The past couple days, we’ve talked philosophy. Correction: we’ve talked Philosophy. So now, before our heads explode, let’s get back to the basics. Even though the last two posts were lengthy, they were necessary because they are the foundation stones of the whole, big, educational project we’re discussing. But today, let’s just touch on the basics of what a Charlotte Mason education actually is.
If I could sum the whole thing up in one sentence, it would be this: A Charlotte Mason education is an educational approach made up of practices based upon philosophical principles.
I believe Lynn Bruce, one of the AO Advisory, once called it a “walking philosophy,” and that’s basically what I’m trying to get at. I know that is very vague, which is why we’ll keep talking. What sort of walking philosophy is clearly the next logical question.
There are so many posts out there, that the best thing to do today is a sort of round-up — a list of posts that you can read to understand more about the basics of a CM education.
To read online:
- What is CM? from AmblesideOnline
- AO FAQ’s from AmblesideOnline
- This one starts out with basics on CM, and ends up with FAQ’s regarding the AO curriculum.
- A Charlotte Mason Education, A Basic Tutorial from The Common Room
- The ABC’s of Charlotte Mason
- This is a veeerrrrry old website, but if you can get past the design, the content is quite good!
- The Charlotte Mason Method: What Is It And Is It For Me? from Off The Grid News
- Charlotte Mason in a Nutshell by Deborah Taylor-Hough
- This one explains that you can never really fit CM in a nutshell, with which I agree, and yet it still does a good job touching on the basic practices.
- For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley
- I always tell people if they can only read one book, it needs to be this one. Excellent, excellent.
- Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason
- These are CM’s original writings. Some of you will find them tough to read at first, and let me tell you that this is completely normal. So do not be discouraged, and know that further reading will help raise your reading level.
- This link takes you to the entire series, but often you can find individual volumes available used, and at a much cheaper price. Start with Volume 6, unless you have very young children, in which case begin with Volume 1.
- Charlotte Mason Summaries by Leslie Noelani Laurio
- These are individual summaries of CM’s volumes, chapter by chapter. If you are really struggling with CM’s words, this can help you through them.
- When Children Love to Learn edited by Elaine Cooper
- A great follow-up to Macauley’s book above!
I know there are other, very popular books out there. I am not putting them on my list, but that is not because I think you shouldn’t read them. It is simply that I have never read them, and it is my policy not to recommend a book I haven’t read (making rare exceptions for when good friends go on and on and on with their recommendations).
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