Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series – 6 volumes of her philosophy and methods. A must-read for serious CMers. Available from Simply Charlotte Mason or Living Books Press (via Amazon), they are also available free to read online from Ambleside Online. They are published as follows:
Volume 1 – Home Education
Volume 2 – Parents and Children
Volume 3 – School Education
Volume 4 – Ourselves
Volume 5 – Formation of Character
Volume 6 – A Philosophy of Education
You can download my free study guides for each volume here.
Consider This Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition by Karen Glass. This wonderful gem explains what a classical education is, how Charlotte made it accessible to average person, and why a Classical Education is VITAL for our children. SPOILER ALERT – it is not to create yet another worker bee in the workforce! =) I found it to be wonderfully inspiring and encouraging for staying on this CM path. See my review here.
Start Here: A Journey Through Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles by Brandy Vencel. This book takes each of Miss Mason’s 20 Principles and studies them in depth using a couple of books for the “spines” and adding relevant PNEU articles and chapters from Miss Mason’s other volumes. Excellent way to get familiar with the philosophy side of this educational life.
The Living Page by Laurie Bestaver. I found The Living Page to be inspiring and thought-provoking regarding the intentional building blocks of the notebooks Charlotte Mason used. There are distinct stages for all of them, and in order to have the amazing results Miss Mason had, all are a necessary foundation for the next step. I have found myself revamping my thoughts and ideas and how I use the notebooks in our homeschool.
NOTE: I think that reading these books before or soon after starting CM would be so helpful to establish a good understanding of the WHY’s. Without that solid understanding of WHY Charlotte Mason did something, CM-styled homeschooling often becomes another box-checking, burn-out mess.
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Anderola. This conversational book walks you through all areas of a CM Education, showing you what kinds of learning can be accomplished by simple things.
A Charlotte Mason Education A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison. This is the first book I actually read (besides the free e-books from Simply Charlotte Mason) and it is a “get going nitty-gritty detail” practical book. A short, condensed introduction to CM, it includes suggestions for different ages in most subject areas. Also has a sample schedule from CM’s papers and includes ideas on making your own.
More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison.
A Literary Educationby Catherine Levison
For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. This is the book that started it all in America. Karen Anderola read this and worked with her husband Dean to bring Miss Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series into print. (These are the pink/white paperbacks mentioned above.) For The Children’s Sake was the motivation for many of the original 1980’s homeschooling families. She goes into more detail on the philosophy side of a CM Education and inspires you to want to attempt this amazing journey.
Charlotte Mason Study Guide A simplified Approach to a “Living” Education by Penny Gardner. This book contains 20 chapters on a CM education – each starts with several quotes on the subject and ends with suggested reading of pages and chapters in the Original Series books. It would be a great CM study group guide to go through various important and relevant topics that are talked about through-out her books.
Mind to Mind: An Essay Towards A Philosophy of Education by Karen Glass and Charlotte Mason. This book is an abridgment of Miss Mason’s last book, A Philosophy of Education. In her own words, Karen Glass explains her reasons:
I have not abridged the vital material about Miss Mason’s methods and philosophy—the parts that you would most want to read. I have removed the outdated references to books, people, and political situations that are not relevant for us today. They illustrated and illuminated her ideas when she was writing to her contemporaries in Great Britain, but they often confuse and bewilder a modern reader. Rather than focusing on the vital ideas, a reader may become mired in trying to make sense of whole paragraphs that refer to unfamiliar (and essentially irrelevant) matters. I have also removed 99% of the poetry that added many pages to the volume. My desire was to leave intact the clear, unadorned message in a form that is much easier to comprehend.
Toward that end, in addition to removing (always with a pang) extraneous material, I have added subheadings to organize and structure the remaining material, and I have written short introductions to each chapter. This treatment has brought Charlotte Mason’s own words into sharper focus, clearer and more accessible for today’s readers.
Minds More Awake: The Vision of Charlotte Mason by Anne White. This book has a delightful tone throughout (in one chapter, Anne White discusses how a CM education is like a cooking with a crock pot!) while discussing the “power tools” of a Charlotte Mason education and examines how these can be used in practical ways to spread the feast of ideas Miss Mason is so passionate about.
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie. This book is a wonderful gift to the homeschooling community at large. Using personal experiences and knowledge, Sarah Mackenzie shows a worn out, burnt out, stressed and worried mother how to recapture the love and peace in her home as she carries out her many responsibilities. I really appreciated this message and vision. =) There is a study journal and audio downloads available from Classical Academic Press.
A Touch of the Infinite Studies in Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason by Megan Elizabeth Hoyt. Just as important as great literature and art are in the feast we spread before our families, music study comes alive with the principles and ideas presented in this book.
Mere Motherhood and A Handbook to Morning Time by Cindy Rollins. This delightful read is an encouraging voice to all mothers in the trenches who are struggling to see the forest through the trees – or the trees through the forest, depending on the ages of your children. 😉 The handbook actually gives lists of the amazing things Cindy learned with her children and allows you to have a vision on implementing Morning Time. Cindy Rollins is also the hostess of The Mason Jar on the Circe Podcast Network. She talks with a lot of the authors of these recommended books.
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today edited by Elaine Cooper. This thought-provoking book contains essays written by a number of Charlotte Mason teachers who have taught in actual CM schools at the grassroots level. Dr. Jack Beckman, Susan Schaeffer Macauley, Maryellen St. Cyr, Bobby Scott, Eve Anderson and Elaine Cooper join together to explain how to practically apply Charlotte Mason’s ideas in today’s world.
Books on Narration
Know and Tell The Art of Narration by Karen Glass
Narration Your Questions Answered by Sonya Shafer
For more educational and general book reviews, please visit my Books I Have Read page.
HELPFUL LINKS & BLOGS
Podcasts for “CMers”
Schole Sisters Podcast – with Brandy Vencel. Mystie Winckler, and Pam Barnhill
A Delectable Education – with Emily Kaiser, Liz Cottrell, and Nichole Williams
The Mason Jar with Cindy Rollins – this is on the Circe Podcast page, so scroll through the list to find these gems.
Your Morning Basket – with Pam Barnhill
Catherine Levison Podcasts – with Catherine Levison
Biblio Files – Center for Lit with Adam, Missy, Ian, and Missy Andrews
Disclaimer: I do not receive any type of compensation from these links or recommendations. They are a list of things that I have read, listened to, or products I have enjoyed that I feel have helped me in my pursuit of understanding and implementing Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and methods in our homeschool.