Why Use the Charlotte Mason Method of Homeschooling?
Charlotte Mason's philosophy and model of teaching can be used with great success in the home. Explore this method and find ways to incorporate this teaching and learning style into your homeschool.
What is the Charlotte Mason Method?
Home Education: A Homeschooling Classic
Home Education consists of six lectures by Charlotte Mason about the raising and educating of young children (up to the age of nine), for parents and teachers. She encourages us to spend a lot of time outdoors, immersed in nature and handling natural objects and collecting experiences on which to base the rest of their education. She discusses the use of training in good habits such as attention, thinking, imagining, remembering, performing tasks with perfect execution, obedience, and truthfulness, to replace undesirable tendencies in children (and the adults that they grow into). She details how lessons in various school subjects can be done using her approach. She concludes with remarks about the Will, the Conscience, and the Divine Life in the Child. Charlotte Mason was a late nineteenth-century British educator whose ideas were far ahead of her time. She believed that children are born persons worthy of respect, rather than blank slates, and that it was better to feed their growing minds with living literature and vital ideas and knowledge, rather than dry facts and knowledge filtered and pre-digested by the teacher. Her method of education, still used by some private schools and many homeschooling families, is gentle and flexible, especially with younger children, and includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, conveying wonder and arousing curiosity, and through reflection upon great art, music, and poetry; nature observation as the primary means of early science teaching; use of manipulatives and real-life application to understand mathematical concepts and learning to reason, rather than rote memorization and working endless sums; and an emphasis on character and on cultivating and maintaining good personal habits. Schooling is teacher-directed, not child-led, but school time should be short enough to allow students free time to play and to pursue their own worthy interests such as handicrafts.
Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition
The educators of ancient Greece and Rome gave the world a vision of what education should be. The medieval and Renaissance teachers valued their insights and lofty goals. Christian educators such as Augustine, Erasmus, Milton, and Comenius drew from the teaching of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian those truths which they found universal and potent. Charlotte Mason developed her own philosophy of education from the riches of the past, not accidentally but purposefully. She and the other founding members of the Parents’ National Educational Union in England were inspired by the classical educators of history and set out to achieve their vision in modern education. They succeeded—and thanks to Charlotte Mason’s clear development of methods to realize the classical ideals, we can partake of the classical tradition as well. The classical tradition as it informs teaching is good not because it is old or “classical,” but because it works; and what works, whether old or new, is best. Classical education is an education of the heart and conscience as much as it is an education of the mind. This book explores the classical emphasis on formation of character and links Charlotte Masons ideas to the thinkers of the past. This is not a “how to” book about education, but a “why to” book that will bring clarity to many of the ideas you already know about teaching and learning.
Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home
This book is not about "school at home"--it is about something better. It is about Real Learning. Homeschooling pioneer Charlotte Mason wrote with great wisdom about providing young minds with a living books education. She urged teachers to present great ideas and stand back, allowing students to form relationships with the ideas. Elizabeth Foss carries Miss Mason's philosophy from the idealto the real. How does the busy home-educating mom balance the various needs of a houseful of children? How does she provide short lessons and free afternoons while ensuring that her children receive a thorough and well-rounded education? Exactly how does she use living books to teach history, geography, literature, and science? How does she incorporate nature study, the arts, and soccer practice? How does she create in her home an atmosphere of sanctity with Christ at its center, an atmosphere of love in which the whole family can grow in holiness day by day? How does she manage all this and still get dinner on the table? With passion and grace, Elizabeth Foss explores these questions and more. Real Learning is a rich and detailed examination of how to let "education" spill out of your home classroom into every aspect of your family life. More than a curriculum guide, it is a look at a lifestyle which aims to nourish the whole child, the whole family--heart, soul, and mind.
Minds More Awake: The Vison of Charlotte Mason

Anne E. White explores what is known as the Charlotte Mason, based on the educational philosophy of the 19th century British educator. The goal is to set a child on the path to an intentional, purposeful life. White explores both the practical and philosophical understanding the Mason's practices. White includes lots of examples of how to use these ideas in your own homeschooling. 

Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 1)
This work contains a selection of the writings of Charlotte Mason, a British educator. Her writings from the 1880s are still relevant today and contain ideas that can be easily and successfully incorporated into homeschooling. This book focuses on the concept of building good habits in children, why it is important, how it can be implemented, and what impact it will make on home life and homeschooling. Written from a mother's point of view, Mason's works and ideas are explained and distilled into useful advice. 
More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
After providing an important work in explaining the Charlotte Mason method for homeschoolers, Catherine Levison goes deeper into the use of this method in the home with her subsequent work. This book expands the information from the first book and offers ideas to incorporate the rich and uplifting philosophy into your home education. There are specific tips for high school, schooling through challenges, and more. 
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
Children want to learn and one of the best approaches to homeschooling is to meet their natural curiosity with support and understanding. Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy does just that. This book offers explanations of how to incorporate Mason's ideas into your teaching, leading to more success in learning and less frustration in the home education environment. This book is a great resource for those embarking on the homeschool journey, as well as being an invaluable resource for those who have been homeschooling for year. 
Starting Charlotte Mason from Scratch

Sonya Shafer discusses ways to incorporate the methods of Charlotte Mason into your homeschooling, with ideas on organizing and planning for more success and to reduce frustration. Useful for both those starting out and those who are looking for best practices in refining their education philosophy approach to homeschooling. 

Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Karen Andreola, renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, has written a unique sort of book in the homeschool world. Pocketful of Pinecones is a teacher s guide the nature study cleverly disguised as a heartwarming story written in the form of a mother s diary. Woven into the story are: More than 100 examples of what to look for on a nature walk, Latin names for the living things to observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses. Other features include: a supplement of selected quotations by Miss Charlotte Mason, an annotated list of books with a nature theme-both fiction and non-fiction, nostalgic pencil drawings. Yet Pocketful of Pinecones is a story about Carol. Carol is on her feet a lot-industriously caring for her family. In her diary Carol pours out her secret worries, hopes, joys, and disappointments. She also writes of the nature walks she enjoys with her children. Her goal is to safeguard their sense of wonder. Together they observe God's marvelous creation and the children record their finds in their Nature Notebooks. Carol reads Home Education by Miss Charlotte Mason and attempts to put the advice into practice. Designed to be a pick-me-up, each chapter is short enough to minister to a mother who has only snatches of time in which to nourish her soul. Carol's story continues in the sequel Lessons at Blackberry Inn.
Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
Support for Homeschooling Using the Charlotte Mason Method
Charlotte Mason in VA
This is a group for families living in Virginia who are using the Charlotte Mason Method and homeschooling.
Mater Amabilis Teacher Training Forum
Mater Amabilis is a free online homeschool curriculum, which takes the methods of Charlotte Mason and applies them for the 21st century Catholic family. Offering a detailed and flexible syllabus for each age level, Mater Amabilis can be used as a complete curriculum or simply as a springboard for learning. This online teacher training forum provides support in implementing the methods of Charlotte Mason and tips for adapting these methods to today's family.
CM for Moms of Many
An email group for homeschooling moms using Charlotte Mason's methods. Focuses on homeschooling larger families.
Living Math Forum
This is an on-topic list dedicated to the discussion of "living math" - mathematics education using living books and materials, as opposed to traditional curricula as the primary learning tool. Discussion applies to mathematics learning from birth to adult self education, with the understanding that arithmetic is only one feature of mathematics as a whole. Math history topics will apply as well. Educators using Charlotte Mason, Thomas Jefferson Ed (relaxed classical), Montessori, Waldorf and unschooling methods may benefit from the exchange of ideas.
CM4primaryyears
To discuss the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling elementary age children, and to share the joys and concerns of everyday life.
ABC Books by Ann
This group consists of two things: 1) a bi-weekly newsletter with articles about living books, book collecting, taking care of and organizing your home school library, using living books in your homeschool, notebooking, book and author reviews, and more; and 2.) a bi-weekly catalog of living books for sale on eBay, plus and some unit studies.
CMmamas - Leader support group
A support group for homeschool group Leaders, with the Charlotte Mason literature-based homeschool method as a primary focus. Leaders of other types of homeschool or parent's groups may participate. Topics include group organization, problems, setting up studies and discussions, activities, speakers, conventions and conferences, books, email and websites.
CM4earlyyears
Email list designed to discuss the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling for children, ages birth through 6 years. While this list is not primarily religious in nature, there are often discussions of Christian topics.
CharlotteMasonNOVA
A place for the members of the Charlotte Mason Study Group of Northern Virginia to keep in contact.
Catholic CM/TWTM Swap Group
A curriculum buy, sell, and swap group for those using a Catholic Charlotte Mason/Living Books/Classical method of home education.
Northern Virginia Catholic Charlotte Mason - NoVaCCM
A group for families in the Northern Virgina area interested in Catholic Charlotte Mason home education. The group will share ideas online and hopefully plan monthly get togethers.
Living Book Reviews
Living Book Reviews offers reviews of books considered "living" books for children which are useful for acquiring a love of learning.
CM for One
CM for One (CMfor1) is a message board for families home educating an only child and using the Charlotte Mason Method.
Sonlight Curriculum-Charlotte Mason
This is a list for homeschooling moms using Sonlight curriculum, whether just parts of it or the full curriculum, and incorporating the educational methods and ideas of Charlotte Mason into their homes.
CM While Working
For parents trying to utilize Charlotte Mason's (CM) methods while working.
Support4HomeSchool
This is an email group of Christian homeschoolers who teach their children using living literature.
Catholic Charlotte Mason
Online support group for Catholics interested in the Charlotte Mason method.
CM-Waldorf
This list is designed for those interested in the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling with a Waldorf twist. Topics for discussion will be geared towards combining these two approaches successfully, and any other related issues.
CM Families of the South
The purpose of this loop is to encourage homeschooling families living in the Southern states who are trying to incorporate the philosophy of Charlotte Mason in their homes in their efforts to raise their children with an enthusiasm for learning.
Christian Classical Charlotte Mason
This is a loop for Christians who are combining classical education methods with Charlotte Mason ideas in their homeschools.
Charlotte Mason Group for Fruity Catholics
Fruity Catholics are Catholics who are doing their best to practice the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially Charity. This group discusses the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling from a Catholic perspective.
Ambleside Online
AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Their goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. The curriculum uses as many free online books as possible and there is no cost to use this information or join the email support group.
Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
AmblesideOnline Facebook Group

The primary purpose of this Facebook group is to serve those who are actively using AmblesideOnline, a Charlotte Mason-inspired free curriculum. The group adheres to the methods outlined by Charlotte Mason and discusses topics such as what makes a book a living book, how to teach various subjects, how to manage your schedule, etc. 

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Curriculum
Charlotte Mason Living Books Curriculum
Charlotte Mason Living Books is a K-8 Christian educational solution for homeschooling families looking for a literature-rich, learn-by-doing approach that honors the person of the child. They use Charlotte Mason’s methods as the foundation and inspiration for all our learning materials and courses.
Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum
This curriculum is designed to help you homeschool the Charlotte Mason way with confidence and freedom. Your whole family is combined together for as many subjects as possible as you enjoy a wonderful mix of modern and classic books. You have the freedom to start with any history time period you like and add in other subjects from a variety of choices. It’s a thorough and enjoyable education, but with enough room to reflect on what is being learned or to add additional resources, if desired.
Mater Amabilis
Mater Amabilis is a free online homeschool curriculum, which takes the methods of Charlotte Mason and applies them for the 21st century Catholic family. Offering a detailed and flexible syllabus for each age level, Mater Amabilis can be used as a complete curriculum or simply as a springboard for learning.
Handbook of Nature Study
A matchless handbook for decades, this classic work has been the natural history bible for countless teachers and others who seek information about their environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about the earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as valid and helpful today as it was when first written in 1911―and revised in the spirit of its authors by a group of naturalists in 1939. After all, dandelions, toads, robins, and constellations have changed little since then! And modern society's concern with the quality of life and the impact of people on soil, water, and wildlife makes this book even more relevant. Nature-study, as used in this handbook, encompasses all living things except humans, as well as all nonliving things such as rocks and minerals, the heavens, and weather. Of the living things described, most are common in the northeastern states, and many, such as the dandelion, milkweed, and mullein, and the house mouse, muskrat, and red fox, are so widespread that people living outside the United States will recognize them easily. Anna Botsford Comstock very appropriately took the view that we should know first and best the things closest to us. Only then, when we have an intimate knowledge of our neighbors, should we, journey farther afield to learn about more distant things. Teachers and children will find the material in this book invaluable in that regard. Details of the most common, but in some ways the most interesting, things are brought out, first by careful, nontechnical descriptions of the things themselves and later by thoughtful questions and study units. Because the most common things are treated in greatest detail, materials for study are easy to find. Whether the reader lives in the inner city or in the rural outback, the handbook is a treasure trove of information. A teacher does not need to know much about nature to use this handbook. The information is there for the novice and the expert alike. All that is needed is an inquiring mind, senses to observe, and a willingness to think about nature on a personal level. To enter this book in search of information about any common organism, stone, or object in the sky is to open the door to a fresh and lively acquaintance with one's environment.
Ambleside Online
AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Their goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. The curriculum uses as many free online books as possible and there is no cost to use this information or join the email support group.
Train Up a Child Publishing
Train Up a Child offers a literature-based homeschool curriculum based written from a Christian worldview using Charlotte Mason methods.
Charlotte Mason Help
The Higher Up and Further In Curriculum is based upon two cycles of history in chronological order with a strong emphasis on character development and Biblical world view. They strive to adhere to Charlotte Mason's principles by following her methods in The Original Homeschooling Series and are offering this program and schedules to anyone who may be interested free of charge.
Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
AmblesideOnline Facebook Group

The primary purpose of this Facebook group is to serve those who are actively using AmblesideOnline, a Charlotte Mason-inspired free curriculum. The group adheres to the methods outlined by Charlotte Mason and discusses topics such as what makes a book a living book, how to teach various subjects, how to manage your schedule, etc. 

Considering God's Creation
Life science truly comes alive with this 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. A Charlotte Mason type discovery approach is easily implemented with creative activities, music and topical Bible studies, making this program a perfect choice for a homeschool family or a classroom. It may be used as a stand-alone science course or as an invaluable supplemental resource for any other program. 
Charlotte Mason Resources & Materials
Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 1)
This work contains a selection of the writings of Charlotte Mason, a British educator. Her writings from the 1880s are still relevant today and contain ideas that can be easily and successfully incorporated into homeschooling. This book focuses on the concept of building good habits in children, why it is important, how it can be implemented, and what impact it will make on home life and homeschooling. Written from a mother's point of view, Mason's works and ideas are explained and distilled into useful advice. 
More Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual
After providing an important work in explaining the Charlotte Mason method for homeschoolers, Catherine Levison goes deeper into the use of this method in the home with her subsequent work. This book expands the information from the first book and offers ideas to incorporate the rich and uplifting philosophy into your home education. There are specific tips for high school, schooling through challenges, and more. 
The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literature, music, and art through the use of outdoor space. 
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
Children want to learn and one of the best approaches to homeschooling is to meet their natural curiosity with support and understanding. Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy does just that. This book offers explanations of how to incorporate Mason's ideas into your teaching, leading to more success in learning and less frustration in the home education environment. This book is a great resource for those embarking on the homeschool journey, as well as being an invaluable resource for those who have been homeschooling for year. 
Handbook of Nature Study
Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
Teaching Poetry: Subject by Subject
Over-analysis and examination steals all the joy from the beautiful words from good poetry. Charlotte Mason’s approach is vastly different. Good poetry reaches the heart in a way few other words can. It’s amazing how deeply a well-crafted phrase from a thoughtful poem can shape our lives! As Charlotte said, “Poetry is a criticism of life; so it is, both a criticism and an inspiration; and most of us carry in our minds tags of verse which shape our conduct more than we know”. We are doing our children a great service when we nourish their minds and equip their hearts with good poetry. Here’s how.
Starting Charlotte Mason from Scratch

Sonya Shafer discusses ways to incorporate the methods of Charlotte Mason into your homeschooling, with ideas on organizing and planning for more success and to reduce frustration. Useful for both those starting out and those who are looking for best practices in refining their education philosophy approach to homeschooling. 

Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Karen Andreola, renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, has written a unique sort of book in the homeschool world. Pocketful of Pinecones is a teacher s guide the nature study cleverly disguised as a heartwarming story written in the form of a mother s diary. Woven into the story are: More than 100 examples of what to look for on a nature walk, Latin names for the living things to observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses. Other features include: a supplement of selected quotations by Miss Charlotte Mason, an annotated list of books with a nature theme-both fiction and non-fiction, nostalgic pencil drawings. Yet Pocketful of Pinecones is a story about Carol. Carol is on her feet a lot-industriously caring for her family. In her diary Carol pours out her secret worries, hopes, joys, and disappointments. She also writes of the nature walks she enjoys with her children. Her goal is to safeguard their sense of wonder. Together they observe God's marvelous creation and the children record their finds in their Nature Notebooks. Carol reads Home Education by Miss Charlotte Mason and attempts to put the advice into practice. Designed to be a pick-me-up, each chapter is short enough to minister to a mother who has only snatches of time in which to nourish her soul. Carol's story continues in the sequel Lessons at Blackberry Inn.
Handbook of Nature Study
A matchless handbook for decades, this classic work has been the natural history bible for countless teachers and others who seek information about their environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about the earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as valid and helpful today as it was when first written in 1911―and revised in the spirit of its authors by a group of naturalists in 1939. After all, dandelions, toads, robins, and constellations have changed little since then! And modern society's concern with the quality of life and the impact of people on soil, water, and wildlife makes this book even more relevant. Nature-study, as used in this handbook, encompasses all living things except humans, as well as all nonliving things such as rocks and minerals, the heavens, and weather. Of the living things described, most are common in the northeastern states, and many, such as the dandelion, milkweed, and mullein, and the house mouse, muskrat, and red fox, are so widespread that people living outside the United States will recognize them easily. Anna Botsford Comstock very appropriately took the view that we should know first and best the things closest to us. Only then, when we have an intimate knowledge of our neighbors, should we, journey farther afield to learn about more distant things. Teachers and children will find the material in this book invaluable in that regard. Details of the most common, but in some ways the most interesting, things are brought out, first by careful, nontechnical descriptions of the things themselves and later by thoughtful questions and study units. Because the most common things are treated in greatest detail, materials for study are easy to find. Whether the reader lives in the inner city or in the rural outback, the handbook is a treasure trove of information. A teacher does not need to know much about nature to use this handbook. The information is there for the novice and the expert alike. All that is needed is an inquiring mind, senses to observe, and a willingness to think about nature on a personal level. To enter this book in search of information about any common organism, stone, or object in the sky is to open the door to a fresh and lively acquaintance with one's environment.
Ambleside Online
AmblesideOnline is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Their goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts. The curriculum uses as many free online books as possible and there is no cost to use this information or join the email support group.
Simply Charlotte Mason
Simply Charlotte Mason is dedicated to helping you homeschool your children using the Charlotte Mason method and wonderful philosophy of education. Whether you’re looking for great living books, a free Book of Centuries, ideas for narration, the CM Organizer — a planner designed specifically for CMers, dictation exercises, free manuscript copywork, or a free curriculum guide, Simply Charlotte Mason is here to save you time and keep you organized.
Featured Resources

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Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education
Author Douglas Wilson makes the argument that education must have a foundation of religion, which informs worldview. Education is the asking and answering of questions, and learning to read and write is simply the process of acquiring the tools needed to do that. 
The Homeschooling Revolution
A readable, scholarly overview of the modern day homeschooling movement. Includes vignettes from homeschooling families, war stories, research information, media reaction, footnotes, and statistics.
TruthQuest History
The TruthQuest History series consists of ten volumes that serve as guides for parent wishing to use real books in their approach to history education. They are full of book recommendations, along with information on the topics of study. There are also writing exercises included in these texts.
Veritas Press
Veritas Press offers a history based classical curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grades.