Home educators become distinctly picky when deciding on the best teaching method to use for the kids’ homeschooling. If you’re new to all this, you must be on your toes with the overwhelming pressure in ensuring the quality of education you can give to your students. Well, having you here with us is a score then, because we will gladly help you get to know one of the popular homeschooling methods used by proud parents around the world: Charlotte Mason’s teaching method.
With the hope of giving you enlightenment in this article, we shall talk about all the things you need to know about the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method. Dig in!
The History of Charlotte Mason
It was in the 1800s when Charlotte Mason practiced as an educator of the classical teaching method. Slowly, she envisioned a different picture of how education should be. The more Mason got exposed to different kinds of learners, that’s when she aimed for a better learning system. And even back then, Mason had one goal; to share the joy of learning in a Godly way.
Charlotte Mason published several influential pieces. One of Mason’s most popular books is the Home Education: Volume 1 of The Home Education Series. You can keep this if you’re eager to use the Charlotte Mason method for homeschooling. But, we also encourage you to read the rest of the book series:
Mason’s appreciation for high-quality literature is obviously indicated in her writing enthusiasm, where she also molded her style and method for teaching.
Charlotte Mason and Other Homeschooling Styles
How you teach your kids is entirely up to you when you’re homeschooling. If by now, your primary choice is Charlotte Mason, that’s an excellent choice. Although, you could also be open to other suggestions that might utterly take your mind off the subject, or decide to simply adjust the method by adding up one or two homeschooling styles.
The Charlotte Mason style uses literature for academic reference, but not in the traditional formal school textbooks kind of way. As we get to the end of this section, this homeschooling style is more like a combination of the other four, with a specific highlight on Mason’s strong religious point of view.
The method is actually a generous method when applied to homeschool appropriately. You and your kids can study the academic core subjects with the right dose of appreciation for art, nature, good lifelong habits.
The broad education that Charlotte Mason offers is strongly-driven by Christian teachings while respecting a child’s right to receive a broad education that allows him or her to seek substantial purpose in life.
Before you judge the label, which usually happens for most parents, Unschooling does not mean pulling your children out of the educational path. However, it does give them immense freedom to decide the lessons they’re interested in getting involved with at certain levels. No structured style or method is set at all.
The goal of this homeschooling style is to provide satisfaction to kids’ thirst for learning. It’s not a shot in the dark, it’s learning in the most spectacularly creative and imaginative way possible. Your role as parent/teacher is to make sure that they get the correct information that they need to learn about a particular subject matter. For example, if your kids show deep interest in a particular sport, enhance his or her knowledge about the game from theoretical to practical applications. Or, if they want to know about a skill such as outdoor survival, let them get involved with activities that will give them rich experiences that will lead to personal learning and discoveries.
Indeed, education via the Unschooling style opens a window to a child’s self-achievements not only to boost objective learning through research and reading but vital values that also require active participation.
On a different turn, the Classical homeschooling style has a very structured program. There are three stages in this teaching method called the Trivium.
- First Stage: The Grammar Stage
- Second Stage: The Dialectic Stage
- Third Stage: The Rhetoric Stage
For each stage, kids focus on different subjects while developing specific knowledge and skills appropriate for their age, considering their mental and physical capability. This homeschooling style is closely associated with the formal school teaching method, which only differs in terms of the physical classroom setup.
Yes, the Classical homeschooling style is related to the classroom learning structure. Still, the Traditional style mirrors more of the educational qualities of public schools, especially when it comes to textbooks and workbook exercises. For example, you’re probably very familiar with the Matching Type, Fill-In-The-Blanks, and Multiple Choice kind of tests. These commonly come out in learning materials for Traditional homeschooling.
So, you might be thinking, what’s the whole point of switching to homeschool if you’re going to follow the same set of instructional materials that the formal schools use. Well, if you look at it that way, you’ll probably change your mind about homeschooling. But, the grander method is to think about your freedom as a homeschool teacher. You, along with your kids’ input, can create your own teaching style that will shape their learning process efficiently.
The Unit Studies homeschooling style covers all the core subjects in one topic. This one is kind of tricky but creative nonetheless.
Let’s say you are going to study Automotive. You can read about the history and timeline of the invention of the very first vehicle to the latest models of Automotives. Apply mathematical theories on travel time, speed, velocity, measurements, etc. Draw, color, or paint cars for artistic application. Cover the different properties that consist of the car materials for science; and anything else that follows.
So, if your student shows great interest in Automotives, you can actually take advantage of that. They’re going to enjoy their whole process of learning, and that’s a great takeaway!
Once again, it’s another idea in combining different homeschooling styles. For instance, Unschooling and Unit Studies make a fantastic combo, with the most recent example we presented above.
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling: Teaching Methods
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling has five primary teaching methods to educate children in becoming self-disciplined academic learners. Most importantly, Charlotte Mason made it certain to emphasize the usefulness of distinguished brand of literature, which she called “living books,” as she considers them as having high learning principles in quality and substance.
For Mason, building the correct learning atmosphere with conventional activities creates discipline and, thus, involves the whole personality of the child and not just the mind. So, when homeschooling, it’ll be more efficient to follow these materials and techniques in particular:
- Living Books
Charlotte Mason refers to literature written by passionate individuals, which are related to academic subjects. As opposed to textbooks, Living Books do not necessarily meet standard rules set by the government, but the contents are practically useful for homeschool education.
From reading living books and other resources, kids get involved with narrative tasks through oral participation. The narration of stories is a part of their verbal practice before they reach the stage when they are already able to express their unique train of thoughts through their own words.
As part of the grammar lessons, dictation plays an important role as a stepping stone to effectively learn proper sentence formation, spelling, and grammar rules, which can be utilized for future school works, such as the next learning method.
Part of this homeschool method’s fundamental activities is transcribing a copy of a piece of writing or literature and reflecting them as their own. This activity allows kids to practice handwriting skills, especially for younger kids, and general writing skills for older kids who use computers in creating their Copywork.
- Nature Study
Another highlight of Charlotte Mason homeschooling is the adaptation of holistic learning outside the home classroom, including nature study. This activity engages with the study of living science in the natural outdoor setting.
What Kids Can Benefit From Learning The Charlotte Mason Way
So, should you homeschool your kids the Charlotte Mason way? Here are a few reasons why:
Some of you might hold back when you read or hear about CM as a strictly secular homeschool method without understanding the whole idea. As you study more of Charlotte Mason’s writings, you will often find mentions about Christian faith, the model of Christ, and the scriptures. So, if you want your kids’ education to have a strong Christian faith-based foundation, trust Charlotte Mason to have exactly that.
Odd But Liberal Philosophy
Mason changed the prejudice about Christian women having a weak stand in society, particularly when it comes to education. It made her look un-religious at the time, but the change she created has influenced the education method until the present time. Her passion for worshipping God and giving Him glory through her works has been demonstrated in her teaching philosophy.
Since she started teaching as a governess, it has been her vision to produce a liberal education for all kids, no matter where they came from, or how they’ve been raised. Her ultimate goal is to train a Christian character in all students who want to learn through the CM method.
The Charlotte Mason method for homeschooling will help you, both as parents and teachers, to form your kids’ character based on Christian philosophy and teachings. The character they form in the early developmental years is vital for their future endeavors.
Charlotte Mason Method For Homeschooling: Yes or No?
So, you definitely have countless options in homeschooling.
Charlotte Mason is one of the best teaching methods out there, especially if you want to create a learning environment firmly based on Christian and biblical values. But, it seems that by now, your options became much broader with the vast possibility of mixing and matching homeschooling styles.
Is it a yes for Charlotte Mason Homeschooling? That’s most probably an excellent option for you. If you think it’s not, then you can still open your doors for several other choices. You can read more of our homeschool methods and curricula reviews to discover a suitable educational program for your little ones.