How To Teach Active Kids Using the Charlotte Mason Method

Just how does a Charlotte Mason education mesh with the busy kids – or inquisitive gifted kids – or minds that jump from one thing to another in a matter of seconds? Actually, pretty well. Charlotte Mason and active kids can be a match made in heaven!

Quite naturally, many of the methods of Charlotte Mason’s style work alongside children who like to move from one thing to the next or just move, in general. Besides that, it’s very easy to tweak the things that are less friendly to active children.

If you have active kiddos, Charlotte Mason learning can be really helpful!

Charlotte Mason and Active Kids – Do They Go Together?

Oh, yes!  Maybe you’ve never thought about Charlotte Mason homeschooling from the perspective of busy kids before. Let me tell you, I’ve HAD to think about it because I have a couple of boys that are VERY active. I’m happy to tell you that when the rubber meets the road, Charlotte Mason’s methods still work. In fact, my active boys have continued to thrive.

Active Kids Can Thrive with Charlotte Mason’s Principles

When thinking about a Charlotte Mason education, there are two main parts: the principles and the methods.

If you look at the principles carefully, you will see that they are inclusive of all sorts of students. In fact, we are encouraged to embrace each child as exactly who they were made to be, giving them all the resources to live, grow, and learn.

Helping them to build good habits in learning, attention, self-care, and all the other things is incredibly important and can, perhaps, be of extra importance (and extra work on the parent’s part) when it comes to busy kids. But, there’s nothing on the list that excludes active bodies or active minds from taking part. In fact, as we begin to think about the methods, active kiddos benefit greatly from many of them.

Why Active Kids Thrive with Charlotte Mason’s Methods

Let’s look at some examples of parts of the Charlotte Mason method that work especially well for kids who like to move their bodies and minds.

1. Lots of outdoor time

Besides frequent nature study (which is inherently active and outdoors), Charlotte Mason encouraged plenty of daily outdoor play time. Time to be free, wild, creative, inquisitive…and to work out much of the excess energy bottled up.

2. Short Lessons

Since Ms. Mason encouraged lessons for elementary students to last only about 10-20 minutes each (a bit longer for older students), that’s the perfect amount of time for bursts of concentration – followed by bursts of energy.

3. Living Literature

My active kids won’t settle down to read just any book. It’s a good thing we’ve been using living literature all these years!  Not only does living literature keep their attention, but gives them great things to reenact during all that outdoor time. And great things to turn into projects.

4. Living Math

Charlotte Mason never used the phrase “living math”, but the idea of real-life, meaningful mathematics goes hand-in-hand with the essence of the method. Over the years, I have found several opportunities to either make math active or turn it into a real-life connection that invigorates active minds.

5. Creative Lessons

There are so many unique things in the Charlotte Mason method like artist study, poetry narration, handicrafts, and life skills training that offer unique ways to learn. While these things may seem like extras in the homeschool schedule, they have all been staples in ours for years. And, they matter – not just for learning, but for offering active children movement and in order to keep their minds stimulated.

Honestly, I could go on about how narration offers an active way to practice reading & listening comprehension or how composer study promotes peaceful bodies and energized minds. But, I think I’ll stop here for now and just let you know that my active boys have thrived with nearly every part of this wonderful method of learning.

If you’ve found the Charlotte Mason method to work well with your active children, please feel free to leave an encouraging comment for others to read!

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5 Comments

  1. We use a lot of the Charlotte Mason philosophy in our home as well & definitely agree with you on active kids! Great post!

  2. We are not full CM homeschoolers but short lessons, living books and outside time are great for my daughter with ADHD.

  3. I so agree! Even the not-so-active kids enjoy this approach because it gives them lovely free time in the afternoons to follow their own interests.

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