vendredi 14 août 2009

Transition de la méthode Charlotte Mason, Stage 3

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Transition to CM, Stage 3: Check Up

Transition to CM Stage 3We hope the steps outlined in Stages 1 and 2 have been helpful as you make the transition to the Charlotte Mason Method. By the time you are ready to move on, you should be feeling pretty comfortable with the changes you and your children have made. Stage 3 is the time to check your existing Science, Math, Language Arts, and Bible curricula to see if they are CM compatible.


Your science books should use a conversational tone (as if speaking directly to the reader) or a narrative (story) style. If the book reads like an encyclopedia, you may need to make a switch. In science, as in several other subjects, living books and narration work well. Many good living science books are available. Read the sample of Jack's Insects for a great example of a science book written in narrative style.


Does the math program you are using explain the "why" as well as the "how"? Does it use hands-on manipulatives and activities that make math apply to everyday life? Those two elements are important in a Charlotte Mason education. And remember the foundational principle from Stage 1: short lessons. Does your math curriculum make it possible to do short math lessons? A few weeks ago we posted our tips for selecting a CM-friendly math curriculum. You might find those helpful again as you evaluate the program you're using or considering.

Language Arts

Language Arts encompasses all that we do to help our children develop their skills in listening and speaking, reading and writing. And those skills are integrated into so many Charlotte Mason methods already, especially the use of living books and narration. A few more activities can be added to help round out your CM Language Arts studies.

  • Copywork for handwriting: Just five minutes a day of concentrated effort can produce dramatic improvements in your child's handwriting. Be sure to give her interesting ideas to copy, rather than rows of letters. Use Scripture, poetry, hymn lyrics, and excerpts from favorite living books. We have many such interesting passages available as free downloads for beginning writers to use for manuscript copywork.

  • Narration for composition: Remember that as your child gets proficient at oral narration, you can make the move to written narration. And those written narrations provide the opportunity for improvements in composition.

  • Dictation for spelling: As we discussed in Stage 2, prepared dictation is a wonderful way to teach spelling. In the Charlotte Mason Method, these spelling lessons are postponed until the child reaches the age of 9 or 10. Then they can be added once or twice a week.

  • Grammar: Because English grammar is such an abstract concept, Charlotte also postponed formal grammar lessons until the child was 9 or 10. Of course, the child will be hearing good grammar and reading good grammar in all the wonderful living books used up until that age.

Take a look at our free SCM Curriculum Guide for more. Just click on any school subject on that chart to see specific suggestions.


The Bible is the living book, so Charlotte recommended reading it and having the children narrate it. If possible, read the great stories of the Bible directly from Scripture to the younger children. If you feel you must use a children's story Bible, make sure it is not a watered down re-telling. Older children are ready for discussions and Bible studies that follow along Charlotte's ideas for narration, rather than fill-in-the-blank-type workbooks.

Once you have stepped through Stages 1–3, your home school will be using Charlotte Mason methods for the most part. Next week we'll look at the final stage of making the transition, Stage 4.

Charlotte Mason-style Bible Studies

The types of Bible studies that Charlotte described for older children are hard to find, so we have created some that encourage your older student to read the Scripture in context and thoughtfully narrate what it says.

Studies are available for Proverbs, Old Testament Law, Romans, and Doctrine.

Featured Resources

A Thinking Love New 2009-2010 school year calendar journal!

All-Day Charlotte Mason Seminar on DVD CM made practical, simple, understandable!

Upcoming Events
Oct 24, 2009: All-Day Charlotte Mason Seminar in Longview, Texas

Nov 7, 2009: Seminar in Montgomery, Alabama

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