"Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life."

Turning our hearts to our children.

The A - B - C's of Charlotte Mason

Turning our hearts to our children.

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 This is the original on-line version of the FAQ offered to all newcomers to the Charlotte Mason Study Loop. Quotes from Charlotte Mason are indicated. The ABC definitions have been written by a number of our members, and may change as different ones are offered.

 Also included are a number of common questions and answers from our loop. All parts are copyrighted to their original authors as indicated, and the page as a whole is copyrighted to Lynn B Hocraffer. Please ASK before extensively quoting this material, and be sure to include the proper citations.

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 The Charlotte Mason Philosophy

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who was born in 1842 and died in 1923. During that time she developed a Philosophy of Education that has proved very adaptable. Designed for homes, private schools, and homeschools, her blend of practices (for she never claimed to have invented these, only to having adapted and combined them) includes Narration and copywork, Nature Notebooks, Fine Arts, Languages, a Literature based curriculum instead of textbooks, and real-life applications. She also did not claim to have finished or perfected her Philosophy. The complete title to her last book, Volume 6 of her Home Schooling Series, conveys this concept - "An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education". She was constantly developing, refining, adding as she learned herself. Her practice was to stimulate others with ideas and suggestions.

 During her life she taught school, was a lecturer at Bishop Otter Teacher Training College in Chichester, England, wrote many books and pamphlets, started a training school for governesses which became Charlotte Mason College, became a popular public lecturer, established the Parents National Education Union (PNEU), and was Editor of it's magazine, "Parent's Review". Charlotte Mason also taught parents, held retreats and classes on building the family, and believed that all would benefit from a rich education and life. Quite a series of accomplishments for a woman who was in poor health!

 Her book "Home Education", which included the notes from her 8 popular lectures, was a best-seller and became the first of the 6 that are considered her Series. Older editions of this Series are prized, and an abridged set is available in paperback. The "Parent's Review" may be read at the United States Library of Congress, at the University of St. Martin in England, and individuals are known to have other sets. Some articles have been reprinted in recent periodicals.

 Ideas are the core of a Charlotte Mason Education. Quoting CM: "Education is a life; that life is sustained on ideas; ideas are of spiritual origin, and that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. The duty of parents is to sustain a child's inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food." (Volume 2, pg. 39)

 However, the CM philosophy does not apply only to education. In "The Story of Charlotte Mason" by Essex Cholmondeley. (1960 - Aldine Press - London.) is a lovely quote: "A student, in answer to CM's question as to why she had come to the school said, "I have come here to learn to teach." CM responded, "My dear, you have come here to learn to live." "

The teachings of CM fell out of popular use approximately the time of the second World War, but a small number of original PNEU schools continue to this day. In the last decade there has been a resurgence of interest. While home schoolers are the largest group examining and applying these principles, there are also new PNEU-type private schools opening. Even people using the public schools, or without children at all, are examining ways to practice a CM lifestyle. It is truly an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life.

 Lynn B Hocraffer, BS
copyright March 6, 1999
 

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A. Is for Ambleside, England, where Charlotte Mason lived and operated her teacher's college between 1885 and 1923.

 A is also for Art, which is incorporated in most CM studies. See "N for Nature Notebook" and "P for Picture Studies" to see some of what Art is used for.

A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison. Subject by subject, how to implement the CM method in education. This book is very helpful for homeschool families beginning the CM methods.

 B. Books! Just what are we doing with all those books? CM is a literature-based approach to education. That means we use few, if any, textbooks or workbooks. Instead, the children read literature chosen to cover the material as much as possible. Quality is more important than quantity. Give your children living Ideas, encounters with great minds, and they will never forget them.

 The "Book of Centuries" was a CM invention. Essentially it is a timeline kept in a notebook, a growing resource that a child adds to continually. The original description was literally one page of writing selected events and one sketching page per century. You might prefer a loose-leaf format to include essays, booklists and sketches, as well as dates, names, and events.

 C. Copywork is key to all studies, beginning at age 6 and continuing through High School. Copywork begins with careful penmanship, learning to make the letters and numbers correctly, producing a few perfect examples rather than a page of work that becomes sloppy. Once the letters are learned, then simple words, then sentences, paragraphs, poetry, and so on according to the age and ability of the student. Choose the work to be accomplishable within the lesson time, do not rush. The assignments are chosen from their current daily reading. See "Dictation", "Journaling", "Narration", and "Spelling".

 > What do you do if the work is not neat? Red line it - require re-working the sloppy word or two - reworking the whole thing or what? (Cathi)

 Well, personally I prefer to praise the parts that are good and only require the very worst individual words to be replaced. If there are a LOT of bad spots, I consider the selection to be too long. That means a shorter selection tomorrow, with emphasis on neat work. "Take your time, dear, get it right the first time.", followed by lots of praise when it is right. I would probably also change the type of assignment tomorrow- if the copywork was a paragraph, change to a short poem to decorate and send to Grandma. (Extra motivation for neatness). This would allow a fresh "look" at the work.(LBH)

 Copywork proceeds naturally into written Narration, Composition, and Creative Writing at the upper educational levels.

 Curriculum: There is NO specified curriculum for CM, though various publishers and catalogs offer materials that we find more suitable than others. CM is an applied philosophy, individualized by each family to best suit their children. Refer to "Books" and "Narration".

 >I asked if people use curriculums? (Jana)(referring to our email study group)

 You may ask how to teach a particular subject area in the CM way. Curriculum (meaning a package) is not the topic on this list. Curriculum can certainly be used, most of us use some. We may discuss how a particular book or text can be used (or IF it can be) in the CM way. For example, you may ask if the A Becka math text can be used in a CM way, or how to modify the lessons. We do not otherwise compare or discuss curriculum. (LBH)

 "The Charlotte Mason Study Guide" by Penny Gardner, 2202 E Sego Lily Drive, Sandy, UT 84092 Send her $9.95 + $2 shipping= $11.95 USA funds. If you are not in the USA, have her check what the postage will be. This book collects quotations and reading selections from the Series into 20 topical studies. This book is very helpful for homeschool families beginning the CM way, and for studies of the philosophy.

"A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola.
This is a collection of many of her magazine articles, with new, never-published chapters. It includes several chapters which are abridged, rewritten, or adapted from original CM chapters and articles from the original "Parent's Review" magazine. There are also several chapters on useful concepts from other writers. Karen considers herself to be expanding on the original concepts of Charlotte Mason, using extensive quotations and applications from her own experiences. This book is more interesting to those already familiar with CM.

 D. Dictation. The parent reads, the child writes. In CM dictation, the child prepares for a sentence (small children or beginners) by practicing every word in it. Older children will prepare a paragraph, but will already know most of the words so will only practice new or difficult ones. Use it as copywork for a few days, pointing out spelling, capitalization and punctuation. When they know it, then do it as dictation! Then compare to the original, erase and correct mistakes. Tomorrow try it again, until it is right. Hooray! (LBH)

 Drill. You find it on every sample schedule. Today it usually means worksheets or flash cards, but to Charlotte Mason it meant Physical Education. Aerobic exercise, usually accompanied by singing. Marching, exercises, floor exercises such as gymnastics, fun songs. Often the singing might be in a language the children were studying. After about three long classes of reading and writing, when a child's brain can be excused for getting sleepy -UP the children would get for a stimulating brief period. Charlotte Mason knew how to vary a schedule to avoid tedium.

 Discipline: "If the mother settles it in her own mind that the child never does wrong without being aware of his wrong-doing, she will see that he is not too young to have his fault corrected or prevented. Deal with the child on the first offense and a grieved look is enough to convict the little transgressor; but let him go on until a habit of wrong-doing is formed, and the cure is a slow one; then the mother has no chance until she has formed in him a contrary habit of well-doing. To laugh at ugly tempers and let them pass because the child is small, is to sow the wind." (Volume 1, page 19)

 Delight Directed Studies are a CM innovation. Older children use part of their free time to research individual interests, often as part of their Journaling or expanding on a topic from their lessons.

 E. English is not taught as a subject. Instead, the areas are incorporated into the other studies, with Grammar and Punctuation being taught with Copywork and Dictation. Grammar is taught separately beginning in the middle school years as an oral lesson several times a week. Composition also begins in the Middle School years, drawing on the background of Copywork examples the children have been doing. They are showing the children the structure of what they already know how to do, and then using that structure for essays and compositions. Literature and History are very nearly the same subject, though you may assign a novel, or poetry, or a play and a Biography of one of the characters.

 The Eighteen Principles of a Charlotte Mason Education are found in the Preface to each volume of the Series. If you are employing these Principles you may be said to be giving your child a CM Education. Of course, they are only a synopsis of the complete ideas, which take the rest of the 6 volumes to expound.

F. French is the traditional first language taught in PNEU schools. This is because it was a familiar language already - many English children were already at least partially bi-lingual. Depending on your location and resources you might choose Spanish, or any other. See Language for how to teach them.

For The Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Crossway Books) is one of the first books that many people read about the CM method. It can be considered an introduction to the application of the Philosophy. CM herself wrote a list of 18 "Principles" of a CM education in the Preface of each volume of her Home Education Series, and all 18 are discussed in this book.

 G. Geography is mapwork, which always parallels the other studies. The Literature and History of an area and time period would always be accompanied by a period or two each week of drawing maps and studying geographical features. This can often become an enhancement to Science lessons as well.

 Grammar is not usually taught as a subject in CM lessons until the child reaches about Junior High level. Somewhere between age 10 (when the average child begins written Narration) and the beginning of formal composition lessons in High School, Grammar is undertaken a few times a week. Grammar is an extension of copywork and Narration, of showing the child the rules and terms of the language. Grammar is often included in Language work, such as Latin lessons.

 G is also for Goals: We talk a lot about the technicalities of CM's philosophy--rightly so, that's what the list is for. Miss Mason's goal, however, was not 'properly educated students'. Throughout her Home Education series she stressed the reason behind her educational method. She hoped that we would all be fit for service. Whatever our Sovereign has planned for us, we may prepare by training ourselves in habits of self-discipline in body, mind and emotions, and securing every ability that a generous education provides.
our utmost for His highest- cathy in pa

 H.Habit is key to a Charlotte Mason life. Charlotte Mason often used the phrase "Habit is ten Natures", and she believed you should train about 20 desirable habits. Training of habits begins in babyhood, one at a time.

 "But habit, to be the lever to lift the child, must work contrary to nature, or at any rate, independently of her." (Volume 1 page 105)

 History is usually the first educational subject area to plan. History is taught by learning about People - biographies, autobiographies, and quality novels.

From Volume 1, page 280; "The fatal mistake is in the notion that he must learn 'outlines' of the whole history... just as he must cover the geography of all the world. Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age."

 I. Ideas are the core of a Charlotte Mason Education. Quoting CM: "Education is a life; that life is sustained on ideas; ideas are of spiritual origin, and that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. The duty of parents is to sustain a child's inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food." (Volume 2, pg 39)

 "We Trust Much To Good Books. - Once more, we know that there is a storehouse of thought wherein we may find all the great ideas that have moved the world." (Volume 2, pg 231)

 J. Journal keeping was encouraged as soon as a child was willing, or ready. At about age 10 the children were given a short period once a week, usually on a Friday, to write whatever they pleased in their Journals. While assigned Copywork and Dictation needed to be perfect, these Journals were not required to be corrected. They were intended to encourage the child to express their own thoughts, and the child could keep anything they wanted here - collect favorite quotes or copywork, write or research on a theme of their own choice.

K. "Inconstant Kitty" is a famous essay by Charlotte Mason. It is found in Volume 5, "Formation of Character", which is a collection of essays on morals and character for the parents to read. An abridged version is reprinted in Karen Andreola's "Charlotte Mason Companion". In structure it is a series of letters from parents of a child of free spirit, to an aunt who is giving advice on training the child.

 L. Languages. Whatever language is chosen, you begin with names and very simple phrases in which the names may be substituted - everything in your house, everyone in your family. 40 phrases in 60 school days is the traditional PNEU school plan, with extra vocabulary. In addition, the children will be learning songs in the language and hearing stories and rhymes that use the words and phrases they know. Once they know they are hearing "Little Red Riding Hood", for example, they should be able to follow pretty well. Reading familiar Scripture is a good idea. This will be about 4 brief periods during a week, plus the singing when they sing. Remember much of the singing is during the PE/Drill period - CM believed in what we call aerobic exercise, with singing during the exercise. Copywork is begun at about the third year.

 What about languages for the special children we are discussing in another thread? A child who cannot handle English - who is learning disabled, or seriously handicapped? I suggest trying Sign Language! I have heard good reports from families with dyslexia, adhd, and even serious problems. I know one family whose child will never speak (a rare genetic condition) - but he has learned names and some basic needs in Sign. Try it!

 M. Masterly Inactivity is taken up in Volume 3, Chapter 3. The key to avoiding stress for Mom! Train your child, develop Habits, and then let them go. Attention to the training in early years is the key - do not allow children to develop weak or bad habits that must be changed. This is not Unschooling - the child is trained in an area until the parents know that they may be left unsupervised.

Quoting CM: "Perhaps the idea is nearly that conveyed in Wordsworth's even more happy phrase, 'wise passiveness.' It indicates the power to act, and the insight and self-restraint which forbid action." ... and, "The mastery is not over ourselves only; there is also a sense of authority, which our children should be as much aware of when it is inactive as when they are doing our bidding.", ... and, "They are free under authority, which is liberty; to be free without authority is license." (Volume 3, pages 28 - 29)

 MATH. "Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the textbook and few subjects are worse taught ; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas ... which should quicken imagination." (CM Vol 1, p 233)

 Catherine Levison includes several comments, taken from the 1898 Parent's Review magazine. Included are:
Teach the concrete before the abstract, no matter how old the child.
Daily mental effort, one step at a time, will teach concentration.
Let them learn from experience that math is exact by having them see wrong as wrong. Let their wrong answers remain wrong.... Charlotte wants them to try to get the next one right, to have hope.(CL)
Each concept needs to be taught orally, including word problems, then with manipulatives, and finally with a few written examples. Narration may be used for examination.(LBH)

 N. Narration is one of the key characteristics of a CM education. Telling later without prompting is very CM. Your child should be able to tell you what they read after your shower, Daddy when he comes home, and Grandma over the phone this weekend without referring to the book. You want to know what ideas caught her mind, not get a formal book report. A dozen children could read the same passage and give a dozen different true versions. One child might notice the horse, another the apple trees in bloom, another the weather. The PNEU school end-of-term written tests are done this way. Without any review, the children sit down and write a paragraph or an essay (by age) on the books they have been reading.(LBH)

 N is also for Nature, as in a Nature Walk or a Nature Notebook - features of a CM education. Once a week after the regular lessons are finished the children are taken on a walk with a goal. They may take their Nature Notebooks and find specimens to sketch and identify; bring back specimens to supply a Nature Table, to identify; or be examining some larger subject such as a river. Guidebooks and Keys may be taken along to identify certain categories, such as learning different trees or wildflowers. Once sketched into a Notebook, the specimen will be properly labeled. Perhaps an appropriate poem will be added, or the title of a book. In all cases, a Nature Notebook is a real Laboratory Notebook, the beginning of training a child in the true Scientific Method.

 O. The Original Home Schooling Series by Charlotte Mason. These six fat books are the foundation of the Philosophy. You do not need to read them to begin implementing single ideas in your home, but you will want to read them soon!

 > > Which of the 6 books would you recommend I read, if I were only going to read one this year? (Teresa N.)

 General answer - start with Volume 1. It's Charlotte's notes from 6 public lectures she gave. They were wildly successful. It covers all the general Principles (don't forget to read the Prefaces) and lays out the education and home plans for ages up to 9.

 Ages 9-12 (middle school, junior high) parents should read Volume 3. It's a heavy read- she includes plenty of philosophy readings, not all of which she agrees with! Then she gets down to details of what and how these children should be studying, including sample questions!

 Parents of high schoolers should read Volume 6 immediately!

 Volume 2 is a collection of articles from the original Parent's Review.
Volume 4 is moral readings for the children (a textbook!)
volume 5 is moral readings and tips for the parents!

 > Thanks for the summary Lynn. I do have a question though. Are you saying volume 4 and 5 is to be read to the kids?

No - volume 4 is to be read BY the children. It is in two books - Book 1 is for children 12 to age 16 (you could certainly use it for read-alouds to a mixed group or younger child), Book 2 is for "children of all ages"; I think the readings are harder than Book 1 and would be for the last two years of High School. These are the readings that CM herself picked out for the weekly "Morals" lessons, which you will find on the sample schedules.

 Volume 5 is for the Parents to read to ourselves no matter what ages our children are. For example, the essay "Inconstant Kitty" is in here. It is written as letters from a loving Aunt solving the training problems of a little girl. I don't think it would do much good to read the letters to a little girl, but they certainly are helpful to her parents!

 Hope this helps? I find 2, 4, and 5 a little hard to take straight - I need to read one or two articles, then take time to think.

 P. The child is a Person, complete. Charlotte Mason respected the child. She said: "We must know something about the material we are to work upon if the education we offer is not to be scrappy and superficial. We must have some measure of a child's requirements, not based on his uses to society, nor upon the standard of the world he lives in, but upon his own capacity and needs." (Towards a Philosophy of Education, page 65, 66)

 Picture Study (Art) Quoting Karen Andreola ; "The children in Charlotte Mason's schools had Picture Study every term from age 6 upwards. Between the age of 6 and 15 a child had studied reproductions of pictures by some thirty of the world's famous artists. Why Picture Study? In order that children may be put in touch with the contribution that each famous artist has made to the world's store of all that is beautiful and worthwhile. Just as Literature introduces us to the thought of the greatest writers, so Picture Study opens the gates to the ideas of the famous artists."

 The complete text of this article and several others may be found on the "Popular Homeschooling" magazine site.

 Now, how? There is a lot of discussion. In the PNEU schools, a child was given (one at a time) six paintings per 60-day term, reproductions of a single artist's work. With three terms per year, over ten years the child had studied about thirty artists. At the same time, the child might read a biography of that painter, compare to other paintings and styles, and attempt some drawings and painting themselves among other activities.

 Q. Questions are formed in the child's own mind - he learns to extract Information for himself from books, not to rely on Cliff Notes and the like. To know how to read a book. (Leslie)

 R. Rights of the Child. Vol. 3, chapter 4 of the Series proposes 9 Rights for Children. These are (comments are mine, LBH): 1) Children should be free in their play. 2) Organized Games are not play. (let them use their imaginations) 3) Personal Initiative in Work. (give them time for their own projects) 4) Children must stand or fall by their own Efforts. (allow children to fail) 5) Boys and Girls are generally Dutiful (following #4, allowing them to learn to develop personal volition) 6) Children should choose their own friends (after training in general principles of conduct and character, give them confidence) 7) Should be free to spend their own Pocket-Money (after training, trust them) 8) Should form their own Opinions (carefully. We teach living principles, not opinions.) 9) Spontaneity. Quoting CM: "In so far that it is a grace, it is the result of training, - of pleasant talks upon the general principles of conduct, and wise 'letting alone' as to the practice of these principles." Charlotte Mason

 R is for Reading: "So if we read only 10-20 minutes, how will we ever finish a book?"

 You'd be surprised how fast you get through them! This is plenty of time to read a complete child's book, such as "The Story of Ping". It is long enough to read a chapter in a small chapter book. It is long enough to read quite a bit of Scripture- often a whole chapter, Parable, or Psalm. The longer books will take you longer- but that is CM, too. In the PNEU schools, a single book may take 2 or 3 years to finish. I usually have about 4 books going at a time. Education is not in the number of books they read, but in how much they learn. Go for quality- not quantity! (LBH)

 Religion: Quoting CM: "Nothing should do more to strengthen the bonds of family life than that the children should learn religion at the lips of their parents." (Vol 1, p 94)

 "This is the faith in which we would bring up our children, this strong, passionate sense of the dear nearness of our God; firm in this conviction, the controversies of the day will interest but not exercise us, for we are on the other side of all doubt once we know Him in who we have believed." (Vol 1, p 135)

 S. Spelling. "I'd like some suggestions as to how others handle spelling a la Charlotte Mason. I've read that CM thought children should not see words misspelled so as to not fix the improper spelling in their mind. " (Robin L.)

 Charlotte Mason worked first with oral sounds - the children had lots of stories read to them before they ever looked at letters. Letters were taught with the sounds. Once a child knows their letters, begin with single words written large, such as with black wipe-off marker on whiteboard. Have the child look at it, spell it out, and when they are sure they know it close their eyes. You wipe it off, then they attempt to write it correctly. If they make a mistake, wipe out the error and let them attempt to fix it. You could also use large flashcards and paper, but fix mistakes quickly. There is no reason to memorize every rule, or even to have rule for every word. Only use regular mistakes and difficulties for the spelling sessions, which should not last more than ten minutes a day.(LBH)

 You will find a fuller description of this in:

 Catherine Levison's "Charlotte Mason Education", pages 28-30.
Karen Andreola's "Charlotte Mason Companion", chapter 22
Clarkson's "Educating the Whole Hearted Child", chapter 5, page 95
Charlotte Mason's Series, Vol. 1, "Home Education", pages 199-206, and 240-242.

 Special Needs: CM is an ideal method for the education and life of a special needs child, with its emphasis on appropriate lessons, individualization, short lessons dealing with single concepts, and enrichment with Art, Music, and real-life experiences. What benefits the normal child is exactly what will also benefit the special needs child.

 T. Twaddle! This is the worst thing a CM person can say about any book or activity, yet the definition varies by the individual. Karen Andreola gives us a definition in her book; _A Charlotte Mason Companion_ pgs. 96-97 "If we want the mind of a child to come alive, we feed him living ideas. Ideas reside in living books,..." "Here is another way to recognize a living book. First examine the book to see if it promotes noble thoughts rather than a jaded or misleading outlook on life." If it causes your children to ask for more... it is probably a living book. Twaddle: garbage, dumbed down, too much 'candy for the mind'.

 Training is key - training in habits, training in attention, training in self-discipline. A popular child training book is Clay Trumbull's "Hints on Child Training".

 U. Unit Studies. These are a popular method of incorporating multiple areas in a single study. Many people using CM also consider themselves to be doing Unit Studies. However, Unit Studies usually require the addition of Language Arts and Mathematics; Charlotte Mason incorporates ALL areas.

 Unschooling. Many people consider CM to be an unschooling method. Well, we certainly are not a packaged "School at Home"! However, CM is actually a very structured method requiring a great deal of planning. CM is a philosophy of life rather than a curriculum, and may be done in many settings with a variety of materials.

 V. Vivifies, Vital, and Vibrant!

 "The idea that vivifies teaching. . . is that 'Education is a Science of Relations;' by which phrase we mean that children come into the world with a natural [appetite] for, and affinity with, all the material of knowledge; for interest in the heroic past and in the age of myths; for a desire to know about everything that moves and lives; about strange places and strange peoples; for a wish to handle material and to make; a desire to run and ride and row and do whatever the law of gravitation permits. Therefore. . . we endeavor that he shall have relations of pleasure and intimacy established with as many possible of the interests proper to him; not learning a slight or incomplete smattering about this or that subject, but plunging into vital knowledge, with a great field before him which in all his life he will not be able to explore. In this conception we get that 'touch of emotion' which vivifies knowledge, for it is probably that we feel only as we are brought into our proper vital relations." ~ Charlotte Mason

 OR

 "We parents can become quite anxious about covering and completing all the requirements for a particular grade level, and seeing that our children excel in the skills demanded of that grade level. It's a woeful business when parents look toward doing what the grand system of education says is right for a child within their little homeschool. But when parents pursue knowledge for its own sake they need not be subservient to this grand system. Many young children hunger for knowledge. Yet they dutifully serve the system of textbook overview with never-ending worksheets and, under a system that does not feed their hunger for vibrant, vital knowledge, they begin to pine away. It is then that Mother loses confidence and feels discouraged and unqualified to teach. The children, for their part, find it harder and harder to obey. Parents and children alike are stuck in a system that stifles curiosity and initiative, and makes learning uninteresting." ~ Karen Andreola, "A Charlotte Mason Companion," page 29

W. Walk. CM advocated daily walks (and this in a climate well-known for inclement weather). One walk a week was a Nature walk, where the child might be collecting leaves or other specimens, or where they may stop to draw in their Nature Notebooks. The rest of the walks were for exercise and fresh air. For example, Mom might take the children to the park to play after lunch.

 X. Extracting information becomes a skill the student learns to do for himself because he learns, not just to pass an exam, but because he has had his appetite for knowledge whetted. (Leslie)

 "The Story of Charlotte Mason" by Essex Cholmondeley. 1960 - Aldine Press - London.
a quote: "A student, in answer to CM's question as to why she had come to the school said, "I have come here to learn to teach. CM responded, "My dear, you have come here to learn to live." "

 Y. YES! Say "yes" as often as possible! Encourage your children to reach for what you know they can do. Yes, you can do that! Encourage the child, encourage yourself!

Z. Zeal and enthusiasm don't have to be foreign to your homeschool experience. A relaxed CM approach can be a satisfying journey into the beauty and joy of learning. (Leslie)

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