Charlotte Mason and the Homeschooling Family

Charlotte Mason said, "The education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone... letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose." Mason encouraged the use of living books, nature walks and writing and drawing in a nature journal, and incorporating music, poetry, art, and excellent literature into a child's education. 

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.
What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte’s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”

A Charlotte Mason Home
This website is dedicated to the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason, a British educator from the last century. Her methods and philosophies have experienced a resurgence, especially among American homeschooling families. Mason’s emphasis on children developing a lifetime love of learning was in stark contrast to the nearly anti-child climate of her time period. The mission of the Charlotte Mason & Home Education website is to bring Charlotte Mason’s ideals and methods to modern families.
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.
A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason's Timeless Educational Ideas
Are you disappointed with dumbed-down reading material (“twaddle”) written for children? Do you wish for your children to feast their hearts and minds on noble ideas, fine art, and great literature? Are you hoping your children gain an appreciation of nature and a deep understanding of natural sciences? Most importantly, do you want your children to develop a lifetime love of learning? If you answered “yes,” you may discover a Charlotte Mason-inspired twaddle-free education is just what you’ve been looking for. A Twaddle-Free Education is intended to be a simple introduction to Charlotte Mason's ideas for those either unfamiliar with or new to Charlotte Mason's methods. It can also serve as a quick refresher and encouragement for current Charlotte Mason home educators. Charlotte Mason was a British educator from the last century whose ideas are currently experiencing a renewal among home educators and private schools throughout the world. A Twaddle-Free Education is a long time Charlotte Mason home educator's personal experiences and thoughts on applying a Charlotte Mason-style education simply and naturally in a modern American home school setting.
A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportunities of homeschooling. With weekly schedules, a challenging and diverse curriculum will both inspire and educate your child. A Charlotte Mason Education is the latest tool for parents seeking the best education for their children.
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. 
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.
Support for Homeschooling Using the Charlotte Mason Method
Living Book Reviews
Living Book Reviews offers reviews of books considered "living" books for children which are useful for acquiring a love of learning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 

Catholic Charlotte Mason
Online support group for Catholics interested in the Charlotte Mason method.
A+ Homeschooling
This email group benefits all types of homeschoolers, but especially Charlotte Mason, Ruth Beechick, eclectic, relaxed homeschoolers, notebookers, etc. As a member of this group you'll receive a bi-monthly newsletter of tips for nature notebooks, encouragement, living book reviews and experiences. This is not a discussion list, but a newsletter.
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.
CM Curricula
This list is for the buying and selling of resources (biographies,poetry and art books, teacher resources, etc.) that are in conformity with the Charlotte Mason "twaddle-free" philosophy. This is strictly a buying and selling list.
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.
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.
Classical~Charlotte Mason Material Swap
The Classical Charlotte Mason Swap list is for home schooling families to exchange living books and curricula that are used with the classical (Trivium) method or the Charlotte Mason method. This list does not support one particular way of implementing classical education, but rather is open to methods and materials as recommended in the many books and websites on the subject. Curricula, books, manipulatives, videos, and audios may be posted.
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 Forum at vegsource.com
Discuss Charlotte Mason's ideas and find new way to implement those ideas at the forum sponsored by vegsource.com.
CharlotteMasonKindergarten
A group for Charlotte Mason Mom's using the curriculum outline suggested in Karen Andreola's summer of 93 Parent's Review titled, "A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", and also trying to complete the Kindergarten Skills list as described in Catherine Levison's book, A Literary Education.
Support4HomeSchool
This is an email group of Christian homeschoolers who teach their children using living literature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 

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.
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.
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.
Charlotte Mason Resources & Materials
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.
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. 

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.
The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason believed that children need to be trained to see, to have their eyes opened, in order to find joy in life. This work explains the value of using the method of writing in journals or notebooks, as derived from the expansive work of Charlotte Mason. You'll find tips to help your children practice putting their knowledge, thoughts, and pictures down on paper, helping them to retain information better, create something beautiful, and strive for retention.

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.
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. 
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. 
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.
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