Since I started to read homeschooling blogs I’ve begun coming across the name Charlotte Mason quite a bit. The first few mentions didn’t grab me. I didn’t have a great interest in finding out more. But finally my curiosity began to be piqued. This was one of the first books I found that dealt directly with her philosophy of education, though I realized in retrospect that Laura Berquist’s Designing your Own Classical Curriculum is influenced by Miss Mason’s philosophy.
I checked out a Charlotte Mason book from the library, but in the ninth month fog my brain couldn’t process it (I’m sure things won’t be much better now or for a little while as I’m still in the new baby sleep deprivation, and recovering from surgery, brain not working to top capacity). The language is too nineteenth century and the thoughts too dense. Perhaps I’ll give her a go later, but for now I’m having much better luck reading other people’s summaries and interpretations of her work.
That said, I really liked this book, A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison and it’s made me much more interested in Charlotte Mason as a source for home schooling ideas. This little book is a very managable size. I read the bulk of it in the hospital on the Thursday Isabella was born as I was waiting out my eight hours until the surgery. It will definitely go on my to-buy list (which is getting quite long!)
Subtitled A Home Schooling How-To Manual, that’s a pretty good description of the book’s style. After a brief bio of Mason and an introduction to the basic method, the book is organized by subject area. Levison describes briefly how each subject is approached and gives some suggestions for resources. Very easy to read, easy to understand. A good reference and quite friendly.