The Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling focuses on teaching children through living books and firsthand experiences in an environment that inculcates good habits. Charlotte Mason homeschooling tends to involve nature study, short lessons, and copywork. Emphasis is also placed on poetry, Shakespeare, art, and music. Children are encouraged to spend their afternoon time in a productive manner such as making handicrafts. The manner of instruction is gentle, and recitation and written narration are used as evaluation methods.
We do not fully follow the Charlotte Mason method, although we do borrow from it where useful since it overlaps with classical Christian homeschooling in many ways. For instance, we do copywork and narration, enjoy short lessons, employ nature study, and read poetry. We do not emphasize Shakespeare in the lower grades, however, and neither do we make it mandatory to study selected artists or composers throughout elementary school (perhaps this has to do with the way God has wired our oldest two children but we may attempt this with our younger ones when they are old enough).
The best Charlotte Mason resources we have found on the internet are:
Homeschool Highlights — this is the website of the Andreolas, the modern pioneers of the Charlotte Mason method. The Andreolas’ website has articles and many reviews of different curriculum. In addition, the Andreolas have written several books, which are available for purchase through their website.
Simply Charlotte Mason — this website has everything from a suggested K-12 schedule and curriculum advice to a free history timeline book anyone can download.
Simplest Homeschool Ever — this is a great resource for teaching ideas and information on how to implement Charlotte Mason’s methods. We have been visiting this site for advice on teaching younger children in a gentle manner.
Ambleside Online — this is a free online curriculum dedicated to Charlotte Mason’s methods. We use this website for curriculum ideas. This curriculum is very rigorous and thorough, but we do not use it as suggested because we prefer other resources to what it recommends.