What is the Charlotte Mason Teaching Method?
The Charlotte Mason homeschool approach consists of a diverse curriculum that increases the child’s awareness of literature, arts, music, nature, crafts, and instilling the importance of good habits and manners.
“My kids love it!”
The Mason methodology, however, takes what are referred to as “Living books” and brings it to life for the student. Lessons are not learned from a book alone, but also from hands on experimentation and activities to help bring certain studies into perspective for students.
Key Ideas of Behind this Method
1. Whole Books
Parents who use this approach believe that children should not be introduced to only small pieces of literature. Literature should be taught and distributed in full, complete doses. These lessons should not be rushed through – they should be given in healthy doses so that the child can relish in the lessons taught, and the language used.
2. Short Lessons
This method teaches that it is best to provide lessons to students in short intervals. It has been discovered that by taking lessons and delivering them in intervals of approximately fifteen minutes in length, students actually learn more.
Naturally, as the student ages, the timed intervals should also increase. However, even students at a high school level, should not exceed lessons of approximately forty five minutes to an hour in length.
It is believed that a child should be able to report in writing, and/or orally, what has been learned in their lessons, or through reading. There are many other forms in which a child can narrate a lesson apart from telling and writing. Many parents encourage their children to draw pictures, create sculptures, act through a play, or even build something.
4. Free Afternoons Outdoors
Parents who embrace this method believe in giving children afternoons free to take walks and enjoy the great outdoors. Charlotte believed that it was important for children to observe various things in nature – weather, plants, animals, and landscaping elements. It is believed that this heightens the child’s perspective of the world in which they live. It is also important when using this method that the child is exposed to various weather conditions and is allowed to enjoy free play each and every single day.
Writing is a very important aspect of this method. It is believed that every child should have a journal to record their thoughts, experiences, and feelings in. Children should also be able to record things that they find enjoyable, like quotes and poems. In addition to every journal, children should also have a nature notebook in which they can write and draw about those things experienced in the great outdoors.
6. Focusing on good manners and habits
Charlotte Mason believed that children should master one habit or manner at a time prior to being taught another. This is why so many children who are subjected to this homeschool strategy have a high level of emotional intellect.
Why Do Parents Choose This Homeschooling Approach?
There are many different reasons why parents choose the Charlotte Mason homeschooling approach.
Here are a few:
- There is such an emphasis on “experience,” rather than simple “text”.
- Children who are introduced to their lessons in a hands-on method are generally able to retain the information that they learn more thoroughly than if they simply “read and discuss.”
- It places such an emphasis on the overall creativity that lies within each child.
- Emphasis on good habits and manners.
How Does This Teaching Method Differ From Other Homeschooling Models?
The Charlotte Mason homeschooling approach focuses on “life” work and not “text” work.
In the end, many students will score higher academically and have a higher level of interest than with many other methods.
If you are looking for “experience” rather than “relevance,” the Charlotte Mason method may be right for you!