My name is Yolonda Mason and I am the mother of 4 children aged 15, 12, 9 and 7. My children are home schooled through the Charlotte Mason (CM) philosophy of learning. My journey to a Charlotte Mason education started about 13 years ago when I decided to look into homeschooling. From the beginning of my research, I noticed that there were several different homeschooling philosophies like classical, unschooling, eclectic, traditional and Charlotte Mason (CM). As I started researching CM, I fell in love with it and I chose this method for my children and I will explain why.
I love good books. The more I researched CM, the more I realized that it was the living books, the literature and the stories that I remember most from my school days. I do not remember much that I read from other fact-filled text books. It was the literature and the stories that had a great impact on my life and this is what CM offers. This is one of the many reasons why I chose CM.
One of the fundamental principles of CM is that the child is a person consisting of body, mind, soul, emotions and environment and we must educate the whole person not just the mind. Also the CM method allows for and embraces the differences between children. It coincides beautifully with how children naturally learn. The books are flexible and they leave room for customizing so that each child learns at his/her own pace. The method gives learners living ideas and encourages the learner to keep growing as a person. This is another reason I chose CM.
The best part of CM is that children are required to tell back or narrate in their own words what is read in the living books in order to secure ideas in their minds. This is later replaced by written composition in later years. So learners practice using rich language as they point out ideas that are learned from reading. They can also connect those ideas to other ideas already in their growing minds. This is another reason why I decided that CM is what I want for my children.
As my children progressed through CM, I found myself being educated right along with them. I was no longer concerned about my children passing a test or making an “A” grade. I simply wanted them to learn and internalize ideas and true knowledge was when they could freely articulate what they had read. As this took place my children were developing the habit of narration which would later help with critical thinking, reading comprehension and oral language.