"If you are even remotely interested in the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, or are just searching for something to add a little more creativity to what you are currently doing, I would read this book first!" |
-- TOS Magazine
A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education
I am quite a fan of the Charlotte Mason method of teaching and this [book] is Charlotte Mason in a nutshell. A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison aptly sums up Mason’s work in a neat little volume of just 89 pages that makes for quick reading. I was able to finish this book in just 24 hours and came away with a plethora of easy to implement ideas. If you are even remotely interested in the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, or are just searching for something to add a little more creativity to what youare currently doing, I would read this book first!
Each chapter is approximately 2 - 3 pages in length. Chapters 1 and 2 give a brief explanation of Charlotte Mason, her work, and an overall summary of the method. Chapters 3 through 18 breakdown each aspect of the Charlotte Mason method: Narration, Literature, Poetry, Composition, Handwriting, Spelling, Foreign Language, Grammar, Science, Math, Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, Free-time Handicrafts, Bible, History, and Geography. Chapter 19 highlights Miss Mason’s philosophy on Citizenship and Morals. Chapter 20 covers the “Formation of Good Habits,” which is emphasized throughout the Charlotte Mason method. Finally, the Appendix includes samples of weekly schedules and timetables broken down by grade level.
Mrs. Levison is not only thorough, but gracious as well. She emphasizes that the Charlotte Mason method can be implemented wholly or in part. She also states that no one educational philosophy has it all, rather we should bathe all homeschool decisions in prayer. Instead, A Charlotte Mason Education, seeks to lay out a framework for implementing Miss Mason’s ideas almost effortlessly and very quickly. Although the Charlotte Mason method does not involve purchasing a set curriculum, which may tend to instill fear in some, Mrs. Levison freely shares her ideas and experiences. She is careful to note several companies that carry many of the materials used today. Resources and notes abound - you will definitely want to have your highlighter handy while reading!
More Charlotte Mason Education picks up where A Charlotte Mason Education leaves off. More in depth, yet just as practical, it is once again filled with years of experience in utilizing the Charlotte Mason method! I am just amazed at the ease and simplicity of Mrs. Levison’s interpretations of Charlotte’s work. So much information is packed into these tiny little volumes!
More Charlotte Mason Education begins with a chapter entitled, “Charlotte Mason the Person.” I particularly enjoyed this description of the person, the times in which she lived and her work. Other beginning chapters include an additional overview of the Charlotte Mason method, a definition of the liberal arts and how they apply to learning today, and how to apply the idea of short lessons. This sequel to Mrs. Levison’s first book gives a more definitive description and study of implementing Miss Mason’s philosophies. Other chapters give instruction on planning and show samples of school terms as laid out by the PNEU (Miss Mason’s school in England), as well as define and lay out the use of a “Book of the Centuries.” There is also a section on using the Charlotte Mason method in high school. Still more examples of curriculum, scheduling, and ideas for your own further study of this method abound!
Chapters are slightly longer in this volume, yet it is quite an easy and enjoyable read. Much more in-depth than the first, it is slightly different in the topics that are covered. A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education are ideal reading for those who wish to know more, but don’t have the time to sit and ponder over a lengthy study. This is all you need to know to begin your transition to the Charlotte Mason approach to learning!
A Literary Education
As many of you who use the Charlotte Mason method already know, book lists abound. A Literary Education highlights an annotated list of Mrs. Levison’s selections. For those of you who are asking, “What books should I use?” A Literary Education provides a baseline of strong literary materials. Some suggestions are old friends such as Aesop’s Fables or Black Beauty. Some are sure to be new favorites like The Canterbury Tales, Children’s Stories from Dickens, and Nature Writings of Henry David Thoreau.
Each selected reading contains the recommended author (if there is more than one), the publisher, the number of pages, the ISBN number, a brief synopsis, and the independent reading level. Listings are sorted by category for easy reference. Categories include Literature, History, Science & Nature, Poetry, Art, Biographies, Music and a Miscellaneous category. In the appendix you will find a general scope and sequence (K-12) of skills taught in the United States. This is meant to be used as a reference if needed to supplement classroom reading.
If you have enjoyed A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education, A Literary Education will be no exception. As with all of Mrs. Levison’s books, you will be pleasantly enlightened. Whether you are enjoying a time of reading with your children or are just looking for something tasteful of your own, A Literary Education will satisfy your palate!