Saturday, August 3, 2019

More Charlotte Mason Books to Read

This is the year, folks.  The year that I buckle down and learn how to really implement the methods that are conducive to Charlotte Mason's 20 Principles.

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I've got the living books down.  I fell in love with Charlotte Mason initially because I was smitten wth the idea of using real books! I am comfortable with narration.  I can handle picture study, and I'm pretty good about including folk songs and hymns!

What I struggle with is moving beyond passive observation in nature study to the more concentrated effort required for serious nature journaling.

I understand the idea behind short and varied lessons to present a feast, and I've seen it work in my own home - but I know I will need more discipline in creating a peaceful atmosphere as I add kids into our formal day and we work on transitions between those short, varied lessons.

I know I'm supposed to have my kids "keeping" time with Timelines and a Book of Centuries.

I've dabbled in Foreign Language and Shakespeare and Plutarch, but I need the motivation for consistency and dedication.

So I'm continuing to read.  In Charlotte Mason Planning Mode, I shared three books I was currently reading.  They are slow and steady reads.

I forgot to mention then, that I'm reading A Philosophy of Education, Volume 6 by Charlotte Mason.  Full disclosure, I haven't read all of the first five volumes yet.  I read Volume 1 (for ages 9 and under) when I was first preparing to homeschool, and then stopped there for a long time. However, I've more than once came across the recommendation to read Volume 6 if your kids are of varied ages or older, especially since it was her last book after years of refining her methods, so that's what I've been working on, as far as my "straight from the source" book.

Which Volume Should I Read First? - from Ambleside Online

Just this week I also received Catherine Levison's trio of homeschooling books to review for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!  I was so thrilled to see these pop up--as a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and as part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew for several years now, I've noticed it is kind of rare to see Charlotte Mason resources! Sure, there are the programs that utilize living books, but usually in a very non-CM way, and there are plenty of supplemental programs that can be tweaked to be "CM friendly," but it is rare to see niche products dedicated to the Charlotte Mason philosophy come up for review!  I guess there are Charlotte Mason companies out there that offer their products for reviews to bloggers, but apparently I don't run in the same blogging circles.  Anyway, I've digressed.

A Charlotte Mason Education: A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison
I actually read this book alongside CM's Volume 1 when I was first preparing to homeschool.  It is a quick, practical guide to getting started with Mason's methods, and I would definitely recommend it for those new to CM or wanting to learn more about it.  In fact, it's probably a great book for the grandparent or family member who is supportive but doesn't quite understand.  I'm going to read it again with fresh eyes - at the time I only had two kids that weren't even school age.  Now I have a 7th grader, 5th grader, 1st grader and a 4 year old tag-along.

More Charlotte Mason Education: A Homeschooling-How To Manual by Catherine Levison
According to Levison, this book has "more" in every aspect - it is about twice the size, and has more information, is more in-depth, and comes from having "more" experience has a homeschool parent and convention speaker.  I'll be interested to see if the tone changes with her experience.

A Literary Education by Catherine Levison
This book was written to share "what" rather than how.  It is full of information about books and resources for subjects, with descriptions, as well as some scope and sequence type information for reference.

Although I know it's wise to go through Mason's volumes myself and keep her principles in mind, I really do like seeing how other homeschoolers, especially those who have "been there done that" interpret and apply the methods, because it helps me figure out how to get things working practically in our home.

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