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A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
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A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,399 ratings  ·  105 reviews
A thorough chapter-by-chapter overview of the inspiring teaching principles of Christian educator Charlotte Mason, this book reveals the practical day by day method of how to teach "the Charlotte Mason way". The author offers friendly advice, and humor, along with the joys and struggles of real homeschool life. The book covers education, parenting, homeschooling and lots o ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Charlotte Mason Research & Supply (first published January 1st 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,226)
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Carissamh
This book is not for the faint of heart or head, or at least the methods discussed in here aren't.

Charlotte Mason, as a christian and lover of children, held strongly to the belief that children are given more intellect than we credit them with. Her original series (Home Education) are full of her thoughts and philosophies that education is something more than to do lists to cram into children's brains during their years of development. She believed that we are called to equip children with the
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Laura
I'm about half way through this book. I've liked several ideas it contains. But there are several comments I see as either old-fashioned, or unreasonable. The book in many respects is Victorian. (I do like most victorian things) The Victorian illustrations throughout are charming.

Something I've liked so far:
Every child everyday needs:

1. Something to love
2. Something to do
3. Something to think about.

I like how Mason stresses the thought that we, along with our children need to feast on IDEAS. C
...more
Pamela
Highly, highly, highly recommend this book! In fact, whenever a friend approaches me to discuss pulling her kids out of school and beginning homeschooling, this is the book I give to them. Why? "A Charlotte Mason Companion" really is all about slowing down, enjoying life and learning alongside your children. Is the Charlotte Mason approach a good fit for every homeschooling family? No, just like anything else, a homeschooling style is a personal decision for each family to make. Still, this is o ...more
Kelly Sapp
Encouraging, doable homeschooling model for moms--gentle--like Isaiah that says, "He gently leads those who are with young."

Charlotte Mason was a revolutionary in England in the education of children, with incredible and astonishing success. While she taught in a school setting, this book equips homeschool moms how to use her model in the home school.

Was extremely helpful to me, allowing me the luxury of true quality time with my kids, the "gentle art of learning," nature walks, letting a child
...more
Melanie
This book was absolutely amazing. It is a great handbook for raising a loving healthy family and also a great homeschool resource. There were so many things from this book that I want to remember, and I'm sure it is one of those books that will never be far from reach.
She states that "When home is ruled according to God's word, angels might be asked to stay with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element." WOW!!
Charlotte urges us to "Give children a regular feeding of ideas thro
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Heather
I had such a hard time getting through this book. It was slow and all touchy-feely and was way too much work to figure out what I wanted to know. Which was- what did Charlotte think about this or that or how did she suggest teaching __________?

I like the Catherine Levison books SO much better. They're easier to read and give the basic information quickly (read organized) - no need to flip here, then there, then somewhere else.

This book might work for someone who really wanted to feel warm and fu
...more
Erica
I really only browsed through this - didn't even skim it - if that can be said to be a difference. I have heard of the CM method of homeschooling and wanted to know what it was. Apparently she was a woman at the turn if the century who wrote an entire series of books on homeschooling/how children should be raised, etc. I don't think I want to read that series. This book was a rehash somewhat of CM book (I guess) and a lot of "reflections" on it. It didn't really strike me as a book that had a gr ...more
Sara
Jun 05, 2013 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sara by: Heidi Farnsworth, Jonelle Hughes, Dyana Jones
What an AMAZING book. There is so much that I underlined, it would take entirely too much space to put it all down here. But something I thought and wrote in the margins toward the end of the book is this; ‘It has been said that there is no manual for raising children, but I would venture to suggest that this book (Charlotte Mason Companion) along with Holy Writ makes a great guide.’

I would suggest this book to anyone who wants to be a good mother AND anyone who wants to home school their chil
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Renee
I enjoyed this title even though I never homeschooled my children. I got some good ideas about creating the kind of home atmosphere where learning is encouraged and inspired. The tone in which the author writes might be a bit off-putting to some readers (she comes across as quite prim and proper) and the standards to which she encourages her readers to aspire might seem daunting. But it is still a worthwhile read and one to which I returned again and again as I was raising my children.
Miriam Snyder
Found this book an excellent resource and supplement for other books taking a classical approach. I appreciate the wisdom and practical advice in areas of teaching particularly her suggestions on keeping a nature journal, studying classical music, poets and artists. As well, useful book lists. A beautiful book and a bit nostalgic, not for a modern mom with no time for tea parties with china or inclination for training in traditional gender roles.
Elizabeth
May 03, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: homeschoolers or those thinking about homeschooling (Christian is a plus but not needed)
Shelves: my-books-read
I'm going to buy this book and highlight what I think is the most important, THAT is how much I loved it! Charlotte Mason's method is one that embraces life and SELF EDUCATION. This book was pretty neat because after each chapter there are questions that you could discuss and even a place to take notes. I want to buy this book and keep it near-by where it will be handy through-out the years!

Here's a look at some of the chapters: what is education?, self-education, the atmosphere of home, bickeri
...more
Contemplative
Aug 13, 2009 Contemplative rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any parent or parent to be
Recommended to Contemplative by: Amazon
I loved this book! I wish I had known about and read it when Skylar was still in my belly. I took my time to really soak it in. It's rich with wisdom on child rearing, education and philosophy. I highly recommend it to any mother regardless of schooling preferences. Just the wisdom alone that one will gain regarding one's children is reason enough to put this on the reading list.

There are times I found the author a bit "Little House on the Prairie-ish" for our modern times but that was easily ov
...more
Alyssa Larson
My issues were more with the styling and language than the information presented in this book. It was difficult for me to get past the language, which seemed to me to be archaic but not in a sincere or natural way, if that makes sense. That coupled with all the black and white vintage illustrations of children in Victorian garb made the whole thing a bit too precious and backward-looking, perhaps idealizing a time when, yes, a lot of great literature was written, but also when many social atroci ...more
Carrie
After reading much of Charlotte Mason's writings I found this to be exactly what I needed. This is a modern interpretation that is extremely easy to read. I recommend it to those who are looking for a gentle way to learn. This does not mean lax or simple. I found our days to be extremely full. The difference was that the learning was all around us instead of just at the table/desk.
Trudy Pomerantz
I read this book many years ago when I first started homeschooling. There are certain aspects of Charlotte Mason which I like (learning via narration, hands-on, getting out into nature, etc., etc.)but it did not really suit my kids. They believed that the quicker school was done the better, and that the rest of the time was their own. I did stick with making them memorize nature (common birds, flowers, trees etc) and eventually they did appreciate it though it took many years.

William Penn "In th
...more
Leah Beecher
So, I decided to write a review on this one, seeing as it is more of a reference book at this point, as I home school. Just this past week I cracked it open to help me assist in my teaching of Ancient Greek history. This is a great book that helps you formalize in your mind the nuts and bolts of how and what you want to teach as you homeschool, without giving a ridged method, per say. In other words, don't try looking for lesson outlines or an ABC guideline of what to teach your kids. The title ...more
Jonelle
This is my second time reading this book.. in its entirety- first being years ago. I have read my highlights and chapters many times, but wanted to read it cover to cover again. It is hard to NOT highlight most of it. There are so many key things in they book for education and love of learning for children. I have ben a fan of Charlotte Mason for years and love her understanding of children and the way they learn. One of my favorite things from her book as well ( another reviewer mentioned this ...more
Alina
The author's tone grated on me through this entire book. Plus, the author unjustly presents Charlotte Mason's methods through a very tight & conservative Christian viewpoint. The author is not transparent enough to differentiate between HER personal views and the recommendations of Charlotte Mason herself.
Amanda
So many experienced homeschoolers have recommended this book to me. I am really looking forward to reading it. Supposedly it feels a lot like The Well Trained Mind (which I love) but is more relaxed and gentle. I am intrigued!

OK. I've read most of it. It is a bit slow. Lots of pats on the back for loving families... we all need that! Still, I am a fan of the Well Trained Mind. That book was much more helpful to me than this book.

I would recommend A Charlotte Mason Companion to someone ready to
...more
Sophie
Ok...but I think it's better to look elsewhere to understand Charlotte Mason and WHY she did what she did re: children's education. I recommend "For the Children's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macauly (Macauley?). This book is kind of more of a "how-to" but possibly a bit old-fashioned for me!
Renée
Too much wiffle waffle... dare I say twaddle...? It's more "personal reflections" than it is a Charlotte Mason Companion by a long, long stretch. Not too practical, but a few good ideas. Somewhat heavy-handed with active Christian mythology in places. Might be a great place to start for someone completely unfamiliar with the Charlotte Mason approach, but nothing that can't be garnered from free resources on the internet. An ok read from time to time if you've got some tea and cookies and spare t ...more
Debbie Googeg
Great read on homeschooling. Definitely a handbook that I would refer to again and again. She has a very readable style and made the concepts of narration and Charlotte Mason type learning very understandable.
Terri Lynn
I used this book in tandem with The Well-Trained Mind in homeschooling both my own family and in the classes I teach to homeschooled kids of all ages. The two worked very well together. The narration approach is an excellent one for kids who can't write well yet and helps firmly plant the knowledge in the child's mind as well as open up interesting conversations with parents. All in all, this book is just excellent and I have used pretty much all of the ideas in it to the advantage of my student ...more
Laura
Aug 04, 2009 Laura is currently reading it
This is a great and, aptly titled, Gentle Introduction to the Charlotte Mason 'way' of education, particularly home educating. Every chapter is concise, easy to read, provides clear examples and stories to illustrate the points, and just plain makes me excited to begin the next homeschool year with my three sons. I was meant to read this book, at this time. Though it is not a NEW book, I feel this one should/will be read and re-read -- as each chapter provides kernels of knowledge that can be re ...more
Heather Denkmire
Couldn't finish this one. It was recommended to me by a woman I truly trust, but, this was way off the mark for me. At first I thought it was just the "old fashioned" tone (a la Victorian era), then I thought it was the conservative Christian theme. Both I tried to get past to read the real message, but I just couldn't. I adore the idea of using narrative in children's learning (reading great books and retelling the stories they've read, the things they've learned). And I do believe in the idea ...more
Jenny
I like this method of teaching whether it's for home or school. There are different ways of teaching children in a gentler way than the traditional rote memorization, reading, and writing. I love how the author notes bold ways of teaching children as little adults. Instead of just giving paint and paper to the kids, artists are studied for weeks and then the children can appreciate the differences and learn so much about culture. There are numerous ways children learn and love to learn and this ...more
di
I found exactly what I was looking for in a homeschooling approach in Charlotte Mason. Andreola's guide is a very nice dip in the water, before tackling the six volumes written by Mason. I won't say that I agree with everything Andreola prescribes, but her basic approach & application of Mason's method is sound & attractive. I am sure I'll be reading this book a couple more times through the years. For now, I will go through Penny Gardner's Study Guide & then the six volumes straight ...more
Darcy
Read enough of this to know that I really like Charlotte Mason. She is someone that I would have loved to have met. She was very passionate, smart, and dedicated. She sincerely loved kids and was their advocate. She valued childhood, good habits and character, lots of time outdoors, lots of play, and a solid formal education as well. This book is sort of a summary of Charlotte's writings combined with the thoughts and experiences of Karen Andreola in teaching her own kids using the methods and p ...more
Barbara
This little book of overview has shattered forever how I will see my children's education. The philosophy of education chapters are as helpful as the later chapters that cover actual techniques and tips for teaching nearly every subject to every age. This book was written to help homeschoolers using Charlotte Mason techniques. And if you haven't heard of Charlotte Mason you should definitely look her up. This book was the catalyst for all my teeming dreams of starting a Charlotte Mason school fo ...more
Megan
I didn't mind the old-fashioned nature nor the overtly Christian focus of this book which some people seem to dislike. I admire the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching, and I couldn't help comparing the methods as I read them to how Miss Muriel Stacy taught Anne Shirley's school. :) I found this book to be a helpful introduction to the CM method.
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“...the more we do for a child the less he will do for himself. If we give him watered-down material, many explanations, much questioning, if we over-moralize, depend on the work book to work the mind, what thinking is left for the child to do?” 5 likes
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