home
This book is not about "school at home"--it is about something better. It is about Real Learning. Homeschooling pioneer Charlotte Mason wrote with great wisdom about providing young minds with a living books education. She urged teachers to present great ideas and stand back, allowing students to form relationships with the ideas. Elizabeth Foss carries Miss Mason's philosophy from the idealto the real. How does the busy home-educating mom balance the various needs of a houseful of children? How does she provide short lessons and free afternoons while ensuring that her children receive a thorough and well-rounded education? Exactly how does she use living books to teach history, geography, literature, and science? How does she incorporate nature study, the arts, and soccer practice? How does she create in her home an atmosphere of sanctity with Christ at its center, an atmosphere of love in which the whole family can grow in holiness day by day? How does she manage all this and still get dinner on the table? With passion and grace, Elizabeth Foss explores these questions and more. Real Learning is a rich and detailed examination of how to let "education" spill out of your home classroom into every aspect of your family life. More than a curriculum guide, it is a look at a lifestyle which aims to nourish the whole child, the whole family--heart, soul, and mind.
Starting Charlotte Mason from Scratch

Sonya Shafer discusses ways to incorporate the methods of Charlotte Mason into your homeschooling, with ideas on organizing and planning for more success and to reduce frustration. Useful for both those starting out and those who are looking for best practices in refining their education philosophy approach to homeschooling. 

More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
After providing an important work in explaining the Charlotte Mason method for homeschoolers, Catherine Levison goes deeper into the use of this method in the home with her subsequent work. This book expands the information from the first book and offers ideas to incorporate the rich and uplifting philosophy into your home education. There are specific tips for high school, schooling through challenges, and more. 
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
Children want to learn and one of the best approaches to homeschooling is to meet their natural curiosity with support and understanding. Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy does just that. This book offers explanations of how to incorporate Mason's ideas into your teaching, leading to more success in learning and less frustration in the home education environment. This book is a great resource for those embarking on the homeschool journey, as well as being an invaluable resource for those who have been homeschooling for year. 
Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 1)
This work contains a selection of the writings of Charlotte Mason, a British educator. Her writings from the 1880s are still relevant today and contain ideas that can be easily and successfully incorporated into homeschooling. This book focuses on the concept of building good habits in children, why it is important, how it can be implemented, and what impact it will make on home life and homeschooling. Written from a mother's point of view, Mason's works and ideas are explained and distilled into useful advice. 
Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Karen Andreola, renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, has written a unique sort of book in the homeschool world. Pocketful of Pinecones is a teacher s guide the nature study cleverly disguised as a heartwarming story written in the form of a mother s diary. Woven into the story are: More than 100 examples of what to look for on a nature walk, Latin names for the living things to observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses. Other features include: a supplement of selected quotations by Miss Charlotte Mason, an annotated list of books with a nature theme-both fiction and non-fiction, nostalgic pencil drawings. Yet Pocketful of Pinecones is a story about Carol. Carol is on her feet a lot-industriously caring for her family. In her diary Carol pours out her secret worries, hopes, joys, and disappointments. She also writes of the nature walks she enjoys with her children. Her goal is to safeguard their sense of wonder. Together they observe God's marvelous creation and the children record their finds in their Nature Notebooks. Carol reads Home Education by Miss Charlotte Mason and attempts to put the advice into practice. Designed to be a pick-me-up, each chapter is short enough to minister to a mother who has only snatches of time in which to nourish her soul. Carol's story continues in the sequel Lessons at Blackberry Inn.
Support for Homeschooling Using the Charlotte Mason Method
CMmamas - Leader support group
A support group for homeschool group Leaders, with the Charlotte Mason literature-based homeschool method as a primary focus. Leaders of other types of homeschool or parent's groups may participate. Topics include group organization, problems, setting up studies and discussions, activities, speakers, conventions and conferences, books, email and websites.
Charlotte Mason Cottage
You are invited to spend a year in the home of a homeschooling mother who uses the Charlotte Mason method of education, combining this "gentle art of learning" with Montessori centers, living literature studies, and observation of the Roman Catholic liturgical year within the framework of real life learning. This list will serves only as a journal in the life of a family who uses the CM method. It is not a discussion medium.
Classical Ed Books
This is a free email loop for those educating their children with classical materials. Anyone may post want to buy (WTB) or for sale (FS) ads on this list.
Literature Alive
Literature Alive! is an email group list for the literary website of the same name. This list seeks to encourage and support parents who have a love for literature and a desire to share good wholesome books with their children. Its purpose is to develop the art and excitment of using great living literature in a learning lifestyle. This group will share information on how to turn a living book into a cherished book within the home. Different literature study methods enhanced by Charlotte Mason's writing will be discussed: lapbooks, notebooks, journals, book clubs, reading settings, etc.
Christian Classical Charlotte Mason
This is a loop for Christians who are combining classical education methods with Charlotte Mason ideas in their homeschools.
Charlotte Mason Forum at vegsource.com
Discuss Charlotte Mason's ideas and find new way to implement those ideas at the forum sponsored by vegsource.com.
Support4HomeSchool
This is an email group of Christian homeschoolers who teach their children using living literature.
cmason
This list is for persons who are using or are interested in using the Charlotte Mason Philosophy for education (including homeschooling), or to enrich their own lives. Thislist espouses a Christian philosophy and is also a prayer list. It is also a very active discussion list, often 100 posts per day.
Mater Amabilis Teacher Training Forum
Mater Amabilis is a free online homeschool curriculum, which takes the methods of Charlotte Mason and applies them for the 21st century Catholic family. Offering a detailed and flexible syllabus for each age level, Mater Amabilis can be used as a complete curriculum or simply as a springboard for learning. This online teacher training forum provides support in implementing the methods of Charlotte Mason and tips for adapting these methods to today's family.
Catholic CM/TWTM Swap Group
A curriculum buy, sell, and swap group for those using a Catholic Charlotte Mason/Living Books/Classical method of home education.
CMSeries
This list is designed for anyone wishing to learn more about the Charlotte Mason method of education from reading her own books and engaging in discussions of a philosophical nature.
Sonlight Curriculum-Charlotte Mason
This is a list for homeschooling moms using Sonlight curriculum, whether just parts of it or the full curriculum, and incorporating the educational methods and ideas of Charlotte Mason into their homes.
Living Book Reviews
Living Book Reviews offers reviews of books considered "living" books for children which are useful for acquiring a love of learning.
CM4earlyyears
Email list designed to discuss the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling for children, ages birth through 6 years. While this list is not primarily religious in nature, there are often discussions of Christian topics.
CM Audiobooks
CM Audiobooks was created to allow homeschooling parents the ability to share MP3 files of personal book readings. These audiobooks are of Twaddle-free books per the Charlotte Mason method and specifically created for those using the Ambleside Online curriculum. Anyone using the Charlotte Mason method is welcome to join and participate by reading books.
Charlotte Mason Group for Fruity Catholics
Fruity Catholics are Catholics who are doing their best to practice the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially Charity. This group discusses the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling from a Catholic perspective.
ABC Books by Ann
This group consists of two things: 1) a bi-weekly newsletter with articles about living books, book collecting, taking care of and organizing your home school library, using living books in your homeschool, notebooking, book and author reviews, and more; and 2.) a bi-weekly catalog of living books for sale on eBay, plus and some unit studies.
AmblesideOnline Facebook Group

The primary purpose of this Facebook group is to serve those who are actively using AmblesideOnline, a Charlotte Mason-inspired free curriculum. The group adheres to the methods outlined by Charlotte Mason and discusses topics such as what makes a book a living book, how to teach various subjects, how to manage your schedule, etc. 

Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
Ambleside Online
AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Their goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. The curriculum uses as many free online books as possible and there is no cost to use this information or join the email support group.
Charlotte Mason Homeschool Curriculum
Considering God's Creation
Life science truly comes alive with this 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. A Charlotte Mason type discovery approach is easily implemented with creative activities, music and topical Bible studies, making this program a perfect choice for a homeschool family or a classroom. It may be used as a stand-alone science course or as an invaluable supplemental resource for any other program. 
Charlotte Mason Help
The Higher Up and Further In Curriculum is based upon two cycles of history in chronological order with a strong emphasis on character development and Biblical world view. They strive to adhere to Charlotte Mason's principles by following her methods in The Original Homeschooling Series and are offering this program and schedules to anyone who may be interested free of charge.
Charlotte Mason Living Books Curriculum
Charlotte Mason Living Books is a K-8 Christian educational solution for homeschooling families looking for a literature-rich, learn-by-doing approach that honors the person of the child. They use Charlotte Mason’s methods as the foundation and inspiration for all our learning materials and courses.
Train Up a Child Publishing
Train Up a Child offers a literature-based homeschool curriculum based written from a Christian worldview using Charlotte Mason methods.
Mater Amabilis
Mater Amabilis is a free online homeschool curriculum, which takes the methods of Charlotte Mason and applies them for the 21st century Catholic family. Offering a detailed and flexible syllabus for each age level, Mater Amabilis can be used as a complete curriculum or simply as a springboard for learning.
AmblesideOnline Facebook Group

The primary purpose of this Facebook group is to serve those who are actively using AmblesideOnline, a Charlotte Mason-inspired free curriculum. The group adheres to the methods outlined by Charlotte Mason and discusses topics such as what makes a book a living book, how to teach various subjects, how to manage your schedule, etc. 

Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum
This curriculum is designed to help you homeschool the Charlotte Mason way with confidence and freedom. Your whole family is combined together for as many subjects as possible as you enjoy a wonderful mix of modern and classic books. You have the freedom to start with any history time period you like and add in other subjects from a variety of choices. It’s a thorough and enjoyable education, but with enough room to reflect on what is being learned or to add additional resources, if desired.
Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
Handbook of Nature Study
A matchless handbook for decades, this classic work has been the natural history bible for countless teachers and others who seek information about their environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about the earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as valid and helpful today as it was when first written in 1911―and revised in the spirit of its authors by a group of naturalists in 1939. After all, dandelions, toads, robins, and constellations have changed little since then! And modern society's concern with the quality of life and the impact of people on soil, water, and wildlife makes this book even more relevant. Nature-study, as used in this handbook, encompasses all living things except humans, as well as all nonliving things such as rocks and minerals, the heavens, and weather. Of the living things described, most are common in the northeastern states, and many, such as the dandelion, milkweed, and mullein, and the house mouse, muskrat, and red fox, are so widespread that people living outside the United States will recognize them easily. Anna Botsford Comstock very appropriately took the view that we should know first and best the things closest to us. Only then, when we have an intimate knowledge of our neighbors, should we, journey farther afield to learn about more distant things. Teachers and children will find the material in this book invaluable in that regard. Details of the most common, but in some ways the most interesting, things are brought out, first by careful, nontechnical descriptions of the things themselves and later by thoughtful questions and study units. Because the most common things are treated in greatest detail, materials for study are easy to find. Whether the reader lives in the inner city or in the rural outback, the handbook is a treasure trove of information. A teacher does not need to know much about nature to use this handbook. The information is there for the novice and the expert alike. All that is needed is an inquiring mind, senses to observe, and a willingness to think about nature on a personal level. To enter this book in search of information about any common organism, stone, or object in the sky is to open the door to a fresh and lively acquaintance with one's environment.
Ambleside Online
AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Their goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. The curriculum uses as many free online books as possible and there is no cost to use this information or join the email support group.
Charlotte Mason Resources & Materials
Starting Charlotte Mason from Scratch

Sonya Shafer discusses ways to incorporate the methods of Charlotte Mason into your homeschooling, with ideas on organizing and planning for more success and to reduce frustration. Useful for both those starting out and those who are looking for best practices in refining their education philosophy approach to homeschooling. 

More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
After providing an important work in explaining the Charlotte Mason method for homeschoolers, Catherine Levison goes deeper into the use of this method in the home with her subsequent work. This book expands the information from the first book and offers ideas to incorporate the rich and uplifting philosophy into your home education. There are specific tips for high school, schooling through challenges, and more. 
Teaching Poetry: Subject by Subject
Over-analysis and examination steals all the joy from the beautiful words from good poetry. Charlotte Mason’s approach is vastly different. Good poetry reaches the heart in a way few other words can. It’s amazing how deeply a well-crafted phrase from a thoughtful poem can shape our lives! As Charlotte said, “Poetry is a criticism of life; so it is, both a criticism and an inspiration; and most of us carry in our minds tags of verse which shape our conduct more than we know”. We are doing our children a great service when we nourish their minds and equip their hearts with good poetry. Here’s how.
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
Children want to learn and one of the best approaches to homeschooling is to meet their natural curiosity with support and understanding. Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy does just that. This book offers explanations of how to incorporate Mason's ideas into your teaching, leading to more success in learning and less frustration in the home education environment. This book is a great resource for those embarking on the homeschool journey, as well as being an invaluable resource for those who have been homeschooling for year. 
Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 1)
This work contains a selection of the writings of Charlotte Mason, a British educator. Her writings from the 1880s are still relevant today and contain ideas that can be easily and successfully incorporated into homeschooling. This book focuses on the concept of building good habits in children, why it is important, how it can be implemented, and what impact it will make on home life and homeschooling. Written from a mother's point of view, Mason's works and ideas are explained and distilled into useful advice. 
Elementary Geography

Elementary Geography is a reprint of the original work by Charlotte Mason. It includes her ideas about teaching children about their world, with poetry selections throughout the book. Explores ideas of place from space to our earth, seasons, map making, and topography. Written in a pleasing conversational style, it is useful for understanding teaching methods, memorization, and copy work. 

Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Karen Andreola, renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, has written a unique sort of book in the homeschool world. Pocketful of Pinecones is a teacher s guide the nature study cleverly disguised as a heartwarming story written in the form of a mother s diary. Woven into the story are: More than 100 examples of what to look for on a nature walk, Latin names for the living things to observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses. Other features include: a supplement of selected quotations by Miss Charlotte Mason, an annotated list of books with a nature theme-both fiction and non-fiction, nostalgic pencil drawings. Yet Pocketful of Pinecones is a story about Carol. Carol is on her feet a lot-industriously caring for her family. In her diary Carol pours out her secret worries, hopes, joys, and disappointments. She also writes of the nature walks she enjoys with her children. Her goal is to safeguard their sense of wonder. Together they observe God's marvelous creation and the children record their finds in their Nature Notebooks. Carol reads Home Education by Miss Charlotte Mason and attempts to put the advice into practice. Designed to be a pick-me-up, each chapter is short enough to minister to a mother who has only snatches of time in which to nourish her soul. Carol's story continues in the sequel Lessons at Blackberry Inn.
The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literature, music, and art through the use of outdoor space. 
Handbook of Nature Study
A matchless handbook for decades, this classic work has been the natural history bible for countless teachers and others who seek information about their environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about the earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as valid and helpful today as it was when first written in 1911―and revised in the spirit of its authors by a group of naturalists in 1939. After all, dandelions, toads, robins, and constellations have changed little since then! And modern society's concern with the quality of life and the impact of people on soil, water, and wildlife makes this book even more relevant. Nature-study, as used in this handbook, encompasses all living things except humans, as well as all nonliving things such as rocks and minerals, the heavens, and weather. Of the living things described, most are common in the northeastern states, and many, such as the dandelion, milkweed, and mullein, and the house mouse, muskrat, and red fox, are so widespread that people living outside the United States will recognize them easily. Anna Botsford Comstock very appropriately took the view that we should know first and best the things closest to us. Only then, when we have an intimate knowledge of our neighbors, should we, journey farther afield to learn about more distant things. Teachers and children will find the material in this book invaluable in that regard. Details of the most common, but in some ways the most interesting, things are brought out, first by careful, nontechnical descriptions of the things themselves and later by thoughtful questions and study units. Because the most common things are treated in greatest detail, materials for study are easy to find. Whether the reader lives in the inner city or in the rural outback, the handbook is a treasure trove of information. A teacher does not need to know much about nature to use this handbook. The information is there for the novice and the expert alike. All that is needed is an inquiring mind, senses to observe, and a willingness to think about nature on a personal level. To enter this book in search of information about any common organism, stone, or object in the sky is to open the door to a fresh and lively acquaintance with one's environment.
Ambleside Online
AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Their goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. The curriculum uses as many free online books as possible and there is no cost to use this information or join the email support group.
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Montessori Method
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