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Charlotte Mason Companion
20 Doodle Dollar points
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In the more than 25 years we have been selling to home educators, we have seen a marked rise in how-to books for home educators. Most of them are adequate, some of them are good, a very few of them noteworthy, but this was the first home education book that we have read that was exemplary. It is not hard to write a book that a novice can glean from, but when you pull together over 350 pages that will both instruct the beginner and revitalize the expert, then you truly have a masterpiece. This is such a book.
Most home educators have heard of Charlotte Mason and her philosophy on the gentle art of learning. But nearly all of us, myself included, have never been able to drag ourselves through her books, written before our own grandparents toddled on this earth. And while the author encourages us to make the effort to go back to Charlotte's own books, I am delighted to be able to read how to implement Charlotte's philosophy without the “superhuman” effort reading the original books would take.
Charlotte Mason Companion will help you to recognize a living book, give you a common sense approach to spelling and phonics, show you the importance of great art and classical music, create a loving home atmosphere and so much more. The chapters are short, easy to read and profusely adorned with charming drawings from a century ago. Nearly every chapter ends with thought-provoking questions for personal study, or ideally for group study where you could exchange thoughts and resources.
You may not desire to implement everything you read; I still have reservations concerning the appropriateness of fantasy. Still, there is such a wealth of wisdom here, you will not be disappointed. One warning applies though to those of you who are enmeshed in a primarily workbook/textbook curriculum with no desire to change. This book will open your eyes to what home education could be; and what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve for.
This long-awaited book on Charlotte Mason's philosophy by well-known speaker and columnist Karen Andreola provides a wealth of insight, practical advice, and narratives illustrating how the ideas of the famed turn-of-the-century educator actually work in "real life."
With warmth and humor, Karen weaves together her own stories of the joys and struggles of the educational life and Charlotte's high ideals and firmly-held principles. Her years of homeschooling "the Charlotte Mason way" are clear and compelling evidence that this method works! As you explore all 49 chapters you will discover how to:
recognize a "living book,"
teach reading, spelling, composition, and vocabulary,
appreciate great art, classical music, poetry, plays, and novels,
keep a Nature Notebook (for science),
take part in hero-admiration (for history),
establish helpful habits,
create a loving home atmosphere,
welcome moments of "Mother Culture"
The book is a chunky one-384 pages, brimming with 200 old-fashioned illustrations. It makes an attractive gift book. Many of the chapters make good topics for discussion in a Charlotte Mason-minded support group. Questions are placed at the end of certain chapters for personal reflection or support group discussion.
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