Are you a mom on the hunt for the perfect homeschooling curriculum? Look no further! As a homeschooling mom who is drawn to the Charlotte Mason method, I’ve scoured the market and compiled a list of the top CM curriculum packages worth checking out. From comprehensive instructional videos to customizable options, these programs have caught my attention and have me eager to explore further. Join me as I take a closer look at the cream of the crop and discover which program will elevate your homeschooling experience to the next level.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.
Below we’ll go through these curricula that subscribe to the CM method, namely:
- A Gentle Feast – video lessons, support calls, schedules, and online curriculum
- Simply Charlotte Mason – buy books but paper schedules
- My Compass Classroom – an online mixed classical + Charlotte Mason (recommended)
- Living Books Curriculum – offering physical shipped products
- Ambleside Online – a free curriculum with schedules and booklists
- Heart of Dakota – a mailable program
- Charlotte Mason in a Box – another mailable, physical program
- Charlotte Mason College – an online school
- My Homeschool – an Australian curriculum following the government syllabus
- CM Institute – Alveary – an online program
- Higher Up and Further In – a free program
- Wildwood – a modern, secular curriculum
- Under the Home – a free curriculum (more of a resource)
- Great Books Homeschool – a choose-your-own curriculum program with automatic record-keeping tools
I am not an expert in Charlotte Mason curricula. Instead, I’m a mother researching programs that would be good options for our Christian family. I’ve come across the above programs during my research, which I believe would be worth investigating further.
A note on CM blogs: Like this website, many of the curriculum providers on this page have an active blog they maintain. I found these blogs try to help improve our knowledge of the Charlotte Mason method. Be sure to subscribe to the ones you think will help you most in your home education journey.
Affiliate links are used on this website.
Charlotte Mason Curriculum Packages
Some of these programs hold to the Charlotte Mason style rigorously. Others are laxer. Check them out below.
A Gentle Feast
If you’re looking for a Charlotte Mason curriculum that prioritizes the importance of family and provides a solid academic foundation, then A Gentle Feast is the perfect choice for you. This program is deeply rooted in the living ideas found in books, beauty, and Biblical truth, and it’s designed to bring families together as much as possible.
The creator, Julie Ross, has provided comprehensive instructional videos for parents to watch before starting the curriculum, so you can feel confident and prepared as you begin. Additionally, the curriculum is customizable to fit the unique needs of your family.
One of the standout features of A Gentle Feast is the level of support provided by Julie Ross. The curriculum comes with multiple support options such as members Q&A calls and a Members Facebook Group. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that if you have any questions, you can reach out and get the support you need.
Overall, A Gentle Feast is a Charlotte Mason curriculum that I highly recommend taking a closer look at. It’s an excellent option that prioritizes family, provides a solid academic foundation, and offers unparalleled support.
Simply Charlotte Mason
The Simply CM curriculum is a comprehensive package that claims you can relax because ‘all the planning is already done.’ They show you how to homeschool using CM techniques, giving you daily lesson plans and access to some living books. The plans are customizable to suit your family.
Many parents will like the comprehensive podcast, article base, and active forum SCM offers. Many questions you may have been wondering about (or will wonder about) have been answered or discussed on these forums. As this organization is a popular homeschool curriculum, be sure to check it out.
Compass Classroom is growing massively in popularity. That is because it offers an online homeschool curriculum that teaches using the two most popular homeschool methods, the classical and Charlotte Mason methods.
This curriculum is written by homeschool parents for homeschool families (which makes it different from many others!). They aim to make teaching easier by creating video lessons that are educational and entertaining!
Compass Classroom also offers support services for parents, such as advice from trained educators and consultants.
And the great thing about Compass classroom is you can try out their lessons for free. They are also one of the most affordable homeschool curriculum programs on the market today, so take a look at what they have to offer.
A subscription (starting at $39/month or 390/year) gives families access to all courses.
Learn more about Compass Classroom here.
Living Books Curriculum
The Living Books Curriculum has been used by many American homeschooling families and was also created to be used by people in developing nations. This curriculum goes from Foundations to Grade 8 and provides a fun and engaging way for children to learn.
You can choose from a physical (print) bundle or a digital copy. Even if you don’t decide to go with LBC, this website offers parents an excellent education in teaching their homeschoolers with the CM method.
Each year also comes with a teaching guide that matches your child’s grade.
LBC is a not-for-profit organization. The story of its inception is beautiful:
We are Sheila and Jim Carroll, founders of the Living Books Curriculum. In 2003 we dreamed of creating a truly unique learning experience using Mason’s methods and using all the proceeds of sales to take this curriculum to developing nations. Our dream is a reality. Living Books Curriculum is used in five African countries. (CharlotteMasonHomeschooling.Com/About)
When reading through the website, I was struck with the maker’s focus on Jesus Christ and their faith and wish to share the gospel. By purchasing this curriculum, the makers, Jim and Sheila Carroll, say we’ll be helping ‘children in Africa receive a living education.’ This is because the Carrolls curriculum currently educates 750 students in 7 schools in Africa. It seems like a great story of Christlike love. Well done, Carrolls!
Ambleside Online is a free Charlotte Mason homeschooling curriculum package from Grades 0-12. This curriculum has ‘detailed schedules, time-tested methods, and extensive teacher resources [that] allows parents to focus effectively on the unique needs of each child.’
The Ambleside Online Library is extremely rich and provides many digitized resources for free. For example, CM‘s Home Education Series is available here for free. The library also had detailed links to weekly schedules. Here’s the 36-week program for Year 3. It’s a bit overwhelming at first glance, but I suspect I’d be glad of the detail once I started this curriculum.
While the upside of a free program is the low price, keep in mind that, if you don’t want your children to read everything online, you will have to buy books separately, which could present a considerable cost that you need to factor in (see an article on the costs of homeschooling here). Other paid curricula usually come with a set of age-appropriate books within them. It’s good to weigh up your options and calculate the actual cost of a free curriculum. The other downside of a free curriculum is that there’s not as much individualized help as you might get with a bought curriculum. However, you may easily get around this problem by joining an AO Facebook group where you can ask your questions.
If you want to get started with this curriculum, head to this link to show you how to begin and give you tips for your AO journey! Or check out this comprehensive review of the program here.
Heart of Dakota
Featuring complete “open-and-go” daily plans, Heart of Dakota’s curriculum covers preschool to high school. This Christ-centered program is packed with Charlotte Mason-style living books and lessons, unique hands-on activities with a unit study flair, and heartfelt Godly character training from God’s Word. These core principles make school both educational and exciting, all while providing a spiritually rich foundation every day!
Charlotte Mason In A Box
Brought to you by Queens Homeschool, the Charlotte Mason in a box kit gives you everything you need for one year…in a box. Grades include from Year 0 to 12.
This package has many subjects, including phonics, history, science, the bible, geography, and handwriting – the standards included in many programs on this page.
You can add math and foreign language, but you have to pick these separately, so it matches your child’s preference (language) and level (math).
Charlotte Mason College
The CM College is a distance education provider based in Queensland, Australia. While it is a distance education provider, it also has an on-campus presence with on-campus students.
The College delivers ‘the Australian Curriculum with a Christian worldview filter teaching children to live in goodness, truth, and beauty,’ the common mantras of a CM education.
My Homeschool is an Australian homeschooling curriculum that has tried to marry the requirements of the Australian curriculum with the Charlotte Mason method.
It’s an easy way to know you’re complying with Australian home education requirements without missing out on all the CM fun. I have a friend who uses this curriculum and is happy with the outcome.
Check out a review of My Homeschool here.
Charlotte Mason Institute – Alveary
The CM Institute (Alveary) has a strong focus on teaching parents how to teach using CM methods as well as providing curricula to students. Based on a serious study of Mason’s writing and research, the CMI provides access to its curriculum, research, and teacher training by membership only.
They also produce quarterly educational reviews that can be accessed for free at the following link.
Higher Up and Further In
Higher Up and Further In offers a free curriculum here. On looking at it briefly, it seems similar to Ambleside online, only perhaps not quite as detailed.
The blog was excellent, entertaining, and had many relevant stories. There were many valuable topics discussed from a practical standpoint. This is a good option if you don’t have a CM blog you read regularly.
The Wildwood curriculum is differentiated from all the above curricula in that the program is marketed as a secular Charlotte Mason option. After reading a lot of CM’s writings, I find it difficult to conceive of a program that is separated from much of its foundational character; that is, a love of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit is integral to CM learning.
But, this package is for interested parties to investigate further.
Under the Home
Under the Home is a free, online Charlotte Mason-style curriculum. Because the Under the Home curriculum is based on the principles of the Charlotte Mason method, it is designed to be used in a home-centered learning environment.
It covers various subjects such as language arts, math, science, history, and biblical studies.
The program offers a variety of resources, such as lesson plans, reading lists, and activity ideas, that are designed to be flexible and adaptable to the individual needs of each child. The curriculum is designed for children from kindergarten through 8th grade and is available for free on their website.
It’s important to note that the curriculum is not fully packaged, it’s more like a resource library that offers a wide range of ideas, activities, and resources.
It’s up to the parents to use those resources and adapt them to the needs of their children.
Great Books Homeschool
Great Books Homeschool is a secular Charlotte Mason curriculum. The program lets you design your own homeschool using book lists and then get them using the library or purchase them individually. While this program is marketed as secular, parents can add religious books along the way to their liking.
In this way, parents can save money and choose from a wider variety of books, or they can compile a list of available library books in their area.
The program also has automatic record-keeping tools.
And the best part is that you can use one subscription for the whole family!
You can check out Great Books Homeschool curriculum here or review their program in greater detail here.
Partly Charlotte Mason Curriculum Packages
Some homeschooling curricula don’t prescribe to a particular educational method. Instead, they are a mix of approaches. For example, the My Father’s World curriculum mixes CM, Classical, Unit study, and other methods. Some curricula that prescribe to part of CM’s education philosophy include:
Click on the links above to learn more about these home education curricula.
Free Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Curricula
Ambleside Online – talked about above.
Higher Up and Further In
Higher Up and Further In – also covered above.
Easy Peasy is also a free option that I’ve heard is slightly influenced by CM. This program is probably the most popular free homeschooling program available today.
However, it isn’t at all quintessentially Charlotte Mason. If you’re interested in this program, it’s helpful to know that Easy Peasy has many support groups on Facebook for parents who have lots of questions.
Best Book to Read on CM Education
One of the best books I recommend home education parents read to teach themselves about CM education is volume 1 of the CM’s Home Education Series (affiliate link). Once you’ve made it through the series (or even the first book, Home Education), you will have an excellent idea of how to teach your children effectively.
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If you’ve just finished reading CM’s Home Education Series, you might be tempted to think it’s all too much, and it will be too hard to carry out. This is where a Charlotte Mason homeschooling curriculum comes in handy. Many of them do the work for you with pre-planned lessons using the tenets of a CM education. Many of the writers of these curricula have been mothers or educators in your position. They have struggled with loving CM but not having a curriculum that gives them everything they love. And so they’ve made one and, in doing so, have done all the hard work for us!