Monday, August 10, 2009

Charlotte Mason - the "gentle art of learning"

I have alluded to Charlotte Mason but I have not yet really described her the way that she should be. It could be difficult in one or two sentences to summarize her and the influence that she had on the school systems in the late 18oo's early 1900's.
I have been drawn to CM's way of thinking since a friend gave me the book "A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola, four years ago, to peruse and read at my leisure. I quickly learned that, "Charlotte saw children as thinking, feeling human beins, as spirits to be kindled and not as vessels to be filled...She believed all children were entitled to a liberal education based upon good literature and the arts." This was radical for these times where - upper class children only were given any education and even that was very regimented and "boxed in". CM wrote a book and then more books explaining "how parents could- and should- provide their children with a broad, stimulating, even exciting education, far removed from the common diet of so many elementary schools of the day." Her literature was received gratefully and she quickly became a leading authority on early education.
There is a book called "For the Children's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay which I have not read, and do intend to (when I am done re-reading my brand new copy of "A CM Companion") - Karen Andreola was first inspired by her book and then had CM's original books republished back in the 80's.
Here are the main points of a CM Education that I will expand on in further posts: Living Books, Narration, No Homework, Short Lessons, Free Afternoons, Few Lectures, Ideas and Culture, and Habit.


  1. I have been to her website and was very intruigued. I can't wait to hear more!

  2. Thanks April and bro!! More to come...(I just have to teach Rowe and Allie how to cook...then I can stay here forever....)

  3. Hey there!

    Nifty blog!