Charlotte Mason was a British educator in the early 1900s who wrote extensively to develop a philosophy of Christian education. At first, many of the people who implemented her ideas were home schooling parents. Soon, groups banded together to form schools throughout England that were based upon her philosophy of education. She established a well respected teacher’s college in England that included a small practicing school in which teachers learned to apply her principles of education. The primary reasons we draw heavily on her philosophy of education are the following: interwoven biblical principles throughout; comprehensive philosophy to include the nature of children, learning, knowledge, and the teacher; and a theory that was tested and used. We are aware of no other philosophy of education that has such depth in these three components.
Charlotte Mason believed that education was “an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” She believed in making school more like home, with a safe environment that fostered creativity and a “gentle art of learning.” She thought that lessons should be completed in the morning, so that afternoons can be spent playing outside. Some of the main components of her philosophy are: - using “living books” instead of dry, factual textbooks - using narration as a means of evaluating a child’s thinking and remembering - having short lessons which help train children in the habit of attention - an emphasis on nature study as a way to learn more about God’s creation - a great deal of time should be spent outdoors - exposing children to art, music, Shakespeare, poetry - learning different handicrafts like sewing, weaving, and knitting. We firmly believe that a love of God brings a love of learning.
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