Charlotte Mason Learning

Are you considering using the Charlotte Mason way to home educate your children? If so, you may be looking for tips on the Charlotte Mason learning. I thought I would make it easier for you, and pull together one big resource that contains all of my Charlotte Mason learning all in one place.

Be sure to pin this page, so you can find it when you want to reference something.

Charlotte Mason Learning - Do you want to learn more about this method of education? This will help you learn key things to being implementing right away! |

Charlotte Mason Learning

My journey with the Charlotte Mason way started in 2000, and even though I only had one resource to help me learn the ropes, I could tell that this method of learning was going to be amazing for our family. All these years later, I’m still a strong Charlotte Mason supporter, and help others trying to find their way through her method.
The thing that appealed to me the most when I was first learning this way of educating was the simple ideals that took the focus off from me, as the ‘teacher’ and put it on the child, where it rightly belonged.

Everywhere I turned to look for fruits of this method in our home, I was seeing signs of rewards. What amazed me was that Charlotte Mason was teaching so much more than how to educate my children with books, but how to organize our home, tips in parenting and even how to stay connected with things that interested me the most.

Getting Started With the Charlotte Mason Way

These are my posts that will help you learn how to get started with the Charlotte Mason way, easier.  Added many of her methods at one time isn’t that difficult, but if you ever feel overwhelmed by it all, pick a few of your favorites and add them a little at a time.

10 Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read - Gain inspiration and learn how to implement small things to make your homeschool days easier. |

New to Charlotte Mason? Start Here!
How to Find Confidence to Homeschool the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Create an Atmosphere of Education
How to Create a Discipline of Education
How to Create a Life of Education
10 Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read
Ultimate Charlotte Mason Resource Guide
3 Things a Charlotte Mason Curriculum Should Have
What Is a Living Book?


How to Teach the Charlotte Mason Way

If you understand the key things about the Charlotte Mason way, you will be able to teach your children easier. There are a few key things that you will want to put your attention to when starting out and getting. These posts will help you identify them, and implement them.

18 Things that Charlotte Mason Expected 6 Year Olds to Know
21 Things that Charlotte Mason Expected a 12 Year Old to Know
Make Your Own Charlotte Mason Attainable List for Your Individual Child
How to use Living Books In Your Homeschool
How to Teach Copywork and Dictation
A Hands-on Approach for Dictation
How to Teach Preschool through 2nd Grade the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach 3rd through 6th Grade the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach Middle School the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach High School the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Add Music to Your Homeschool
How to Study Geography
How to Teach Geography with Books
How to Teach the Constitution
How to Teach the Election Process to Your Kids
How to Teach Music Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach High School Photography the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach High School Bible the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach High School History the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach High School Science the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Teach High School Literature the Charlotte Mason Way

Nature Study the Charlotte Mason Way

Nature study is one of the easiest things to implement in your homeschooling, and one that your children would love. For me, as a city girl, it was a challenge to really enjoy being in the outdoor, especially when my son naturally fell in love with all things creepy. Seeing how much he was struggling to learn to read, but anything nature involved came so natural to him, this one method became a blessing to both of us.

In fact, nature study is the thing I use to get him out of his struggle of reading and into learning. While he was learning to conquer his struggles, I used the study of birds to get me past my struggle with the outdoors. Now, I love a good nature walk, and don’t mind the creepy things. Well, as long as they aren’t too close to me!

The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Journaling
How to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Nature Journaling
How to Study Nature as a Family
How to Introduce Nature Studies to a Preschooler
Nature Walk Bag
Nature Boxes | How to Keep Your Nature Finds
How to Create a Nature Center
7 Tips to Teach Observation
How to Turn Nature Studies Into Books
How to Study Trees
How to Study Dogwood Trees
How to Study Flowers
How to Study Turtles
How to Study Frogs
How to Study Snakes
How to Study Ducks
How to Study Butterflies
How to Study Birds
How to Study Great Blue Herons
5 Ways to Study the Four Seasons

People and Periods to Study the Charlotte Mason Way

Are you wanting to start digging into learning with focusing on people and periods of history without using textbooks, but not sure where to begin? I have found that having names of people to study is always the best thing to get the most out of focusing on periods of history, while using living books.

10 People from BC Times that Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know
10 Revolutionary Men that Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know
10 Revolutionary Women that Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know
10 Explorers that Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know
10 Composers Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know
10 Artist Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know
10 Inventors Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know

Book List and Resources for the Charlotte Mason Way

In our nearly two decades of homeschooling, I have several favorite resources that I just wouldn’t want to homeschool without. However this list of posts are great for you to learn about some great ones that we have loved as well.

My Top 5 Classical Books for Preschoolers
The Ultimate Book List for the American Revolution
The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources
Creation Book List for All Ages
Creation Audios and Videos for All Ages
A Book List for Christian Boys
A Book List for Christian Girls
The Ultimate Book List of Chocolate
20 Picture Books About Spring
20 Picture Books About Migration
20 Picture Books About Hibernation
How to Use the American Heritage Series the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Use the Animated Stories of the Old Testament the Charlotte Mason Way
How to Use the Moody Bible Institute DVDs the Charlotte Mason Way

More Charlotte Mason Help

There are so many benefits to using the Charlotte Mason way, even if you don’t choose to be a purist to the method. I wanted to be sure to add these addition resources for your benefit, just incase you are still debating a few things and needed more insights on this way of educating your family.

7 Ways the Charlotte Mason Way Can Simplify Your Homeschool
7 Charlotte Mason Methods All Homeschoolers Would Love
Successfully Grading the Charlotte Mason Way
Evaluating Reading Comprehension
5 Reasons to Continue the Charlotte Mason Way In the High School Years
5 Charlotte Mason Methods Perfect for a Co-op Setting
Exploring Free Afternoon Activities


How to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Nature Journaling

Those families using the Charlotte Mason way to educate our children, all desire them to enjoy nature journaling. However, often times, the homeschooling mother loves the idea of adding nature journaling to their homeschool plans, but they find resistance in their children. These things will help you implement a desired method into your homeschool, while opening up the world of creative journaling through nature that will cause your children to enjoy nature journaling for years to come.

How to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Nature Journaling - Taking these steps will open up the world of nature journaling that your kids will enjoy it for years to come! |
How to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Nature Journaling

I started introducing natural journaling into our homeschool in 2001, and at that time, my children were 7 and 5 years old. They both did their nature journaling without complaints, but honestly, I was disappointed in how little their nature journaling was enjoyable to them. It was like one more assignment, and I knew that with the Charlotte Mason way of education that the goal would be for this to be something that they loved and took great care in adding their nature finds or learning into.

I took a step back and evaluated how I was presenting nature journaling to them, and immediately I saw a few things that needed to be adjusted on my part.

The Charlotte Mason Way Explained - Easy to read and understand for today's homeschooling culture. |

It Should Be Child Lead

Diving into more about what Charlotte Mason taught on the subject of Nature Studies, I began to realize that entries into a nature journal was child lead. It wasn't an assignment to be completed, but something mostly done outside.

Nature journaling was a hands-on activity that allowed the child to capture something from their nature study that they observed and that caught their attention. It was to be the best depiction of what they saw, and an entry of what it was, along with where they saw it. This one thing will allow children to enjoy nature journaling from the start.

I also add assignments in as they grow in their nature journaling, but to teach them to love it, needs to be child lead of what is added. Don't allow your child to decide the frequency, unless it is more than your requirement.

Child Need Examples

One of my children has always been a perfectionist. They would easily get frustrated if they were required to do something without an example to follow for their own nature work.

It was through watching this child's need for something to strive toward that gave me the idea to offer ideas on how to nature journal. Once these examples were shown to my children their work improved greatly.

Here are some of my favorite books to demonstrate what a natural journal could look like with care and dedication to doing their best:

Mom Should Enjoy Journaling

The times when I took the time to enjoy nature journaling with my children, they enjoyed their own entries better, and seemed to take more care in their work, because they saw how I took care in my own.

This very thing is why I recommend doing ‘wild days' with your kids often. To learn more about what that means and how to prepare for them, you could read this post, Nature Walk Bag

Nature Walk Bag - Learning how to pack a nature walk bag for children of all ages to get the most out of their time in nature. |


Nature Walk Bag

If you know anything about the Charlotte Mason way, you know how important it is to take a nature walk as part of a child's education. Many times we get so focused on the book academics that we lose sight of the benefits of taking these walks with our children, and often times need a reminder of how to add them to our homeschooling. I know I need the reminder from time to time!

Nature Walk Bag - Learning how to pack a nature walk bag for children of all ages to get the most out of their time in nature. |

Nature Walk Bag

Several years ago, I read a book that I inspired my own homeschool journey and the desire to have a nature walk with my own children often. The book, Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals talks about just escaping from the wild times in life by just grabbing a nature walk bag, and heading out into nature.

Truly just saying let's go. No need to prepare anything!

The concept is amazing, and one that more homeschool moms need to remember, as a way to plan necessary diversions when life just gets crazy and out of our control to fix right at that moment.

To implement these ‘Wild Days' in your homeschooling, the tools needed would be a well put together nature walk bag. Depending on how many children, and their ages, you can choose to pack just one and the adult carry it, or you can pack one for each of your children. If you have older children, like I do, having their own nature walk bag will prove beneficial.

I would highly recommend doing this for a special gift, perhaps for a birthday, a holiday or to start a school year.

Here are the NON-PERISHABLE items you will want to pack, and replace once you returned home and before you put the bag(s) in their storage place:

  • Granola Bars or a trail mix
  • Water Bottle
  • Dried fruit
  • Snack size bags of cookies or crackers

You may want to consider planning ahead for your family, and packing these non-perishable items in these Bento Boxes and save money on individually wrapped items.

You will also want to add some nature guide books that will make identifying things easier for all ages. These are some of our favorite ones for preschool and elementary ages.

These are some of our favorite for middle school and high school ages.

Nature walk items for younger kids (preschool through elementary) that will finish out their nature walk bags will all kinds of way of exploring and journaling their finds.

These are some of the items that will create learning opportunities for middle and high school ages.

If you like this post, you may also like The Beginner's Guide to Nature Journaling

The Beginner's Guide to Nature Journaling - Easy and effective ways to open creativity while learning about nature studies in your homeschool. |



10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young

Boys have imaginations that need to have the permission to be explored. With raising our three boys, I have found that there are things boys should do when they are young to help them with not only getting their imagination an outlet but build necessary skills that they they use into adulthood.

10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young - The imagination of boys are worth tapping into while they are young. |

10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young

There is an obvious difference between a girl's imagination and that of a boy. The imagination of both work amazing together but when not influenced by each other, you can see stark differences in what they come up with on their own.

It is through this experience of raising my own boys that I want to be sure to open the doors for my youngest child's imagination to be allowed to blossom and grow without restrictions or invasions on my part. Please don't read that to mean that I'm discouraging parental guidelines or supervision, because that is the furthest from the truth.

Explore Nature

Boys and nature go hand in hand. Most boys naturally are drawn to creepy creatures, and slimy snakes, but often times aren't given the opportunity to explore in nature to observe the way of nature and to build a relationship with the world around them.

It has been through nature that my boys have learn compassion and how to care for others. Each of them have a tender heart for animals, but this can also be portrayed in how they react to people.

Climb Trees and Structures

Boys needs to get their energy out, and face their fears, otherwise they will tend to be whiny and shy away from challenges. Our son would often get stuck in trees, and one of us would have to climb up to help him down. It was also during this time that he would whine over the smallest things.

We encouraged him to climb more trees, and face his fears that he can get down safely as well. To build his confidence, my husband attached a ladder to the tree to help him focus on getting to the top of the ladder. Once he accomplished this himself, he was also getting control of his emotions.

Build Legos and Other Building Toys

Boys will grow up to be men, and with that they need to have some building skills to save money around the house. The hours of building Legos and using K'Nex or Lincoln Logs to see how things go together will benefit them when they are doing things with their own hands as an adult.

Build Model Cars

Learning to read directions at an early age may not mean that they will read directions as an adult, but it will give them the skills necessary to see how parts form a whole. Model cars are the perfect tool to do this!

Having the accomplishment of putting together a model car, with tiny increments will build patience and perseverance in their character.

Build a Fort

All little boys know the joys of building forts with blankets, but to be given the permission to use a hammer and nails, with some scrap wood from their daddy's garage is a boost of self-confidence and taking a pride in their work like you won't imagine.

I have loved to see our sons being given that option to take some few pieces of woods and see what they can come up with. The smiles that come over their face, as they step back to look at what their hands and imagination was able to do is priceless.

Whittle and Carve

Boys love knives. Moms not so much.

I love to let my boys learn to whittle and carve early with soap, and then move on with sticks before getting into a carving project. The way that they learn responsibility when they are an owner of a pocket knife is one of the simplest ways to teach it.

Learn Weapon Safety

Once a boy becomes an owner of his first pocket knife, he naturally moves on to wanting more weapons. This is the perfect time to teach weapon safety and the value of a life. Once a pocket knife is given, we progress to a sling shot and bow and arrow, before working our way up to a BB gun and an air soft gun.

Our boys learned early that we do not kill an animal unless we plan on eating it. Knowing that they grew with a compassion for animals, this was an easy lesson to teach them.

Earn, Save and Spend Their Own Money

Teach a boy the value of a dollar, and the pride of earning money through hard work is a gift any parent can give to their sons (and daughters). The worst thing we could do for our children at any age is give them everything they wanted, especially if there was no work involved to receive it.

It is really a service to your sons to learn proper money management even at a young age of 4 or 5. I have some very sweet memories of our children spending their own money at yard sales and stores, and learning how to read prices to determine if it is a good deal.

All of my children, including my 6 year old, has demonstrated good money choices. I do have a son that loves to spend, but he also knows about keeping current on his bills and saving.

Take Something Apart and Put It Back Together

Two of my three sons have been born with the natural ability to take things apart and put them back together before they could talk.

These same boys are my right hands when my husband isn't available to put new furniture together, or fix something that isn't working. I love just giving them something and seeing what they will do with it. (My daughter is gifted with this skill as well, and better than her brothers)

Accept Failure as a Learning Experience

Failure is a teacher. It should be encouraged at a young age, instead of being viewed as a lack of ability.

It is only when a person, regardless of the age, learns to accept failure as a learning experience and a stepping stone to improvement that true growth can really happen.

Without this outlook, a boy could grow to be a man who doesn't know how to deal with anything but perfection, and pass this requirement to those around him. This can harm relationships in his own family.

If you like this post, you may also like 10 Gifts for Boys

Top 10 Gifts for Boys - Perfect ideas for all year long! |



10 Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read

No matter how many years you have homeschooled, all homeschool moms could benefit from reading some of my favorite Charlotte Mason books for inspiration on how to have more peaceful school days. So before you plan your next school year, you should check out a few of these books. I love sharing Charlotte Mason with others because this method has been amazing for our family.

10 Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read - Gain inspiration and learn how to implement small things to make your homeschool days easier. |

10 Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read

Charlotte Mason books are so inspiring and full of ideas that can be implemented with any curriculum, or routine in learning. Some of my favorite ways of homeschooling with the Charlotte Mason method are the things that are centered around some of my favorite memories in homeschooling our four children.

If you are completely knew to the Charlotte Mason way, and not sure where to start, I share some great tips to get you going in the right direction quickly.

This method of homeschooling allows you the freedom to slow down, to cherish the sweet moments of childhood, and to embrace the world around you, while completely losing yourself in the books of people, places and ideas. If you feel like you need to simplify your homeschooling, the Charlotte Mason method can help you do that.

There are ways to add a few of her methods without changing a lot of what you are already doing for your homeschool lessons.

So on to my top 10 Charlotte Mason books…

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola

I have read this book several times because of the easy reading, the simple ideas of how to implement this way of education and the flow of the book. Simply one of the best books to read on the topic, and based off the Charlotte Mason's original series.

The Charlotte Mason Way Explained |

The Charlotte Mason Way Explained by Dollie Freeman

Although this is my own book, I have to add it to this list because it shares how the Charlotte Mason way helped me successful teach my struggling learner, while allowing me to focus on his strengths because of this gentle method. I give step-by-step examples of how we have used this method into today's homeschool culture, while building an independent learner.

A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison

Another book based off the original series that Charlotte Mason penned herself, this book helps the reader see the benefits of implementing her methods and how to do it well.

For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

This books help build the ideals behind what education really looks like, and how this concept of education fits perfectly with the Charlotte Mason way for the learning benefits of children.

When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today by Elaine Cooper

A perfect fit to read after For the Children's Sake, this book demonstrates the importance of the atmosphere of education and how it plays a role in the learning process for children.

Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success by Charlotte Mason, complied by Deborah Taylor-Hough, author of A Twaddle Free Education

Everything that Charlotte Mason wrote about habit training has been complied into one easy to read book on the topic that can make a world of difference in your home and homeschool.

The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outdoor Activities by Charlotte Mason, complied by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Everything that Charlotte Mason wrote on the subject of nature study and the importance of children being outdoors can be found in this complied edition.

Ideas and Books: The Method of Education by Charlotte Mason, complied by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Everything that Charlotte Mason wrote on the subject of using living books, and how those ideas formed from these books will inspire children.

The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater

Dive into learning how the Charlotte Mason method can be captured through notebooks with the great book that will inspire children in ways that quizzes and test just can't do.

Minds More Awake: The Vision of Charlotte Mason by Anne E. White

Awaken the philosophy of Charlotte Mason with two aspects of her method: the way of the will and the way of reason. Once you capture this vision and awaken it within your children, learning will be a live journey.

If you are looking for more tips on how to teach the Charlotte Mason Way, I have some additional resources on my blog for you:


A Hands-on Approach to Dictation

Does your child struggle with grammar, and get overwhelmed with implementing dictation? Out of my own child's struggle with learning and implementing grammar rules during lessons, I decided to get creative and come up with a way to help him. This hands-on approach to dictation was all he needed to visually see where the punctuation went in his section for dictation, when to place a capital letter, and even how quotations work. Dictation is a method that Charlotte Mason used successfully to teach children. 

A Hands-on Approach to Dictation - If your child struggles with this prove way to educate grammar with the Charlotte Mason method, try this hands-on way for great results. |

A Hands-on Approach to Dictation

My son has been working with dictation off and on for a few years, and has struggled with the concept of grammar rules time and time again. I needed something that will help me ‘see' when and why things work the way that they did, and the normal way of doing dictation just wasn't clicking for him. We would take a break and come back to it, hoping that he was ready and able to do it correctly.

It didn't take me long to see that this school year wasn't going to be any different, and I decided it was time to take it to the hands-on approach, like what worked for him in spelling.

Here is how we do it with this hands-on approach:

I give my son a selection for his dictation from Spelling Wisdom Book 2, and our goal is to go through one each week, however I don't move on until it is mastered.

On day one, I have him write each part of the dictation on ONE index card with a black marker. Each period, comma, quotation mark, word, etc., has its own card. (you can use recycle these in two ways, place punctuation in a section that can be reused, and alphabetize words OR you can use the back for the second selection)

Hands-on Approach to Dictation |

Day two, I have him put the index cards in place using the source, and we go over why each punctuation, capital letter and such is included in this selection. As well as extra focus on words he thinks he may spell incorrectly, using a chalkboard.

Day three, he attempts to place the index cards in order with little help from the source.

Day four, he writes it after he has placed the index cards in place, trying to work on any correct placement of all grammar parts and correct spelling. He corrects his work on his own.

Day five, I orally say the dictation, one part at a time, and he recites it prior to writing it. I correct  his work, and if he has missed anything, he repeats day two through four again the next week, with day two being done on both day one and day two of the following week.

By the end of the second week, he has mastered all his dictation selection, and I'm certain that his skill will improve drastically the more we use this hands-on approach to dictation, making it easier for us to do one selection for only one week, and increasing the difficulty of the selection.

If you like this post, you may also like the DIY Reading Lesson Cards for Learning On the Go

DIY Reading Lesson Cards for Learning on the Go - Practice reading in the car, at waiting rooms or when visiting loved ones. |


The Beginner’s Guide to Nature Journaling

We started using nature journaling because of the Charlotte Mason way. One of my children's favorite homeschool assignments is adding something to their nature journals. The more I talk with other homeschooling moms, the more I realize that nature journals do not come as easily to others, as they have our family, so I thought I would construct a Beginner's Guide to Nature Journaling to encourage you in your homeschooling journey of journaling.

The Beginner's Guide to Nature Journaling - Easy and effective ways to open creativity while learning about nature studies in your homeschool. |

The Beginner's Guide to Nature Journaling

Nature journaling can be easy and effective in your homeschooling, while allowing your children to be creativity with their own observations and nature studies.

We start nature journaling as early as Kindergarten, as it allows our young child to learn more about hand-eye coordination, and the basic skills necessary for learning to draw what they see.

Nature Journaling Tools:

These are all the tools your child needs to get started, and then the basic nature study of observation. Just have them sketch something that they find, whether it is a pine cone, a leaf or attempt to draw an animal. You may get some ideas from my post, Explore Nature.

I will write down the name of the item that they entered in their journal, so they could copy it into their journal as well.

Allowing your child the own the responsibility of what is entered into their journal will give them a sense of pride and enjoyment that will continue to make journaling one of their favorite assignments in homeschooling, and can easily be carried on through high school science.

For our homeschooling, we have one day a week focused completely on nature, and our nature journaling. However, if our children want to add something to their nature journal at any time, they have that freedom.

What I have found to be the most effective way to get my children, even as young as five, interested and loving nature journaling is by getting their minds excited about nature beyond just the outside observation. I do this successfully through living books, and having them narrate to me, and often times, they choose a picture of an animal to sketch in their nature journal.

Nature Living Books

These are some of our favorite books to use during the Kindergarten through Third grade.

Nature Guides

I absolutely love having nature guides on hand for our children to use during their nature journaling, for an example to draw, or even to add facts, as their journaling improves.

These have been the best nature guides that all of our children have loved during this age group, and have taught them the skills to observe creatures in our own property.

If you would like more journaling ideas, you should check out my journaling series.

You may also enjoy some ideas for older child and how to add more ideas to their journaling with Explore Journaling.

Explore Journaling - Part of the 31 Days of Exploring Free Afternoon Activities |



5 Charlotte Mason Methods Perfect for a Co-op Setting

Homeschool co-ops are becoming more and more popular through the years and recently some readers asked me some suggestions on starting a Charlotte Mason co-op.  In contemplating the questions, I considered the Charlotte Mason method and realized that several of her methods would be a great homeschooling co-op options for those wanting to attempt it.

5 Charlotte Mason Method Perfect for a Charlotte Mason Co-op Setting |

5 Charlotte Mason Methods Perfect for a Co-op Setting

The Charlotte Mason way is so natural and gentle, often times removing a teacher from the lessons and getting the children and a book together, allowing the children to decide what would become of their education.  What a great concept that would make a co-op setting easier on their planning teacher and allow the children to build relationships with the subjects being made available.

This is my list of 5 of the methods that would be perfect for a co-op setting.

Method One: Nature Studies

For many of our homeschooling years, I lead a Nature Study group that some may call a co-op of sorts. We would meet monthly, but weekly could work if you are committed to this schedule, at local parks, nature centers or nature trails. Sometimes, we had an agenda for the day, where others we would just follow the example of Charlotte Mason's allowing the children to go to observe and come back with a narration of what they found.

Method Two: Journaling

We love journaling and what I love about it is most is that you can do it anywhere. I have a found memory of meeting some friends at a local park, with our journals. We sat and added a cherry blossom to our journals, while we learned more about them from my friend.

This can be the perfect addition to a nature walk!

Method Three: Picture Study

Agreeing on the artist to study may be the hardest decision for a co-op setting, but what a great way to ensure you are getting this wonderful method into your homeschooling schedule. Selecting one artist to study a term, usually 9-12 weeks, alternating pieces of the artist for the children to study and then give a narration of the artist's work without looking at it.

In addition, you can have each child create their favorite rendition of the pieces they studied for that term, as a final exam.

Method Four: Music Appreciation

Following the same concept as a picture study, you would select one composer to study, with several pieces to cover over the term. Listening to the mood, tempo and instruments can easily get a group of children learning together discussing the music and style of the composer.

A field trip to a local concert to hear some live music of the composer would be a great way to add to a field trip to your co-op.

Method Five: Learning to Draw

Art class can be a great co-op opportunity that will increase your children's ability in the suggestions for journaling and picture study. I recently reviewed a project where you can use a DVD to teach art at home and my boys are loving it!  This resource makes it very easy to combine lessons with my 5 year old and my 12 year old.


5 Reasons to Continue the Charlotte Mason Way In the High School Years

Many homeschoolers are attractive to the Charlotte Mason way because of the gentleness of the method and how well their children learn from implementing this way of learning. However, when their children begin to approach high school, they feel like they have to do something different to award high school credit and to appease their state's requirements for a diploma. I would love to help those of you homeschooling parents that desire to know how to continue the Charlotte Mason way in the high school years to find the confidence to do it and to have a great experience as well.

5 Reasons to Continue the Charlotte Mason Way in The High School Years |

5 Reasons to Continue the Charlotte Mason Way In the High School Years

Both of our oldest children graduated from homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason way in all of their four years of high school. Understanding how key methods of the Charlotte Mason way can benefit them in further education, jobs and even life itself, gave me the confidence to keep doing what they already knew and keep it as the core of their high school education.

Reason 1: Narration

Written narration is such an important skill to possess in an adult life. If a child continued to further their education, the skill of written narration will be used in college courses. Understanding how to write in a thoughtful process that eliminates useless information and highlights key aspects to what is being communicated will be necessary for many essays and paper assignments in their college years.

In our high school, we also went back to oral narration, combined with a power point presentation to also prepare them for a necessary skill that could benefit them in their adult life.

Reason 2: Journaling

We continued journaling through all four years of high school, mostly focusing on the sciences for entries. Although this included narrations, it continued to train them in sketching and allowed their creativity to stay alive.

We loved having the keep sake that a journal provides and coupling that with our enjoyment of science really made it perfect for them.

Reason 3: Biographies

One thing that we love about biographies is that they provide a bigger picture of history, people, events and eras. Keeping the biographies as our curriculum choice through high school gave my children the solid understand of not just the events but the situations surrounding them, providing them the understanding to not only the United States history but the world's, as well.

Reason 4: Dictation

Dictation's purpose is to build the ability for a child to hear a phrase that they had looked at to be certain of spelling and grammar and be able to write it without the need of looking at it again.

The same skills necessary for this method of education will be highly effective in taking notes during further education, jotting down a to-do list from a future employer or even making notes pertaining to life itself.

Reason 5: Interest As Electives

Growing up with free afternoon activities, our children were able to hone in on their interested by the time they were in high school and this allowed us to tailor their elective requirements around their interest. This provided the same feel of free afternoons, only know they were receiving high school credits for the things that interested them and later because the things they used in their future jobs.


How to Add Music to Your Homeschool

Music appreciation is so important for everyone. As a Charlotte Mason educator, music appreciation has always been a part of our homeschooling. I love the way that music can be added to a homeschool routine and even have some of our favorite composers to listen to during these times. Taking music appreciation to the next level would be to add music to your homeschool.

How to Add Music to Your Homeschool - Teach your child to love music! |

How to Add Music to Your Homeschool

If you have never implemented music appreciation into your homeschooling, you may not know where to begin, so I would love to share with you some great resources to help you implement music into your own homeschooling journey.

My daughter has always been a music lover. When she was about 8 years old, we bought her a recorder and a book that will walk her through learning it. I was so blessed to see that not only did she learn the recorder, but went on to teach herself the piano and violin.

I would highly suggest considering adding a recorder to your homeschool and see if one of your children is inclined to learning this skill like mine was!

320429: My First Classical Recorder BookMy First Classical Recorder Book

By Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.

Learn the basics of recorder while playing the world's most-loved classical melodies. New notes and important concepts such as rhythm, ties and dynamics are gradually introduced, and attractive illustrations make learning fun. With a unique and easy-to-use approach that unites the experience of classical music with that of learning a musical instrument, this book is perfect for anyone new to the recorder as well as those just looking for easy-to-play melodies. Plastic recorder included.

908713: Recorder Express: Soprano Recorder Method for Classroom or Individual UseRecorder Express: Soprano Recorder Method for Classroom or Individual Use

By Artie Almeida / Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.

The recorder is the first instrument for many children for good reason. Easy to pick up and play, children will easily learn the basics of reading music and handling an instrument, as well as the joy of playing familiar songs. Moving from note-to-note, students will slowly incorporate greater range into their songs, while retaining the old notes they've learned. 48 pages with fingering chart. The book references the sold-separately CD.

More Music Resources

Famous Composers
816737: Stories of the Great Composers, Book 1 & CDStories of the Great Composers, Book 1 & CD

By June Montgomery & Maurice Hinson / Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.

Help your elementary students gain a deeper appreciation of music by introducing them to the men and women who created it! Bach to Beethoven, Schubert to Sousa—kids will enjoy reading mini-biographies and stories of 13 composers from the Baroque to Romantic periods. Each chapter highlights important works of a composer; includes question-and-answer activities; and describes the composition on the companion CD. 55 pages, softcover from Alfred.

16908: Meet the Great Composers Kit #1Meet the Great Composers Kit #1

By June Montgomery & Maurice Hinson / Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.

Meet 17 renowned composers of the Baroque through Contemporary periods! Designed to be completed in 20–30 minutes, each unit study features a picture, short biography, and brief overview of the music of a composer, as well as a question-and-answer page. Kit includes a 72-page book, 17 reproducible activity sheets, and a CD that presents works by each composer. An excellent introduction to classical music!

903226: Stories of the Great Christmas CarolsStories of the Great Christmas Carols

By Kenon D. Renfrow & June C. Montgomery / Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.

Ten beloved Christmas carols are included in this engaging book, along with historical information about the origins of each carol. This edition contains: an easy-to-read story of the creation of each carol; a simplified arrangement of each carol with text; information on those who wrote the text and the music; plus a fun activity page that reviews the information presented.Songs include:

  • Angels from the Realms of Glory
  • Away in a Manger
  • The First Noel
  • Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
  • Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful
  • O Holy Night
  • Silent Night
  • What Child Is This
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Check out how we study composers, and how we add music appreciation!

You may want to check out SQUILT eBooks

Squilt Classical Era |



The Ultimate Spring Bucket List

As a family, we love to focus on things that will become memories. We love to try new things, but we also have several things that are traditions at different times of the year, like most families. Finding the new things to try are often the struggle, so I wanted to create an ultimate spring bucket list for my own family and to help those looking for inspiration to make memories during Spring with things they may never have tried.

The Ultimate Spring Bucket List - Make family memories with these ideas that your family will love. |

The Ultimate Spring Bucket List

When you think of spring, you automatically think of flowers, so here are some flower themed activities:

  • Plant a flower or vegetable – this is a great kit to get started
  • Pick wild flowers and identify them with a field guide
  • Sketch flowers you find
  • Press flowers
  • Microwave flowers – you will LOVE this new way of pressing flowers
  • Make a flower bouquet for a homebound person (add a homemade ‘get well' card)
  • Dissect a flower to see what is inside
  • Create Your Own Flower Field Guide – Take photos and then have them added to a photobook, along with a description of the flower's name and where you took the photo
  • Visit a Botanical Garden – don't forget your camera if you are doing your own field guide
  • Make a special dinner with a vase that holds your flower picking bouquet
  • Take family photos with gorgeous flowers behind you

April Showers Bring May Flowers - Spring Bucket List for the Family. |

You can't have spring flowers without first having the spring rain… “April showers bring May flowers.”

  • Play in the rain
  • Jump in the rain puddles – children do this naturally, so this one is for the adults
  • Collect the rain to measure how much you are getting
  • Drink rain water – collect it first
  • Watch for rainbows
  • Sit on the porch and listen to the rain

Other spring related ideas…

  • Watch the bees collecting nector
  • Look for pollen on the bees legs
  • Learn about pollination
  • Learn about butterflies
  • Go to a butterfly exhibit
  • Make Origami Butterflies – here is a great book to learn how
  • Identify 25 insects
  • Create your own Insect Field Guide – another great idea for a photo book that boys may love
  • Watch the clouds and see what you think they look at
  • Have a lunch picnic at a beautiful location
  • Blow dandelions together – but don't forget to make a wish
  • Set up a bird feeder to observe the birds –  you may get to see when mommy bird teaches the younger ones to eat from a feeder
  • Watch the evening sky and learn to identify some of the constellations
  • Look for bunnies in the wild
  • Visit a petting farm with spring animals, like goats, piglets and chicks

You may also like The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Kids

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Kids (and families, too)

How to Create a Life of Education

If you are a home educator, your main goal may be to create self-learners, but to do that you need to be sure to create a life of education. This can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if your education looked so different than the kind of education you desire for your own children. I love how the Charlotte Mason way makes this such a focus.

How to Create a Life of Education |

How to Create a Life of Education

A Large Variety of Living Books

Creating a curriculum around living books that encompasses a large variety of topics provides many ideas to a child. These ideas from living books awaking curiosity and creativity with in a child's mind giving them the natural desire to explore more on their own. A living book curriculum can easily be filled with historical biographies of men and women who were instrumental in history, science, inventions and furthering Christian faith. Living books of adventures, mystery, survival and exploration, as well as character filled books can do so much for creating a life of education through literature.

Lots of Free Afternoon Time

Providing ideas through living books without providing free afternoon time is hindering the potential of a child learning from books. It is through free afternoon time that will allow children to act out what inspired them through the living books and give them a full education through implementing the ideas that come to their mind through the books that are placed before them in their lessons and free time reading.

Tools to Develop Interest

Children are often inspired to learn new skills through the living books they read, but without the tools to develop their interest, they won't be able to broaden their education. When children are inspired in music, providing them with used instruments will let them know if they really want to play to learn an instrument. When children are inspired to learn a new sport, they would need the tools to see if they have the skill to do well with the sport. The same is true for any interest that children inspire to learn.

A Large Variety of Field Trips 

Including field trips in your education plans will help your children have a balance of including a variety of hands-on learning into their adult lives. From local history, nature trails and centers, drama plays and musical productions are all available to most areas.

Recognizing that Real Life Situations Provide Education

Real life situations are some of the best opportunities to create a life of education. From a home project, to caring for someone who is ill, providing a meal for someone in your community, learning to organize, shop for the right price for a needed item and so many more other things that just come up in life.

You may be familiar with the Charlotte Mason quote, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Learn how to create an atmosphere of education and how to create a discipline of education.