Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Charlotte Mason Education, A Tutorial

If a Charlotte Mason Education is intriguing to you but you do not know how to go about it, then I recommend reading an excellent article by the headmistress over at The Common Room. She wrote a tutorial just this week on how to put together your own curriculum based on Charlotte Mason's ideas.

She begins by stating:

1. "Read Miss Mason's books. If you can't read the entire six volume set before beginning (and I say that tongue in cheek, because of course you can't! Okay, some people can. But most of us find Charlotte Mason after our children are born), then read volume 6. While she wrote volume 6 for high school, she also wrote it as an attempt to formulate and summarize her philosophy of education, so there is much there for the parents of younger children, too. It's also the last book she wrote and several decades separate it from her first book. That's a link to the book online. I suggest you copy and paste it to your word processing file, adjust the format to suit you, and print out a week's worth of pages to read at a time (you decide what that is). That way you can write in the margins, scribble, underline, and spill your coffee on it, all nicely contained in a peechee folder.

If you can't read the entire book, read the first section, from page 23 to page 233- this is where Miss Mason goes over her 20 principles and fleshes out what she means. Keep in mind what my smart friend Donna-Jean has said about these books- they seem harder than they are, but that is because we are used to reading an entire chapter that might have a 99 to 1 fluff to ideas ratio. We are accustomed to wrapping up the meaty, important ideas in a huge envelope of puff pastry. This means we don't have to think very hard. Miss Mason didn't do fluff. Nearly every sentence has an idea worth thinking through. Her writings are densely packed with information and ideas. You can also rummage about a bit at the above link and find Leslie Noelani's paraphrased version. It's good, and if that's what you need to do, that's what you need. But you would learn more by paraphrasing it yourself.

Next, look around at home and see what books you have on hand ..."

To read more click here


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