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Is The Charlotte Mason Method Right For Your Child?

Is The Charlotte Mason Method Right For Your Child?

A child studying on the floor with their instructor.

Are you considering different educational approaches for your child? It can be a daunting decision – particularly given the enormous impact it will have on your child’s learning journey and future. To decide whether the Charlotte Mason method would benefit your child, it is important to ask yourself a few key questions:

Does your child love stories?

Do they find dry, dull, fact-heavy textbooks uninspiring?

Do you want them to be independent thinkers?

Do they thrive in the great outdoors?

Do you want them to develop a lifelong love of learning?

By discussing these five considerations, this post will help you decide if the widely beloved Charlotte Mason method is a good fit for you and your child.

Does Your Child Love Stories? Do they find dry, dull, fact-heavy textbooks uninspiring?

Charlotte Mason was a British educator (1842-1923) who placed a great deal of importance on the kinds of books used to educate children. In her day, Charlotte Mason was concerned to see too many children utterly uninspired by their studies. In large part, she attributed this lack of enthusiasm to the ‘miserable text-books’ (as she called them) that children were being taught with. She proposed that a more inspiring way to educate children was to use ‘living books’ – human-centred, narrative-driven books on a particular topic of study. Such books could generate an emotional response in a child and cause them to relate to the reading matter far more easily. In so doing, living books could prove far more inspiring than fact-heavy educational resources.

Do you want them to be independent thinkers?

Not only could living books open the door to a new topic of study in an inspiring way, but teachers could use them as prompts for thoughtful discussion. Charlotte Mason prized critical thinking in her approach to education and did not believe in ‘spoon-feeding’ her students. Instead, she encouraged educators to ask students open-ended questions in a form of Socratic discussion. By doing so, children would be encouraged to think for themselves, understand the way different perspectives on an issue are reached and defend their own ideas – rather than simply absorbing the views of their teacher.

Does your child thrive in the great outdoors?

Charlotte Mason promoted regular contact with nature in her educational approach through nature walks. On such walks, students could document their observations of plants, animals, habitats and more in a nature journal. This journal could then be used to prompt further thoughtful discussion in the classroom (as with living books). The benefits of providing such opportunities to study nature are several. Among them are the chances to develop keen observation skills, engage students’ senses and promote a sense of stewardship for the environment.

Do you want your child to develop a lifelong love of learning?

Education can so often be conducted as if the central aim were for a child to absorb as many facts as possible. Not so with the Charlotte Mason method. Charlotte Mason did not believe in filling students up with useless information – unconnected to anything that could make it interesting or even useful. Instead, she encouraged educators to plant even just a few thought-provoking ideas through the course of their students’ education. Unlike dry facts, ideas had a vital force. They had the power to take firm root in a child’s mind and grow progressively throughout their education. Once they reached adulthood, a child with an all-absorbing idea in their mind would have no trouble finding their way to a career that they were truly passionate about.

Next Step …

Reaching such an important decision as anything pertaining to your child’s education is no easy task. When deciding whether the Charlotte Mason method could work well for your child, it is important both to understand the method itself and consider if it would work with your child’s disposition and developing interests.

So, take your time.

Think it through carefully.

And, if you do decide that this method is for you, Living Book Home School is ready to help support you all the way on this new learning journey you are embarking on. We offer:

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