Charlotte Mason Institute

Charlotte Mason Institute

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The Charlotte Mason Institute supports a worldwide community of learners and educators in an authentic practice of Charlotte Mason’s paradigm of education. They seek to do this in three ways:

  • Explicating the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason
  • Equipping individuals and schools to practice Mason’s pedagogy
  • Nourishing the Mason community with insightful publications and examples of practices and various forms of knowledge from the arts to the sciences, from nature to literature to history and many more.

The Charlotte Mason Institute aims to extend the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy to children worldwide, just as Charlotte Mason intended. The Institute’s long term vision is to develop a vibrant and growing Mason community to sustain generations to come.

Speakers from Charlotte Mason Institute

A Habit of Knowing God: Bible and Religion in a Mason Education

Join us for a discussion on Bible and Religious training through a Charlotte Mason educational lens. We trace the path Charlotte Mason parents and teachers followed with an overall picture from the youngest years to the older student. How does an integrated Christian education look in today’s Charlotte Mason schools and homes? We consider together if the important issue of Worldview should be relegated to a high school course and where and how it might fit into our educational scheme. What are the implications for the younger year studies as well as the older students? Mason encourages us, as parents and teachers, to be “Inspirers” as we “train up our children in the way they should go.” We discuss ways to foster, watch over, and observe the implications of practices that impact “the character and conduct of life” from the pre-school ages through the time they step out into the path God has given them.

CM 101: An Introduction to a Relational Education with Charlotte Mason

Is a Charlotte Mason education new to you? Are you using a few ideas here and there but want to learn and implement more CM-style studies? Do you have any of these questions?

  • How do I know if I am doing it right?
  • What is a living book anyway?
  • What is the Science of Relations and Narration?
  • Is this style only for younger children or can I keep using this approach in high school?

It is easy to get lost in all the different terminology and there are many opinions that pull us in different directions. We will discuss these questions and introduce some terms and ideas. As we consider some foundational points of a Charlotte Mason education, it will help us understand more about education as an Atmosphere of respect, a Discipline of habits of the heart and mind, and a Life of relational ideas resting upon truth.

Education as a Discipline

Discipline? Many articles are written today about children who rule the home and rule the public if allowed. Why are we experiencing this rash of behavior? Could it be that we do not understand authority? Could it be that we do not understand the use of habits and how they can help us get rid of the labour of decision making? Is it possible to run our lives along smooth tracks? No person will ever have perfect habits. That’s the world we live in. But could we do a better job of preparing our children for the world they live in by helping them develop habits that make life sweeter and more delightful? Join us as we work through Mason’s principle of Education as a Discipline and its many applications to our lives.

Education as a Life

Mason used the metaphor of food to help us understand an idea related to teaching and learning. Children need a variety of foods or a feast for their bodies to be well-nourished. As Frances (Bread and Jam for Frances) helps children understand, peanut butter and jam gets old. It is a good thing that it gets old because a steady diet of the same food would not nourish a child’s body. An educational paradigm which does not provide a feast of living ideas is denying children what they need to flourish as persons. Data and facts are not enough for the creature who is created in the image of the Infinite Person. A person needs relationships with God, the Universe, and with humankind. These relationships are developed not only by a look at the physical world, but also by a steady diet of ideas. Join us as we examine the ideas behind Mason’s Education as a Life.

Education is an Atmosphere

Mason believed that our genes were important in understanding who we are as humans and that the personality of a child should never be encroached upon. How then do we educate children? After we understand from Session 1 what Mason believed about personhood, we can look at three educational venues through which we can assist our children in their learning. One of those is the atmosphere in our homes and educational settings.

Is the atmosphere conducive to living and learning on many levels?

  • The physical space
  • The intellectual space
  • The emotional space
  • Is the respect due to persons evident?

Join us as we deeply explore Mason’s ideas related to Education as an Atmosphere.

The Child as a Person

Mason’s first principle of education is what she called her “founding” principle—the child is a born person. She interestingly did not begin her educational principles with a curriculum, a set of books, child development theory, or moral theory. She first dealt with the ideas that should inform her educational theories and practices including the ones that were just mentioned. Following the pattern in Scripture (Genesis 1:26) she defines who children are before laying out the rest of her educational principles. To do otherwise is to place more value on curriculum and other topics rather than the human being as a person.

In this session, we will discover what Mason means by the idea that a child is a born person and how that idea applies to education. Mason studied the whole child—the physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual—and then designed her methods and curriculum to match what she believed God had created in humankind. Come join us as we look at Mason’s principle “the child is a born person.”