top of page
Child Reading in the Grass

Charlotte Mason Method

Charlotte Mason style of education is based on the teachings of Charlotte Mason. Mason was a British educator in the nineteenth century. This approach to education emphasizes good habits and noble ideas. Mason’s teachings and writings were especially geared for parents, governesses and other child-care providers.

Charlotte Mason is Living Education

The child is seen as a whole person

This method of teaching advocates reading good books from original sources and spending time in nature.  It was developed by Charlotte Mason in the 19th century. Study periods are broken up into blocks of time ranging from 15 to 20 minutes and longer for high school students.  Focus is placed on observation, memorization and explanations, i.e., each child writes in a journal about their observations during daily nature walks.


Charlotte Mason integrated the Classical Method into her method. 


Charlotte Mason’s philosophy views the child as a person. Good habits and noble ideas help shape them. Not just their minds, but their whole persons and their whole lives. Her motto for students was “I am, I can, I ought, I will.”

  • I am: I am a person of great value

  • I can: I am able to do everything required of me

  • I ought: I ought to be of service to others

  • I will: I will choose to do what’s right even if it’s not what I want.

Each child is encouraged to do his best in everything. Learning is a lifestyle with its own reward built in. Education develops the character habits for a well-lived life. Parents nurture and inspire the student’s education. But, the duty to learn belongs to the child–and is called “self-education.”

The goal is for each child to have a “Living Book” of experiences for looking back and learning from.


Additional Links:

Ambleside Online: A complete and free Charlotte Mason curriculum 

"A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning"  Paperback – January 1, 1998. Available at Amazon March 19, 2010 //  by Jamie Martin  Homeschool mother of three children (which includes two adopted children) author of several books including an e-book “Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom” with a free PDF version available to all email subscribers of her blog. Crystal Wagoner, a Charlotte Mason homeschooler who believes learning is not confined to a book or school hours but is a lifestyle that positively impacts generations. Her website is:  (Living Books Curriculum, a K-8 Christian homeschooling curriculum developed by Jim and Sheila Carroll, parents of a homeschooled daughter.  Jim has a doctorate in educational psychology and Sheila two master degrees in educational leadership and children’s literature and was an elementary school teacher.  The Living Books Curriculum has teacher guides, subject guides, and classic living books.  Proceeds from curriculum sales goes to  support the development of seven schools in Africa by the nonprofit Worldwide Educational Resources which provides Education in a Box curriculum to developing nations.  Developed by two-home school families (John and Sonya Shafer and Doug and Karen Smith) with eight children and about four decades of Charlotte Mason experience.Habit training is an integral part of the curriculum because the authors believe good habits lead to good character.  The authors maintain a weekly e-mail and blog post, created an online record keeper and planners and a free curriculum guide and produced several videos and regularly speak at workshops and conventions. Time4Learning link answers three questions:  What is the Charlotte Mason Home Education Style?  How does the Charlotte Mason Method work?  How does Time4Learning work with the Charlotte Mason Method?  Time4Learning provides a Charlotte Mason curriculum for homeschooling.


Catholic Teaching Resources:

  • Mater Amabilis: PreK-12 Curriculum for Catholics

bottom of page