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
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.
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
Mother Culture is a term made popular by Charlotte Mason, an educator from the 1800's. Once I first heard of the term, I loved it. It sounded so sophisticated and important. The more I dug into it and learned, the more I feel in love with the term but for the right reasons.
Mother Culture: The What, Why & How
I was only midway through our first year of homeschooling, when I first learned about Charlotte Mason. I never expected that when I came across the method of a woman who lived in England during the 1800's that my own education would be tested and changed for ever.
Your own education may never look the same after this…
What is ‘mother culture' exactly?
Let's consider Charlotte Mason's quote, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” to answer this question…
If education is a life, do we ever stop learning? Charlotte Mason would say ‘absolutely not‘, especially for a homeschooling mother.
Most homeschooling mothers would agree that we are learning along side our children because we don't remember these things in our own education. This isn't the ‘education' that Charlotte Mason was speaking about, though.
Nature studies is a perfect example for a place where ‘mother culture' could be taking place. With a true Charlotte Mason education, when a child found something in nature, they would ask the mother what it was and the mother would have an answer for its name and something interesting to share about it.
Today, most mothers are not familiar with the nature around them, so this is where ‘mother culture‘ would come into play, as the mother continues her own education as a lifestyle and starts building her knowledge of the natural world around her as just one aspect of her own culture of education.
With this knowledge, the concept of mother culture is to be learning ahead of your children, not beside. A great concept but often times difficult to do, if you don't have a starting point. (Don't get discourage, Mom! Keep reading…)
I remember when my own son would ask me what things were in nature and I had NO idea. It didn't stop me! I purchased field guides and found the answers when asked.
Staying true to the other philosophies of Charlotte Mason, part of mother culture also includes appreciation of art and music, handicrafts, skills, as well as building the knowledge of people, places, nature, poetry and more.
Why is ‘mother culture' important?
This philosophy of ‘mother culture' is so crucial for a mother of all ages, especially a younger mother with many children, who may feel like her identify is summed up in ‘wife' and ‘mother', as her day is full of only these things if she isn't purposefully seeking opportunities for mother culture in her own life.
It is important to realize that mother culture is important not only for the child's education but also for the mother's education, as a person. Our life improves with knowledge and with that knowledge our life is enriched.
Without thinking long, list 3-10 things that you are interested in ‘learning' but not feeling like you have the time, resources or opportunity to really give attention to doing in your life. DON'T get caught up with the obstacles, just think about your desires for the moment.
I have always been drawn to the beauty of Charlotte Mason's way and mother culture is no different, which is why I started a community for moms to learn together.
How to implement ‘mother culture'.
The ‘how' of mother culture is something that will require focus and determination. I would really recommend getting your husband on board, especially if you are losing joy in your roles as wife and mother. (being real because I was this wife and mother in my early 30's – which is when Charlotte Mason came into our home)
4 ways you can add mother culture to your day with ease:
- Implement book time in the afternoon: Have all children sit quietly with their own books, while younger ones are taking naps and you choose one of the THREE books that Charlotte Mason recommends to be reading at one time, depending on the mood you are in at the time (a biography, a novel and something to learn) and set the timer, while training your children that this is YOUR time for learning and they must be quiet for you. Give them narrations of some of your readings from time to time, as an example of a good narration.
- Listen to music that interest you while you are cleaning or cooking. Decorate your home with art that interest you or start a Pinterest board of your own favorite pieces.
- Plan at least 2-3 field trips a year for your own interest, inviting your family to come along or go with friends.
- Pick one skill you desire to learn and set aside a few minutes a day to learn this. This can easily be done after the children go to bed, but always include them in your growth of the skill, so they are seeing your example of education being for life.
You deserve time in your day to stay connecting with what makes you… YOU!
If you like this post, you may also like 10 Charlotte Mason Books All Homeschool Moms Should Read…
Would you like to receive a FREE 100+ pages of Charlotte Mason lesson plans that I created? If so, you can download it from my other blog, The Charlotte Mason Way. I only share about this method of education on that site, but I'm making it easy to get the free offer while subscribing to the content there. Just click here to get The Charlotte Mason Lesson Plan Bundle Volume 1 for FREE in your inbox.
Evaluating reading comprehension is a very important aspect of a child's education, and one thing that Charlotte Mason recommends. However, only doing it once a year, at the end of the year can allow for gaps to be happening without your knowledge. Doing regular evaluations, as soon as your child can read well, will help you understand exactly where your child's comprehension is throughout the entire year, allowing you to navigate the year for their benefits based on their weaknesses.
Evaluating Reading Comprehension
When my oldest children were in early elementary, I would regularly evaluate their reading comprehension. At first, we would do a 3 minutes test consisting of 10 questions with a ‘yes' or ‘no' answer, every Friday. I found that this helped them to understand that we read to retain information, and not just read.
They would read the story and attempt to answer as many of the 10 questions as they could correctly within the 3 minutes allowed. At first, this was very difficult for them, however with practice they improved greatly.
As they drastically improved on these weekly test, with consistent 100% grades, I would move them to the next level of test. Still 3 minutes, but the stories grew in difficulty due to the size in text and vocabulary.
I liked that I could test all of my children in the same 3 minutes, but on different test for their own levels of reading comprehension.
Each test for the Books A – E have a wide range of grade comprehension based on the number of correct answers the child gave. The scores have the grade first, followed by the number of month for each grade. So a score of 4.6 would mean the child comprehension level was a fourth grade, six month. A score of 10.3 would mean tenth grade, third month.
The first test results for the year would determine where I would place the next several test. If my child scored a 4.6 on their first test of the year, I would give the following test where that would be the middle target for 1/2 of the questions being correct. When the child started to improve on their test, I would increase the grade target by a few months at a time.
After I had them take 10 test, I would take an average of all their scores and that was their reading comprehension score for that part of the year.
This method has worked amazing for all of my kids thus far, and will be what I do for my last child, as well.
These are the books that I have used, and highly recommend to be used in homeschool or at home, for any child.
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
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.
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…
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
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 Constitution is something that all United States citizens should know and understand. Without the knowledge of the Constitution, you are giving up rights without even being aware of them, and in today's culture, it is very important. Regardless if you we in an election year or not, citizens need to be aware of what the Constitution says about every aspect of their life. Why not add teach the Constitution in your homeschool, and be sure that you are all learning it together. That is how we do it in our home!
How to Teach the Constitution
If you love American History like our family, you love to learn everything you can about the Constitution and what the founding fathers intended our country to look like from the first few years as a new nation.
In our home, we take one-full year in high school to focus entirely on learning about Constitutional history, while also introducing our younger children to as much as they can retain. To us, it is very important to have our children grow as political as they can be, based on the rights that the Constitution affords to every citizen and base their views from that and what they have learned in their Christian faith.
This year our high school curriculum will consist of these resources.
Constitutional Literacy Workbook and the 25-Part DVD Series – The history you never knew. The training you need to reclaim liberty.
This will be the skeleton of our curriculum because I haven't seen anything so thoroughly covering the history of the constitution, the branches of government, their responsibilities and duties, with the parts of the Constitution being broken down to explain what they mean in layman terms.
Each episode of the DVD series has six parts to dissect:
- Purpose: This section provides an overview of what will be covered in each episode and lessons
- Parlance: (meaning language) This section will have key vocabulary of legal terminology used in this lesson for a better understanding of what is being covered
- Preamble: This sections provides an introduction of what will be covered, allowing for historical background or framing the context into everyday life
- Ponder: This sections is where you dig deeper. Literally providing the opportunity for great discussions or essays for assignments to evaluate the comprehension of what was covered
- Payoff: This sections summaries the issues and arguments of the topics that were covered (perfect for teaching a solid debate for standing up for your beliefs on a topic)
- Probe: This section will provide more assignments for high school students to dig deeper in the people, cases or topics mentioned, providing them with investing in their own education on the Constitution
American Heritage Series and the Building on the American Heritage Series by David Barton
These DVDs are amazing, and ones that we used with our older children to teach the Constitution. We will use these as enhancements to the above curriculum to ensure that our children understand the value and importance of interrupting history through original document and individual writings of the Founding Fathers.
There would be key people that I would want my children to learn about when learning about the Constitution. I prefer to use smaller biographies for all my children to grasp the important details of the people, verses using a textbook for this part of their education.
These would be the resources that I would use: