Simply Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

By Sonya Shafer

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Description

The weekly Simply Charlotte Mason homeschooling audio podcast with Sonya Shafer

Episode Date
Charlotte Mason Science for Preschoolers
21:30

Sonya is joined by Karen Smith to talk about how we can introduce science concepts to our preschoolers the Charlotte Mason way.

Charlotte Mason Science for Preschoolers originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 29, 2022
Habits Q & A: Parent’s Character; Maintaining a Sweet, Even Temper
15:18

How the parent’s character affects habit training and how Mom can keep a sweet, even temper.

Habits Q & A: Parent’s Character; Maintaining a Sweet, Even Temper originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 22, 2022
How to Know You Are Doing Enough
9:16

Ever wonder if you are doing enough in your home school? Sonya has some encouragement for you.

How to Know You Are Doing Enough originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 15, 2022
Reason: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
21:28

How do you teach logic and reasoning in a Charlotte Mason home school?

Reason: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 08, 2022
Don’t Break Your Home School During Summer Break
14:46

Laura Pitney joins Sonya to talk about how to approach summer break without losing all your momentum.

Don’t Break Your Home School During Summer Break originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 01, 2022
Habits Q & A: Training the Will
13:24

Sonya explains the key to helping children learn to make good choices.

Habits Q & A: Training the Will originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 25, 2022
Learning to Be Content
12:48

What did Charlotte Mason say about learning to be content? You may be surprised!

Learning to Be Content originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 18, 2022
Will: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
13:42

We need to teach our children the difference between “I want” and “I will.”

Will: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 11, 2022
High School Transitions and the Charlotte Mason Method
17:48

What changes do you need to make as your child reaches the high school years?

High School Transitions and the Charlotte Mason Method originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 04, 2022
Habits Q & A: Starting with Older Children; Dealing with Negativity
16:40

How can you start habit training with an older child? How do you help a child who tends to think negatively?

Habits Q & A: Starting with Older Children; Dealing with Negativity originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 27, 2022
Long-Term Nature Study
11:30

Karen Smith joins Sonya to talk about ways you can do a long-term nature study.

Long-Term Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 20, 2022
Self-Direction: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
15:48

If you want to give your child an education that views him as a whole person, you need to focus on both academics and character, self-education and self-direction.

Self-Direction: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 13, 2022
What to Do When Charlotte Mason Methods Don’t Work
20:48

Sometimes homeschooling just doesn't seem to work. Sonya is joined by Amber O'Neal Johnston to discuss what to do when you or your children are struggling with a Charlotte Mason method.

What to Do When Charlotte Mason Methods Don’t Work originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 06, 2022
Habits Q & A: Habits with Multiple Children
10:26

What’s the best way to approach habit training with multiple children in the family?

Habits Q & A: Habits with Multiple Children originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 30, 2022
Attention: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
16:14

Here's a simple way you can encourage the habit of attention in every lesson.

Attention: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 23, 2022
Teach the Child
13:40

You can make adjustments to your homeschool curriculum. You have permission.

Teach the Child originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 16, 2022
Habits Q & A: Special Needs; One at a Time
14:22

How do you cultivate good habits but also a flexible mind-set in an autistic child? How do you focus on only one habit with several children?

Habits Q & A: Special Needs; One at a Time originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 09, 2022
Charlotte Mason in Three Words
8:40

What three words would you use to describe the Charlotte Mason approach? Here's how Charlotte described it.

Charlotte Mason in Three Words originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 02, 2022
Knowledge: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
13:08

There's a difference between knowledge and information.

Knowledge: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 23, 2022
Science through the Grades
18:24

Sonya is joined by Karen Smith for an overview of how to teach science the Charlotte Mason way all through the grades.

Science through the Grades originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 16, 2022
Habits Q & A: Consequences
22:06

Here are four steps to help you come up with effective consequences.

Habits Q & A: Consequences originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 09, 2022
Charlotte Mason When You Don’t Homeschool
18:02

Here are some ideas for how you can incorporate Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and methods into your home even if you are not homeschooling.

Charlotte Mason When You Don’t Homeschool originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 02, 2022
Generous, Variety, Literary: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
14:30

Sonya discusses three hallmarks of a good curriculum.

Generous, Variety, Literary: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 26, 2022
Organizing a Large Home Library
13:00

Sonya talks with Karen Smith about how she organizes her large home library.

Organizing a Large Home Library originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 19, 2022
Habits Q & A: Introduction to Habit Training
12:16

Sonya begins a new series answering questions about habit training.

Habits Q & A: Introduction to Habit Training originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 12, 2022
Pre-Reading Your Students’ Books
19:42

Sonya chats with Amber O'Neal Johnston about why it's important to pre-read and strategies for staying ahead.

Pre-Reading Your Students’ Books originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 05, 2022
Organizing Your Home Library
16:26

Sonya and Laura discuss how they organize their home libraries.

Organizing Your Home Library originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 29, 2021
Relations: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
14:36

There’s a big difference between recognizing someone and having a relationship with the person.

Relations: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 22, 2021
6 Discipline Mistakes Parents Make
45:46

Sonya is joined by Ginger Hubbard and Katy Morgan to talk about six mistakes parents can make when they're trying to cultivate a habit of obedience.

6 Discipline Mistakes Parents Make originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 15, 2021
Like Riding a Bike
8:18

Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way is a skill that can be learned.

Like Riding a Bike originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 08, 2021
Nature Study Obstacles
15:48

Sonya is joined by Karen Smith to talk about overcoming some common nature study obstacles.

Nature Study Obstacles originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 01, 2021
Ideas: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
18:16

Ideas are like seeds that grow and bear fruit in your child’s life.

Ideas: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 24, 2021
Before You Switch Curriculum
17:26

Amber O'Neal Johnston joins Sonya to discuss what you should think about before you change curriculum.

Before You Switch Curriculum originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 17, 2021
Favorite Living Books about Europe
8:38

Here's how to take a trip to Europe through some great living books.

Favorite Living Books about Europe originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 10, 2021
You Are Much More Than a Number
10:04

Here is an idea that our children need to hear often, perhaps especially around the holidays.

You Are Much More Than a Number originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 03, 2021
Self-Education: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
18:18

Who’s doing the most work in your home school: the teacher or the student?

Self-Education: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 27, 2021
Your Questions Answered: Does Best Effort Kill Love of Learning?
17:46

Are we killing the love of learning in our children by requiring them to put forth their best effort?

Your Questions Answered: Does Best Effort Kill Love of Learning? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 20, 2021
Favorite Living Books about North America
10:02

Sonya shares her favorite living books about North America.

Favorite Living Books about North America originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 13, 2021
Using All Your Senses in Nature Study
14:52

Sonya chats with Karen Smith about how we can expand our nature study by using all our senses.

Using All Your Senses in Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 06, 2021
Nourishment: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
15:16

There's a big difference between exercising the mind and feeding the mind.

Nourishment: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 29, 2021
I Can’t Believe You Just Said That
37:28

Sonya chats with author Ginger Hubbard and podcast host Katy Morgan about parenting and how we can help our children (and ourselves) grow.

I Can’t Believe You Just Said That originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 22, 2021
Favorite Living Books About Asia
12:20

Sonya shares some great living books about the continent of Asia.

Favorite Living Books About Asia originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 15, 2021
Life: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
11:32

Let's talk about what it means when we say that education is a life.

Life: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 08, 2021
Nature Study Fears
16:34

How do you deal with a nature fear? Karen Smith and Laura Pitney join Sonya to discuss this question.

Nature Study Fears originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 01, 2021
The Secret to Planning Your Homeschool Day
16:38

Here’s the secret to getting through your lessons without needing big breaks. Planning and scheduling your homeschool studies involve several steps. Five steps, really. First, you start with the big overview, then zoom in on this year; then I like to take that year and break it into three terms and figure out what I’m going to be doing in each term. Then I take each term and do the last two steps: I plan my weekly schedule, determining which subjects we will do on which days of the week, and finally, once I have all of that figured out,…

The Secret to Planning Your Homeschool Day originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 25, 2021
Favorite Living Books about Africa
14:14

Sonya shares some of her favorite living books to help your children learn about the people who live on the continent of Africa.

Favorite Living Books about Africa originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 18, 2021
Teaching in a Charlotte Mason Co-op
12:42

Sonya chats with Laura Pitney about how teaching in a co-op setting differs from teaching in your home school, and how you can make the most of your co-op teaching time.

Teaching in a Charlotte Mason Co-op originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 11, 2021
Starting a Charlotte Mason Co-op
16:24

Don't have a Charlotte Mason co-op near you? Here are some ideas for starting one.

Starting a Charlotte Mason Co-op originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 04, 2021
Discipline: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
11:56

You don't have to be perfect to work on good habits with your children, you just need to be intentional.

Discipline: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 28, 2021
Favorite Living Science Books for Grades 4–6
12:48

Karen Smith shares some of her favorite living science books for grades 4–6.

Favorite Living Science Books for Grades 4–6 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 21, 2021
The Excitement of a Charlotte Mason Co-op
12:00

Sonya chats with Laura about why so many homeschoolers love Charlotte Mason co-ops.

The Excitement of a Charlotte Mason Co-op originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 14, 2021
Atmosphere: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
16:24

Your child will learn a lot from having natural, first-hand experiences with the people and things in your home.

Atmosphere: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 07, 2021
Homeschool Communities
20:30

Sonya chats with Amber O'Neal Johnston about how homeschool communities can enhance and support what you're doing at home.

Homeschool Communities originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 30, 2021
Favorite Living Science Books for Grades 1–3
16:38

Karen Smith shares some of her favorite living science books for grades 1–3 that will give your child a gentle introduction to the wonders of God's Creation.

Favorite Living Science Books for Grades 1–3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 23, 2021
End-of-School-Year Organizing Ideas
16:10

Sonya chats with Laura about how to stay organized at the end of the school year.

End-of-School-Year Organizing Ideas originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 16, 2021
Balance: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
14:06

Think of education like a three-legged stool. You need all three legs to stay balanced.

Balance: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 09, 2021
Nature Study in the Summer
12:46

Sonya chats with Karen Smith about some things to look for when you do nature study in the summer.

Nature Study in the Summer originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 02, 2021
Favorite Living Books about South and Central America
8:46

Here are some of my favorite books for learning about the cultures of South and Central America.

Favorite Living Books about South and Central America originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 26, 2021
Moving While Homeschooling
18:22

Trying to homeschool while moving into a new house? Laura has some great encouragement for you.

Moving While Homeschooling originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 19, 2021
Respect: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
13:38

We often talk about "respect the child as a person." Here's what it looks like.

Respect: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 12, 2021
Homeschooling and Working from Home
23:46

Sonya and Amber O'Neal Johnston discuss how to balance homeschooling and working from home.

Homeschooling and Working from Home originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 05, 2021
Favorite Living Books about the Middle East
11:22

Sonya shares her favorite living books about the Middle East.

Favorite Living Books about the Middle East originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 28, 2021
3 Keys to Organizing Your Home School
19:00

Sonya and Laura take a look at three key areas that need to be organized to keep your home school functioning smoothly.

3 Keys to Organizing Your Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 21, 2021
Authority and Obedience: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
22:00

Charlotte Mason had a very balanced view of authority and obedience. Let’s talk about it. We have begun a tour, looking at the core values that Charlotte Mason educators hold dear. These are the guiding principles upon which Charlotte built her whole educational approach; and if we can get a firm grasp on these values, we will gain confidence in our homeschooling.  Today on the tour, we are pausing to look more closely at the third core value. If you haven’t yet read the posts on the first two, I encourage you to do that in order to gain the…

Authority and Obedience: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 14, 2021
Learning As You Homeschool with Charlotte Mason
17:04

Let me tell you, most Charlotte Mason homeschoolers are learning as we go. Sometimes we look at other Charlotte Mason homeschoolers around us and we think, “Wow, look at everything they know.” We think they’ve always known about the artists and the composers and the nature and the handicrafts, but that’s not the case. Let me assure you. All of us have had to learn as we go along. Here to help me discuss that topic is Amber O’Neal Johnston. Sonya: Thanks for joining us again, Amber. Amber: You’re welcome. I’m excited to be here. Sonya: This whole idea of…

Learning As You Homeschool with Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 07, 2021
Your Questions Answered: The Place of Fun in a Charlotte Mason Education
14:46

Is there a place for fun activities in a Charlotte Mason education?

Your Questions Answered: The Place of Fun in a Charlotte Mason Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 31, 2021
Possibilities: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
11:28

The main message for today is “Don’t lose hope.” We have embarked on a tour of the ideas and values that form the core of a Charlotte Mason education. When we have these core values clearly embedded in our hearts and minds, we can approach each day of homeschooling with clarity and with confidence. We know why we are doing things this way and why we are not doing things that way. And we can embrace the freedom that comes with that confident teaching. We’ve already looked at the first core value—the one that Charlotte Mason considered revolutionary in her…

Possibilities: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 24, 2021
10 Ways a Charlotte Mason Education Prepares a Student for a STEM Career
11:44

Let's look at ten ways a Charlotte Mason education can prepare a student for success in a STEM field.

10 Ways a Charlotte Mason Education Prepares a Student for a STEM Career originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 17, 2021
STEM and a Charlotte Mason Education
20:54

Sonya discusses how the current STEM emphasis aligns, or doesn't align, with a Charlotte Mason education.

STEM and a Charlotte Mason Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 10, 2021
More Great Resources for Teaching Bible
12:48

Recently I shared my favorite living books for teaching Bible. Today I want to expand on that topic and share with you more great resources for teaching Bible. These are not living books in and of themselves, but they will help you and your children dig into and feel at home with the Living Book, the Bible. First, I’ll share some helpful resources for the entire family, then we’ll dive into some specific Bible studies for older students. As we discussed in the previous Bible resources episode, most of our Bible lessons will be comprised of reading a passage directly…

More Great Resources for Teaching Bible originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 03, 2021
Your Questions Answered: When School Seems Pointless
17:10

Sonya and Laura share some ideas for what to do when your child says that school is pointless.

Your Questions Answered: When School Seems Pointless originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 24, 2021
Personhood: Core Values of Charlotte Mason
16:26

What do you see when you look at your child? Here’s what Charlotte Mason would like you to see. Charlotte Mason created a list of 20 core values, 20 key principles that formed the foundation on which her approach to education was built. We’ve started on a tour through those 20 core values. If you haven’t read the first post on this tour, I encourage you to take in that introduction too. It will set the stage for the rest of the tour. Today, we’re pausing to take a good look at the very first core value on the list. …

Personhood: Core Values of Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 17, 2021
Worldschooling
17:26

When we think about homeschooling, we often limit it to what we do within our four walls, or at least within our community. But what better way is there to learn about the people in the world and make relations with them than to go there and meet them in person? So today we want to talk about worldschooling, and joining me is my friend, Amber O’Neal Johnston, who introduced this term to me: worldschooling. Sonya: What is worldschooling? Amber: Well, it is where you leave home and you take what you need with you and you hit the road.…

Worldschooling originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 10, 2021
Favorite Living Books for Teaching Bible
12:06

In previous posts I have shared my favorite books for teaching history, and many of you said you appreciate those book reviews and would like more recommendations covering other subjects as well. So today I’m sharing some great living books for teaching Bible. Now, the first one I hope is quite obvious: the Bible. This should be your main living book for the whole family. Any other books you bring into the Bible lessons should play a supporting role; the Bible should have the spotlight. Use whatever translation you prefer, but let your children have direct contact with God’s Word…

Favorite Living Books for Teaching Bible originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 03, 2021
Your Questions Answered: Let’s Just Get Through This
18:00

Have you ever told your child, "Let's just get through this" schoolwork? Sonya and Laura discuss positive ways to approach that situation.

Your Questions Answered: Let’s Just Get Through This originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 27, 2021
Core Values of Charlotte Mason: Introduction
8:50

A friend of mine made a statement recently that stopped me in my tracks. She was explaining how in the past she hadn’t felt confident deviating from a recommended book list for her Charlotte Mason home school, and she said something like, “That was before I understood the difference between Charlotte Mason’s principles and a book list.” That statement hit me like a ton of bricks, and I thought, “I wonder how many others are in that same place, feeling less than confident because they don’t understand that difference.” Maybe you have it stuck in your head that “if I’m…

Core Values of Charlotte Mason: Introduction originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 20, 2021
What a Living Book Sounds Like
12:28

It seems like one of the hardest concepts to wrap your head around when you’re homeschooling with the Charlotte Mason Method is the concept of living ideas versus dry facts. Now, we give our children living ideas in several ways; but for this post I’m going to focus on living books, because living books make up a large part of a Charlotte Mason education. Charlotte said, “Why in the world should we not give children, while they are at school, the sort of books they can live upon; books alive with thought and feeling, and delight in knowledge, instead of…

What a Living Book Sounds Like originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 13, 2021
Favorite Living History Books on Ancient Rome
12:12

Today we’re wrapping up our favorite history books series. We’ve covered five history time periods so far: Middle Ages and Renaissance, Early Modern, Modern Times, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece. Today we’ll share our top living books for studying Ancient Rome. I hope these posts have been helpful to you. Leave a comment and let me know if you would like more favorite book reviews. We could cover geography books, books for teaching Bible, family read-aloud literature books—we have a lot of favorite titles! Let me know if you would like me to cover some of those in the future.…

Favorite Living History Books on Ancient Rome originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 06, 2021
Making Midyear Adjustments in Your Home School
18:44

Sonya and Laura talk about some adjustments they've made in their home schools and share encouragement for readjusting your plans.

Making Midyear Adjustments in Your Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 30, 2020
God With Us
1:48

This time of year, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and look toward the unknown future of the coming year, we can find comfort and confidence in the truth that Jesus is called Immanuel, God with us. Charlotte Mason reminded her readers of that truth of an ever-present Savior, Who is with us in the midst of unexpected hardships and trials as well as in the demand of unending everyday needs. Then she continued with more timely reminders of what great blessings the believer has received in the Person of Jesus Christ—our King, our Chief, our Savior, our Friend.…

God With Us originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 23, 2020
Books as Windows
19:16

In the last post, we looked at how books can help our children form relations with themselves, and we talked about those books as mirrors. Today, we want to expand on another aspect of that and how books can help our children form relations with others. They’ve formed the groundwork as they get to know themselves, “I am, I can,” and now they can reach out to others, “I ought, I will.” Joining me for this discussion is my friend Amber O’Neal Johnston. Sonya: Thanks for joining us again for this second part. Amber: So happy to be here. Thank…

Books as Windows originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 16, 2020
Books as Mirrors
24:34

The books that we give to our children help them form relations, those important relations that Charlotte Mason talked about so much, relating with God, relating with the universe around us, and relating with people, and that’s the aspect that we want to focus in on today. Joining me for this discussion is my friend, Amber O’Neal Johnston. Sonya: Amber, it’s so good to have you with us. Amber: I am so happy to be here. Sonya: When we talk about books that help us form relations with people, it’s easy to automatically jump to, “Oh, relating with others,” but…

Books as Mirrors originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 09, 2020
Binoculars in Nature Study
14:42

One of the great things about doing Charlotte Mason nature study is that you don’t have to have a bunch of expensive equipment. Just grab your journal and go outside. But sometimes it can be helpful to expand our nature study practices by having some equipment, if we want to. So today we want to discuss how you might be able to use binoculars as part of your nature study and what to look for in finding some binoculars that work well for that practice. Here to join me in this discussion are my friends and coworkers Karen and Doug…

Binoculars in Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 02, 2020
Favorite Living History Books on Ancient Greece
9:20

Too often Ancient Greece is just tossed into a quick overview of Ancient Times, but there are so many interesting and valuable stories from that time period—and so many great books—that can help us get a clearer picture of what life was like during Old Testament times. That’s why I like to take a full year to combine a study of Joshua through Malachi with Ancient Greece. If you would like to linger in that time period with some wonderful books, take a look at our lesson plan guide called Joshua through Malachi and Ancient Greece. It will give you…

Favorite Living History Books on Ancient Greece originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 25, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Your Home School Space
22:44

Are you looking for ways to create a more Charlotte Mason atmosphere in your home? Today we want to address a great question, and here to join me are Jenn Faas and Laura Pitney, my friends and coworkers. Sonya: Here’s the question: “Can you give some tips on great ways to create a Charlotte Mason atmosphere? How should I be thinking about our homeschool space? What am I trying to create?” It’s a good question, but I want to touch on one part of it first. When this mom asked how to create a Charlotte Mason atmosphere, or a good…

Your Questions Answered: Your Home School Space originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 18, 2020
How to Teach Foreign Language
9:18

Charlotte Mason used a wonderfully unique and effective method for teaching conversational foreign languages. It’s called a Series Approach, and I’m going to walk you through how to do it. What You Will Need You will need a series. A series is a set of related statements that describe an everyday action. So for example, I take the book.I open the book.I close the book. That would be a simple series. You would need two copies of all your series: one in your mother tongue and one in your target language. If you don’t know how to pronounce the words…

How to Teach Foreign Language originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 11, 2020
Help Your Child Learn to Observe More Closely
11:54

Has it ever happened to you that you ask your child, “What did you see outside today?” and that child says, “A bird,” and you try to get more information, but the child just says, “Well, I think it was red, or I think it was … it might have had some blue,” and that is about all you get? How do we train our children so they can look more closely and get in touch with nature more precisely? Charlotte Mason had some very simple exercises that she did with children to equip and prepare them for looking closely…

Help Your Child Learn to Observe More Closely originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 04, 2020
Favorite Living History Books on Ancient Egypt
14:54

I really enjoy sharing my favorite living books with you. It’s like introducing delightful old friends that I know will help and support you along your homeschool journey. Today I will give you my top ten picks for studying Ancient Egypt. These are the ten living books that are scheduled into the lesson plan guide called Genesis through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt. We like to pair ancient history with Bible history, and I’ll cover my favorite Bible history books in another post. Today, let’s focus on Ancient Egypt. I’m going to mention books across all the grades. Some of them…

Favorite Living History Books on Ancient Egypt originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 28, 2020
Your Questions Answered: When You Want to Quit Homeschooling
17:00

I think at some time or other, all of us homeschool mamas have felt like giving up. “I just want to quit.” It’s a great question to discuss today, and Laura Pitney is here joining me: “What keeps you going when you want to quit?” Laura: That’s a very good question, as always. Sonya: Yes, all the questions we get are so helpful. I think it would be good if we go through this topic and address four different areas, because I can see motivation that would help us and encourage us in four different areas of life. I wrote…

Your Questions Answered: When You Want to Quit Homeschooling originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 21, 2020
How to Teach Shakespeare
7:28

I’m going to venture to say that most of us did not grow up with Shakespeare as a regular part of our education. In my school years, I had only one Shakespeare play introduced to me and that was a last-minute, “Here, let’s watch this movie,” by a substitute teacher.  But Charlotte Mason believed that Shakespeare’s plays help instruct your student’s conscience and reinforce in story form the difference between right and wrong. And his powerful use of the English language was a valuable bonus. So let’s walk through a simple and effective way to teach Shakespeare. What You Will…

How to Teach Shakespeare originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 14, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Questions about Dictation
11:24

Today we want to dive into a few questions that we’ve received from different home educating parents who have questions about Charlotte Mason’s method of dictation. If you’re not familiar with that wonderful method for teaching children spelling, then take a look at that post, How to Do Dictation. The corresponding video will walk you through the process and the method so you know exactly what we’re talking about. Joining me is my friend and coworker, Karen Smith. Sonya: Karen, thanks for joining us. One of the first questions we want to discuss is from parents who are just starting…

Your Questions Answered: Questions about Dictation originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 07, 2020
Hints to Teachers
8:04

On my bookshelf I have a copy of a book from the early 1900s that was used in Charlotte Mason’s schools. Many books like this contain an introduction full of helpful comments, but the introduction to this book is so refreshing that I want to share a portion of it with you. Of course, it stands to reason that the comments would dovetail with Charlotte’s philosophy, since she recommended and used this book. But I often find it helpful to read the same ideas put into different words. This little book is a resource for teaching beginning reading and writing.…

Hints to Teachers originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 30, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Favorite School Supplies for a Charlotte Mason Home School
19:30

Today, we want to tackle a fun topic: school supplies for a Charlotte Mason education. We already talked about what we consider back-to-school essentials for the mom, and those are more the attitudes that set the atmosphere of your home. But today we want to get down and practical with “What are some school supplies?”—some of you asked us that, “Give us some school supplies”—that we like to use in a Charlotte Mason homeschool. Joining me today are my friends and coworkers, Jenn Faas and Laura Pitney, and we’re going to share some of the school supplies that we consider…

Your Questions Answered: Favorite School Supplies for a Charlotte Mason Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 23, 2020
How to Teach Grammar
12:44

Today we want to discuss how Charlotte Mason taught English grammar. Grammar analyzes the system and the structure of a language. That’s a heavy concept that requires abstract thinking, so Charlotte did not start formal grammar lessons until the student was about 10 years old.  When we talk about grammar lessons, we’re basically talking about five components: English usage, which includes concepts such as possessives, plurals, contractions, things like that; punctuation; capitalization; parts of speech; and sentence analysis. Of course, your student has been seeing and hearing those elements for several years in conversations, in the good living books used…

How to Teach Grammar originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 16, 2020
Nature Study: Not Just a Checklist
9:40

Today we want to discuss a mind-set that could be robbing you of some of the richness involved in nature study the Charlotte Mason way. We want to talk about whether your mind-set is a checklist (“Yep, just do that.”) or a relationship in nature study. And here to join me is my friend and coworker, Karen Smith. Sonya: Karen, I know this is a subject near and dear to your heart. Karen: Yes. Sonya: In fact, sometimes you share it with me as your pet peeve. Karen: Yes, I do. Sonya: Do you want to explain what that peeve…

Nature Study: Not Just a Checklist originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 09, 2020
Charlotte Mason Notebooking
10:00

Some of you have asked about notebooking and whether that is a Charlotte Mason method. It’s a good question, and the answer all depends on what you’re thinking of when you think “notebooking.” For some people, notebooking is like scrapbooking. You tuck postcards and maps, stickers and photographs, pamphlets and articles from magazines on the pages in an attractive arrangement. For some, notebooking is more of a portfolio. You include samples or pictures from all kinds of assignments that your child has completed: book reports, board games, jigsaw puzzles, movie reviews, paper dolls, flattened paper crafts, posters, diagrams, and science…

Charlotte Mason Notebooking originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 02, 2020
Your Questions Answered: When Your Child Doesn’t “Like” a Subject
16:40

Today we want to talk about a question that I think most of us have heard at some time or other in our homeschool career. “I don’t like doing (whatever the subject is).” What about when my child doesn’t like to do a certain subject? Here to join me is my friend and coworker, Laura Pitney. Sonya: Laura, thanks for joining us. Laura: Glad to be here. Sonya: Let’s talk about What if my child doesn’t like a certain subject? What are the next steps? Laura: That’s hard because I think we’ve all been there at some point or another.…

Your Questions Answered: When Your Child Doesn’t “Like” a Subject originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 26, 2020
How to Do a Book of Centuries
8:22

I want to introduce to you a wonderful tool that Charlotte Mason used to help her students see where everything fit in history. It’s called a Book of Centuries. What You Will Need A Book of Centuries is basically a timeline in a book. Every two-page spread covers one hundred years—a century—that’s why it’s called a Book of Centuries. So you will need a notebook with every two-page spread labeled with one century, going in chronological order. That means, the B.C. pages will count down and the A.D. pages will count up. Keep that in mind. You can download a…

How to Do a Book of Centuries originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 19, 2020
Dealing with Our Past Homeschooling Mistakes
11:18

Imagine a scenario with me. You are teaching your child how to write. So, as Charlotte Mason detailed, you set before that child a model of the handwriting you want him to copy. Now let me ask you a question: What does that model look like? Imagine giving your child a printout of the mistakes he has made in the past and saying, “Here, look at this, but write it correctly.” We would never do that! We put before that child a good model and say, “Make it look just like that.” Don’t we? Yet it occurred to me that…

Dealing with Our Past Homeschooling Mistakes originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 12, 2020
Simple Ways to Enrich Your Homeschool Experience
9:00

Today is a special post for those who are diving into homeschooling this year, maybe for the first time, and are looking for some simple ways to incorporate more than just the basic academics. I want to share with you three simple ways to enrich your homeschool experience.  These are three short, enjoyable methods that Charlotte Mason used with her students to bring music, art, and poetry into their education. Just five minutes, three times a week, is all it takes. But those small, constant touches will add up to a wonderfully enriching school year. So let’s walk through how…

Simple Ways to Enrich Your Homeschool Experience originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 05, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Back-to-School Essentials for Mom
13:38

This time of year, it seems like no matter which store you go into, there are lists and lists of back-to-school supplies: these are the things the students will need to get into the school days ahead. But what about the homeschool mama? What will she need for the school days ahead? We’re going to talk about that today and here to join me is my friend and coworker, Laura Pitney. Sonya: Laura, I’m so glad you could be with us again. Laura: I’m glad to be here. Sonya: It seems like a long time since we were able to…

Your Questions Answered: Back-to-School Essentials for Mom originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 29, 2020
How to Do Dictation
12:04

Today we want to talk about how to do formal spelling lessons in a Charlotte Mason way: dictation. If you have been following the previous articles in this How To series, you will have seen how Charlotte included some spelling components in both copywork and transcription. (And even in beginning reading lessons.) Those preparatory practices have laid the foundation for more formal spelling lessons in a couple of ways. First, they have begun to build up a mental storehouse of word spellings in the student’s mind. The student should already know how to spell many words before he ever starts…

How to Do Dictation originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 22, 2020
2 Ways to Schedule Your Homeschool Day
8:34

Today I’d like to walk through two different ways to schedule a school day. Both are viable options. Use the one that fits best during this season of life. Over the years—or even during different terms of a single year—you might find that one of these works better at that moment. Feel free to switch between the two options as desired. Use them as tools. The two options are time tables and time boxes. Let’s talk about time tables first. Time Tables Many of us are familiar with this type of daily schedule from our own school days. Most schools…

2 Ways to Schedule Your Homeschool Day originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 15, 2020
4 Ways to Schedule Your Homeschool Year
9:50

Today we’re going to do some slicing and dicing. Not in my kitchen. We’re going to slice and dice a calendar. I want to show you four different ways that you could schedule your school year. Most of us were raised with a traditional nine-month school year: nine months of school and three months off in the summer.  But did you ever stop to think about why that schedule was used? It’s a relic of years gone by. Schools used to break during the summer because most children were needed at home to help with the crops on the family…

4 Ways to Schedule Your Homeschool Year originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 08, 2020
Getting Started with a Book of Mottoes, or Commonplace Book
9:08

I just pulled a notebook off my little reading table and opened to the first page. And I can’t stop smiling at the diversity of wisdom and wit recorded there. First is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “I decided to accept the fact that a man must be what he is, life must be lived as it is . . . you can not live at all if you do not learn to adapt yourself to your life as it happens to be.” Next is an outstanding sentence from a letter Jane Austen wrote to a friend; it gives such…

Getting Started with a Book of Mottoes, or Commonplace Book originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 01, 2020
How to Do Transcription
10:16

Today I want to explain a practice that will help your student develop handwriting fluency, practice beautiful penmanship, encourage correct spelling, and feed your child’s mind with worthy ideas. It’s a simple practice, but it can yield big results. That practice is transcription. Here’s how to do it. What You Will Need Just as with copywork, you will need something to write and something to write with. The “something to write with” will be a pencil and paper, but the “something to write” will look a little different from copywork. (If you haven’t read to the How to Do Copywork…

How to Do Transcription originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 24, 2020
Finding a Substitute Book
16:26

In a Charlotte Mason education, it’s the books that shine. They are the teachers, and a lot depends on them. That’s why we are selective when it comes to the books we recommend in our curriculum at Simply Charlotte Mason. If you look at the SCM curriculum pages on our website, you can see all of the books that we recommend for each subject and grade level. Those are our top picks of the books that we know about. There are so many great living books out there, sometimes it’s hard to choose just one for a particular topic or…

Finding a Substitute Book originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 17, 2020
A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Dad’s Story
7:44

Many times we focus on the mom in a Charlotte Mason homeschool. We usually focus on the moms, because they’re often the ones doing the bulk of the teaching in a homeschool. But homeschooling affects both parents. And we thought you might like to hear one dad’s story about the Charlotte Mason home school in his home. Many of you know Karen Smith from her helpful nature study posts and printed resources. Today we’re going to chat with her husband Doug. Sonya: Doug, thanks for joining us. Doug: Hi, great to be here. Sonya: Now, let me ask you this.…

A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Dad’s Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 10, 2020
How to Do Copywork
11:00

Perhaps you have heard the term “copywork” and wondered what exactly it is. Copywork is a method that Charlotte Mason used to help children learn letter formation. Let’s walk through what that looks like. What You Will Need Basically you need two things: something to copy and something to write with.  The “something to copy” might be a stroke, a letter, a word, or more than one word. We’ll get into those details in a minute. But the key is how it is formatted. The letter or word to be copied should be in a handwriting font not a regular…

How to Do Copywork originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 03, 2020
Give Your Home School a KISS
8:56

In the spring and summer, many of us turn our thoughts to evaluating our home schools. How are things going? What changes might we want to make? Some states or provinces require that you write some kind of end-of-the-school-year assessment. And even if it’s not required legally, it’s a good idea to pause every once in a while and make sure the path you’re on is taking you the right direction, toward where you want to be. So today I want to share with you a simple way to evaluate your home school. It’s all centered around the word “kiss.”…

Give Your Home School a KISS originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 27, 2020
Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 10–12
16:28

Modern Times (about 1850 to present day) is a jam-packed era in history. So many things were happening all around the world; and thanks to improved technology, we have access to more details than any other time period. The thing we need to be careful of is overload. You cannot teach your child all about everything. Especially in this Information Age, that goal is physically impossible. The brain can take in only so much before it hits the saturation point. So keep in mind that you will need to make choices when studying any period of history, but especially modern…

Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 10–12 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 20, 2020
Nature Study in the City
8:38

Many of you know that Charlotte Mason was a big advocate of taking nature walks and doing nature study. She scheduled her students to get out into the fields one half-day every week, and Charlotte herself did a nature walk every day. But Charlotte lived in a beautiful, rural setting in the picturesque lake district of England; she didn’t live in downtown London. Perhaps some of you are struggling with living in the middle of a city and figuring out how to do nature study with your children there. It is possible! My nature study go-to person, Karen Smith, is…

Nature Study in the City originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 13, 2020
How to Do Nature Study
8:58

Usually when people describe the Charlotte Mason approach, the one thing they almost always mention is nature study. Time in nature is an integral part of the Charlotte Mason Method. So let’s walk through how to do a nature study. What You Will Need You will need a blank sketchbook for each person and something to write or draw with. That could be a regular pencil, colored pencils, or watercolor paints. It’s up to you. Then, you will find it helpful to have a few field guides, either in book form or as apps on your phone. That’s it: a…

How to Do Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 06, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Prolific Reader
19:24

I think almost all of us who use the Charlotte Mason Method have a desire to see our children love to read. We know how much richness good books can add to our thoughts and our lives, and we want our children to experience that too. So on one hand, when we see one of our children eager to read and always looking for another book to get his hands on, we rejoice. But on the other hand, having a voracious reader can present some challenges. Let’s discuss those challenges and some ideas to help. Sonya: I’ve asked my friends,…

Your Questions Answered: Prolific Reader originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 29, 2020
Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 7–9
18:28

Today I want to share my top picks for living history books on modern times. These are the books that I recommend for grades 7–9, and in some cases, all the way through twelfth grade. I’ll explain more about that in an upcoming post.  We will be looking at books for both American history and world history. I love to teach both side by side, so the student gets a global perspective of history and realizes that what happened in America did not happen in a vacuum, especially in modern times. All of these books are scheduled in the Modern…

Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 7–9 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 22, 2020
Screen Time
14:47

Sonya is joined by SCM co-founder Doug Smith to discuss screen time and technology.

Screen Time originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 15, 2020
How to Do Poet Study
10:14

If your experience with poetry during your own school years was anything like my experience, you’re going to find Charlotte Mason’s approach to be a breath of fresh air. Let’s walk through how to do poet study. It’s going to be easier, and probably more enjoyable, than you might expect. What You Will Need Just as Charlotte encouraged us to focus on one composer or one artist at a time, she also encouraged us to focus on one poet and really get to know him or her. So you will need to select a poet and grab a collection of…

How to Do Poet Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 08, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Charlotte Mason with a Large Family
27:50

Today I’ve asked two friends to join me: Laura Pitney and Jenn Faas. We’re going to be talking about the unique challenges of home schooling, Charlotte Mason style with a large family. Sonya: So between all of us, we’ve got 14 kids? Jenn: Sounds right. Laura: Four, six, and four. Yep, good job. Sonya: Jenn gets the trophy for the largest family here. But let’s talk about some of the ins and outs of doing home schooling Charlotte Mason style with a larger family. Jenn, do you want to lead off? Jenn: Okay. Well, I was thinking about this topic…

Your Questions Answered: Charlotte Mason with a Large Family originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 01, 2020
Be Home
8:04

All right, I just have to say that I’m going to miss seeing you in person! I was really looking forward to getting together with you at homeschool conventions this spring. Now that many of them are canceled, we will have to wait for those hugs and pictures and fun.  But it’s good to know that we can still keep in touch online. In fact, we are working with some online convention plans right now. So stay tuned; we will keep you informed as details are finalized. Now, I know a lot of you were planning to attend my workshop…

Be Home originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 24, 2020
Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 4–6
13:18

I love sharing great book recommendations with other homeschoolers. Today I’ll be sharing my top picks for grades 4–6 who are studying modern times, about 1850 to the present. I already reviewed books that will give an overview of that time period for the whole family to enjoy together. Today I want to zero in on some additional titles that focus on specific people and events. I’ll be sharing both American history and world history books, so you can give your 4th–6th grader a global perspective and help him understand that American history did not happen in a vacuum. Much…

Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 4–6 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 18, 2020
Charlotte Mason with Boys
14:02

I have four daughters, no sons. So sometimes I get asked whether a Charlotte Mason approach works with boys. The answer is “Yes, absolutely it does,” but don’t just take my word for it. Today we’re going to talk with one of the co-founders of Simply Charlotte Mason, my friend and mother of three boys, Karen Smith. Sonya: Karen, thanks for joining us today to talk about your family, and your experiences with Charlotte Mason with boys. Have you even been asked does Charlotte Mason work with boys? Karen: Yes, I have, many times. Sonya: And what do you say…

Charlotte Mason with Boys originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 11, 2020
How to Do Music Study
12:52

Today I want to walk you through how to do music study, or composer study. Charlotte Mason believed that “music is a necessary part of education.” It can also be a simple part of your home school. Here’s how. What You Will Need You will need access to music, whether it is on vinyl, or disc, or streamed from the Internet. And make sure you’re able to filter that music by composer. Choose one and make sure you can play only that composer’s music, rather than music in a similar style as a composer. You want to filter it to…

How to Do Music Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 04, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Time to Play
10:17

Welcome to another installment of Your Questions Answered. As usual, my friend and co-worker, Laura Pitney is joining me. Here’s the question we’re going to discuss today: For elementary students, how do you balance all the subjects and still give them plenty of time to play together? Laura: That’s a good question. Sonya: I think what we want to do is try to walk through a typical day and talk through what the schedule would be like and add up how much time is involved; because there really is a lot of time to play in my mind, but let’s…

Your Questions Answered: Time to Play originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 26, 2020
Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 1–3
19:50

There are a lot of books available on modern history (about 1850 to present day). The trick is to find the good ones, the ones that are appropriate for those younger grades mentally and emotionally. Some very difficult events occurred in modern times, and because of advancing technology, we are more aware of some quite disturbing details about those events—details that we don’t usually have for older history. But I don’t believe that the younger grades are the time to share those details in full force.  Children that age are still in the beginning stages of wrapping their heads around…

Favorite Modern Times History Books for Grades 1–3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 19, 2020
Is My Child Learning Enough?
8:40

There’s a question that seems to come up regularly in homeschooling discussions. In fact, it might be niggling in the back of your mind right now. So let’s take a few minutes to turn around and address that question head on. Let’s get it out in the open and talk about it. The question I am referring to is this one: “Is my child learning enough?” Sound familiar? Sometimes it is asked by a homeschool mama who has recently discovered the Charlotte Mason Method. Perhaps that’s you. Maybe you’ve eagerly embraced Charlotte’s methods and started using them with your children.…

Is My Child Learning Enough? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 12, 2020
How to Do Picture Study
9:28

Picture study is one of the easiest things to add to your schoolwork and one of the most enriching. Let’s walk through how to do it. What You Will Need You will need to select an artist and have a good-sized picture by that artist for your picture study lesson. How To All right, let’s do a picture study, and then we’ll walk through the steps we used. For this picture study, we’ll use The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer. Ready?  Look at the picture until you can close your eyes and see it in detail. If one part is a…

How to Do Picture Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 05, 2020
Your Questions Answered: Common CM Homeschool Mistakes
17:08

Recently, Sonya Shafer and Laura Pitney and Karen Smith sat down to discuss this question: What are one or two (or three, four, whichever we get to) common homeschool mistakes that get in the way of success with the Charlotte Mason methods? Laura: I think we’ve all been there, right? Sonya: We have made mistakes—at least, I have. I don’t know about you. Karen (smiling): A few. Sonya: And we talk to a lot of people in the booth and help them with some mistakes they might have been blind to or need help with. One that comes to mind…

Your Questions Answered: Common CM Homeschool Mistakes originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 29, 2020
Favorite Modern Times History Books for the Family
11:46

I must admit that I’m somewhat partial to old books. But when you’re teaching modern history, you have to find some new favorites. And I’m happy to tell you about some real gems that I’ve found and can heartily recommend for the whole family. Good living books make it simple to teach your whole family together for history. A living book will appeal to a wide range of ages. And the books that I will be sharing today do just that. You can read them to all of your students together, then give individual reading assignments to your older students…

Favorite Modern Times History Books for the Family originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 21, 2020
Winter Nature Study
11:40

Sonya is joined by Karen Smith to talk about how to do nature study when it's cold outside.

Winter Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 15, 2020
How to Do Narration
15:26

Let’s walk through a foundational method used in many Charlotte Mason-style lessons: narration. You will be using this method for history, geography, Bible, science, and other subjects, so let’s make sure you understand it and feel confident using it. What You Will Need Really all that you need to do a narration lesson is a living book. Remember that a living book is one that makes the subject come alive. It conveys ideas, not just dry facts. It will probably be written in narrative, or story-, form or in a conversational tone. As you read, you will be able to…

How to Do Narration originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 07, 2020
Homeschooling Overseas with the Charlotte Mason Method
23:22

It seems like more and more people are traveling and expanding their horizons around the world. We often get asked for advice and practical tips from families who are planning to live and homeschool overseas. The Charlotte Mason Method can present some unique challenges and some uniquely enriching opportunities when you’re homeschooling in a different country from your homeland. So I’ve asked my dear friend and fellow Charlotte Mason homeschooler, Crystal Hildreth, to join us today to talk about homeschooling overseas with the Charlotte Mason Method. Sonya: Crystal, thanks so much for joining us. Crystal: Hello, Sonya, my dear friend.…

Homeschooling Overseas with the Charlotte Mason Method originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 30, 2019
Our Wills and God’s Will
10:41

We’ve spent several blog posts talking about the way of the will and how to strengthen the will so it will be able to choose to do what is right, even when it’s hard. I’ve really enjoyed these weeks of addressing your questions and giving practical ideas about disciplining the will and developing willpower. Today I’d like to focus on a question of a spiritual nature that was sent in by Mariana. Here’s the request: “I’d love to hear how all this connects with God’s will. ‘Thy will be done.’ “ Mariana I’m so glad you brought that up, Mariana,…

Our Wills and God’s Will originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 23, 2019
Favorite Early Modern History Books for Grades 10–12
15:16

I remember my high school history books. They were nothing like these beauties! My history textbooks were full of summaries and facts. These are full of ideas and people and fascinating narratives that make the events of the past come alive! Today I want to share with you my favorite history books for high school students covering the early modern time period. And we’re going to be looking at books for both early American history and world history.  I think it’s important to study American history, or the history of your particular country, in the context of world history. Our…

Favorite Early Modern History Books for Grades 10–12 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 17, 2019
I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Wish I Did
21:02

This morning my alarm went off as scheduled. I squinted my eyes part-way open and took in the dark room and the cold rain pattering against the window. It was a dreary day, but it was warm and cozy under the covers. As I reached out my finger to turn off the alarm, a faint thought tickled in the back of my mind: “You ought to get up and write this morning.” Then immediately a louder thought followed it: “But it would be so nice to stay warm and comfortable under the covers. Just a little longer. No rush.” An…

I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Wish I Did originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 10, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Christmas Season Edition
17:50

A well-rounded Charlotte Mason education involves living ideas from great books, the discipline of good habits, and the atmosphere of our homes. We’d like to focus on that third aspect today. My friend and co-worker Laura Pitney is here to talk about creating a delightful atmosphere during the Christmas season. Now, I know not all of you celebrate that holiday, but Laura’s family and my family do, so we’d just like to share some of our favorite traditions and ideas of the season. And hopefully, you’ll be able to get some ideas and encouragement for creating a special holiday atmosphere…

Your Questions Answered: Christmas Season Edition originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 02, 2019
A Chat with Pam Barnhill
8:50

My friend Pam Barnhill stopped by today and she sat down to have a little chat with us. Some of you might know her from her popular podcast, Homeschool Solutions. Sonya: Pam, thanks so much for joining us today. Pam: Thank you so much for having me, Sonya. It’s great to be here. Sonya: Would you tell a little about your family? Pam: Sure! I have three kids. The oldest is 13; she’s a girl. And then we have an 11-year-old boy and a nine-year-old boy, as well. I’ve been married to my husband, Matt, for 25 years this year.…

A Chat with Pam Barnhill originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 25, 2019
Favorite Early Modern Books for Grades 7–9
14:32

I love being surrounded by great books! My father recently made me two more bookcases, so I’ve been happily reshuffling and reorganizing my collection of history and literature books. That’s one of my favorite tasks: handling and organizing my books. As I hold each one, it’s like looking into the face of an old friend. So today, I want to introduce some of those friends to you. We’ll focus these introductions on books for students in grades 7–9 and these will be great living books that will add much to your study of Early Modern times, approximately the years 1550…

Favorite Early Modern Books for Grades 7–9 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 19, 2019
3 Ways to Develop Willpower
10:44

Right off the bat, some of you may be thinking, “Strengthen my child’s will? I don’t need to strengthen it. He’s a strong-willed child already!” And that may be the case, but don’t jump to any conclusions. You might want to read the other posts about the Will to make sure you know what we’re talking about. If your child is consistently taking the easy way out, doing what he wants to do rather than what he knows he should do, Charlotte Mason would describe that child as having a weak Will. He lacks willpower. Willpower is needed in order…

3 Ways to Develop Willpower originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 12, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Fitting in the Good Stuff
17:46

My friend and co-worker Laura Pitney is joining me to talk about all of those wonderful enrichment subjects. Here’s the question to discuss today: “There are so many enriching subjects in a Charlotte Mason approach: picture study, music study, nature study, poetry, handicrafts, art instruction, Shakespeare, hymn singing, and more. It seems like so much to try to fit into my schedule. How can I juggle all of those subjects and actually get them done?” Laura: That’s a great question. I feel like there are two parts to this question. Sonya: Okay. Laura: I feel like there are the people…

Your Questions Answered: Fitting in the Good Stuff originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 05, 2019
How to Choose and Use Field Guides
12:18

A good field guide can be a very helpful tool when you’re doing nature walks or nature study. Let’s talk about what to look for when you’re choosing them and how to use them. Joining me today is my longtime friend and co-creator of Simply Charlotte Mason, Karen Smith. Karen is my go-to person for anything that is science and nature related. Sonya: So thanks for joining me, Karen. Field guides. What are they? Let’s start there. Karen: A field guide is just a tool to help you identify what you see in nature. Sonya: Does it have to be…

How to Choose and Use Field Guides originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 29, 2019
Favorite Early Modern Books for Grades 4–6
11:52

The Early Modern time period includes many fascinating people and events. And what better way to study them than through living books—books that make them come alive in your child’s mind; books that touch their emotions and fire their imaginations; books that are well written and brimming with ideas, not just dry facts. Today I want to share some of my top picks for fourth through sixth graders studying this time period, about 1550—1850.  You decide whether you want to read them aloud together or assign them as independent reading. That decision will be based on your individual child’s reading…

Favorite Early Modern Books for Grades 4–6 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 23, 2019
Is Your Child Strong-Willed or Weak-Willed?
9:00

A few weeks ago I did a post on the Way of the Will as a little refresher course on how Charlotte Mason explained the will and how it works. Many of you responded with requests for more on that subject. So today we’re going to touch on another aspect of the will, and I will sprinkle in more over the coming weeks and months. Today I want to talk about a mental shift that can occur if you change just one word when you think about your child’s will. Parents often refer to a child as strong-willed when that…

Is Your Child Strong-Willed or Weak-Willed? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 15, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Favorite CM Moments
14:52

Today my friend and co-worker Laura Pitney is with me to share some of our favorite moments using the Charlotte Mason method. Sonya: I’m thinking back on it, now that I’ve graduated three out of my four kids, and I can see a lot more, I wouldn’t necessarily say, you know, “top moments,” but there are things that come to mind now that I didn’t have back when I was in the thick of things. Laura: That gives me hope. Sonya: It should. Okay, for my oldest, she’s almost 30, and she continually recommends books to me that she’s been…

Your Questions Answered: Favorite CM Moments originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 08, 2019
How to Read History
13:14

When I was a little girl, I would go visit my grandparents once or twice a year. I quickly figured out that things at my grandparents’ house were different from my own house. They had different-looking furniture; they watched different TV shows and played different games; they had different toys for me to play with; they didn’t have air conditioning; they ate different foods. They even used different words. At my house, we ate “cereal” for breakfast; at their house that box of cereal was called “breakfast food.”  Perhaps you experienced the same kind of thing at your grandparents’ house.…

How to Read History originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 01, 2019
Favorite Early Modern Books for Grades 1–3
17:36

Today I’d like to share some of my favorite living books for early elementary students, those in grades 1–3, covering history during the years of 1550–1850 or so. I’m going to share titles for both American history and world history during that era, often called Early Modern.  I think it’s helpful to study American history in the context of world history, because the events are often interrelated. American history did not happen in a vacuum, and you can help a child understand the bigger picture when you read about world history alongside it. In a previous post, I shared my…

Favorite Early Modern Books for Grades 1–3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 24, 2019
Nature Walk or Nature Study?
11:20

In a Charlotte Mason Homeschool, we know we should do nature study once a week, or is that a nature walk once a week? What’s the difference, anyway? Let’s figure this out. Joining me today is my longtime friend and co-creator of Simply Charlotte Mason, Karen Smith. Karen is my go-to person for anything nature or science related. Sonya: So Karen, thanks for joining me as we try to figure this out. Nature study, nature walk—what’s the difference? Karen: A nature walk is simply a walk in nature. Sonya: Okay, there you go. Karen: Taking time to notice things as…

Nature Walk or Nature Study? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 17, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Not Repeating Yourself
18:58

Today I’m joined by my friend and co-worker, Laura Pitney, to do another installment of Your Questions Answered. The question for today is quite interesting: “You say not to repeat yourself, but I’m wondering how you teach this? I have a five year old. Let’s say I get her attention, look directly into her eyes, and tell her ‘Go put your pajamas in the laundry.’ She starts the journey, but gets sidetracked on the way there. Five minutes later, I notice her pajamas on the kitchen floor, beside her, while she’s playing with the toys she found on the way.…

Your Questions Answered: Not Repeating Yourself originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 10, 2019
The Way of the Will
12:00

I was recently talking with a group of parents, and in the course of our time together, I mentioned how important it is to make sure our young adults know how the will works. Well, all of the parents in that group wanted a refresher course on the way of the will, as Charlotte Mason called it. So I thought it might be helpful to share a quick refresher with all of you. Here’s a quick overview. And we can dive into more details if you want to. Just let me know in the comments. Think of your child’s will…

The Way of the Will originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 03, 2019
Favorite Early Modern Books for the Whole Family
9:56

Today I’m sharing some great books that will guide your whole family through the time in history that we call Early Modern, about 1550 through 1850 or so. It’s an exciting time period with a lot happening all around the world, including a fledgling country that we now know as the United States. I think it’s a great idea to study American history alongside the world history that was happening at the same time. It’s important for our students to realize that what happened in America did not happen in a vacuum; a lot of the events in American history…

Favorite Early Modern Books for the Whole Family originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 27, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Audiobooks in a Charlotte Mason Home School
16:08

My friend and coworker, Laura Pitney is with me today for another episode of Your Questions Answered. Today’s question is What is the place of audiobooks in a Charlotte Mason home school? Laura: That is a great question for sure. Sonya: Let’s talk about benefits first, how they can be very helpful to a homeschool mom. Laura: I would definitely say it’s helpful for me and my voice when I am running thin on everything else I’ve been doing vocally. Sonya: Yes, or if you’re just not available at the moment. That way your child doesn’t have to wait for…

Your Questions Answered: Audiobooks in a Charlotte Mason Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 20, 2019
Using Subject Cards to Plan Your Homeschool Schedule
12:50

Planning for your home school can sometimes seem overwhelming. But let me encourage you that the more you do it, the easier it gets. And today I want to share with you a quick and simple trick I use when I’m trying to lay out a weekly schedule and a daily schedule. I’ve been using this technique for more than ten years and shared it with hundreds of homeschooling mamas all over the world. It’s really quite simple, but that’s the beauty of it. You’ll need a stack of index cards and a large flat space—it might be the dining…

Using Subject Cards to Plan Your Homeschool Schedule originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 13, 2019
5 Things to Remember When Planning Your Charlotte Mason Homeschool
12:20

It’s that time of year again — the season when many of us get the itch to plan our next school year. Whether you’re just starting out or have been doing this for decades, here are five friendly reminders—just five ideas to keep in mind as you plan for your Charlotte Mason homeschool this coming year. Reminder #1: Start with the big picture, then narrow things down from there. It’s tempting to just jump right into this coming year and start shopping for resources and figuring out your first few days’ assignments. But let me encourage you to take a…

5 Things to Remember When Planning Your Charlotte Mason Homeschool originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 06, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Narration with Multiple Children
19:00

Today my friend and coworker, Laura Pitney, is with me to discuss a question that we received about narration: “With more than one child in the phase of doing oral narration, how do I have them each do a narration on what we read together without them just copying the child that goes first? At what point do you transition into written narration and how does that work?” Sonya: Why don’t we start by backing up, and for anyone who’s watching that might not know what narration is, let’s talk about what narration is. Laura: That would be a good…

Your Questions Answered: Narration with Multiple Children originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 31, 2019
5 Steps to Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education
25:06

DIY—Do It Yourself. For some of you, those initials generate great excitement! Images of potential projects arise in your imagination and you can hardly wait to dive into a new one. Others of you get tired just looking at those initials. To you, DIY stands for a pile of decisions and precious time that you would rather spend doing something else. It’s just natural; we’re all different. And those two attitudes seem to cross over into planning for homeschooling too. Some of you much prefer having lesson plans that are already put together, so you can just open the book…

5 Steps to Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 22, 2019
Using the 6-Year History Cycle
12:02

In this post I want to show you a little technique that I use to help me think through, adjust, and fine tune our history cycle to fit different family situations. We’re going to answer this question: Why do you have a six-year history cycle and how can I use it with multiple children? So let’s get started. First, why do we have a six-year history cycle? We have a six-year history cycle because we put a big emphasis on Bible history. We believe it’s important for students to understand how the Bible fits into world history—that the events recounted…

Using the 6-Year History Cycle originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 15, 2019
Working On Best Effort During the Summer
12:08

We talked last time about how the summer months can be a great time to give focused effort in habit-training, even if you’re taking that time off from schoolwork. Especially if you’re taking that time off from schoolwork! When you don’t have lessons to prepare and complete, you can invest your time and energy in habit-training. You actually have more time during summer break to work on good habits. So take advantage of that time. If you’re not sure where to begin, I recommend starting with the habit of attention. Check last week’s post for 10 tips on that habit,…

Working On Best Effort During the Summer originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 09, 2019
Working On Attention During the Summer
19:42

When I was a girl, I took piano lessons. I would practice diligently during the school year, but my teacher always gave her students the summer off. So I got used to not practicing during the summer months. Later, in high school, I switched to a different teacher, and she had a completely different mind-set. She told me, “Why would you take the summer off? You have more time to practice during the summer months than any other time of the year, because you don’t have classes and homework competing for your time. Summer is the best season to make…

Working On Attention During the Summer originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 02, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Homeschooling with Preschoolers in the Mix
25:36

One of the biggest challenges a homeschool mom faces is trying to get schoolwork done with preschoolers in the mix. My friends Jenn Faas and Laura Pitney are here to help me discuss this today. Sonya: Between all of us, we’ve had 13 preschool kids. And you have one currently and a baby, right, Jenn? Jenn: Yes. Sonya: Okay, what has worked (or is working) to get homeschooling done with preschoolers also in the mix? Jenn: I feel like one sanity saver for me actually doesn’t even involve the preschoolers. It involves my older kids. And that’s some form of…

Your Questions Answered: Homeschooling with Preschoolers in the Mix originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 26, 2019
Two New Music Studies Now Available
4:09

Charlotte Mason believed that music is a necessary part of education. And not just haphazard music; she encouraged us to “Let the young people hear good music as often as possible, and that under instruction” (Formation of Character, p. 235). Now, maybe you’re not a musician and aren’t quite sure how to make that happen. Well, our Music Study with the Masters portfolios are designed to make it simple. And today I’m happy to announce that we have added two new composers to the line up. If you have heard of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” then you’re already familiar with the…

Two New Music Studies Now Available originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 19, 2019
Top 10 (or 20) Picture Books for Preschoolers
18:30

Today I’m sharing some of my absolute favorite picture books for 3 to 5 year olds. These are picture books that you will want to read to your child again and again. These are books that, if your preschooler grabs one off the shelf again (!) and brings it to you to read again (!), you’re not going to cringe. You’ll say, “Sure, I’d love to read that book to you!,” because a good picture book is appealing to all ages, not just little ones. In the world of books, you will find rows upon rows of picture books. But…

Top 10 (or 20) Picture Books for Preschoolers originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 17, 2019
How to Choose a Good Picture Book
15:48

Do a quick search on Amazon for picture books, and you are suddenly faced with more than 60,000 titles. Think of it: 60,000 picture books to choose from. That’s a lot of books! In fact, if you could stack all of those picture books one on top of the other, the stack would reach to the top of the Empire State Building! To state the obvious, there are a lot of picture books around that you could read to your preschooler. But, to state the (perhaps) not so obvious, not all picture books are created equal. We all know that…

How to Choose a Good Picture Book originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 11, 2019
New Preschool Resource: Our Preschool Life
7:07

I talk to mamas all over the country who are feeling pressure with their preschoolers. They’re being pressured to push academics, to focus on reading and writing and math facts with their three-, four-, and five-year-olds. Perhaps you’re the mother of a young child and you have felt that pressure. Let me reassure you that the preschool years should not be about academics. Oh, make no mistake, your child is learning a lot of things, but that learning is not dependent on your forcing lessons and worksheets and flashcards on that precious little one. Preschool was meant to be a…

New Preschool Resource: Our Preschool Life originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 07, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Preschool Activities
40:40

The biggest job that a preschool child has is to explore his surroundings and make sense of the world around him. As he uses his five senses, he’s forming crucial connections in his brain. And those connections will help him be prepared for later challenges like formal school work. But pushing the school work first defeats the purpose. Charlotte Mason encouraged us to give young children a full six years of a quiet growing time before we start formal lessons. In this post, we want to discuss what that looks like. Joining me are my friends and fellow Charlotte Mason…

Your Questions Answered: Preschool Activities originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 03, 2019
Preschool Priorities
24:28

Young children spend the first five or six years of their lives busily making sense out of life around them. Their brains are on overdrive: observing, categorizing, comparing, discriminating, problem solving, experimenting, testing, assimilating. For example, let’s say you hand your child a spherical object and tell him that it is a ball. Over the next few weeks you show him other spheres—white and black ones, small ones, large ones, rubber ones, plastic ones—and they’re all balls. So your child starts to form some brain connections about balls: they are sphere shapes. Then your child encounters a round Christmas tree…

Preschool Priorities originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 27, 2019
Favorite Middle Ages and Renaissance Books for the Whole Family
10:31

We’ve been sharing our favorite books for studying the Middle Ages and Renaissance, telling a little about each title and breaking it down by age range. So far we’ve covered grades 1–3, grades 4–6, grades 7–9, and grades 10–12. What’s left? Well, today I want to give you some titles that are great for all ages. You know, a well-written living book will appeal to a wide range of age levels. Sure, the younger students might not wrap their brains around everything in the book, but they will gain a lot of good ideas—the ones they are ready to grasp—and…

Favorite Middle Ages and Renaissance Books for the Whole Family originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 20, 2019
Let Us Not Grow Weary
9:14

I just spent a weekend at a conference with some wonderful homeschooling mamas: some who are new to homeschooling and some who are veterans. As I was chatting with one mama who is just in the midst of her first year, she told me something that made me pause and ponder. This mama explained that when she had decided to start homeschooling, she had talked with some of her friends who were already doing it. This new mama remarked that all of those friends had freely talked to her about the academics and the scheduling and the resources and the…

Let Us Not Grow Weary originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 14, 2019
What Exam Week Looks Like in a Charlotte Mason Home School
17:34

Here's how to make exam week a time to celebrate your student's growth.

What Exam Week Looks Like in a Charlotte Mason Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 07, 2019
What Exam Week Sounds Like in a Charlotte Mason Home School
22:48

What do you mean "Charlotte Mason didn't do tests?" She did whole weeks of exams!

What Exam Week Sounds Like in a Charlotte Mason Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 30, 2019
Favorite Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation Books for Grades 10–12
13:12

I’ve been sharing some of my top picks for Middle Ages and Renaissance books for different age groups. Today I want to talk about my favorite books for grades 10 through 12. Now, remember, these are not the typical high school textbooks that you probably used during your own school years. These are living books—books written in either narrative or conversational style; books centered on people who lived in that historical time period and their stories. Biographies are so valuable for studying history; for when you read about a person’s experiences in a time period, you begin to understand what…

Favorite Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation Books for Grades 10–12 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 23, 2019
The Heart of Education
5:53

As the mother of a special needs child, I appreciate those who are able to look past the differences and see the similarities. Yes, some children have special needs, but all children have many needs that are the same no matter their skill levels. Though a child may seem to withdraw into her own little world, not looking at you or talking, or may pace back and forth over the same ten feet of carpet for 15 minutes, deep down inside she still has the universal need to feel loved and accepted. So when a friend makes it a point…

The Heart of Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 15, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Children Who Won’t Sit Still
12:44

My friend and co-worker, Laura Pitney, is joining me again today. We want to discuss another great question that you have asked: “What about little boys and girls who can’t or won’t sit still? What do you do then?” We hope you enjoy our discussion and receive some ideas that might be helpful. Sonya: First, I think you need to figure out why you want them to sit still. Is it just so you’ll look good to other people? Is it because they’re distracting the other kids? There are all kinds of reasons. Many little boys, especially, but some little…

Your Questions Answered: Children Who Won’t Sit Still originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 09, 2019
5 Life Habits Built Into a Charlotte Mason Education
16:52

We all want to instill good habits in our children, from the time they are toddlers through the time they move out to start their own households. We often think of habit training as something we do on the side. We work on kindness alongside all of the activities of the day. We work on orderliness as a constant requirement all day every day. But what if I told you that there are at least five habits that are built into homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way? These are good habits that you will automatically cultivate within your child as you…

5 Life Habits Built Into a Charlotte Mason Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 03, 2019
Favorite Middle Ages and Renaissance Books for Grades 7–9
11:30

There are so many great books set in the Middle Ages and Renaissance! I’ve been sharing some of my favorites for the different age groups, and today I want to share my top picks for grades 7 through 9. These are living books—books that will make the time period come alive for your student. As usual, they are listed in no specific order. In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce by G. A. Henty (1290–1315) G. A. Henty was a master at telling the story of historical events and people authentically. In Freedom’s Cause is about Scotland’s fight…

Favorite Middle Ages and Renaissance Books for Grades 7–9 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 26, 2019
How Much Did a Charlotte Mason Education Cost?
14:40

I’ve been working on an interesting project the last few weeks. It all started when I was looking at some old pamphlets and programmes in the Charlotte Mason digital archives (which is a fabulous resource, by the way). The programmes detail the work that students were to do each term and the books that they were to use. One pamphlet in particular caught my eye. It was all about the “practical working” of the Parents’ National Educational Union, or PNEU, which was Charlotte’s organization for all who were interested in their children’s education. I kept seeing references to Fees. Soon…

How Much Did a Charlotte Mason Education Cost? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 19, 2019
Your Questions Answered: A Smooth Morning of Lessons
18:38

My friend and co-worker Laura Pitney joins me again as we answer another of your questions. This time, we’re talking about how to have a smooth morning of lessons. Here’s the question that we want to discuss today: I would love to see some ideas of how to practically get lessons done in the morning, especially when you have a busy household. It seems like our school day drags on due to unproductive mornings. Also, it seems like a lot of outings, field trips, check-ups, etc., are done in the mornings partly because of timing and because of littles napping…

Your Questions Answered: A Smooth Morning of Lessons originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 13, 2019
Signposts for Reading Lessons in the Charlotte Mason Method
21:09

When you drive a long distance, it’s reassuring to have signs along the route that tell you when to turn or that your exit is coming up. Well, the same holds true when you’re teaching your child to read. There are signposts along that road. Let’s talk through the five steps involved in teaching your child to read, and I’ll point out the signposts for each one that will tell you when she’s ready to take the exit and move on to the next step. Teaching your child to read can seem like a daunting task. I remember the fear…

Signposts for Reading Lessons in the Charlotte Mason Method originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 05, 2019
Favorite Middle Ages & Renaissance Books for Grades 4–6
14:38

Today I want to share more of my top picks for living books on the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The titles I’m sharing today are appropriate for fourth through sixth graders. At that age, the students should be transitioning to reading their school books for themselves, and all of these titles can be used as independent reads. However, one of them you will definitely want to read together if the book is new to you. And that’s my first pick. This one is hands-down my all time favorite living book for this time period: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray.…

Favorite Middle Ages & Renaissance Books for Grades 4–6 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 26, 2019
40 Ideas for Independent Work (Not Busywork!)
18:50

Homeschooling comes with its own set of blessings and challenges. One of the challenges is figuring out what one child can do while you’re busy helping a different child. A home school is very much like a one-room schoolhouse. You’re managing several children across several grade levels—with only one teacher. It’s a fact of life that you won’t be able to be with each child all the time. Sometimes you will need to assign work to be done independently. But remember that any independent work that you assign to a child should have a purpose. And that purpose is not…

40 Ideas for Independent Work (Not Busywork!) originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 19, 2019
Your Questions Answered: Organizing Your Home School
14:02

My friend and co-worker, Laura Pitney, has joined us today, and we’re going to share some ideas on organizing your Charlotte Mason homeschool. Laura has a real heart to encourage and help other homeschool mamas, plus she’s very organized! So I’m glad that she can join us for this discussion. You’re going to love her ideas! Sonya: First, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about your family and your home school. Laura: Okay. I have homeschooled the whole time that my kids have been school aged, so we’re in the middle school years. I have four children that…

Your Questions Answered: Organizing Your Home School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 12, 2019
The Importance of Working with Your Hands
13:22

Have you ever had the experience where things just come together? You have a discussion with someone, and that person brings up a great point that causes you to ponder. You form some ideas in your head and tuck them away for the time being. Then just a few days later, someone else mentions that exact same point and adds another idea to it. And the next day it happens again with yet another idea! That’s when you begin to feel that you’re growing in that area from all of the mental food that came with those related ideas. I…

The Importance of Working with Your Hands originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 06, 2019
How to Finish Lessons by Lunch
14:24

I recently did an article called Productive Afternoons, and in it I mentioned that in Charlotte Mason’s schools formal lessons were done by lunch. Well, we received many questions about how lessons could be done by lunch, so I want to do a couple of things in this article. First, I want to show you some of Charlotte Mason’s time-tables, so you can see how she finished lessons before lunch. Then, I also want to give you some ideas and sample schedules that show how you could potentially finish lessons before lunch in your home school. Now, I don’t want…

How to Finish Lessons by Lunch originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 31, 2019
The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series, Book 2 Is Here!
5:40

Today we are excited to announce that The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic, Book 2, is now available!You are sure to enjoy these simple, lively lessons that will help your student gain a firm footing in addition, subtraction, and multiplication up to 1,000. He will solidify and learn the addition tables up to 10 + 10 and the multiplication tables up to 6 x 10. And that learning will not just be rote memory and recitation. He will memorize the math facts, yes, but first he will personally discover how the addition tables and multiplication tables work. Subtraction and division are…

The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series, Book 2 Is Here! originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 28, 2019
7 Favorite Middle Ages & Renaissance Books for Grades 1–3
16:21

If there is one thing Charlotte Mason homeschoolers love to do, it’s talk about our favorite books. I think every Charlotte Mason meeting I’ve ever attended had at least one conversation going on about “What books do you suggest for this time period and these grades?” or “Got any new favorite read-alouds?” I love to hear conversations like that, because they confirm how much the living ideas in great books can take root in our hearts and minds and live life right along with us. They become a part of us like nothing else can. So I thought I would…

7 Favorite Middle Ages & Renaissance Books for Grades 1–3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 22, 2019
Q & A: Inside the Scripture Memory System
13:03

Many years ago my family discovered a wonderful little system to help us with Scripture memory. With this simple tool, we consistently learn new verses, plus we review every verse we’ve ever learned every month. And it takes only five minutes a day. Thousands of families are now using the Scripture Memory System in their…

Q & A: Inside the Scripture Memory System originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 16, 2019
Behind the Scenes with A Delectable Education
21:20

Recently I made a trip to the rolling hills of Virginia to meet up with some friends of mine. You might know them as the ladies from A Delectable Education, a popular Charlotte Mason method podcast: Nicole Williams and Liz Cottrill and Emily Kiser. We sat down at the Living Books Library to chat, because I thought you might like to get to know them a little bit better behind the scenes. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Read the transcript below or listen to the podcast version. Sonya: Let me ask you ladies to tell a little bit about your…

Behind the Scenes with A Delectable Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 09, 2019
5 Ways NOT to Use a Living Book
17:34

Let’s talk about living books. Now, I can almost hear you saying, “Living books? Again? We talk about them all the time!” And that just proves my point. In a Charlotte Mason home school we spend a lot of time talking about living books: what they are, how to spot them, where to find them, which ones we like best, which ones we recommend or don’t recommend, at what ages the children should read them, what living ideas are contained in them,  . . . and the list could go on. We place a lot of emphasis on good living…

5 Ways NOT to Use a Living Book originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 02, 2019
An Interview with Karen Andreola
17:58

About twenty-five years ago, when I started homeschooling, I didn’t have the Internet. (I’ll pause here for a minute to let that sink in.) . . . I heard about Charlotte Mason at a state homeschool conference and immediately went looking for any books I could find about her methods. One of the first books that I discovered had a purple cover and a colored portrait of Charlotte on the front. Its title felt comforting and reassuring as I started down this unknown path for my home school; it was called The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. Many of…

An Interview with Karen Andreola originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 26, 2018
The Gift of Reading Aloud
8:50

Reading aloud to your children is a gift that you can give them all year round. If you set up a habit of reading together just one chapter from a good literature book every day, you’ll be giving your children a precious gift. In fact, you might not realize just how valuable that gift is. Let me share with you what the gift of reading aloud gives to your children. You are feeding their minds with living ideas. That’s the only food that their minds grow on: ideas. Ideas that nestle deep and take root, that generate other ideas, that…

The Gift of Reading Aloud originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 19, 2018
Reading Aloud So Children Love to Listen
19:46

Have you ever watched a play or a movie in which the actors weren’t that great? They just didn’t do a very good job of delivering their lines or communicating what was happening inside and outside their characters. The actors didn’t write the play or the movie, yet they had an important role in making it enjoyable for the audience. In some ways, that’s like reading a book aloud. The reader plays an important role in making that book enjoyable for his or her audience. Charlotte Mason told each reader to take up a book “with the certainty that the…

Reading Aloud So Children Love to Listen originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 11, 2018
5 Ways to Find Living Books
17:10

I can’t state this better than Charlotte Mason already did— “Children must have books, living books; the best are not too good for them; anything less than the best is not good enough” (Parents and Children, p. 279). Living books are a hallmark of a Charlotte Mason education. They are not used in every subject, but they are definitely a “leading star in the show.” The trick is finding the best ones for your family. Or maybe just finding them at all. Today I want to share five ways that you can find living books. And get ready, because I’m…

5 Ways to Find Living Books originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 05, 2018
The Daily Effort of Education
9:22

Today was one of “those” days. It took a Herculean effort just to make sure we accomplished all that needed to be done: meals, vitamins, exercises, beginning reading, copywork, math, groceries, Bible, literature, Scripture memory. Not to mention conference calls, e-mails, writing, and scheduling.I’m sure your to-do list looked just as full and loomed just as large. This afternoon I was reminded of this quote by Charlotte Mason about the daily effort of education: “To ‘endeavour ourselves’ to the daily effort of education, to live and act, think and speak before the children, so that they shall be hourly the…

The Daily Effort of Education originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 25, 2018
God and Habit-Training
8:02

In Charlotte Mason circles, we talk a lot about habits: how God made our brains to form habits automatically through repetition; what kinds of motivation work best; how long it takes to form a good habit; how to replace a bad habit with a good habit. All of this is important, because good habits give us smooth and easy days—in our home schools and in life. We want our children to grow up with an endowment of good habits that will help them run smoothly into their adult lives. And we, as adults, need to continue to cultivate our own…

God and Habit-Training originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 19, 2018
5 Tips for a Smooth Morning
17:38

We talk a lot about your school schedule and how to make it work for you and your students. But what about that block of time before school starts? That part of your morning can have a big impact on your school day. If breakfast is pleasant, chores get done, and the children gather in good time to start lessons, that atmosphere can overflow into the lessons themselves and give you good momentum. But if breakfast is late because you have no idea what to do about it, and the children dawdle over their chores, and you feel like you…

5 Tips for a Smooth Morning originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 13, 2018
Announcing the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat
8:28

For many years now I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect location at which to hold a gathering of all of us, my Charlotte Mason friends (and I count you as one of those friends) and I. Because I wanted this get-together to be very special, I had a long list of requirements for the place where we would gather. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, looking for the special place, for years, but I didn’t really have much success finding that perfect spot — until now. I am thrilled to announce the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat to be…

Announcing the Charlotte Mason Together Retreat originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 08, 2018
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Is Not One-Size-Fits-All
9:50

Joan wanted a garden. In her mind this garden would provide colorful, fresh, healthful vegetables for her family. She could picture the lovely yellow peppers, delicious sweet onions, and bright red tomatoes. In fact, she could almost taste the fresh salsa! But Joan was new to this whole gardening thing. She knew it involved putting seeds and plants in the soil, but that was about the extent of her knowledge. She decided that she needed some instructions—instructions that she could follow to the letter. Something that would guarantee success. So Joan bought a book called 283 Easy Steps to a…

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Is Not One-Size-Fits-All originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 05, 2018
Using Language Well, Book 3, Is Here!
7:08

Using Language Well, Book 3, focuses the spotlight on analyzing sentences. We recommend it for grades 7 and 8, and it is available now! Learning how to analyze sentences is an important skill for your student to have in order to continue to grow in her ability to communicate well. When she analyzes a sentence, it helps her to understand what all goes into creating a good one, so she learns the behind-the-scenes, as it were, of good writing. Analyzing sentences is also good practice for logical thinking. Your student will have to look at a sentence and determine what…

Using Language Well, Book 3, Is Here! originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 02, 2018
10 Smartphone Hacks for Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers
9:10

A smartphone is a tool. It isn’t good or bad in and of itself. It’s just a tool; it’s up to you how you use it. I encourage you to make sure that you use technology in a way that reinforces the knowledge and the habits that you are trying to instill in your child’s mind and heart, rather than sabotaging your efforts. Technology can be one of the tools that can help you and your children be lifelong learners, deep thinkers, people of godly character. If you can make sure that your smartphone is your servant, rather than your…

10 Smartphone Hacks for Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 29, 2018
New Narration Notecards Are Here!
8:42

Narration is such a powerful tool when done correctly. The foundational way is simply to retell what you read or heard in your own words. If you’re just getting started with narration, you may need to start with reading only a paragraph or one page in order to retain all of that information, process it, mix it with any other ideas already in your mind, confirm any correlations that you notice, put it in the right sequence, form it into your own coherent sentences, and then give it back. There’s a lot of mental work going on! As your student…

New Narration Notecards Are Here! originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 25, 2018
5 Questions to Ask about Your Schedule
16:07

A slip of paper. That’s all. A slip of paper. I find it very interesting that the word schedule comes from the Latin for “a slip of paper.” Can you imagine? When Charlotte Mason homeschoolers talk about schedules, somehow it takes on much more significance than a slip of paper. We read books about how to set up a schedule. We go to seminars to learn what schedules should look like. We spend hours brainstorming, pondering, and trying to fit all the pieces together in the best way possible. Of course, it makes sense that you spend a lot of…

5 Questions to Ask about Your Schedule originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 23, 2018
Productive Afternoons in Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
17:14

I love how, with the Charlotte Mason approach, you’re done with lessons by lunch time. Younger students in her schools were done by 11:30, middle students by 12:00, and older students by 1:00. It’s so refreshing to focus head-down for a few hours and then relax. The variety of subjects covered during those hours helps the time pass briskly. Effort is required—most definitely—but assignments are not dragged out. Long hours too often inadvertently instill a habit of dawdling, because the student’s brain is either on overload and fatigued or completely numbed by the tediousness of it all. Brisk, full attention…

Productive Afternoons in Charlotte Mason Homeschooling originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 17, 2018
2019 Calendar Journal Now Available: Hope for Tomorrow
9:57

I am so happy to announce that the 2019 calendar journal is available, because it combines four things that I like to keep near me during the year. In some ways the year seems to fly by; but in other ways, there is a lot of time and life that passes between January and December. Sometimes I will read a fabulous book early in the year, but when November rolls around, I can’t recall the exact title or the author. Does that ever happen to you? Or here is what happens more often: someone encourages me or exhorts me with…

2019 Calendar Journal Now Available: Hope for Tomorrow originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 11, 2018
Switching to Charlotte Mason from Unschooling
8:51

If you’re switching from an unschooling approach to the Charlotte Mason Method, here’s a little advice to keep in mind. If you’re not sure what “unschooling” is, it might help to take a moment and watch the video, Five Flavors of Homeschooling. But if you know what unschooling is, you’ve had first-hand experience with unschooling, and you’re ready to switch to a Charlotte Mason approach, here’s my advice. First, I want to talk about three tendencies you might discover within yourself—three actions or mind-sets that may unknowingly come along with you from your unschooling days (or years) and make the…

Switching to Charlotte Mason from Unschooling originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 09, 2018
Switching to Charlotte Mason from Unit Studies
11:54

Some people think that a Charlotte Mason approach is a unit study approach. But there are some key differences between the two methods. And if you’re making the change from unit studies to Charlotte Mason in your homeschool, you need to understand those differences. Let’s take a look at them by first exploring three tendencies that you might have in your thinking. Three Tendencies You’re probably used to making the mental connections for the student. Usually in a unit study approach, the teacher picks one theme and tries to connect as many school subjects as possible to that theme. But…

Switching to Charlotte Mason from Unit Studies originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 02, 2018
Switching to Charlotte Mason from Classical
10:16

I’m often asked, “Is Charlotte Mason classical?” Homeschoolers can debate that question all day. Here’s my take on it: If by “classical” you mean appreciating and using classic literature; cultivating good character; focusing on what is good, true, noble, and beautiful; and spreading a wide feast that includes art and music and poetry and Shakespeare and time in nature, I would agree that a Charlotte Mason approach does include those characteristics. But if by “classical” you mean an approach that is based on the trivium for school-age children, I would have to disagree. Charlotte Mason is not trivium-based. There are…

Switching to Charlotte Mason from Classical originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 26, 2018
Switching to Charlotte Mason from Textbooks
11:33

We all come to Charlotte Mason from different backgrounds. Perhaps your homeschool background has been mainly using traditional methods and materials like textbooks and workbooks, study guides and worksheets. If that’s the case, you may find that you have a tendency to think about education in certain ways, and those thoughts might trip you up as you transition to a Charlotte Mason approach. So let me offer three possible tendencies that might crop up. I’m not saying that you will definitely have to deal with them—you might or you might not. But I think being aware of these different ways…

Switching to Charlotte Mason from Textbooks originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 19, 2018
Switching to Charlotte Mason from a Classroom
9:58

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about tendencies and tips for those who are making the transition to using a Charlotte Mason approach in their home schools. We all come from different backgrounds and those backgrounds can act like magnets. It seems like they constantly try to pull our thoughts back in that direction. Today, let me offer three tendencies to be aware of and also give three helpful tips for those of you who are pulling your children out of a classroom setting and beginning to homeschool with the Charlotte Mason method. Or perhaps you are coming…

Switching to Charlotte Mason from a Classroom originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 10, 2018
Starting Charlotte Mason from Scratch
8:55

We’ve been talking about making the transition to using Charlotte Mason methods in your homeschool. All of us come from different backgrounds and those backgrounds influence our thinking. That’s only natural. In the next few articles, I’d like to walk through some of those background scenarios and offer you some ideas that might help you make the transition to Charlotte Mason smoother. Today, let’s talk about starting from scratch. Perhaps your children are just now at school age, so you’ll be starting them off with the Charlotte Mason method from the beginning. That’s great. May I offer you some friendly…

Starting Charlotte Mason from Scratch originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 04, 2018
A Mental Shift—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Part 6
15:34

We’ve been talking about how to make the transition to the Charlotte Mason method in your homeschool. Some people are ready to dive in with both feet; others feel more comfortable easing into it step by step. So I’ve been outlining a way to make that transition in five stages. I hope you feel free to linger at each stage until it feels comfortable. We’ve talked at length about changing your methods for the different school subjects, but there’s also a change that needs to happen in your mindset. Today I want to address that mental part of making the…

A Mental Shift—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Part 6 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 28, 2018
Add More Variety—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 5
12:58

Over the past few weeks we have been walking through how you can make a transition to the Charlotte Mason approach in your home school in stages, getting comfortable at each stage before you move on to the next one. If you haven’t read the posts for Stages 1–4, I encourage you to do that first. Today let’s talk about Stage 5. Stage 5 is all about three final subjects that you can add to your schedule. Doing so will add wonderful variety to your week and to your children’s education. If you’ve worked through the first four stages and…

Add More Variety—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 5 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 21, 2018
The Right Stuff—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 4
13:26

We’ve been talking about how to make the transition to the Charlotte Mason method in your homeschool, easing into it little by little. We’ve talked already about Stages 1–3: The Basics, Once a Week, and Everyday Subjects. I recommend that you read those posts if you haven’t already. Today we want to do Stage 4. I like to call it the Check-up Stage. At this stage, I want you to look at three different subjects and check on them to make sure that you are using Charlotte Mason methods. The subjects are science, math, and language arts. Science Let’s start…

The Right Stuff—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 4 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 15, 2018
Daily Mind Food—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 3
8:15

We’ve been discussing how to make the transition to the Charlotte Mason method in five stages. We’ve already talked about Stage 1: The Basics and Stage 2: things you will do just Once a Week. Today, let’s look at Stage 3, which is two things that I want you to start doing every day. Literature The first is literature, a family read-aloud book. Choose one of the great classic children’s literature books, such as Black Beauty or The Wind in the Willows or Heidi or the Little House books or the Little Britches books, etc. Reading together as a family…

Daily Mind Food—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 08, 2018
Simple Weekly Subjects—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 2
15:26

We’ve been talking about how to make the transition to the Charlotte Mason method in five stages. Last time we talked about Stage 1: The Basics. Today let’s move on to Stage 2: Once a Week. The Once-a-Week stage is comprised of five subjects that are not hard to do, and you do each one only once a week. You can easily pick one for each day of the week. They take about five or ten minutes, so this stage shouldn’t be hard at all. Once-a-Week Subject #1: Picture Study The first of the Once-a-Week subjects is picture study. This…

Simple Weekly Subjects—How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 2 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 31, 2018
How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 1
11:24

Today I’d like to discuss a question that I hear frequently. It goes something like this: “The more I hear about the Charlotte Mason method, the more I become convinced that this is the method that’s going to fit my family best. This is what I want to do. Currently, I’m doing ____. How do I make the transition?” Usually people who ask me that question fall into one of two camps. Some of them are ready to dive in with both feet. Others want to make the transition a little more gradually. Think about a swimming pool and all…

How to Switch to Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, Stage 1 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 25, 2018
A Project Week Idea
6:38

When my children were younger, we would always run out of time to do hands-on projects. By the time we got out all the materials and cleared a space for the activity, we had about ten minutes to work on it before we had to begin cleaning up. How frustrating! It became easier and easier to push off those projects to “another day,” which of course, never arrived. We tried setting aside every Friday as project day, but that schedule didn’t work for projects that required more than one day to complete; for example, making a salt dough map, which…

A Project Week Idea originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 18, 2018
10 Do’s and Don’ts for Nature Study
9:41

As we wrap up our series on nature study, I thought you might enjoy a highlights list of do’s and don’ts from Charlotte’s counsel to parents. Some of these tidbits of wisdom we have already covered in the series, but there are a few others that may be new to you. I’m not going to say that these ten items cover everything you need to know. You will find a much more comprehensive collection of Charlotte’s comments on nature study in the helpful book, Hours in the Out-of-Doors. But these are ten important do’s and don’ts that will get you…

10 Do’s and Don’ts for Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 09, 2018
5 Great Nature Projects (plus a few more)
11:07

During the past few weeks we have been sharing that there is more to nature study than just spending time outside. The well-rounded science education that Charlotte Mason described for her students included outdoor field work, living science books, natural object lessons, and special nature projects—all documented in each child’s personal nature notebook. Today we want to zero-in on special projects. Charlotte mentioned at least five great nature projects that you and your children can do together to learn more about God’s creation. Some of these you might remember from your own childhood days, hopefully with fondness. And now it’s…

5 Great Nature Projects (plus a few more) originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 02, 2018
Natural Object Lessons
10:26

Nature study is such a great way to help our children (and ourselves) develop a personal relation with God’s creation around us. Some children take to it quite naturally; others appreciate a little guidance and encouragement. That’s where object lessons can help. When Charlotte encouraged us to use object lessons to supplement nature study, she was talking about noticing a natural object in its natural setting and using guided-discovery questions to help your child focus on particular aspects of it in order to sharpen his skills of observation. For young children, these little lessons can be almost like sensory games.…

Natural Object Lessons originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 26, 2018
Nature Study, Plus Living Books
9:05

I hope you have been enjoying our series on nature study. We have talked about why Charlotte Mason included nature study in the curriculum line-up, when we should do nature study, the big picture of what it looks like, and some specifics on creating a nature notebook. Today we’re going to discuss what we need to add to nature study to provide a complete and well-rounded science education for our children. As wonderful as Charlotte Mason-style nature study is, it does have its limits. Charlotte was aware of those limits, and she did not use nature study exclusively. She supplemented…

Nature Study, Plus Living Books originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 20, 2018
The Secret of the Nature Notebook
7:11

“Where do I find a nature notebook?” “What does it look like?” “How do we go about creating a nature notebook? Is there a template somewhere?” Questions like these cross my desk regularly. So let’s reveal the secret of the mysterious nature notebook. The secret is: it’s empty. That’s right. When you first get a nature notebook, it will be empty. A nature notebook is simply a blank notebook with stiff covers and heavy paper for writing, drawing, and painting. A sketchbook works well. If you need some guidance or ideas of what kinds of things to look for during…

The Secret of the Nature Notebook originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 13, 2018
Nature Study in a Nutshell
8:34

So far in this series we’ve talked about all the great benefits that we and our children can gain from doing nature study. We’ve also addressed Charlotte Mason’s encouragement to get outside one half-day per week, all year round. That all sounds great, but sometimes there is confusion about what to do once you step outside that door. What should nature study look like? Here is a lovely description that Charlotte gave in School Education, page 237. “On one afternoon in the week, the children (of the Practising School) go for a ‘nature walk’ with their teachers. They notice for…

Nature Study in a Nutshell originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 06, 2018
When Should I Do Nature Study?
13:53

Have you ever noticed that the question When? has many facets? For example, if a person asked, “When should we go to the park?,” the reply could be any number of things. The person asking might be a mama who has an older soccer player and a newborn in her household. She might be addressing the doctor, asking for help in determining the best age for the newborn to venture out to that practice field: “When should we go to the park?” Or the person asking that same question could be a dad who is trying to coordinate schedules in…

When Should I Do Nature Study? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 29, 2018
8 Great Reasons To Do Nature Study
19:00

If you had asked me, “Why do nature study?” when my children were young, I would have replied, “To get them outside and burn up some of that energy” (that we all wish we could tap into now at our ages). If you had asked the same question when they got a little older, I would have answered, “To increase their skills of observation . . . and the fresh air doesn’t hurt either.” A year or two after that, my answer would have been, “To cultivate a love for God as creator.” Those are all great reasons to do…

8 Great Reasons To Do Nature Study originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 22, 2018
6 Nature Book Finds in Bellevue, Washington
12:00

On a recent conference trip to the Seattle, Washington, area, we had a couple of free hours on Thursday morning before we had to set up our booth. The weather was beautiful that day: high 70s and sunny. (We found out that those days are rare; and it was a good thing we took advantage of it, because it was rainy and chilly the rest of the weekend.) My husband John did a quick Internet search for any parks or green spaces around us where we could go walk around and enjoy the sunshine. And he found a gem: the…

6 Nature Book Finds in Bellevue, Washington originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 15, 2018
New Free Book: Subject by Subject the Charlotte Mason Way
4:59

227,000. That’s a lot of homeschoolers. When you see that many home educators reading one particular blog post series, you take notice. Which series is everyone reading? Subject by Subject the Charlotte Mason Way. I wrote that series because it would have been helpful for me when I started homeschooling more than 20 years ago—a simple overview of each school subject and how it should be taught in a Charlotte Mason way. We’re thrilled that that series is providing a trusted reference guide that readers come back to again and again, just to make sure they’re staying on track. Its…

New Free Book: Subject by Subject the Charlotte Mason Way originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 09, 2018
3 Ways to Sabotage Lifelong Learners
10:09

We talked last time about how learning is a continuous process. It’s something that should happen your whole life. And if you use six Charlotte Mason methods, you can educate yourself on many, many things without depending on a teacher or a class. You can and should self-educate. But sadly, for some adults self-education holds little appeal. Perhaps you find yourself in that group and you’re not sure why. For some reason, when you hear about intentionally learning something new as a grown-up, you have no desire to do so. Where did the motivation go? What happened? My guess is…

3 Ways to Sabotage Lifelong Learners originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 25, 2018
Charlotte Mason for Grown-Ups
14:37

What’s your dream? Chances are if you have a dream, you will need to learn some things to get you there. Brittney has a dream to give her children a rich and enjoyable home education that will launch them into adult life well prepared. She wants to learn more about Charlotte Mason homeschooling. Geoff would love to grow his cooking hobby into a catering business. He needs to learn more cooking techniques and the ins and outs of catering for different size crowds in a variety of occasions. Kelly desires to make her home more comfortable and better organized. She…

Charlotte Mason for Grown-Ups originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 19, 2018
Setting Your Child Up for Success in His Surroundings
13:08

As I type these words, I am having a problem. It’s not that I’m struggling with the content; I have a good handle on what we’re going to discuss in this post. It’s not an issue with the skills required; I know quite well how to type and how to work my computer. No, the problem is that I’m being distracted. For more than a year now we have had daily visits from a cardinal, who loves to fly up to each window across the back of the house and tap it with his beak. (I like to think that…

Setting Your Child Up for Success in His Surroundings originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 11, 2018
Working with Your Student’s Skills
17:07

I enjoy watching The Great British Baking Show. The challenges, the creativity, and the camaraderie all combine to make it a pleasant diversion. But I have to be careful, because sometimes I get carried away with the success of some of the bakers. I look at their beautiful creations and, without batting an eye, start searching the Internet for the recipe they used. Never mind that I have no idea what a ganache is or how to make one—let alone spell it! They throw those terms around and talk about the finer points of different kinds of sponge cake and…

Working with Your Student’s Skills originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 04, 2018
How to Teach the Child, Not Just the Curriculum
18:17

No matter what curriculum you use, it is never going to fit every child perfectly. That’s when you have a choice to make: you can either choose to teach the curriculum or to teach the child. I often compare that decision to cooking. Let’s say you find a recipe for chili that 734 people love and have given good reviews. As you read over that recipe, you notice that it calls for quite a bit of hot sauce. But your family doesn’t like food too spicy. So you have a choice to make: you can either cook the recipe as…

How to Teach the Child, Not Just the Curriculum originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 29, 2018
Top Three Habits for a Homeschool Mom
15:39

I was chatting with a young mom today about habit training, and she asked a great question. We had talked about how important it is to have living examples for our children to see and spend time with as they form good habits. She had also made the connection that parents are, of necessity, one of the first examples our children have. So she asked, “What are the top three habits that you think a homeschool mom should cultivate in her own life?” I paused. Now, if she had asked for the top three habits we should cultivate in our…

Top Three Habits for a Homeschool Mom originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 20, 2018
New 2018–19 Calendar by Karen Andreola: Hope for Tomorrow
4:35

We are excited to announce that this year’s personal calendar journal is written by Karen Andreola. Many of you know Karen as the beloved author of A Charlotte Mason Companion. Her gentle and practical wisdom has lighted the way for thousands to enter into Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and enjoyable methods. Karen has written twelve encouraging articles that are tucked into the calendar, one for each month. She has also hand-picked more than 50 favorite Charlotte Mason quotes to keep you inspired and learning every week of the year. Her theme, “Hope for Tomorrow,” shines brightly on the pages of this…

New 2018–19 Calendar by Karen Andreola: Hope for Tomorrow originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 16, 2018
You Move Toward What You Focus On
6:16

When we lived near Chicago, my husband John rode his bike for long treks in all kinds of weather. He liked to take the roads that led out of our suburb and into relatively undeveloped country, because they were less traveled. The upside of those roads was less traffic. The downside was that they had a narrow shoulder. He could count on only about 12 inches of blacktop between the outside paint line and the edge of the road where the asphalt dropped off to a ditch. Now, most of the time that narrow shoulder wasn’t an issue. But every…

You Move Toward What You Focus On originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 06, 2018
10 Mistakes Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers Should Avoid
11:28

Most of the time I like to focus on the positive and think about what I should do. But sometimes it can be just as helpful to turn that around and consider what not to do. Flipping things over sometimes helps bring to light a concept that we haven’t noticed before. So just for a different perspective, let’s look at ten mistakes that a Charlotte Mason homeschool teacher should avoid. Hopefully, they will serve as a gentle mid-year check for us all. 1. Forgetting that the child is a person. One of Charlotte Mason’s chief principles is “The child is…

10 Mistakes Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers Should Avoid originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 27, 2018
Book Review: The Naturalist’s Notebook
7:30

(The Naturalist’s Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich, Storey Publishing, 2017.) I’ve discovered something about nature study. It’s not a static activity. By that I mean, it’s not just one-dimensional: go outside, observe, record in your nature notebook. The end. The more I do nature study, and the more I watch and talk with my go-to-nature-friend, Karen Smith, about nature study, the more I become convinced that there are many levels to it. I was pondering this today, and if I were to…

Book Review: The Naturalist’s Notebook originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 20, 2018
When Your Student Mentally Checks Out
4:47

We’ve all seen those looks: the glazed-over eyes, the dulled expressions, the partly-concealed yawns. Let’s face it, sometimes our children just “check out” during the school day. What is a homeschool parent to do? Charlotte Mason gave great advice for those situations. “When a child grows stupid over a lesson, it is time to put it away. Let him do another lesson as unlike the last as possible, and then go back with freshened wits to his unfinished task” (Home Education, p. 141). So let’s say Joey is working on his math assignment. When he started, he was giving it…

When Your Student Mentally Checks Out originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 13, 2018
Homeschooling with Preschoolers in the Mix
6:19

Certainly one of the biggest challenges facing a homeschool mom or dad is trying to teach with little ones underfoot. You might have laid out the best plans in the world, but those plans might never become a reality if you fail to consider the preschoolers in your home. They can be quite distracting to both mom and the other children who are trying to concentrate on their studies! Don’t get me wrong: preschoolers are a great blessing! They just add another dimension to your planning. Here are five great ideas, compiled from several homeschool moms, for homeschooling with preschoolers…

Homeschooling with Preschoolers in the Mix originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 07, 2018
Not Pride and Prejudice
6:38

Near the end of Jane Austen’s classic book, Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy makes a startling statement that sums up why he struggled so much in winning Elizabeth Bennet’s regard. It is startling because he puts his finger on a practice that many parents might inadvertently be doing today. “I was given good principles,” Darcy confessed, “but left to follow them in pride and conceit.” Especially in the homeschooling atmosphere of today—with its resurgent (and commendable) emphasis on noble ideals, high thinking, and excellence—we need to be careful we don’t make the same mistake Darcy’s parents did. High thinking is…

Not Pride and Prejudice originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 24, 2018
Starting Charlotte Mason Homeschooling in High School
24:31

I recently watched a rehearsal for a folk dancing group. There were only five ladies on the floor, but the dances were quite involved. Each lady held half of a hula hoop in an arch over her head as they all stepped in time to a lulling waltz, forming intricate designs that gently changed into other intricate designs. My companion told me that in performance the dancers would hold beautiful arches of flowers; the hula hoops were only for practice. I could almost picture the lovely colors and fluttering ribbons that they would take with them into the competition. One…

Starting Charlotte Mason Homeschooling in High School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 16, 2018
Narration and Composition in the High School Years
30:15

Of all of the questions we received on homeschooling through high school with the Charlotte Mason Method, the area that raised the most concerns, by far, was composition. I find that fact interesting . . . and a bit ironic. Think about it. Most of us were given the traditional and typical separate classes focused on lessons in composition from first grade through twelfth grade. And most of us feel unqualified or ill prepared to guide our children to write well. Somewhere that twelve-year, isolated approach to writing failed us. Happily, Charlotte Mason’s approach to composition is quite different. Yet…

Narration and Composition in the High School Years originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 10, 2018
A Generation of Charlotte Mason Kids
10:14

(We asked Karen Andreola to share some of her thoughts and experiences with Charlotte Mason graduates and how they get on in college and in life. I feel certain you’ll enjoy what she has to say.) A couple summers ago my daughter and son-in-law were between churches. They moved an hour from where they used to live. Visiting new churches carries with it a certain apprehension. On one of those visiting-Sundays, Sophia was standing at the back of the sanctuary holding her one-year-old, trying to keep her quiet while listening to the sermon. The baby was fussy. It was normally…

A Generation of Charlotte Mason Kids originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 02, 2018
How Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Prepares a Student for College and Life
11:31

Last week a friend recommended a book. After she told me about it, I looked it up online and read the summary and the publisher’s description. They looked good. From everything so far, it seemed to be a great book. But I wanted to do one more thing before buying in: read some reviews from real people who had experience with it firsthand. We depend on reviews a lot. And some of you have asked for firsthand reviews about Charlotte Mason homeschooling through high school. You want to hear from some CM graduates about what their experiences were like in…

How Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Prepares a Student for College and Life originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 27, 2017
Challenging Courses and Dual Enrollment
19:10

When my husband John has a big job to do around the house, he doesn’t just pull out a hammer and start banging away, expecting it to do everything. He has a whole five-gallon bucket full of carefully selected and arranged tools that he keeps near at hand (and more in his tool cart in the garage). He knows that a large job becomes more manageable with a variety of tools. From all of those options he can select the tool that will work best for each aspect of the task. The same thing is true for homeschooling through high…

Challenging Courses and Dual Enrollment originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 19, 2017
Courses, Credits, Grades, and Transcripts
18:27

My mother makes the best potato salad. Every time we have a family cookout, she politely asks what she can bring, knowing full well what the answer will be. “You bring the potato salad, please, Mom.” But if you ask her for the recipe, she will hesitate. It’s not that she doesn’t want to share that information; it’s that she would have to think long and hard about what exactly she does to create that delicious dish. Making potato salad is so natural to her at this point, that it takes effort to document every step of the process and…

Courses, Credits, Grades, and Transcripts originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 12, 2017
Scheduling with a High Schooler in the Mix
18:08

As homeschoolers, educating a child through the high school years is going to look different from a typical high school classroom situation. Most high schools are concerned with one thing: getting the course work done. But a Charlotte Mason-style home school looks at the whole person and has a broader goal. We looked last time at developing the person through the curriculum—spreading a feast of ideas through a wide variety of subjects. Today, as we continue to answer your questions on high school, let’s talk a bit about how to develop the person through the schedule. Yes, we want our…

Scheduling with a High Schooler in the Mix originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 05, 2017
Serving the Feast in High School
14:58

Ask any parent of a high school student how much they spend on groceries and you will be reminded of a young adult’s healthy appetite. Teens require food and lots of it. Their bodies are growing at a phenomenal rate, and they need plenty of nutritious food to fuel that growth. High school students also require food for their minds. Just as the teen years are not the time to starve your child’s body, so they are not the time to skimp on what you feed your student’s mind and heart. These years should be a natural continuation of what…

Serving the Feast in High School originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 29, 2017
Keeping Your Perspective in the High School Years
5:05

Once upon a time, a traveler was passing through a town. He was tired and thirsty, so he thought he would stop and rest a bit by the fountain in the town square. He was just enjoying the last drops of a drink of cool water, when he caught sight of three stone masons across the way, hard at work. Curious, he approached the first stone mason and inquired, “What are you doing?” The first stone mason glanced up at the traveler, wearily wiped the sweat from his brow, and grumbled sullenly, “I am cutting this stone.” The traveler turned…

Keeping Your Perspective in the High School Years originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 22, 2017
Announcing Narration Notecards
3:21

You want to give your student interesting and specific narration prompts for each chapter he reads, but sometimes you just don’t have time to pre-read all of the books on the schedule. Or maybe you have time but you’re not quite sure how to raise the bar on the types of narrations you are asking your older students to give you. Or perhaps baby #10 is on the way and you would just appreciate any help you can get. We understand. That’s why we are happy to announce Narration Notecards. These handy, customized cards are easy to use. Read aloud…

Announcing Narration Notecards originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 17, 2017
Narration Notecards: A Fabulous Written Narration Idea
2:58

If you have a student who is old enough to be doing written narrations, you may have run into this dilemma: “I want my student to spell names and places and events correctly in his narration, but I’m reluctant to allow him to look back at the chapter to make sure of those spellings. It would be too easy for him to ‘review’ as he scans the pages for the words he needs. How can I encourage correct spelling without placing temptation in his way?” My friend Crystal came up with a great solution. She took the idea of highlighting…

Narration Notecards: A Fabulous Written Narration Idea originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 08, 2017
Announcing The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series
7:04

For many years we have longed for a truly Charlotte Mason math curriculum. But since none was available, we settled for finding programs that at least included some CM components. So you can imagine how excited we are to announce The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series! The name holds much history and significance. The—Author Richele Baburina has invested years of research and study to uncover exactly what math concepts Charlotte taught, when she taught them, and how she taught them. This is the real deal. No more searching for a somewhat-Charlotte-Mason-style math program. This is the one that is Charlotte…

Announcing The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 01, 2017
Happy Results: Min Hwang’s Math Story
6:37

We’re hearing so many good things about Charlotte Mason’s way of teaching math! Parents tell us about improved attitudes, renewed interest and excitement, plus a solid understanding of arithmetic. Min Hwang’s experience is especially encouraging. Here is her Happy Results math story. Tears of frustration, rote memorization, tedium and dread—these were what filled our math lessons. And that was just me. There were plastic manipulatives to lay out. There were worksheets to complete. There were lesson manuals to fumble through, word for word. I had no foresight because I did not have the big picture. I was simply dependent, day-by-day,…

Happy Results: Min Hwang’s Math Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 24, 2017
Charlotte Mason Math with Special Needs
8:06

It is 9:30 A.M. and my daughter is sitting in a brown chair in my office. She is ready for our school time. Though she is 19 now, we still home school, for she enjoys it—as witnessed by the fact that she is sitting in that chair waiting for me. And part of our work every day is Charlotte Mason elementary arithmetic. Ever since I read Richele Baburina’s comprehensive work on how Charlotte taught math, and especially since I saw her demonstrate the methods, I’ve been using that approach with my daughter. Yes, she is 19 years old, but with…

Charlotte Mason Math with Special Needs originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 17, 2017
Everyday Objects in the Charlotte Mason Math Lesson
6:53

(Here is another great post from Richele Baburina, author of the Charlotte Mason math handbook, Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching, and its corresponding DVD set, Charlotte Mason’s Living Math: A Guided Journey.) I picked up my car from the airport’s long-term parking lot and, anxious to see my family, determined to take an unfamiliar shortcut home. Road signs and street lamps quickly ended on the tiny mountain road. Cell-phone service was lost next, and soon, so was I. As I backtracked to almost the start of my route, Pippin’s warning to Frodo that “Shortcuts make long delays” sang in…

Everyday Objects in the Charlotte Mason Math Lesson originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 11, 2017
Handwriting as a Joy in Math Lessons
5:39

(We are pleased to present the following post by Richele Baburina, author of Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching and its corresponding DVD set, Charlotte Mason’s Living Math: A Guided Journey.) Charlotte Mason elementary arithmetic lessons are primarily oral. Rather than being worksheet driven—with a child working a page of exercises—the actual writing of numbers and equations is used very sparingly for young learners. Let’s take a look at the first few lessons in elementary arithmetic and see how the reading and writing of digits are to be taught. 

In Charlotte’s schools, elementary arithmetic lessons were referred to as Numbers…

Handwriting as a Joy in Math Lessons originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Oct 02, 2017
Ideal Math Lessons for a Young Learner
5:15

Just for a moment, throw out all of your memories of math lessons from your school days. Set aside the images and promotional explanations from that math curriculum you were recently researching online. And let’s start from scratch. If we were to design math lessons that would be an ideal fit for a young learner, what would they look like? Well, let’s think about a young learner. What is a typical six-year-old like? Most early elementary children I know like to move, have wobbly handwriting, are emerging readers, are concrete thinkers, have a great imagination. Now let’s build out from…

Ideal Math Lessons for a Young Learner originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 26, 2017
2018 Calendar Journal Now Available
3:44

My husband and I used to ride tandem bicycles around Chicagoland. We would throw on our biking clothes and go for miles on the Rails to Trails paths. During our bicycling days, I learned two very important lessons. First, I’m most apt to lose my balance when I’m riding uphill. Those climbs can throw off my groove. If I don’t gear down far enough, I find myself stomping on the pedals and leaning from side to side. Since I’m headed uphill, I lose momentum quickly and soon the bike begins to wobble precariously. But if I have someone else on…

2018 Calendar Journal Now Available originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 19, 2017
Your Questions about High School the Charlotte Mason Way
3:59

It’s exciting to talk to more and more homeschoolers who are educating their children through high school. Those high school years can be very rewarding and challenging at the same time, and Charlotte Mason’s methods give a great balance between discipline and enjoyment in high school. But those same parents with older students often confide that their approach to the high school years is accompanied by a bit of anxiety, some second-guessing, and a lot of questions. For example, here are some questions we’ve been asked recently: Is narration enough for high school? How do you keep lessons short in…

Your Questions about High School the Charlotte Mason Way originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 13, 2017
Happy Results: Jill C’s Journey to Charlotte Mason
6:18

Many homeschool moms, as they learn more about Charlotte Mason’s methods, get a funny look on their faces and say something like, “That’s what I’ve been trying to do all along, because . . . well, it just makes sense. You mean, that has a name?” It’s so rewarding to watch faces light up, burdens roll off shoulders, and joy blossom in schoolrooms as Charlotte’s methods are embraced! Here is one such story that spans two generations of homeschooling. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy Jill C.’s account of “My Heart’s Journey to Charlotte Mason.” Three years ago, I…

Happy Results: Jill C’s Journey to Charlotte Mason originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Sep 06, 2017
How Fiction Helps Children Grow
7:56

My youngest has been traveling to conventions with us over the past few months. Amid the different locations and changing venues, she has held tightly to one constant: on every trip she brings a classic children’s literature book. These books are her old friends: Little House in the Big Woods; Charlotte’s Web; Winnie-the-Pooh; Farmer Boy; Black Beauty; Mr. Popper’s Penguins. They have given her much joy and lots to think about and grow on over the years. They are worthy companions to have along on the journey. So I’m always a bit saddened when a parent raises an objection to…

How Fiction Helps Children Grow originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 30, 2017
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Willpower
8:34

Joey sits in his room and plays video games hour after hour, sulking anytime he is asked to do anything else. Samantha pitches a fit when she is told she may not have a cookie right now. Alex stares out the window instead of doing his math lesson. Cassie quits halfway through washing the car, because her arms are tired. Each of these children is struggling with a weak will. They are being ruled by their impulses and desires. They lack the strength to make themselves do what they know they should. Making hard choices, and sticking with them even…

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Willpower originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 22, 2017
Charlotte Mason and The Marshmallow Test
8:36

Four-year-old Susie sits at a little table in a plain room, listening intently. “Susie, which do you like better: one marshmallow or two marshmallows?” the nice lady asks as she points to the sweet treats sitting on paper plates on the tabletop. Susie’s face lights up. “Two marshmallows,” she confides with a smile, casting a glance at the plate that holds the double prize. The lady explains, “I have to go do some work now in the other room. If you wait until I come back, you may have the two marshmallows. But if you decide that you don’t want…

Charlotte Mason and The Marshmallow Test originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 16, 2017
Happy Results: Arline E.’s Scripture Memory Story
2:47

It’s so much fun explaining the Scripture Memory System to people when I speak at conventions around the country. When they realize that their whole family can memorize new Bible passages plus review all the verses they have learned in just 5–10 minutes per day, it’s like a light comes on. They get it! But there is one question I often get asked: What do I do about the younger children? Do I have to start over for them so they will be able to catch up and know all the verses that my older children have memorized? The answer…

Happy Results: Arline E.’s Scripture Memory Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 09, 2017
A Beautiful Scripture Memory Box
4:17

For many years we have encouraged families to memorize Scripture with a simple and effective system. In just five or ten minutes a day you can continually learn new passages plus review every verse you’ve learned. Many of you have let us know how much that system means to you and how the habit of memorizing Scripture has blessed your family. For one family, the Goods, that blessing prompted within them a desire to help other families get started with Scripture memory too. The free verse card downloads are helpful, but the Good family wanted to help us provide a…

A Beautiful Scripture Memory Box originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Aug 03, 2017
The CM Organizer Has a Fresh New Look!
3:31

For several months now we have been busily working behind the scenes on an update to the CM Organizer, and today we’re thrilled to announce the exciting news: the CM Organizer has an attractive new look! It’s still the same great online planner and record-keeper that helps you save time and stay organized; we’ve just reworked the design to give it a fresh new look and to make it even more useful for you. Probably the most exciting news about the redesign is that the CM Organizer has been optimized to work beautifully on smartphones and tablet devices. Now you…

The CM Organizer Has a Fresh New Look! originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 26, 2017
Good Habits, Great Books, and Guided Discovery
4:23

You have, no doubt, heard of the 3 Rs when it comes to education: reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. (Why writing is considered an R, I don’t know, but let’s just keep going.) Those three Rs make it simple to summarize what the teacher is focused on giving the students. Well, we came up with 3 Gs that seem to neatly summarize a Charlotte Mason education: good habits, great books, and guided discovery. Those three phrases capture a handy snapshot of what a CM parent should be giving her students. Good HabitsGood habits are wonderful servants. Bad habits are tyrannical masters.…

Good Habits, Great Books, and Guided Discovery originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 18, 2017
Announcing Four Wonderful New Picture Study Portfolios
3:31

Today we are pleased to announce four new artists have been added to our collection of Picture Study Portfolios. You may recognize some of their names: Raphael, Cassatt, Rubens, and Homer. Raphael is known for his portrayals of cherubic angels and peaceful Madonnas, but there is more to his work than that. He also composed more complex works that invite the viewer to stop and ponder great truths of life. Mary Cassatt painted many sweet scenes of children with their mothers. She had a lovely way of elevating what is considered a mundane, everyday activity to a place of quiet…

Announcing Four Wonderful New Picture Study Portfolios originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 12, 2017
Happy Results: Elsie L’s Picture Study Story
5:09

Picture study is a simple Charlotte Mason method, taking only a few minutes each week. Yet that practice can yield wonderful results. Lingering with one artist and allowing the students to look closely and carefully at his work—to look for themselves—is the key. When children are allowed to do that, they are free to form that oh-so-important personal relation with art. Elsie L. witnessed the power of picture study with her son. Here is her Happy Results story. For years we worked with the eldest of our four boys, trying to foster a love for art. Popular art curriculums, drawing…

Happy Results: Elsie L’s Picture Study Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jul 05, 2017
How Large Is Your Student’s Room?
6:40

We’re not talking about blueprints and square footage today. Rather, the question, How large is your student’s room?, refers to a powerful passage that Charlotte Mason wrote in School Education. It’s not about architecture; it’s about curriculum. Let me explain. Picture a toddler who is learning about this world. That toddler wants to explore everything in sight. Some items grab his full attention, and he will spend hours discovering every aspect he possibly can about each one. Other items are duly noted and tucked away in his mind. The best part is to watch him discover connections as he begins…

How Large Is Your Student’s Room? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 28, 2017
Inside the 6 Volumes of the Original Home Schooling Series
6:44

Charlotte Mason’s original six-volume series is a wealth of ideas, encouragement, and good humor. The books are not easy reading, but they are rich reading. You will gain much insight and confidence if you spend even ten minutes a day reading and then narrating to yourself what you have read. I often get asked, “Which volume should I start with?” Each book in the series has a definite focus. Once you know each one’s focus, you have a good framework for choosing the one that will encourage you most during a particular season of life. So here is a quick…

Inside the 6 Volumes of the Original Home Schooling Series originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 20, 2017
The “Pinks” Are Back
2:29

I’ve had two constant companions over the 20 years that I’ve been homeschooling: my husband John and my pink six-volume set of The Original Home Schooling Series by Charlotte Mason. Several years ago we had the privilege of getting to know Dean and Karen Andreola. Such wonderful people! One of the first things we did was to thank them for their work in printing Charlotte Mason’s original writings and making them available for us all those years ago. Those six pink volumes—authentic scans of her books—have meant the world to so many of us who are learning about Charlotte Mason…

The “Pinks” Are Back originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 14, 2017
Happy Results: Heather F.’s Nature Study Story
3:02

Of the many gifts that we can give our children, one of the greatest is a love of nature. And the sooner we encourage that relationship, the more time they will have to develop it and enjoy its benefits. Charlotte Mason described such a gift like this: “A love of Nature, implanted so early that it will seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humour” (Vol. 1, p. 71). Heather F. has seen that firsthand in her children. Here is her story. My oldest child…

Happy Results: Heather F.’s Nature Study Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jun 06, 2017
A Flowing Stream
4:20

Once upon a time there was a little village nestled at the foot of snow-capped mountains. Its greatest treasure was a sparkling, life-giving stream that flowed right down the center. The people who lived near that stream were happy and vibrant. One day the Town Council gathered to go over the budget, and they came upon an expense that seemed unnecessary to them: payment to the Keeper of the Springs. They had never heard of this person.An old timer explained: “It is his job to walk the mountain springs. Every day he clears away leaves and twigs and logs that…

A Flowing Stream originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 30, 2017
Keeping Your Balance, 2017–18 Calendar Journal
3:36

Balance is a needful, but often elusive, state. We yearn for it, yet often we don’t consciously think about it until it’s gone. When life is humming along smoothly, we don’t usually focus on possible tweaks and changes we may need to make. It’s when we lose our balance and things get wobbly, or come crashing down altogether, that we suddenly turn our attention to what we should be doing; what we need to do to regain what we have lost—and make sure we don’t lose it again. This year don’t wait until you’ve lost your balance to think about…

Keeping Your Balance, 2017–18 Calendar Journal originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 23, 2017
You Need All Three: Atmosphere, Discipline, and Life
4:39

If you have ever sat on a three-legged stool, you know how important the three legs are to keeping your balance. Take away any of the legs and the stool becomes unstable. It’s the same with a Charlotte Mason education. Charlotte described her philosophy of education in three words—three legs of a stool, if you will. “Education is a discipline—that is, the discipline of the good habits in which the child is trained. Education is a life, nourished upon ideas; and education is an atmosphere—that is, the child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which…

You Need All Three: Atmosphere, Discipline, and Life originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 16, 2017
Get Your Student in the Word
6:00

I have a little saying that sums up my goals for my children’s Bible lessons: Get the Word in your children and your children in the Word. The first part of that goal—get the Word in your children—is done through short, daily Scripture Memory. The second part of that goal—get your children in the Word—reflects my desire to help my students know their way around the Bible and learn how to study it for themselves, accurately and effectively. The elementary years are a good time to give your children the great stories in the Bible. As they grow older you…

Get Your Student in the Word originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 11, 2017
New Lesson Plan Books from the Middle Ages through Modern Times
6:56

We at SCM are committed to continue to grow and improve the resources that we offer. As our name suggests, our goal is to make it simple for you to give your children an enjoyable, quality Charlotte Mason education. Today we are pleased to announce three updated and revised lesson plan books: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation & Epistles, Second Edition Early Modern & Epistles, Second Edition Modern Times & Epistles, Revelation, Second Edition Here is what you will find in these Second Editions. The Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation & Epistles, Second Edition, features the fabulous new living history spine, A…

New Lesson Plan Books from the Middle Ages through Modern Times originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 09, 2017
How to Dish Up Knowledge
3:59

Children need food to grow. Nutritionists tell us that the best way to feed our children for physical growth is to regularly provide good portions of a variety of healthful foods several times a day. Charlotte Mason believed that the same principles hold true for feeding your child knowledge. “He needs knowledge as much as he needs bread and milk; his appetite for knowledge is as healthy as his appetite for his dinner; and an abundant regular supply at short intervals of various knowledge is a constitutional necessity for the growing youth as well as for the curious child” (Vol.…

How to Dish Up Knowledge originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

May 03, 2017
Happy Results: Amanda L.’s CM Methods Story
2:54

Maybe you are new to Charlotte Mason’s methods and are on the fence about whether to use them in your home school. Or perhaps you aren’t sure that CM methods would work with your boys. Well, take some encouragement from Amanda L.’s experience with her two sons. Here is her Happy Results story. I have been homeschooling my two oldest sons for a few years now, using various methods. School was fine, but not good or great. I first learned about Charlotte Mason two years ago, and I had a strong feeling that her teaching methods were what my family…

Happy Results: Amanda L.’s CM Methods Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 25, 2017
They Have to Stand Before They Can Run
5:39

My daughter just sent me a sweet side-by-side picture that shows my granddaughter at five days old and at one year old in front of the same blossoming apple tree. Children grow so much that first year! It has been especially fun to watch that little one become mobile. She has wanted to move and explore since the day she was born. Over this past year we have watched as she learned to sit up, to crawl, and to gain her balance on her feet; to practice moving those feet with a grown-up’s hand to steady her, then to take…

They Have to Stand Before They Can Run originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 18, 2017
Fabulous New Living Book on the Middle Ages
2:44

We are so excited to announce a new living history book for the whole family: A Castle with Many Rooms: The Story of the Middle Ages! Now you and your children can follow the fascinating story of the Middle Ages from the Fall of Rome to the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution. From Europe to Africa, the Americas, Middle East, and Asia. When you spend time in A Castle with Many Rooms, you will discover a beautiful tapestry that unrolls a 950-year-old tale, join the hunt for the prestigious green feathers of a quetzal bird, follow the adventures of a…

Fabulous New Living Book on the Middle Ages originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 11, 2017
Nature Study and Science: Is There a Difference?
4:57

We hear a lot about nature study as one of Charlotte Mason’s key methods. And it is a key activity for learning. The question is sometimes asked, though: Is nature study all you do for science? Let’s talk a bit about how nature study and science fit into a Charlotte Mason education. Charlotte taught her students science with a two-faceted approach: one is nature study; the other is living science books. She used both components in order to give her students a balanced and rich knowledge. Not just nature study. Nature study is wonderful, but if you learn science only…

Nature Study and Science: Is There a Difference? originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Apr 05, 2017
Happy Results: Michelle F.’s Shakespeare Story
2:50

Charlotte Mason was sure that even young students could enjoy Shakespeare. She reported, “Their power to understand, visualise, and ‘tell’ a play of Shakespeare from nine years old and onwards is very surprising” (Vol. 6, p. 182). Michelle F. recently witnessed the same thing when she introduced Shakespeare to her nine-year-old. Here is her Happy Results story. I recently have been able to introduce Shakespeare into our schedule. I chose Lamb’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to read first. It has been so wonderful to see my nine year old daughter become so interested in the story. I love to read…

Happy Results: Michelle F.’s Shakespeare Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 28, 2017
More of The Stuff They Left Behind
4:22

There’s something about looking closely and carefully at a historical object that makes that era become more real in your mind. Taking your time to observe in detail the treasures that people of the past created seems to help you form a stronger relation with them and the time period in which they lived. The Stuff They Left Behind portfolios are designed to offer your children that wonderful experience of connecting with people of the past—witnessing close-up the fruit of their labors, the results of their ideas, the culmination of their personal struggles and victories. Today we are pleased to…

More of The Stuff They Left Behind originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 22, 2017
Visits to Asia Now Available
4:11

We are thrilled to announce that the much-anticipated Visits to Asia geography notebook is now available! This gentle weekly study walks you through an exploration of the countries of Asia with captivating photography, a traveler’s firsthand accounts, delightful living books, and step-by-step work with maps. Your children will especially enjoy the guided readings from two fantastic travelogues—Material World and Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. In Material World a photographer traveled to different countries and took a picture of a typical family outside their house with all of their possessions on the front lawn. He also wrote notes about his…

Visits to Asia Now Available originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 15, 2017
A Weekly Homeschool Schedule As Simple As 1-2-3
5:26

Many of you are in the midst of planning for your home schools, so I thought it might be helpful to share a quick explanation of how I plan my weekly schedule. I’ve been using this 1-2-3 method of planning a weekly schedule for about 15 years now, so you know two things: first, it’s simple; and second, it works. Here’s how. Lay out your school days in columns, one day at the top of each column. You can do this on a spreadsheet on your computer, on a whiteboard with dry erase markers, on the table or floor with…

A Weekly Homeschool Schedule As Simple As 1-2-3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Mar 08, 2017
Happy Results: Melissa S.’s Picture Study Story
3:16

I recently read this wonderful reminder of what it is we are endeavoring to do when we give our children a Charlotte Mason education: I desire my children to form relations with what they study—not to know meagerly “about” something but to really know something by establishing a relationship with it (A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola, p. 67). And when we catch a glimpse of the relations a child is making for himself, it can be so encouraging! Melissa S. shared about a special moment when she was privileged to see it happen with her son. Here is…

Happy Results: Melissa S.’s Picture Study Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 27, 2017
Use Powerful Combinations: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 7
5:33

Thanks for coming along on this little study that caught my attention. This whole idea of self-educating seems clearer now. We’ve looked at six tools that facilitate self-education: Read or hear literary books. Put it in your own words (narrate). Observe closely and carefully. Record your discoveries in personal notebooks. Memorize and recite. Create something of your own. Each one can be used by an individual to further his personal learning. None requires dependence on a teacher or a schedule of classes or a group of peers. They can be used at any level, with no limitations on topic, age,…

Use Powerful Combinations: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 7 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 21, 2017
Create Something of Your Own: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 6
5:03

When my children were young we had a designated Craft Box. Into this box went empty paper towel tubes, clean styrofoam trays, sheets of felt on clearance at the fabric store, empty cereal boxes, paper that had been printed on one side and was no longer needed, plastic bottle caps, pictures from greeting cards, and lots of tape, glue sticks, safety scissors, a paper punch, and felt-tip markers. From this box arose imaginative machines, original artwork, cardboard costumes, and an entire civilization for dolls—including dwellings, store contents, clothing, and even currency. Creating something of your own from the pieces that…

Create Something of Your Own: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 6 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 16, 2017
Keep It and Give It Away: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 5
3:39

I was talking with a mother recently whose daughter had memorized a poem. The mother shared how some relatives had stopped by, and the mother had taken advantage of their visit to encourage her daughter to recite the poem for them. At first the girl was hesitant, but she took courage, stood before them, and shared the poem. The relatives were thrilled and the little girl gained confidence. The next time her mother asked her to recite for someone else, she was ready and eager to give her gift of recitation. For that’s what the poem had become to her:…

Keep It and Give It Away: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 5 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 10, 2017
Record Your Discoveries: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 4
4:16

Write it down. That was the instruction at the end of the first chapter in the book I was reading. The chapter had been full of ideas and possibilities. So much so that my head was spinning with different images and options. But when I read those words, encouraging me to take a little time to record my thoughts and discoveries, I dismissed them. No need to do that, I thought. I’ll sort them out in my head. You can guess what happened. It’s still a swirling mass now, days later. But the swirl is not so big, for, sadly,…

Record Your Discoveries: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 4 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Feb 01, 2017
Observe Closely and Carefully: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 3
5:26

Most of you are familiar with the illustrious fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. He is famous for solving mysteries by paying close attention to details. One scenario sticks out in my mind, because it sums up the Holmes character in a nutshell. In the scene Holmes instructs Watson on the difference between seeing and observing. “When I hear you give your reasons,” Watson remarked, “the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning, I am baffled until you explain your process. And yet I believe that my…

Observe Closely and Carefully: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 3 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 25, 2017
Put It in Your Own Words: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 2
4:44

“So where shall we meet?” I was arranging to have lunch with a friend, and we were trying to answer one of the most difficult questions that can ever be posed to two or more people: Where do you want to eat? I had spotted a pizza place recently that looked promising, so I suggested it. We had a winner! Until she asked me where it was. I had a general idea of which road it was on and had mentally filed it under “Between home and church,” but I couldn’t get much more detailed than that. Thankfully she could…

Put It in Your Own Words: 6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 2 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 19, 2017
6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 1
5:33

It struck me the other day how much time and effort we homeschooling parents put into teaching. We spend hours discussing strategies, learning techniques, and evaluating materials, striving to improve our presentations as teachers. All of that is good. We should be dedicated to doing the best job we possibly can in this calling to home school. But there are two sides to the coin. The teacher is not the only one who should put forth effort. Charlotte Mason held her teachers to a high standard, but she also reminded them that “The children, not the teachers, are the responsible…

6 Tools for Self-Education, Part 1 originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 12, 2017
Now Get Free Shipping Every Day
2:36

Don’t you love it when you finally reach a goal that you have had your eye on for many years? Well, the year 2017 reflects just such a milestone goal for SCM. We are excited to announce that Free Shipping will now be available every day all year round for contiguous U.S. orders over $75! That means that now you can grab the Learning and Living: Homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Way 12-DVD set you’ve been eyeing and bring it home with free shipping. Spend some time gaining confidence in teaching with Charlotte’s methods. It means that if you have several…

Now Get Free Shipping Every Day originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Jan 05, 2017
Happy Results: Delight S.’s Habit Story
3:04

When we think of habits to be formed, we often think of tasks that will make our homes run smoother. We may look at a new year and decide to help our children focus on picking up toys, brushing teeth, putting away shoes, or wiping off kitchen counters. But there is one habit that can transform our homes and our home schools more than we realize. It’s a habit that often gets overlooked. Delight S. discovered the power of this habit with her children. Here is her story. As I think of forming new habits each year, I am reminded…

Happy Results: Delight S.’s Habit Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 29, 2016
Take Joy Home
2:00

I like to ponder this poem that Charlotte Mason and her student teachers pondered every Christmas season. Take joy home,And make a place in thy great heart for her,And give her time to grow, and cherish her!Then will She come and often sing to theeWhen thou art working in the furrows; ay,Or weeding in the sacred hour of dawn.It is a comely fashion to be glad—Joy is the grace we say to God.—J. Ingelow Sometimes I like to substitute my own tasks in my ponderings (with a friendly nod and smile to the author); for example, I might change the…

Take Joy Home originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 21, 2016
Happy Results: Zelena O.’s Music Study Story
2:38

Music is such a gift! And it doesn’t take a lot to give that gift to your children. Simply focusing on one composer for several weeks, listening to his works and enjoying them together, can have a large impact. Zelena O. had the privilege of seeing how much her boys have gleaned from the gift of music she has given them. Here is her Happy Results story. This evening the boys were watching an old episode of Bugs Bunny. I was in the laundry room listening to the boys as they watched, and my husband, John, was milling around the…

Happy Results: Zelena O.’s Music Study Story originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 14, 2016
More Video Q & A
6:26

Thousands of you have enjoyed our free video resource, SCM Answers Your Questions. We’re glad those short, informal recordings have been encouraging. And we thought it might be helpful to add some more videos to the series, answering more of your questions. So we recently invited you to send in questions about homeschooling with the Charlotte Mason Method and have recorded my thoughts on them. Click on the playlist link in this post or go to YouTube and search for the Simply Charlotte Mason channel. You’ll find the SCM Answers Your Questions playlist and can watch the videos at your…

More Video Q & A originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 08, 2016
Two Ways to Save at SCM
2:33

“Something old and something new.” Isn’t that how the rhyme goes? I know it is usually used in a wedding context, but those phrases keep coming to mind because we have two exciting announcements to make. Both of which will save you money. First, something old. We’re bringing back an old friend for the month of December. For the past couple of years we have been able to offer free shipping on qualifying orders during that month. We’re happy to announce that popular deal is back for December 2016. On December 1–31 all U.S. orders over $75 will receive free…

Two Ways to Save at SCM originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Dec 01, 2016
Together But Isolated: Taming Holiday Screen Time
6:12

Today I am happy to introduce a guest post from Doug Smith. Doug and his wife Karen are no strangers to many of you. They are co-creators of Simply Charlotte Mason, and you may have met them working the SCM booth at a convention near you. Around here Doug holds the working title of “webmaster and more.” If it weren’t for him, there would be no SCM online. As you can imagine, he spends a lot of time working on his computer and monitoring technological trends. Being a homeschool dad, Doug has been very intentional about the use of technology…

Together But Isolated: Taming Holiday Screen Time originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 21, 2016
New Shakespeare in Three Steps: Twelfth Night and Macbeth
4:32

The other day I heard someone describe Shakespeare’s plays as the “sitcoms of the 16th and 17th centuries.” At first I thought that was a trivial comparison; but the more I ponder it, the more sense it makes. Shakespeare’s plays were the entertainment of the day. They were the TV and movies back then, if you will. And just as with our viewing selections today, some of his plays were comedies, some were romantic, some were action adventure, some were dramas, some were silly, and some were tragic. So in one way his plays can be compared to sitcoms; but…

New Shakespeare in Three Steps: Twelfth Night and Macbeth originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

Nov 17, 2016