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Karen Glass
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Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  577 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Published January 3rd 2020 (first published January 1st 2014)
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Cindy Rollins
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This book has not been released yet but I have already read it 3 1/2 times and have two files full of highlights. It says everything I have every wanted to say about how Charlotte Mason fits into the classical tradition in such a way as to bring new life to these old ideas.

If you have any interest at all in what is popularly called 'classical education,' I beg you to read this book. It will take you far beyond the ages and stages model into the heart of what it really means to be classically
First, as a practitioner of Charlotte Mason's model, I thought the way Glass explained both the "whats" and the "whys" of Mason's methods was extremely good. She is obviously a master of Mason's ideas, and in that way, this book will be very valuable to the Mason community. Second, I am so glad to see someone attempting to push back against the neoclassical ideas of people like Dorothy Sayers and Susan Wise Bauer. I find absolutely nothing of Mason in the neoclassical movement that has become so ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
I had read nearly all of this in book form and enjoyed it ... but got distracted and began other things ... and suddenly it was buried under a stack of books begun and unfinished. I suspect many readers can identify.

Happily, I won a copy of the newly released audiobook read by Donna-Jean Breckenridge immediately before a trip where I was driving by myself. I listened to nearly all of it on that trip and finished this evening while making pancakes for dinner and then while my children were
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foundational. A must-read for classical and Charlotte Mason educators. Very well- written and brilliant in its approach. Motivating, mind-boggling, always thought-provoking. Not a practical approach but a philosophy of education. An important reminder of all the reasons it's good to break with current educational tradition.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2020
Karen Glass, one of the Ambleside Online Advisory members, has spent years studying both Charlotte Mason's writings and many other authors who wrote on education, both ancient and modern. Having wavered between classical education and Charlotte Mason's methods for years, wondering how to combine them (or if they were compatible), I was eager to read her brand-new book, Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition. I bought the Kindle book on a Friday, and finished it the following ...more
An important read to educators who identify with Charlotte Mason today. After studying Mason for 6 six I had rejected any identification with the classical tradition because of what I had read and the current state of "classic education" today. In my heart of hearts I could see Mason fit within the tradtion but was unclear. Karen Glass cleared the mud for me by explaining what the classic tradition was when it began, what it become, what we have made it and how Mason perhaps offers a closer ...more
Havebooks Willread
This book was excellent--in fact, I told both of my adult children (who plan to homeschool their children) I want them to read it, and maybe we could even discuss it together! wink and chuckle It's a book I wish I had read earlier in my homeschooling career because I thought it really did a good job defining the educational philosophies of both Charlotte Mason and the Classical method (not the ne0-classical version) while demonstrating how they are related.

The book is about "the pursuit of
Gemma Elizabeth
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having finished this book, I am left with a firmer understanding of classical education, of the Charlotte Mason philosophy and a stronger conviction in my purpose as a home educator.
This is the kind of book that I will revisit again and again.
Mary Prather
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book caused me to shift my mindset about Classical Education and Charlotte Mason Education. The two are more closely aligned than I had thought. The book also helped me see the importance of understanding WHY we do what we do. I look forward to purchasing the study guide for this book and going through it with a group of homeschool moms.

Definitely put this on your TO READ list if you are a homeschooler!
Anna Mussmann
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen Glass takes the reader through various principles of classical education, quoting extensively from authors such as Quintilian, and points out ways in which Charlotte Mason applied those classical principles to education in her own era. I am particularly struck by Glass' argument that classical education is about synthetic thinking--about seeing knowledge as a unified whole, about having a personal relationship with what we know, about learning virtue from every subject.

Karen Glass wants
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave it five stars because while her views on learning Latin made my heart sink and feel terrible that I don't have the truly classical reasons for studying Latin in our home, she did give me insight into other CM points that I had not understood before mainly the functions of the will and of reason. And for that I am very grateful and will be thinking about for the rest of my life.
I'm still not sure what falls into analytical thinking as it applies to literature, but I do know that reading
Philippa N
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This should be required reading for all of us with an interest in Classical and Charlotte Mason educational philosophies. It demonstrates that they don’t merely overlap but how CM is classical to its core. All the questions I had about how to combine both education philosophies have been answered by Karen Glass in ‘Consider This’ and indeed the path forward is clarified by the vital hub of ‘Virtue, Humility and Synthetic Thinking’.

Anyone who thinks the Charlotte Mason tradition is pretty much
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Karen Glass makes Charlotte Mason's classical approach approachable.

It's an easy to read, practical, and encouraging book for educators. I'm often reading education books--this one is my favorite, so far. Well, in a three-way tie.

Read Consider This, For the Children's Sake, and Mere Motherhood: Morning times, nursery rhymes, and my journey toward sanctification for a whole picture of a living education.
Pam Barnhill
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. It taught me so much about classical education and led me to a greater appreciation of Charlotte Mason's methods as a means to classically educating my children.
Kay Pelham
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've previously read this book. This "reading" was the recently released Audible version, excellently read by Donna-Jean Breckenridge.
Ruth Uhlemann
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
An excellent book showing how Charlotte Mason created her educational philosophy by studying the great minds of classical education. This is not a how-to manual and has very little practical advice, but I would still recommend it highly to anyone interested in really understanding CM and how she relates to classical education.
I really appreciated how Glass brought to light the difference in how modern classical educators understand the Trivium- based on Dorothy Sayers and other 20th century
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-finished
A great exploration of Charlotte Mason’s educational principles and practices in the context of the classical tradition. This book particularly helped me understand and identify the differences in synthetic and analytical learning, and the importance of this distinction. Karen Glass did a fabulous job making the difficult content well organized and easily understandable. I highly recommend to anyone interested in CM or Classical Education as a means of introduction to the other.
Heather Goodman
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent review of Charlotte Mason’s appropriation of the classical model. I disagree with her full-scale critique of postmodernism, but that was almost an appendage to the heart of the book.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short, helpful introduction to the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason. Mason definitely was not your typical classical Christian educator: she predates most of the well-known heavy hitters by decades, having come on the scene around the turn of the last century, at least half a century before Dorothy Sayers' influential address. At first glance, she seems a lot more romantic than Sayers, even a tad "progressive," but in point of fact she was steeped in classical educational ...more
Liz Recalde
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fabulous book. Glass is very thorough, yet clear and succinct, in describing how and why Charlotte Mason has mined and applied the principles of the great thinkers of the past (such as Erasmus and Quintilian, and many more). Glass is careful to emphasise that if we focus on imitating the classical thinkers of the past by attempting to reproduce their methods without focusing on their vision/ reasoning behind these methods, we have missed the point. “Charlotte Mason never loses ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing quaint, nostalgic or old-fashioned about a desire to educate in the classical tradition. It is a radical thing to do. We do nothing less than demand that chaos resolve itself into order simply by saying, “There is truth, and I want to know it.” - Karen Glass

I wish I had this book when I first began homeschooling it not only distilled the origins of classical education, but it illuminates the words and methods of Charlotte Mason the way old biblical manuscripts were illuminated
Melissa Jamieson
This was a wonderful read. I have been reading about and using the Charlotte Mason method for a few years now in our home education. This book was insightful, confronting and inspiring. I read it in two days while taking many notes (perhaps too many) and reading aloud sections to myself and my husband. I highly recommend this book, especially to those who are passionate about the education of children. This book has helped me develop a firmer grip on Charlotte's method and Classical Education. I ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's weird that I would have read this book since we don't really homeschool anymore (my girls attend school once a week), but I loved the Charlotte Mason method when I did homeschool and was intrigued by classical education, so wanted to find out how those two fit together. Karen Glass does an excellent job of explaining the original intent and purpose of the classical educators (which were not all agreed in method, but did all agree that the purpose of education was wisdom and virtue). She ...more
Lea Lea
A very interesting read and it broadened my view of Charlotte Mason's principles. I did feel that her take on "grammar" and the trivium needed to be supported a bit more with actual historical references. Especially, if it contradicts so much of what has been written by the neoclassical movement(Sayers, Wilson, etc.). But that being said, her fleshing out of synthetic learning versus analytical learning was excellent food for thought for any classical educator. I will continue to refer to this ...more
Sally Ewan
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed reading this book about how Charlotte Mason's methods and philosophy fit with the classical education model. It was interesting to read about how the classical principles have changed over time. This book was full of thought-provoking ideas for me and will be very helpful as I begin the new school year.
Christa Bartlett
This is an excellent treatment of the common ideals between Charlotte Mason education and classical education. In reality, the two are one and the same. The neoclassical education system introduced by Dorothy Sayers does not live up to the original Charlotte Mason/classical ideal.
Anna-Kathryn Kline
Very good and probably something I would recommend to those new to or unfamiliar with a CM education. This book gave me peace to pursue Ambleside for my children's curriculum and a desperation to understand synthetic thinking.
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, education
Tremendously enjoyed this book. I've been a Charlotte Mason fan for years, but had trouble putting into words what was different about her philosophy compared with such similar sounding rhetoric from some of the classical school folks. This book helped give me the words!
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ao-heo, education
Every educator should read this book. I loved it! Thank you, Karen Glass for making educational philosophy so practical and memorable.
Kara Kirby
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with food for thought, Karen Glass’ book certainly succeeds in giving educators a feast of worthwhile ideas to consider. Glass is a lucid, concise writer who uses extensive, long form quotations to introduce us not only to classical, Renaissance, and Victorian educational philosophies, but to the people who thought them, opening the door to further relationships and reading. Her explanation of synthetic/poetic thinking and analytic thinking is spectacular.

I do think it is worth giving
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One of the founders of Ambleside Online (, Karen Glass ( has homeschooled her children for twenty years, and continues to read and learn about educational philosophy.
“We do not list “humility” among our school subjects or put it on a transcript, but that is actually the little secret of classical education. The things that make it truly classical, truly worthwhile to pursue, aren’t school subjects at all, but principles that add depth and cohesion to everything we study in all areas of the curriculum. ❧ ❧ ❧” 6 likes
“Modern education has been plagued by utilitarianism for a very long time, and both teachers and students have come to think that schools should teach only what will be useful in the pursuit of a career. At the same time, we deplore the poor academic performance of our students in comparison with students of other countries.” 2 likes
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