Homeschool.com Blog

by Amy Tjaden

Homeschool.com News Editor

 

When I first started homeschooling, I had no idea there were methods of homeschooling and that these methods had actual names. I just thought homeschooling was homeschooling. I assumed families had their own styles but I was clueless about methods. When people would ask which method I used, I had no idea what they were talking about.

 

After awhile I started to catch on. I realized that there are different philosophies behind homeschooling. You may even fall under one of these methods without even knowing it. Today I’m going to take a brief look at the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.

 

Charlotte Mason was a British educator during the early 1900s. Her idea was that education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. By atmosphere, Mason meant the environment in which the child grows up. Discipline means good habits. Life means academics.

 

Mason employed the idea of “living books”. This meant teaching using stories and books that captured a child’s interest rather than using textbooks that simply relay dry facts.

 

If you use the Charlotte Mason method, you most likely use manipulatives when teaching math facts. For science, you probably spend a lot of time outside studying nature. Most likely, your kids keep nature notebooks and rather than textbooks, you use books that bring science to life in story form.

 

You read aloud from works of literature and use these same works to teach spelling. You have your child explore a large variety of subjects but in short lessons. You have your child narrate, meaning you have him tell in his own words what he just learned.

 

Charlotte Mason said, “The duty of parents is to sustain a child’s inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food.”

 

To learn more about Charlotte Mason and her methods check out this site.

 

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