"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why the Charlotte Mason method of home education?

“So, why the Charlotte Mason method?”

"Charlotte Mason was an English educator that lived in the late 1800s/early 1900s. How can her methods be effective in our day?"

I've been asked these questions several times by other homeschool moms when I mention our new method of home education.

Before I give my answer(s), a little background...

This year, we began our 18th year of homeschooling. and as of last summer, the textbook method of home education was the only method that I used – it was the only one that I was familiar with. Of course, I had heard of other methods, including the Charlotte Method. But that's all I knew – the name, and nothing more.

As the new school year drew closer, I struggled with the very method of teaching that I was so familiar with. Sure, the kids did well : good grades, tested far above grade level, etc....but did they enjoy learning? I knew they loved being home – I'm thankful to say that that was obvious. But I also knew they didn't like school work . They just wanted to “get it over with”. There was no eagerness to learn. They seemed bored and complained about the lessons. I know – until I learned about the CM approach, I too, thought it was “normal” for children to dislike school. But I also knew that children are born with a love for learning, and I wanted to encourage that, not snuff it out. And I was afraid that I was getting very close to doing just that if I didn't change my methods!

So I began to pray about it and ask the Lord for wisdom about changing something..anything to preserve my children's love of learning.

A couple of weeks before we were to start school (the Lord is always on time, isn't He?), the answer to my prayers came in the form of a magazine : The Old Schoolhouse magazine. There were several articles that explained the CM approach. I read each of them (devoured is more accurate) , highlighting almost every word! This was it! I knew that I had found what I'd been looking for. I also did lots of online research. And the more I learned, the more excited I became. My hubby and I discussed it and he was very supportive of the change. And I knew if I had his support, making the change would be an easy transition.

The next step was to talk to the children about it. After I explained to them what we were going to do, they became very excited, and eager to start the new year ( imagine that! eager to start the new school year!).

That's the “why”.

Stay tuned. In my next post, I'll explain the “hows”.

Happy homeschooling,

linked up at www.deeprootsathome.com


  1. Lisa... I'm at the edge of my sit! You've been that fresh air to me, though just 6 years, if you count since I started knowing and learning about homeschooling, and just started with my oldest, I've felt a bit burned out because of the intensity, but reading you, and Amy, and Nancy... I'm reminded of why I inspire myself by Charlotte Mason, and it's that natural joy that we can preserve when we follow her principles in our homes.
    Looking forward to hearing more!

  2. Thanks for visiting, Lisa! I was sort of doing Charlotte Mason the last couple of years. This year we are trying something more traditional, and I will have to say that I REALLY miss our Charlotte Mason days! I love the book, "A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola. I am definitely rethinking our plans for next year!I'm looking forward to your next post!

  3. I am blessed to be part of a lovely group of ladies that meets once a month to discuss Charlotte Mason methods here in Australia. Her methods are indeed very encouraging and inspiring.I am glad you have renewed your interest in home schooling. I will be waiting eagerly for your next post.
    Blessings to you

  4. Lisa, this sounds so interesting! Like you, I've only heard the name Charlotte Mason, but that's the extent of it. So I eagerly await your next post! :) Thanks for sharing.


  5. So exciting! I am going to research CM in the near future, but what you have said here has helped convince me that it is the best way to go. The fact that your children got excited is obviously a green light!! :D


  6. It is an adventure. What ages are the children you still have at home? My oldest (17) struggles with doing things with everyone else (14 and younger). He's so used to having his textbooks and just doing it on his own. He is doing the History/Narration/Dictation with us but he's not thrilled to be there. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  7. We started homeschooling in 1999 and tried the books, the software, etc. that was available then and always went back to the Charlotte Mason method. All three of my kids thrived using this method and I can see the results of this type of education today as I watch them out in the world. Love seeing others using this method also.

  8. I'm interested in hearing more about how you implement the Charlotte Mason way of teaching. I've heard about it but have never looked into it much.
    I came over via of The Imperfect Housewife link-up.

  9. I can't wait to hear how you did it. Isn't it neat how the Lord leads us to all wisdom when we ask Him? We have always loved Charlotte Mason, and used her approach, too. It helped me to learn right along with my children. they were happier and more responsive than I ever thought could be. They've all graduated now and will carry many of the principles with them...Yay!! Thank you, Lisa, for sharing!


Thanks so much for stopping by. I love to hear from my readers, and your thoughts are welcome. And I try my best to respond to each and every comment. :)