I have been a fan of the Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum and approach for many years. During my time of exploring Charlotte Mason, I’ve come across some valuable resources that I want to share with you.
Charlotte Mason’s Thoughts on Home Education and Destiny
Charlotte Mason believed that the Lord placed a specific plan in each child’s life. Much of our educational approach is geared toward telling children what track they should travel on instead of discovering the path the Lord intended for them to travel. The following section provides several Charlotte Mason based resources that you may find valuable in your home education journey.
Charlotte Mason Book Recommendations:
Charlotte Mason Resources Blashlearning
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie is a reminder of what education is truly about. She reflects upon the importance of looking at how we educate our children in a way that they learn to love learning instead of checking off specific boxes as we get things done.
It’s all about perspective. What are we teaching our children about learning? She writes her book from a desire to walk in the peace that is promised to those who follow God. Sarah’s desire was to demonstrate peace and grace in her life. These elements would be translated to her children as they grew up.
Charlotte Mason and Character Building
Interestingly, as children see true glory and peace for the believer they will gravitate towards this lifestyle. Enjoy reading this treasure and glean some nuggets that will make a great difference in your homeschool life as well as your life in general. Strong character traits will carry young people far. This trait will open doors to whatever they want to do in life because they will have the discipline to complete a plan of action.
Charlotte Mason: Home Education in the Modern Era
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. Karen has written a book that chronicles her experience using the Charlotte Mason approach to learning. As you read this piece, you will discover what the Charlotte Mason approach looks like in the modern area.
Charlotte Mason at Home and School
For the Children’s Sake: Foundation of Education for Home and school by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay This is another look into the experience of a homeschooling mom that has chosen to use the Charlotte Mason approach. Teachers in the classroom, as well as homeschool moms, will benefit from reading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s book.
Charlotte Mason on Habits and Character Building
Habits: The mother’s Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics)(Volume 1) Charlotte stressed the importance of helping your child as well as yourself acquire good habits. These are solid foundations that make life run easier. Good habits can clear the way for child and adult to live a productive and joy-filled life. Character is established and strengthened as healthy habits are formed. Enjoy this book as you lay down good habits for your children and yourself.
A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-to Manual
Catherine Levinson has taken the key foundations found in a Charlotte Mason approach and presents them in a simple way that allows families to enter the homeschooling world. Catherine helps you establish weekly schedules and routines
Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass is an explanation of the art of telling Charlotte Mason explained how to implement narration and it has been used in schools as well as homeschools. This book explores the theory behind the use of narration and then shows how to implement the process from beginning to end. Children and adults can benefit from the practice of narrating to fully grasp a concept.
These resources are helpful tools in the understanding the Charlotte Mason approach. It is my hope that you will find each of these tools valuable and helpful.
What educational tools have you found helpful? What have I missed? I would love to know what’s worked for you in educating your children. Please leave a comment and share this post with your friends.
Giving our children the opportunity to read the Word of God is one of the greatest gifts we can give. This is a gift that will impact them for years to come. Reading the Bible to children is the best way to introduce them to Jesus. But sometimes it hard to know which Bible is the best. Read this post to find my top pics
When I search for a bible for the kids I look for versions that are easier for them to understand. They are too young to understand certain words and I want them to be able to relate to the Bible and enjoy reading it. The best way to do that is by choosing a bible that they can understand. Best Bibles for Children – One Determined Life
Click the link to read more suggestions on how to choose a children’s bible for your young readers. You will be glad you did.
A plumb line is a weight that is suspended by a string. This is similar to a water level that helps someone doing construction determine if a board is perfectly level. These are standards by which we can measure something. It is an objective look at something. I can use a plumb line or a level to see if a particular object meets a specific standard. This is important when constructing a building. If you don’t know if something is level or sitting at a right angle, you run the risk of an inferior construction. The Word of God is the Plumb Line for the believer.
The Word of God is our plumb line
Amos 7:8 says “The Lord said to me ‘What do you see, Amos?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.” This plumb line of the Word of God is a gift that we can build healthy, whole lives upon. It is the standard by which we can measure our lives. I cannot stress the importance of being able to look to something outside of ourselves to gauge behavior. We can fool ourselves into thinking that some sin is ok. We, as human beings, weigh sins but the Lord does not. For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (KJV)
The Word of God provides clarity
People seemed to be confused about many things. We live in an age where some believe that same-sex marriage is appropriate and gender is fluid The Lord is not confused and His word does not express confusion Certain things don’t change and that helps us to know how to conduct ourselves. When the boundaries are fluid and subject to change, we don’t have a sense of stability.
Borders, boundaries, and fences are put in place to keep dangerous things out and keep that which is within those boundaries safe. Stability provides security and it allows us to explore new things knowing that there are some things that do not need exploration. Those are the things that have grave consequences and could cause harm.
A former pastor of mine said: “experience is not the best teacher”. That statement has stayed with me and allowed me to know that I do not have to experience certain things to learn from them. I can look at the experience of others that have made those mistakes or I can look to the Bible to gain instruction.
How do we know how to act?
There seems to be some confusion on how to conduct oneself. How do we know right from wrong?
One of the ways that we can know how to act is to look to the Word of God. Psalm 119:9 says: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (KJV) The New King James Version puts it this way; How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
The Bible is not flaky on its authority. It plainly states that it provides instruction for daily life and spiritual growth. Hebrews 4:12 For the wordofGod is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God, the Bible will read you if you let it. It is alive and will point out areas in your life that need correcting, It will also bring you comfort and encouragement.
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increase.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
It may take work to increase wealth but it can be had. It is not only money that we are talking about here. Families that are strong and connected have immeasurable wealth.
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.
Yep, this passage requires a lot more comment than what I am going to offer here. There will be more. Keep your eyes open. Let me just point out that there is a sacrifice on both parts in the marriage covenant Click To Tweet and the husband has a great responsibility to his wife. This passage states that the love that a man is to show his wife is the love that Jesus showed the church. That love sent him to the cross. Much to think about when entering into the covenant of marriage.
Gen 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
The creator of the Universe, God, took note of Abraham’s character and saw that Abraham was going to teach his children about the one true and living God. The Lord treasured this and entered into a covenant that impacts the entire world even to this day. The family is the cornerstone of our society. We have to guard and protect the structure of the family that the Lord created. This provides much-needed strength to our children. They can grow up to be healthy adults in stable families.
Fathers and mothers have a heavy responsibility to the children in their household. This is where the young ones will learn of the Lord. We must be about our Father’s business when it comes to our children.
This is a good thing although it may be uncomfortable. Allowing the Word of God to shine on us and our conduct is the path to a healthy life. Following the Word of God will in no way harm us but will, in fact, protect us. Be encouraged and embrace the Word of God.
How has the Word of God brought clarity or healing in your life? Please share in the comment section.
Charlotte Mason was a British educator that Loved the Lord and loved children. She observed children and taught others how to nurture children and guide them to their destiny. Her approach is used in many homeschools and some charter schools.
Her philosophy has not only impacted the education arena but has also impacted the home life of many families.
I just reach for the seat-belt and fasten myself in while I am thinking about something else or talking with someone in the car. I don’t expend much mental energy at all in getting that task done. It’s a good habit that keeps me safe.
Step by Step
What if I had to think about every step of brushing my teeth? Normally, when we brush our teeth, we think about a million other things. Or if you are like me, you are half asleep in the morning or falling asleep as you get ready for bed.
It’s a good thing that brushing my teeth is a habit. We do not have to give much thought to the process. When we brush our teeth, we think about so many other things at the same time.
It’s not uncommon for your mind to be engaged in something totally unrelated to brushing your teeth because it’s a habit. It is second nature to you. You’ve done it for a long time, right?
Think back to when you first started brushing your teeth. Don’t worry. This will be a quick trip down memory lane. When you were much younger you had to figure out how to hold the toothpaste tube just right. You thought about how to hold the tube. You figured out how NOT to squeeze too much toothpaste out. Then you start brushing your teeth.
Did you ever push too far back and nearly choke yourself? Or maybe you were a little too aggressive and you scraped your gums. Oh yeah, someone had to watch you and make sure you were doing it the right way. Thankfully, you learned how to brush your teeth so well that you didn’t have to spend hours going over each part of the process. We all have good habits and bad habits. Even though habits do not take much thought, they impact our lives greatly.
If you have a good habit of washing the dinner dishes after you have eaten dinner then you have the wonderful delight of walking into a kitchen with a clean sink every morning. (I’m still working on that one).
Good Habits Make Life Flow
Making up your bed every morning after you get out of it means you are going to have a neater looking room when you get ready for bed. Those habits make your life more pleasant and easier to manage.
What are some of your good habits that make life more pleasant and productive? Your habits can also take place in your head. Your thought life is an important part of your life that we all need to pay attention to.
Recently, the Lord has been drawing my attention to my thought life. He highlighted some negative thoughts I began entertaining. The thoughts centered around a loved one that has some habits that annoyed me. I’m sure you can relate to the reality that those closest to us can irritate us the most.
I hear you mothers out there! Oh, there are several dad hands up as well. So, you can relate, good?
As I allowed the negative thoughts to bloom and grow in my head, the Lord arrested my attention and prompted me to think about what was happening. I was allowing negativity to take a color my mood. The color was very dark and unpleasant.
Those negative thoughts can creep in without our realizing it. There was nothing positive or productive coming from those thoughts. In fact, I sensed frustration and agitation as the thoughts lingered.
Our Thoughts are Powerful
The alarming thing that occurred to me was that the person I was thinking about wasn’t even present. I was getting annoyed and agitated by thoughts and the person was nowhere near. I promptly repented and asked the Lord to forgive me and help me with the thoughts.
He, in turn, had me bless the person I was thinking about. He reminded me that “The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (My paraphrase of 2 Cor 10:4). Our Heavenly Father is a good father and will teach us good things. He will help us form good habits.
Renewing the Mind is Powerful
The Lord also highlighted the importance of renewing my mind. Romans 12:2 tell us not to be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Click To Tweet The enemy is relentless in his fight against us. It takes an emersion into the Word of God to keep our thoughts healthy.
What Comes Next!
I am excited to see that long-term fruit comes as a result of taking unhealthy thoughts captive and allowing the Lord to purify them. The immediate benefit is that my attitude changed from being ugly to being more pleasant but I am sure there will be more benefits as I allow the Lord to help me tweak my habits.
Establishing Habits Early
Parents have a wonderful opportunity to assist their children in developing good habits that will make the home a happy and peaceful place. These habits will also help the child as they grow into adults. As mentioned earlier the habits of the child are the character traits of the adult.
Habits of observation
Let’s take some time and look at Habits of Observation.
Careful and close observation are key to narration. Narration is a skill that Charlotte Mason stressed in helping children attend to something and then report on what they noticed. This is a habit and a skill that serves children and adults well.
We will discuss what observation is and how it can enhance life in different areas.
Observation is putting your mental energy on a particular thing and allowing yourself to experience what you are seeing or reading to the fullest extent. Parents can encourage observation skills in many different ways.
When doing nature studies, children can look at a tree and notice colors and textures. They can further the observation experience as they touch the tree in different areas. Children can be directed to ask themselves questions about how the tree feels when they touch the trunk and how the leaves feel.
Smell is an important element of observation as well. How does the trunk smell? How about the leaves? Children can note sounds they hear when they are observing a tree. The leaves make a particular sound as the wind blows by.
As far as taste goes, you would not encourage a child to use this sense when observing outside. This can be saved when you are inside preparing dinner.
Spices and sauces can be sampled. Children will develop the ability notice different spices and how they change the taste of certain foods. You may discover you have a budding chef on your hands as you explore different tastes.
Benefits of observation
Careful observation helps children store up pictures in the mind. These memories can be recalled at any time and individuals can enjoy those memories even into their adult years.
Observation can help children take notice of the needs of someone else. Children need to be aware of the needs of others. This helps the children focus on someone other than themselves. Parents can guide children to notice the needs of others and assist where appropriate
Careful observation also causes individuals to be truly present with their family and friends. Many people are easily drawn in by phones and other electronic devices and miss connecting with people around them.
Connecting with the people that we love is important and makes life pleasant, rich and full. The attachment to electronic devices creates an empty atmosphere that leaves people feeling lonely and detached.
Observation also enables us to focus more intently. This applies to reading a book or listening to a sermon or lecture as well as to our children and family.
A student is able to pay close attention to what they are reading or listening to. As attention is given to these platforms children and adults remember what has been said or read. This will enable the person to receive the information or concepts shared.
They are able to use their power of thought and concentration to learn from what has been shared. A child will learn to judge for him or herself whether or not what is being taught is true or not.
This skill is becoming more important as time progresses. People have agendas and would like to skew information to promote a particular narrative. Our children need to be able to recognize faulty thinking when they come upon it.
Children will also be able to pay close attention to directions given. This is important because often students breeze over directions and as a result, the work they produce is sometimes lacking in accuracy. Furthermore, children will increase the stamina in their ability to read and write. This will also translate to writing and composition skills.
Crystal Wagner, at Triumphant Learning, does an excellent job of further describing the benefits to developing Habits of Observation. She also describes different activities that can be used to teach our children how to observe in different ways. Check out her post and take advantage of the resources she highlights.
What habits have you been working on? How has the Lord helped you with those habits? Leave a comment in the comment box and let me know.
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