After homeschooling for a couple of years I stumbled upon the Charlotte Mason philosophy.
Ever since learning more about the Charlotte Mason method we’ve adapted some principles into our homeschool days. I am not a ‘strict’ Charlotte Mason homeschooler, but I wanted to share some key elements that I really love and that we’re using.
Our Charlotte Mason Homeschool
- Living Books
- Reading great literature followed with narration
- Short lessons
- Nature Study
- Creating an education atmosphere to encourage life long learning
- Art + Poetry
- Lots of time outdoors
Charlotte Mason elements we’re not doing
So because we’re secular homeschoolers, there are some Charlotte Mason elements we’re not including into our homeschool:
- Hymn Study
- Scripture Memory
I would love to add music into our homeschool but it’s been hard to organize that so far.
Do you need curriculum?
One thing I love about a Charlotte Mason homeschool is that you can read great literature and discuss the book with narration. You can do this for free by using books you have or borrowing them from your local library. Find any book that your children are interested in and get them to do copywork.
Our kids have loved doing copywork after they have some reading practice. I often have our grade 1 or 3 read a few pages, then choose a page of their choice to copy. Then they can draw a picture afterwards if they want to.
I take a more modern approach with our copywork.
Although we read a lot of classic literature, we also read more modern books. If our kids are loving something like birds, fairytale or even *gasp* viking How to Train your Dragon we roll with them.
Homeschoolers that are devoted to Charlotte Mason ideals would likely not allow for the latter, for it’s ‘twaddle’ but I roll with it. Our daughter has a hard time focusing so if I can get her interested and focused, I go with it. If your kids are struggling with language arts then getting your kids to choose what they do for copywork is great win.
Some samples of our copywork
Where to find Charlotte Mason curriculum
If you are not a secular homeschooler then I know many homeschoolers love using Simply Charlotte Mason.
If you are a secular homeschooler who is ok with a lighter Charlotte Mason approach but wishes for some guidance with narration and copywork, then I definitely recommend Build your Library.
I love Emily Cook’s book ‘A Literary Education: Adapting Charlotte Mason for Modern Secular Homeschooling‘ too (she’s the creator of Build your Library).
I haven’t had any experience with Wildwood, but they also offer a secular Charlotte Mason approach and guidance.
We’ve been using ‘Math Lessons for a Living Education‘ which offers a Charlotte Mason approach to math, even though we’re secular. I do have to tweak it constantly, but I do still enjoy the curriculum. I know other homeschoolers that are using the Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series which I haven’t checked out yet.
Are you a Charlotte Mason Homeschooler?
What resources do you love?