I was introduced to Charlotte Mason and her revolutionary way of education through the book For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley by a hippie friend in Saint Louis. No, Charlotte Mason was not a hippie, she was a British Educator and reformer at the turn of the twentieth century, but many mothers who seek a different “off the beaten path” or way of living and educating their children have been drawn to her. In this post, I simply want to put you in touch with a few resources that will lay the groundwork for where to begin with this philosophy. I know how overwhelming and daunting it can feel in the beginning and so I am simply here to help you get started!
So your very first place is reading THIS from the Ambleside Online website. That link will take you to read about WHO Charlotte Mason was and WHAT a CM education fully entails. Then you may want to familiarize yourself with her 20 Principles HERE.
Secondly, you will want to get your hands on a copy of For the Children’s Sake and read that. Then you may want to slowly start collecting her six volumes and start reading her very own words. I started with volume one, Home Education, and then I read volume six, A Philosophy of Education. However in the meantime, it would be well worth your time and effort to consider a journey through her 20 principles using this great study guide called Start Here by Brandy Vencel.
This study guide works in groups and it can be used for individuals as well. Brandy (a seasoned CM mama to four children) has carefully and brilliantly planned out a wonderful guide to walk you through Charlotte Mason’s 20 principles with excellent discussion questions and prompts for understanding this beautiful philosophy.
I decided to start an in-person study group (personal logo pictured above) using this study guide and we will begin in January of 2021. A study group like this is not only beneficial for learning more about Charlotte Mason, this kind of study group will bring about community and a flourishing in relationships with like-minded mothers. You will all share support for one another and this will last long after the study is over! Win-win!
For my group, we will be meeting once a month in coffee shops or in a host’s home. We chose Saturday mornings as the best option from 9:00 am – 11:00 am. We call it Mason in the Morning and we’re really excited to begin!
From there, if you decide this method is for you, you will find her curriculum is FREE over at Ambleside Online! There are other options however if the planning and laying out of the subjects is just not your thing. We personally use the printed curriculum option created by Julie Ross and it is called A Gentle Feast. We absolutely love it and if you’re interested in taking a look there, the link (it is an affiliated one) is located on the main page of this blog under “curriculum.”
So that’s where I am now and I hope you are encouraged to begin the journey for yourself! Cheers.