Charlotte Mason, an educator in England in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and author of Home Education, saw children as feeling and thinking human beings with spirits that should be nourished, not just vessels to be filled with information. With this in mind, she developed a practical (and at the time, radical) method of teaching centered around the arts and good literature, believing every child could benefit, regardless of class, status, or ability. If you’re considering Charlotte Mason’s approach for homeschooling your children, you’ll find A Charlotte Mason Companion to be an invaluable resource.
Written by Karen Andreola, A Charlotte Mason Companion provides homeschooling parents with both encouragement and information as they follow the principles of Mason’s “gentle art of learning.” The first few chapters address the dynamics of your homeschool, covering issues such as the atmosphere of your home, arguments among the children, and developing good habits. If you’re like me and sometimes skip around in a book (I had to re-read the section about arguing this week), that’s fine; while each chapter covers key concepts, Andreola repeats the most important ones throughout the book.
In the chapters that follow, you’ll find ideas for teaching various subjects in the Charlotte Mason style, including tips on using literature and narration in your studies as well as help for teaching composition and reading. Other subjects discussed include poetry, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, music appreciation, history, nature study, and seasonal lessons. You’ll also find chapters for teaching William Shakespeare’s plays and Charles Dickens’ novels. In the final sections, Andreola provides information about grading methods and support groups.
Even if you’re more of an eclectic homeschooler, using a variety of curriculum as it suits the needs of your family, this book is still a great addition to your homeschooling library. I’m confident you’ll find information you can implement for children at any grade level.
“A child is a person in whom all possibilities are present – present now at this very moment – not to be educed after many years and efforts manifold on the part of the educator.” – Charlotte Mason
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo by by Charlottemason.com