This Charlotte Mason episode is the second installment in the Homeschool Philosophy Series. You can check out the first episode on Classical Education here.
My guests for this episode are the three delightful hosts of the A Delectable Education podcast, Liz Cottrill, Nicole Williams, and Emily Kiser. All three ladies are experts on Charlotte Mason's philosophy and method of education. Together, Liz and Emily run the Living Books Library and also provide consulting services to families interested in implementing Miss Mason's method.
All three are also intimately acquainted with special needs learners, which is why they make such great guests for this podcast.
Liz discovered Charlotte Mason 25 years ago and has used the method to homeschool her adopted sons who have traumatic pasts and Reactive Attachment Disorder. She also uniquely understands the special needs world, as she is a completely blind woman.
Nicole homeschooled her kids with severe dyslexia, as well as her adoptive siblings, whom she considers “damaged learners” because they had had such a bad experience with education before they were adopted. She also homeschooled her niece with special needs for a couple of years. She has been using Charlotte Mason’s method with her kids since her oldest child was in 3rd grade.
Emily is currently a foster mom to a child with special needs, but also helped her mom, Liz, homeschool her younger adopted brothers. She and her mom have had a much experience with helping families implement Charlotte Mason for their special needs learners.
Who was Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason was a British teacher in the late 19th century who saw her students not achieving what she thought they could achieve. So she came up with some important principles to teach students the way that they learn. Her principles are biblically based. She taught that all children are born persons, made in the image of God, and therefore deserved to have a full education, or a “broad feast.” This belief was very contrary to many of her Victorian contemporaries.
“Take heed that ye OFFEND not––DESPISE not––HINDER not––one of these little ones.So run the three educational laws of the New Testament...” ~Charlotte Mason
What are some foundational principles to her method?
A Charlotte Mason education is built around many principles. This is a list of just a few mentioned in the episode. Be sure to listen to the episode to find an explanation of these principles:
- Short lessons on many different topics
- Studying nature
- Special studies
- Many hours of outdoor play per day
- Fostering a strong attention to detail
- 3 12-week terms with a different focus each term
- Living books
These are resources mentioned in this podcast episode:
A Delectable Education website - This website has links to the podcast episodes, as well as a wealth of information and useful teacher helps. You can also find out more about how to consult with Liz and Emily. (The podcast is also available on major podcast apps.) The first 10 episodes of the podcast are recommended for anyone wanting to learn more about Charlotte Mason's method and the basics. And be sure to check out Episode 58...so good!!
Living Literature -Emily's husband teaches online high school literature classes using living literature.
Charlotte Mason’s Original Home Schooling Series - These volumes are Charlotte Mason's original writings. While it is quite a lot of information, it is well worth your time to read them yourself. What I (Beth) personally have been doing is reading from Volume I and then listening to corresponding episodes of the A Delectable Education podcast to help me understand any ideas that need to be clarified.
For The Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley- This book, written by the daughter of Francis Schaeffer, is a great place to start reading about Charlotte Mason's method if you need something that gives the highlights.
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you use Charlotte Mason's method for your homeschool and would like to leave a testimony of how it has worked for your family, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time!