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A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual

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The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportunities of home schooling. With weekly schedules, a challenging and diverse curriculum will be inspire and educate your child. A Charlotte Mason Education is the latest tool for parents seeking the best education for their children.


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The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte The immensely popular ideas of Charlotte Mason have inspired educators for many decades. Her unique methodology as written about in her six-volume series established the necessary protocols for an education above and beyond that which can be found in traditional classroom settings. In A Charlotte Mason Education, Catherine Levison has collected the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods and presents them in a simple, straightforward way that will allow families to quickly maximize the opportunities of home schooling. With weekly schedules, a challenging and diverse curriculum will be inspire and educate your child. A Charlotte Mason Education is the latest tool for parents seeking the best education for their children.

30 review for A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Let me begin by saying that I really like a lot of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy. But my review is not about Charlotte Mason, it is about this book. It is a miracle that I finished this book. Clearly, like most homeschoolers, Levison is uber Christian. Fine. But she also seems a bit self-righteous, feeling the need to frequently drop references that demonstrate just how devout she is (ie, censoring all Charles Dickens novels because of A Christmas Carol--she doesn’t allow ghost stories Let me begin by saying that I really like a lot of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy. But my review is not about Charlotte Mason, it is about this book. It is a miracle that I finished this book. Clearly, like most homeschoolers, Levison is uber Christian. Fine. But she also seems a bit self-righteous, feeling the need to frequently drop references that demonstrate just how devout she is (ie, censoring all Charles Dickens novels because of A Christmas Carol--she doesn’t allow ghost stories in her home. Or this comment about art appreciation: “If you’re like me, you may want to place self-stick notepad sheets over any objectionable scenes or body parts.” Or worse: “With these [art books she owns:], a sticker or black marker can reduce objectionable content.” What!!! I call that blasphemy. How about…select a different art work, or wait until your children are older…or um, open your mind. Aside from the close-minded assumption that anyone interested in homeschooling is Christian and therefore lists the Bible as the first and most important in any list of study topics (which Levison does repeatedly), this book is really just very poorly written. As a writer and a lover of good literature, it was painful to read. It lacks style and cohesiveness. Levison seems to jump all over the place. It’s as if the book is actually just her raw notes from reading Mason’s original writings, sprinkled with a few useful but mostly useLESS, overly detailed descriptions of what her family does. Take this little gem, for example, on the subject of handwriting: “We have been using those composition books that are lined according to grade level. They have been inexpensive for us, but I am going to try those attractive blank books you can find at the book stores.” Thanks, Cath. Unfortunately, there are only two introductory books about the Charlotte Mason method that I know of and this is one of them (the other being Karen Andreola’s, in which I find the same problems, just more because it is longer). In that regard, this is a nice book to have around so those of us who are not completely sold on the method don’t have to commit our lives to reading Mason’s original tomes unless/until we choose this style of homeschooling. But there is certainly room—and need—for a similar book that is written more deftly.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda P.

    LOVE the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, and we will be adopting a secular interpretation of the method. However, this author is a TWIT. She censors quality literature and art from her children because in the case of Charles Dickens, there was a "ghost story", and Renaissance paintings often contained nudity. She advises avoiding certain areas of great literature all together, and covering up art with post it notes or "better yet", buying art books yourself so you can SCRIBBLE OUT THE N LOVE the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, and we will be adopting a secular interpretation of the method. However, this author is a TWIT. She censors quality literature and art from her children because in the case of Charles Dickens, there was a "ghost story", and Renaissance paintings often contained nudity. She advises avoiding certain areas of great literature all together, and covering up art with post it notes or "better yet", buying art books yourself so you can SCRIBBLE OUT THE NUDITY with a Sharpie marker. I just... I can't even... Mind: boggled. I love homeschooling, but I fear for the propagation of some of these senseless individuals. Break free of your chains, little lasses!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chance Faulkner

    Helpful overview summary of Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education. The chapters are only a couple of pages each!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Larsen Hodson

    I decided to read more about Charlotte Mason as I am considering homeschooling and I seem to be connecting more with her style than any other although, I can say that if I move forward, I will be taking bits from several styles. Anywhooski, this book is WAY too outdated. Read it in about an hour and gathered two or three good ideas but I will be returning it to the library never to be seen again. The ban on a Christmas Carol is laughable and covering the masters arts is even more funny. There is I decided to read more about Charlotte Mason as I am considering homeschooling and I seem to be connecting more with her style than any other although, I can say that if I move forward, I will be taking bits from several styles. Anywhooski, this book is WAY too outdated. Read it in about an hour and gathered two or three good ideas but I will be returning it to the library never to be seen again. The ban on a Christmas Carol is laughable and covering the masters arts is even more funny. There is plenty of art available that is "G Rated" if that is such a concern for the author. I will say that HS is making a new comeback with the implementing of the CORE curriculum across the country. Kids are coming out of the school system from all religions and all walks of life. We need current, modern day approaches to homeschooling that utilizes technology, current events and modern resources along with the classics etc. Although Roman/Greek history is important and should be taught, I can't imagine reading from the unabridged Plutarch's Lives to my boys or teaching them to be fluent in Latin, French and German. Nice but not my reality.

  5. 4 out of 5

    travelgirlut

    I got this book expecting it to be more specific and exact about how to implement Charlotte Mason's methods at home. I was disappointed. It was a very poor, in my opinion, summary of Charlotte Mason's theories. The chapters were rarely more than a page or two in length, and half of that would be the author talking about herself. I gleaned far more information about Charlotte Mason from the internet with much more detailed curriculum ideas, etc. Even if I decided to follow this method of teaching I got this book expecting it to be more specific and exact about how to implement Charlotte Mason's methods at home. I was disappointed. It was a very poor, in my opinion, summary of Charlotte Mason's theories. The chapters were rarely more than a page or two in length, and half of that would be the author talking about herself. I gleaned far more information about Charlotte Mason from the internet with much more detailed curriculum ideas, etc. Even if I decided to follow this method of teaching, this is not a book I would refer to at all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    It was a nice summary of C.M.'s theories, which is what I wanted since I don't have a desire to read her whole 5 volumes. But like the second book, which I read first, I could have done without some of the author's commentaries. (Things like how she didn't read Dickens because of the ghost content in A Christmas Carol, how she doesn't do halloween, and to take black marker to "objectionable content" in fine art books.) It just came off as a little self-righteous.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    It was an O.k. introduction to a Charlotte Mason Education. It gave me a strong desire to read Charlotte Mason's original works.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Chesebro

    Very quick read, with short chapters. A nice light overview, but you obviously can’t be as full or thorough in 100 pages as 300. I wouldn’t purchase, but did copy down a book list from one of the chapters.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sky SF

    I'd give this between 3.5 and a 4. Catherine Levison summarizes the Charlotte Mason method quite nicely. I'm only beginning my journey into (brief) homeschooling and this thin resource is one that I will be returning to. Had this been my own copy (and not the library's) I would have marked many passages. I will be reading on other methods as well and combining a few (I'm sure) but this gave this busy mom a close to 4 star dip into this foreign body of water. I look forward to reading more on Cha I'd give this between 3.5 and a 4. Catherine Levison summarizes the Charlotte Mason method quite nicely. I'm only beginning my journey into (brief) homeschooling and this thin resource is one that I will be returning to. Had this been my own copy (and not the library's) I would have marked many passages. I will be reading on other methods as well and combining a few (I'm sure) but this gave this busy mom a close to 4 star dip into this foreign body of water. I look forward to reading more on Charlotte Mason's views and methods. There are several areas in this book that were not my opinions (covering body parts on pieces of art and not reading certain books, as well as others...but even as a Christian, we still have our own convictions. These are not mine.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    This is actually a reread. It’s a great book for an introduction or overview to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. It’s what first got me excited about homeschooling my own kids. I kept thinking as I was reading “if I had been taught with this method I would’ve loved school more”. And I was homeschooled myself. I’m so grateful I was homeschooled but I think I would’ve enjoyed Miss Mason’s ways far more than just recreating school at home.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mhgoblue

    This was terrible and amazing. Terrible in the sense that this woman cheerfully admits in print that she hasn't even vetted some of the curricula and suggestions she makes, and amazing in the sense that I am amazed that she seems to think you can give your children a good education at home while censoring the art and literature you give them. She scribbles over nudity in reproductions of Renaissance art so her children can study it without seeing breasts (pornographic in every circumstance; what This was terrible and amazing. Terrible in the sense that this woman cheerfully admits in print that she hasn't even vetted some of the curricula and suggestions she makes, and amazing in the sense that I am amazed that she seems to think you can give your children a good education at home while censoring the art and literature you give them. She scribbles over nudity in reproductions of Renaissance art so her children can study it without seeing breasts (pornographic in every circumstance; what a small person she is) and won't expose her children to the evils of A Christmas Carol because there are ghosts, which are obviously anti-Jesus. I don't even know. The whole thing was ridiculous, poorly written, and quite shoddily researched, which is disappointing from a person given sole responsibility for educating children who will one day be voting adults. She wants you to know that Halloween is evil too, in case you were wondering. Whatever. The most detailed chapter is how to teach your children the Bible, though there's no thoughtful scholarly advice on exegetical education, so I don't even know whether that's a priority for her. She leaves readers with the impression that it's not even on her radar, compared to ensuring the children's lifelong rote regurgitation of their parents' beliefs. So if that's what you're into...? In other words, this book is not a great educational resource, but might be a pretty good brainwashing one, if that's what you're going for.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan Larson

    I feel sorry to give such a low rating because I truly respect the Charlotte Mason method and have even managed to glean some helpful tips from this condensed look at it. However, this particular "how-to" manual was poorly written. There was very little flow of thought, of person, or of tense. I appreciated the heart of Ms. Levison, and agreed with many of her preferences, but her presentation did not seem to be quite capable of setting someone off on a successful path of home education. What it I feel sorry to give such a low rating because I truly respect the Charlotte Mason method and have even managed to glean some helpful tips from this condensed look at it. However, this particular "how-to" manual was poorly written. There was very little flow of thought, of person, or of tense. I appreciated the heart of Ms. Levison, and agreed with many of her preferences, but her presentation did not seem to be quite capable of setting someone off on a successful path of home education. What it does do is convince the reader that A Charlotte Mason Education is not going to be possible unless you read the works of Charlotte Mason. I understand that this book (as "a distant mirror" of the original) still stands for something different and better and fuller than the government education to which many of us are accustomed. That said, look Charlotte full in the face or select another similarly-minded guide (I'm a big fan of The Well-Trained Mind).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    This one was better than the second but urg, this woman drives me nuts. Some of her comments about public school just make me want to burn her book such as saying that the reason the children of the USA are in such bad shape is because we no longer allow teachers to inflict corporal punishment. Yeah, we need MORE violence in the lives of American children! There was some useful information in it. I would still recommend it as a beginning place for a person interested in the method to look since This one was better than the second but urg, this woman drives me nuts. Some of her comments about public school just make me want to burn her book such as saying that the reason the children of the USA are in such bad shape is because we no longer allow teachers to inflict corporal punishment. Yeah, we need MORE violence in the lives of American children! There was some useful information in it. I would still recommend it as a beginning place for a person interested in the method to look since it is a fast read but don't buy it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This one may have deserved 3 stars for the book lists, but I chose 2 because of its limited scope. It is a brief introduction to Charlotte Mason's ideas, but for me, there were some crucial quotes or concepts missing. Also, I knew going into the book that not everything would apply to us because we are secular homeschoolers, but I found the continued encouragement for (or maybe self-acknowledgement of) censorship unsettling. I would not discourage a parent (especially a Christian homeschooler) f This one may have deserved 3 stars for the book lists, but I chose 2 because of its limited scope. It is a brief introduction to Charlotte Mason's ideas, but for me, there were some crucial quotes or concepts missing. Also, I knew going into the book that not everything would apply to us because we are secular homeschoolers, but I found the continued encouragement for (or maybe self-acknowledgement of) censorship unsettling. I would not discourage a parent (especially a Christian homeschooler) from reading it, but I think I'll explore other similar titles.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    Poorly written, very brief, extremely Christian - author suggests using a black sharpie on inappropriate art work and skipping over A Christmas Carol due to it being a ghost story. I got a couple of good take aways but my time would have been better spent reading CM websites.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy

    There is helpful information in this book, however you won't find me censoring great works of art due to nudity (really?! Come on...) or striking all Dickens from our schooling due to the presence of ghosts in A Christmas Carol. ;)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Henning

    Every Charlotte Mason home educator should have this on their shelf, very straight forward and enjoyable to read for quick ideas and encouragement!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kacie

    So brief! Only a basic starting point.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Margo Mandrillo

    Short and sweet. The author is kinda weird. However, I think I've decided on a different course of action for next year...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I read a little bit of the original Charlotte Mason works and several other books that discuss her philosophies, but this is my favorite! Mason's original works are quite dense and since I'm not trying to jump in with both feet, but instead just learn some generalities, I only ended up skimming and reading some of the portions. However, this book is an excellent summary of Mason's methods and educational philosophies. It is just the right amount of detail and advice. It inspired me to try some i I read a little bit of the original Charlotte Mason works and several other books that discuss her philosophies, but this is my favorite! Mason's original works are quite dense and since I'm not trying to jump in with both feet, but instead just learn some generalities, I only ended up skimming and reading some of the portions. However, this book is an excellent summary of Mason's methods and educational philosophies. It is just the right amount of detail and advice. It inspired me to try some ideas, talked about some current resources she has added in her own house, and makes some specific references to Mason's original works (giving page numbers) which was motivating for me to go back and read those pages more carefully. I would highly recommend this book who has heard about the Charlotte Mason philosophy and would like to learn more without being overwhelmed.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Gearhart

    I wish there were a less dated book in this same format where each chapter discusses one particular aspect of a Charlotte Mason education. The info on where to get particular resources I’m sure was helpful in the early 2000s, but we’re living in the world of the internet now. Also, the author’s asides about not allowing her own children to read Charles Dickens or ways to cover up objectionable parts of artwork was unnecessary and, therefore, slightly annoying since the book is supposed to be abo I wish there were a less dated book in this same format where each chapter discusses one particular aspect of a Charlotte Mason education. The info on where to get particular resources I’m sure was helpful in the early 2000s, but we’re living in the world of the internet now. Also, the author’s asides about not allowing her own children to read Charles Dickens or ways to cover up objectionable parts of artwork was unnecessary and, therefore, slightly annoying since the book is supposed to be about a CM education and that’s not what CM would advocate. I was hoping for more here and was disappointed. This still may be helpful to hand (with some caveats) to someone who is brand new to the method.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Penrose

    I’m interested to read more from Charlotte Mason, as opposed to this woman’s take on her methods. I thought it absurd that in the same breath that author Catherine Levinson talks about allowing a child to take in every detail of a work of art, she also describes her inclination to “place self-sick notepad sheets over any objectionable scenes or body parts,” and suggests using black markers to censor as you see fit, or simply remove entire pages from books. She does, however, have a lengthy chapt I’m interested to read more from Charlotte Mason, as opposed to this woman’s take on her methods. I thought it absurd that in the same breath that author Catherine Levinson talks about allowing a child to take in every detail of a work of art, she also describes her inclination to “place self-sick notepad sheets over any objectionable scenes or body parts,” and suggests using black markers to censor as you see fit, or simply remove entire pages from books. She does, however, have a lengthy chapter on Science that offers great suggestions for exploring and appreciating nature. That chapter was surprisingly free from Christian references as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    This book is brilliant! It is short, easy to read, with clear explanations and practical ideas. I have read some brilliant ideological books on Charlotte Mason, also with practical ideas, but this provided me with how I might be able to do it in my home! And a very sensible approach of slowly introducing changes. I came away feeling I could do it and not at all overwhelmed. It also provided some useful starting points for approaching the reading of Charlotte masons own books, something else I fi This book is brilliant! It is short, easy to read, with clear explanations and practical ideas. I have read some brilliant ideological books on Charlotte Mason, also with practical ideas, but this provided me with how I might be able to do it in my home! And a very sensible approach of slowly introducing changes. I came away feeling I could do it and not at all overwhelmed. It also provided some useful starting points for approaching the reading of Charlotte masons own books, something else I find a bit daunting. This is a really great 'how to' manual and worth every penny.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Simone

    Overpriced for what you get, some chapters are only about 2 pages. I was hoping for a bit more detail. Very outdated (ie. most resources listed are mail order). A lot of it is her own opinions and spin on things rather than a pure interpretation of Charlotte Mason's actual ideas. Her second book "More Charlotte Mason Education" is a bit better, but not by a lot. There are so many better homeschooling books out there.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Radia

    A very nice brief summary for the CM way, served as a good introduction to me. However, it was not very informative, sometimes it was just way so brief. I also expected more answers to why? Why would certain aspects matter? It was rather more of stating things than answering critical questions about it. I would recommend it however as it is still a very good first read on the subject and it is very small so it doesn’t take much time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie Pinson

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a simple summary of the Charlotte Mason method. I like how it has a chapter for each subject and explains the method for each subject (much like The Core for Classical Conversations). Each chapter is only a few pages long but explains the method well enough. I would definitely recommend this for anyone interested in learning about this method.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    While I enjoyed the lists of resources and summarization of source materials by Charlotte Mason, I knew almost immediately that I'd be nauseated by the self-righteous attitude that accompanies so many of the homeschool resources I have read thus far. I much preferred "For the Children's Sake" by Macaulay and "Consider This" by Glass.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marz Mysko

    I felt that this was a good introduction to the CM ways. I've been doing research on Charlotte Mason and wanted to learn more. This was a very quick and easy read and gave a great description of her ways. Would recommend.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Absolutely loved this book. Short chapters on each area of Charlotte Mason's philosophy and how she taught. This book will be very helpful in teaching my own kids and following ambleside online this year. Read this book in a day! Couldn't put it down...krb 7/7/17

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Bogus

    A good introduction to the Charlotte Mason style of education. I highly recommend that a person interested in the style read more books and resources about Charlotte Mason than just this one short book.

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