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    Educational Philosophy

    31 Days of Charlotte Mason: Finis

    October 31, 2013 by Brandy Vencel

    Well, we made it. Thirty-one whole days of Charlotte Mason! Before I wrap this up, I simply must spend a little more time thanking all of my wonderful guest authors. I could not have done this without them! Thirty-one days? It’s a long time. Keeping the momentum required more of me than I expected. And I’m still behind on the comments! Not to complain; I’m glad for every single one. My point is to give credit where credit is due, and it’s definitely due to this fabulous team of women.


    I thought that the best way to wrap this up was to offer a list of resources. This will not be exclusive, of course. I have no way of knowing the CM world exhaustively. (Plus, I am, as you are all very well aware, biased in favor of my beloved AmblesideOnline.) So let’s say that, hypothetically, I’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg here. Where do you go to learn more?


    Here are the blogs of the women who guest posted for this series (well, for those who actually have blogs). Some of them are more active than others, but at the very least you can check out the archives.

    Truth be told, many of my favorite CM blogs are on the list above. But here are a number of my other faves that are written by women who didn’t guest post for this series:

    I feel like I’m forgetting a couple, so if you have favorites, feel free to share them in the comments.


    There are a lot of CM books out there, but my list is short. This is because, as I mentioned early on, my policy is to only recommend books that I have actually read myself, with the occasional exception of books highly recommended by trusted friends. Also, I can only read so many books about Charlotte Mason. I want to read her.

    I could go on but, honestly, there are already thousands of pages listed above, so something tells me that is sufficient for today.

    Other Resources

    Want to know what Miss Mason was actually doing in her classrooms? Reading her works will only give you one part of the picture. Here are some other resources to round out your perception of her practices:

    When it comes to judging curricula, there are “Charlotte Mason style” curricula, and then there are curricula that attempt to duplicate what Miss Mason was actually doing, but in a contemporary, homeschool context. In my experience, when we start to hear criticism of a CM education not being “rigorous enough” either throughout, or in the upper years, the critics are not looking at what Miss Mason was actually doing, but what curricula that claim to be CM are suggesting online.

    I am not capable of doing all that Miss Mason did. You probably are not, either. But I do consider her work an ideal toward which I am, and I do think that understanding what she was actually doing in her classrooms can help us best judge a CM curriculum, or recreate our own (for those of you daring enough to attempt to do so).

    One Last Thing

    Thank you all for joining me (us!) for the past 31 Days. I am now officially tired! With that said, please let me know of any more CM-related topics you would like to read about, or questions you still have. I may answer these (or convince another guest blogger to do it — ha!) in the near future, or I might simply save them for a 2014 31 Days Series (if I turn out crazy enough to do this again), but either way I would like to know about your areas of interest.

    Click here to go to the 31 Days of Charlotte Mason series directory.

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  • Reply Sarah March 30, 2024 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I just finished the series and it has been so helpful as I plan to start year 1 of AO this fall with my oldest!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 1, 2024 at 6:28 pm

      Aw! Welcome to AO! I am so glad this was helpful. ♥

  • Reply Jessica Foreman June 28, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for this series, it benefitted me immensely (10 years after you wrote it!). I am completely new to homeschooling and began my research a few months ago, this has been the most beneficial collection of writings I’ve read so far (including some books). Thank you!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 30, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      Oh! I’m so glad it was helpful! May the Lord bless you in your new homeschooling endeavors!

  • Reply Alissa February 22, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Brandy,

    I just rediscovered your blog. I think I used to read you early in my Christian experience, circa 2006, back when Google Reader was a thing. I don’t think you were writing about CM then though? However, I am glad that you are, as I have learned so much in the past few days going through the articles on this site!

    My eldest is two so we have a few more years before we get started, but the past two years has flown so I am realising that we will be there before we know it.

    I really enjoyed this series. Lots of food for thought and conversation starters with my husband. Thank you!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 22, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Google Reader. Sigh. Oh, how I miss it! I can’t believe you ended back up here after all these years! That is really neat. 🙂 And no, I wasn’t writing about CM back in 2006. I was *reading* her, I believe, but not writing. At that point, all I had figured out was that I should go outside more. 🙂

      • Reply Alissa February 22, 2017 at 11:27 pm

        Yes, me too, I haven’t found anything quite like Google Reader except for email subscriptions. In those days I was single and carefree, now happily married and mothering a toddler and a newborn… And yes, we should be going outside more!! 🙂

  • Reply Tasmanian August 9, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Thanks Brandy, I have read these 31 days slowly over time and have started recommending particular posts to friends when they are panicking. Appreciate your hard work and your mentoring!

  • Reply Cindy April 24, 2015 at 9:13 am

    What a great series! As a newbie to CM, I appreciate all the hard work you did to prepare the resource list and give so much information 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Cindy! I’m glad it was helpful. 🙂

  • Reply Nelleke Plouffe November 5, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Thank you so much for doing this series. I will be coming back to it many times, I’m sure.

  • Reply Jen November 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Hi. Thanks so much for sweet comments. Congrats on finishing your 31 days series. I tried once and ran out of steam half way through. Happy weekend! I look forward to reading more here!

  • Reply Dawn November 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    This was a magnificent series, Brandy, which covered so many incredible topics. It was neat to get a taste for your guest bloggers, too, and I appreciate their contributions greatly. The worst part about this series ending? How much time you’ll need to recover before you get back online so I can read more of your great thoughts. Thank you!

  • Reply Mama Squirrel November 1, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Thank you for the link!

  • Reply MelissaJoy October 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Wonderful series! Thank you for the thoughtful posts and the resources here at the end. Such wealth!

    My relationship with Charlotte Mason started almost 4 years ago when we had our first child and now that we are closer to educational formalities, well, my feet are to the fire! There is pressure to begin school at such an early age (at least where we live) and I have found this series to be helpful when looking at the bigger educational picture. Lots of food for thought!

  • Reply Mahers Hill Academy October 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Oh, a new book (The Living Page) -yay! I really like For the Children’s Sake, too. I reread it earlier this year, while pregnant and exhausted. 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous October 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    It’s been lovely! As a reader, I’m sorry to see it go!


  • Reply Celeste October 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for this series, Brandy–and for all these wonderful links!

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