5 Ways to Add a Little Charlotte Mason to Your Routine

Lots of homeschool parents look into the Charlotte Mason method and get overwhelmed.  They like some of the concepts (or maybe all of them!), but most of the parents I talk with are unsure of how to really implement CM ideas into the day-to-day routine of home educating.  Or some have spent a lot of money on curriculum and feel obligated to use it.  Others are using virtual academies and feel they don’t have time to add anything from Miss Mason’s ideas.

No matter what your situation is – home education, virtual academy, public or private school – you can add some of the CM philosophy to your day.  It will enrich your family’s life.  I promise!

Here are 5 easy ways to make the CM method part of your busy day:

1. Read good books at bedtime. Everyone loves a good bedtime story.  Maybe you can’t read 20 classics each year, but you can begin by reading one, right?  Find a list of best loved children’s books, choose one, and make the commitment to read a chapter every night at bedtime.  It will draw your family closer together and provide a lovely education in classic literature.  This is not the time for Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Those are fine for independent reading, but the bedtime book should be something rich and satisfying…adventurous and noble.

2. Pick an artist. Head to the library or the discount book store and look for a book about a famous artist; any artist you are interested in.  Pick one work of art from the book to talk about for 5-10 minutes each week.  Your entire family will benefit from the exposure.  No tests required.

3. Allow your children to tell. No, I am not talking about tattling on a brother or sister!  Encourage your children to tell you all about something they have learned – anything at all.  Ask them to tell you everything they know about Lego Star Wars, or Spiderman, or Sleeping Beauty.  And then really listen.  Expand on this skill by asking them about areas of study.  On occasion, replace a writing assignment with a “narration” and see where it takes you…

4. Choose a classical composer. The library is loaded with great classical music and the discount bins at book and music stores usually have plenty of options as well.  Just listen to it…maybe mention the name of the composer from time to time and that’s it.  You would be surprised how much most children appreciate, and even love, classical music when they are exposed to it.  Almost everyone has at least one composer that speaks to them.  Besides, it beats the latest “music” from Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and The Jonas Brothers, right?

5. Wax poetic. Very few people seem to read poetry anymore and it’s a sad state of affairs.  Choose a volume of children’s poetry (if your children are very young), or choose a beloved poet (if the kids are older) and dig in.  If you can manage one poem a day – great!  If you can only manage one poem a week, it’s better than none!  If you get really brave, you might even try to memorize and recite a few.  Go nuts!

9 thoughts on “5 Ways to Add a Little Charlotte Mason to Your Routine

  1. amy in peru says:

    good hints! it’s hard sometimes for me to remember those beginning days full of bewilderment, it’s just so much more natural now…

    thanks for submitting this to the CM carnival! It’s gonna be a full one this time around! 🙂

    amy in peru

  2. Phyllis says:

    That is a good list even for us veterans to remember. Some times, due to illness, I have to cut back our school to the basics. This looks like a good list of the basics.

  3. nancyfromsageparnassus says:

    Thank you for this succinct beginner post. This should surely help many get the ball rolling in the CM direction!

  4. Nadene says:

    Such lovely simple and effective ideas and easy to implement! I hope this encourages those beginner CM homeschoolers to just start with these basics and add a bit more as they go along the journey.

  5. Mary Caldwell says:

    Hi. Don’t think this is where I belong but was hoping to contact Home School families about the Gingerbread house contest at The Tellico Plains TN Candlelight walk. This would be a great learning experience for children.

    Art….The planning and construction
    Cooking….The baking
    History….You can choose a famous landmark structure to build
    Literature…build a structure from a favorite story
    Science….maybe, I am currently trying to grow some rock candy to use on the one I am building with NH residents
    Civics…Entering a house would be taking part in a community event
    Shopping…Getting the products you need to bake or if you choose just use store bought cookies, crackers and candy
    Or just plain fun…make believe its recess

  6. Richele says:

    Well done on your economy of words – definitely encouraging and not overwhelming.

    There’s a term in the publishing world for books like Captain Underpants – it’s called “Poop Fiction.” Sad that the term even exists.

    I especially liked the first two sentences in #3 🙂

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