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

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,244 ratings  ·  110 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Sourcebooks (first published 1996)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,244 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Jan 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: homeschooling
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
Amanda P.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Chance Faulkner
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Helpful overview summary of Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education. The chapters are only a couple of pages each!
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 Anywhooski, this book is WAY too outdated.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 ...more
Sep 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: education
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.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
It was an O.k. introduction to a Charlotte Mason Education. It gave me a strong desire to read Charlotte Mason's original works.
Vanessa Chesebro
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Sky SF
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jul 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Megan Larson
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Sep 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
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 ...more
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
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 ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
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. ;)
May 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Margo Mandrillo
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet. The author is kinda weird. However, I think I've decided on a different course of action for next year...
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!
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
So brief! Only a basic starting point.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Rosie Gearhart
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
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 ...more
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
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
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 ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
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.
Katie Pinson
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kevin Bogus
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Marz Mysko
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mom
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
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick read for an overview of CM education. I didn't care for the author's "extras" (opinions on censoring art, literature, certain holidays, etc.), but I will take her advice and read CM's originals for myself.
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