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Why we love the Charlotte Mason Method

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Katie Ann Doing Nature Study

Katie Ann Doing Nature Study

Beverly Hernandez
We are using the Charlotte Mason method with my grandchildren this year. This way of homeschooling is very different than what we've done in the past. It has proven to be a more pleasant and peaceful method of homeschooling, and it's very rewarding too. There are a few things about the Charlotte Mason method that we really love. We love it when the kids stop what they are doing to run and show us a famous painting they recognize or when they watch movies and make connections from the books they have read. Those moments are so rewarding. After reading some of the things we like most about the Charlotte Mason Method, share your experience. What is your experience with the Charlotte Mason Method?
  • Short Lessons - You dig in and try your best for a short amount of time, depending on your age (10-30 min) and then you put it away and move on before you are pushed to your (and your mother's) limits.
  • Narration - These can be written or oral depending on the age of the child. We have Timothy (10) and Katie Ann (8) do a written narration about once a week or so. You do a lesson and they tell back what they remember from the lesson in their own words. You get instant feedback as to what they remembered, what stood out to them and they can even interject their own thoughts. We get more out of this than we ever got out of some chapter checkup questions.
  • Term Exams - This is fun. We take what we have learned in the term (12 weeks) and have exams, most of them oral. Again, instant feedback as to what they are retaining in all subjects.
  • Picture Study - This is fun and easy. They study a picture for a few minutes then we cover it up and they describe what they saw. They share the people, the colors, the style of painting, whether or not they'd like to be in the scene, etc. When everyone is finished we look at the picture again and talk about it. Sometimes they act goofy, like the time Timothy gave the following narration of one of Edgar Degas's ballerina prints "A bunch of people in tutus doing the hokey pokey!"
  • Hymn Study - I didn't think we'd ever like this, but thought it would be nice if someone sings a hymn sometime that they are at least familiar with it. We cheat a bit because we listen to a modern version of the hymns while having the words in front of us. We only use modern versions that keep the same words and just update the music. Timothy doesn't particularly enjoy this, but he tolerates it.
  • Map Drill - This is very easy, but so effective. We take a blank outline map, and the kids fill in every state or country, etc, that they know in that area and then they check it with a wall map and fill in a few places that they didn't know. That's it, put it away. Next week we get it out and do the same thing for the same map. They learn more and more each week. Right now we are working on the USA, but usually it will coincide with our history study.
  • Lots of Subjects - Since the lessons are short, we are able to study many things in one day, and no day of the week is the same as another. I like that, it brings variety and breaks up the monotony of day after day of school in your living room.
Well, those are some of the things we enjoy about Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.

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