What is a Charlotte Mason education and why you should consider it for your family?
Teach your children wonder.
Note from Josh: My wife, Hannah, recently published “I Used to Teach Public School. Now I Homeschool. Here's What You Need to Know.” here at Unprepared. Now she dives into her methodology.
Things I observed in over a decade teaching public high school:
Kids learning something, taking a test, and promptly forgetting it.
Students leaving high school proudly declaring that they’ll never again read a book.
Children spending 8 hours a day learning in a series of rooms, sitting in rows, surrounded by strangers, whose home lives and influences you have no idea about or control over.
Sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it? Because it is. It’s also the reality of public schooling today.
I fancied myself to be different from other teachers, in that I didn’t just open a textbook and start teaching on page one. I tried to tailor my teaching to the abilities of my students as best I could. I incorporated real-world experience as often as possible. I took them outside whenever I could find a reason to go.
But it didn’t matter, because the reality is, it doesn’t matter what a teacher’s personal philosophy of education is. There are structures above teachers they cannot hope to influence or control and if the government says, “You will teach underwater basket weaving 4 hours per day in every grade or we will cut your funding by half,” then guess what everyone will be learning next year?
There’s a better way to learn. It’s more natural, and it is what I believe most people would gravitate toward if left to their own devices.
Who is Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason is a name that means a lot to some people and is completely unknown to others. I have taken to calling her the godmother of homeschooling when I talk about her. To say that Charlotte Mason’s ideas changed our family profoundly is a great understatement. So who the heck is she?
Charlotte Mason was a British educator and philosopher who lived at the turn of the 20th Century. Her educational philosophy literally spans 6 volumes of writing, but you don’t have to read all six volumes, because her method comes naturally.
Looking back on the most profound educational moments of my life, I see Charlotte Mason’s reflection in them all. I studied history in college, and most of my classes were round-table discussions of books we had all read ahead of time. We were, in fact, narrating—a core concept in a Charlotte Mason education.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial