Home Schooling book review: A Charlotte Mason Companion

Home Schooling book review: A Charlotte Mason Companion

I finished reading A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola last weekend but have not yet had the chance to write about it.

At first I didn’t think I was going to like this book. It seemed like there was too much Charlotte Mason and not enough Karen Andreola. And while I respect CM for her educational philosophies, one of the things that initially turned me off was the way in which CM homeschoolers seem to adulate her a bit too much. 

But as I got into the book I really began to enjoy it. Even though much of it felt like review because I’ve read other CM books, this book is much more thorough. A nice thick book that seems to cover everything—and in great detail. 

I especially loved the chapters in which she answered reader’s questions. Some of the very questions I’d been asking which no one had addressed, some of the nitty gritty how to implement these great ideas.

There were some sections I skimmed and many that I want to go back and reread at my leisure. I think this would be a good book to have on the shelf to pull down and reference. I can see why it is on so many of the bibliographies I’ve seen.

I know I had more to say initially, but this is all that comes to mind right now.

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  • I wonder if it’s because these decisions are SO hard to make, and we want to make exactly the right ones, and we agonize about it so much.  Somebody making a different choice implies that we could have chosen something different, that maybe what we chose wasn’t the absolute most perfectest choice.  So it’s salt in a wound.


  • Kate,
    Good answer. That pretty much sums up what I think and what most of the commentors have been saying. It mostly comes down to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, guilt. But it doesn’t help that there are so many people out there who are judgemental.
    The danger is when you get defensive you can start to sound judgmental to other people. It’s a vicious circle.
    What is important it to recognize you are making the best choices you can for your family in your situation, that for another family in another situation the best choices might be different ones.