The Charlotte Mason method is based firmly on the idea that a child is a person and that we must educate that whole person and not just their mind. Charlotte Mason said that “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
Ms. Mason believed that children absorb a third of their knowledge from their home environment.
Ms. Mason believed that children must develop habits of good character. She believed that the cultivation of good habits should make up a third of his education.
The final third of a child’s education applies to academics, but Ms. Mason believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts.
Charlotte Mason’s students used living books, not dry and dull textbooks. She wanted children to read books that are written in story form or in narrative by passionate authors. Living books make history, science, and all other subjects come alive and hold children’s interest. After a passage has been read, students narrate, in their own words, what they have read in the living book, so that it is locked in their minds. Children must practice using the rich language as they point out the thoughts they have gleaned from the reading. This helps them make intellectual connections between what they have just read and other ideas they already have in their growing minds.
Ms. Mason believed that children should spend large amounts of time outdoors enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. Nature studies are an integral part of the Charlotte Mason method. She believed that children should learn from creatures observed while getting much needed fresh air and exercise. As they observe, they will learn to keep a nature journal by both drawing and cataloging what they see.
Picture and music study is also used to introduce children to great artists and their work. Ms. Mason believed that the study of the arts allowed for a balanced education.
At Bent Mountain Christian Academy, we desire to follow the Charlotte Mason method as much as we can in a co-op setting. We strive to educate the whole child, so they will grow into strong, independent self learners.
To this end, we are working in conjunction with the Charlotte Mason Institute in order to accomplish our goals for educating our student using the Charlotte Mason method.