Charlotte Mason Series #1 – Why CM?
Welcome to the 10 Days of Homeschooling blog hop! Over the course of ten posts in ten days, I’m going to do my best to introduce you to the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling and how I somewhat eclectically incorporate it into my homeschool. I hope you’ll stop by every weekday over the next two weeks to learn about the rich and meaningful learning that makes a Charlotte Mason education so enjoyable.
(This post contains affiliate links.)
Just who or what is Charlotte Mason??
Charlotte Mason was a 19th century British educator who believed education was “an atmosphere, a discipline and a life.” She believed in teaching children in ways that encouraged curiosity and enthusiasm, while at the same time expecting excellence in many areas – even more areas than most curricula expect. Her philosophies are still fresh today, especially among homeschoolers who use them unfailingly to raise bright, resourceful children.
WHY did I consider Charlotte Mason?
I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of CM particulars over the course of this series, but today I want to write about the ooey-gooey, mushy feelings that make this method of homeschooling my primary style.
Through such things as reading living books with my children, teaching them handicrafts and enjoying nature together, there’s a sort of “life is school” attitude that’s had me hooked from the beginning. Lessons are gentle and conducive to sitting on the couch all snuggled up.
I had been a public school teacher previously and saw so many precious children who could have thrived if their moms and dads would’ve simply taken the time to love up on them during lessons. (Homework, of course.) As much as I tried, as their classroom teacher I couldn’t love on every single student every day – making school work and home work sterile and uninviting. I knew from the moment I started homeschooling that a loving, encouraging, anything-but-sterile environment was what I wanted to create for my children.
I found the answer.
After reading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake when my oldest was five years old, I knew I had found the answer! It was possible to “do school” with the sweetness that I had envisioned. And the author spelled it out for me in such a way that built my confidence enough in reading that short little book to carry me through schooling with the CM style nine years later!
Little did I know in the beginning how much more blessed our school would become using this approach. For example, one major added bonus to this “gentle style of learning” (and there are lots of bonuses) includes lessons that are short and sweet, which allows more time for the extras of life. Those extras including: time for my kids to be kids, time to explore personal interests, time to take 4-H classes, and even time for running errands. Blessings indeed!
Don’t be fooled, though!
All this gentle, loving, short and sweet talk doesn’t equal up to a less than superior education. On the contrary, I have been able to offer my children very challenging material, and lots of it. It’s actually because of the simplicity and sweetness that we have more time to dive deep, tackle tough stuff and take outside classes that we otherwise wouldn’t have the time to do!
Okay, enough for today. Snuggles, sweetness, time for kids to be kids, AND real learning…Have I convinced you about how wonderful a CM education is yet? During the rest of the series, I’ll write about each of the key characteristics that make a Charlotte Mason education work! Tomorrow’s topic: Living Literature.
You can have a Charlotte Mason homeschool!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone to teach you step-by-step how to create a Charlotte Mason homeschool? Someone who would give you “just enough” information and encourage you to add just one thing at a time – and not move on until you felt comfortable with that new thing?
I’ve done that for you! In Charlotte Mason Homeschooling in 18 EASY Step-by-Step Lessons, I teach you just the facts about the practical tenants of Charlotte Mason homeschooling and give you “homework” that will help you implement just one new thing at a time. Once you feel comfortable with teaching that new thing, you move on to the next lesson. Before you know it, you will be teaching a bonafide Charlotte Mason style homeschool!
This book has quickly become one of my very best sellers! Those new to homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way AND those who need a refresher or just need to polish a method or two all love the practicality of the lessons!
This book makes learning how to use the Charlotte Mason method very simple. If you’ve been confused or overwhelmed about how to get started, book is the answer. I wish I’d had this book 5 years ago. I spent a good year or so trying to figure out everything. Imagine learning how to use the Charlotte Mason method in just one semester rather than a year or two! I’ve been using the CM method for years, but I really appreciated this book as a reminder of how easy and worthwhile it is. Michelle Cannon, The Heart of Michelle.
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I am looking forward to reading about CM over the next 10 days!
I am so excited about the next ten days!
Very well said today Cindy and I will be back bright and early tomorrow!
I’m VERY excited to learn more about CM! I will definitely be reading!
Love this post! I, too, find little better than just snuggling up on the couch reading and learning with my kids. I’m looking forward to reading your posts in the next two weeks!
What a great introduction. I’ve read some of the books you’ve mentioned and am looking for those I haven’t. I, too, have many years teaching private school and found the same issue with parents. I am loving homeschooling!
Just went online to view the online conference, that is a fabulous idea! Can’t wait to check it out…in my jammie! 🙂 (Also, loving the Charlotte Mason ideas – looking forward to the rest of your posts!)
Oh this is just the encouragement I needed! I’m so excited to read the rest of your 10 Days!
Thanks for this series. I’ve been a little intimidated by Charlotte Mason’s style of teaching. So far, your explanations are very UN-intimidating. Can’t wait to read more.
Very excited to read the posts in these 10 days. I belong to our CM homeschool group and am on the leadership committee. I have to admit I’d like to present a CM education better to my children and hope to find ways to do that with my 4 littles better soon.
I have an early childhood education major but do not remember every learning about Charlotte Mason’s style of learning. I have been thinking about homeschooling my daughter so I am looking forward to reading your blog and finding out about CM. Thanks for sharing!
I am going to enjoy reading through your posts for this series. Even after homeschooling for three years, I have yet to define our style of education. Charlotte Mason and her ideas have always interested me, but I never pursued learning more.
Yay! Me too! Me too! Your eloquent description is right on the money! The CM approach is such a blessing to our family…and has been extra great for me as I try to de-school myself. Nature study is one of our favorites…I’m looking forward to all your posts.
Our Eli is also 4 years old!! we’ve homeschooled for 5 years and I’ve always tinkered with idea of using CM but was never really clear on HOW!! I think these coming 10 days will help. Thanks for the post(s)!
I just went to an all day CM seminar this weekend and I can’t get enough. I applied her methods today and I could totally see the different in my children. It does make one feel uneasy that has been raised in public schools because it goes against all you’ve been raised to believe.
Yes, it does go against most public school practices, but you will see such a difference in your children! So glad you’ve found a passion for Charlotte Mason style homeschooling!