Who was Charlotte Mason?
If she were writing in today’s times, Charlotte Mason would certainly be considered a “disruptor” to the educational system. Her vision of allowing learning to nourish a child’s heart by inspiring curiosity and a love of education was truly revolutionary.
In her six volumes written in the early 1900’s, she reframed education as the “science of relations”, presenting each concept in context to provoke new ideas, allowing the child to develop a relationship and care about what they are learning. The facts and dates are far less important than how and why each event occurred and ultimately, how the child relates to it. She called these “living ideas” and found they produce much greater joy and satisfaction in the learning process.
The Charlotte Mason Approach
With a caring educator encouraging dialogue around each living ideas, Charlotte Mason believed a child’s character subtly gets shaped towards such virtues as honesty, integrity and goodness. These living ideas are at the core of her educational approach and can be found in any and every lesson.
So how do you incorporate living ideas into your own environment? These three components are at the heart of her philosophy.
Charlotte Mason emphasized building goodness as a foundation of every child's core. Focusing on positive character traits and bringing a child's attention to that is a key component in growing the whole child. Then looking for it and recognizing it in the world around you is a way to reinforce these ideas and turn them into natural behaviors.
One way to bring these ideas to life is to read books that emphasize these positive traits with themes of kindness, bravery or resilience. She calls these “Living books”... the ones that not only holding a child’s attention, but also for having an inspiring message that helps to form character.
In addition to living books, Charlotte Mason was a firm believer that time in nature was a vital component to every curriculum. As education is the science of relations, forming a relationship with the natural world around is another key element in fulfilling learning. Observing, recording and learning to appreciate slowly shifts the heart and evokes the wonder that has always been there.
Charlotte also saw the importance of taking care of one’s physical body. We achieve optimal performance by eating the right foods, giving it the right environment and allowing it to do the functions it’s supposed to do.
Nutrition can make or break the learning process. Certain eating habits can cause children to lack focus, attention span or drive, they can cause them to be overly energetic, overly tired, or filled with brain fog. Yet certain other eating habits can bring about calm and focused attention, a clear mind, good spirits and maximize cognition.
Charlotte Mason Today
These three ideas are at the center of Enriched at Home. While students may be following a core curriculum to learn reading, writing and math, adding a layer of connection with inner motivators, nature and nutrition can be a tremendously rewarding experience for both parent and child. Enriched at Home connects each of these elements in a monthly installment of universally accepted positive virtues, nature activities, and nutrition, each with family discussion topics to add a layer of depth and connection to your home environment.
Join our community and receive a kit each month from Enriched at Home with our carefully curated packages to inspire a love of learning.