Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum Review: A Good Homeschool Choice

The Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum is a popular choice among Christian homeschool families who want to provide their children with a rich, well-rounded education emphasizing the importance of character development and a love of learning. This curriculum is based on the educational philosophy and methods of Charlotte Mason, who believed in the power of living books and the importance of teaching children to think for themselves. In this article, we will do a Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum review and explore the benefits it can provide for families who choose to use it.

Rebbecca Devitt

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.

Simply Charlotte Mason Review showing pros and cons, advantages, benefits, format, online, paper based, living booklists, and so on!

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What is the Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum?

The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum is an educational program developed by Sonya Shafer, an educator who has studied and implemented the ideas of Charlotte Mason in her teachings.

The curriculum is based on Mason’s educational philosophy and method and includes various materials and resources for parents and teachers to use in educating children.

It includes lesson plans, schedules, book lists, and other resources for each grade level, as well as additional resources for subjects such as history, science, and the arts.

The curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual children and families. It emphasizes the importance of a child’s individual development, nature study, and the use of living books in education.

What is Unique about the Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum?

What are the Advantages of the Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum?

The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum offers several advantages over more traditional educational approaches.

One of the main advantages is that it focuses on the whole child and nurtures the intellectual, moral, and spiritual development of children, helping them develop a love of learning.

Another advantage is the use of living books as the primary source of education, which encourages children to engage with high-quality literature and develop their critical thinking and literary analysis skills.

Nature study is also essential to the curriculum, encouraging children to observe and appreciate the natural world around them and develop their scientific skills.

Additionally, the curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual children and families, which allows parents and teachers to find the best ways to implement the ideas in their own homes and classrooms.

Furthermore, the curriculum emphasizes the importance of the arts, which can foster creativity and self-expression in children.

Finally, the curriculum does not include grades or tests, which reduces the pressure on children to perform to certain standards and allows them to focus on the love of learning.

What are the Disadvantages of the Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum?

Like any educational approach, the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum may have some disadvantages or limitations depending on the context and the individual needs of the children and families who use it.

Some of the potential disadvantages include the following:

  • Cost: The curriculum may require a significant investment in purchasing materials such as living books, nature study equipment, and art supplies, which can be costly for some families.
  • Time-consuming: Implementing the curriculum may require a significant amount of time and effort from parents and teachers to plan lessons, prepare materials, and conduct nature studies and other activities.
  • Limited flexibility: While the curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable, it may not be suitable for all children or families, particularly those with different learning styles or special needs.
  • Limited standardized test preparation: Since the curriculum does not include grades or tests, it may not prepare children for standardized tests and college entrance exams, as well as more traditional curriculum programs like BJU Press do.
  • Limited resources: Depending on the location, resources for nature study or art classes may be scarce, making it difficult for families to implement the curriculum entirely.
  • Need for self-motivation: Since the curriculum does not include grades or tests, children may lack the external motivation to achieve a good grade, which may be difficult for some children to find the internal drive to learn.

It’s important to remember that these potential disadvantages may vary depending on the context and the individual needs of the children and families who use the curriculum and that, as with any educational approach, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum may not be suitable for all children or families, and it’s essential to consider the child’s individual needs and the resources available before making a decision.

What Format Does This Curriculum Come In?

The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum is primarily offered online*, with resources and materials available on the curriculum website.

The curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual children and families, and it includes a variety of resources and materials for parents and teachers to use in educating children.

*The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum offers some physical products, such as the teacher’s guide and schedule builder, as well as online resources that can be shipped to the user.

Also, some materials, like living books and nature study materials, can be purchased from Simply Charlotte Mason’s online store and shipped to the user.

However, it’s important to note that most of the resources are provided in an online format, and Simply Charlotte Mason does not ship the books used in the curriculum. Instead, they have to be acquired by the user.

Tell Me More About the Books in This Curriculum

The books used in the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum are primarily “living books,” which are high-quality literature written by an author who is passionate about the subject and written in an engaging and lively style.

These books are chosen to capture the child’s interest and imagination and provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subject matter.

The Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum includes various books appropriate for different age groups and subjects.

Some of the books used in the curriculum are considered “classics” or “great books,” which are considered to be literary masterpieces that have stood the test of time.

These books are often considered some of Western culture’s most important and influential works of literature.

In addition to the classics, the curriculum also includes modern books, which contemporary authors write. These books are chosen for their ability to appeal to children and to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subject matter.

It is important to note that the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum focuses on using living books as the primary source of education and does not rely on textbooks written to convey a set of facts and information in a dry, often dull manner.

The use of living books is considered a key feature of the Charlotte Mason method, as it is believed to be more effective in fostering a love of learning and encouraging children to think critically and analytically.

What are Some Examples of Living Books on the SCM booklists?

Living books are high-quality literature written by an author passionate about the subject and written in an engaging and lively style. These books are chosen for their ability to capture the child’s interest and imagination, and to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subject matter.

Here are some examples of living books that may be used in the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum:

  • “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White – A classic children’s novel about friendship and loyalty between a pig and a spider on a farm.
  • “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett – A classic children’s novel about a lonely girl who discovers a hidden garden and the friendship she forms with the garden’s caretaker.
  • “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis – A series of fantasy novels that tells the story of a magical land, Narnia, and the children who visit it.
  • “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder – A series of children’s novels that tells the story of a family living on the American frontier in the 19th century.
  • “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien – A fantasy novel that tells the story of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who is called upon to go on an adventure with a group of dwarves.
  • “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain – A classic novel that tells the story of a young boy growing up in the 19th century American Midwest.
  • “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” by Homer – Ancient Greek epic poems that tell the stories of the Trojan War and the journey home of the Greek hero Odysseus.

These are just a few examples of living books that may be used in the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum. In addition, the curriculum includes a wide variety of books appropriate for different age groups and subjects.

What Are Other Programs Similar to Simply Charlotte Mason?

As you’ve read this Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum review, you like what you hear. But you may want to learn about similar programs.

There are several other curriculum programs that are similar to the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum, as they are based on the educational philosophy and methods of Charlotte Mason. Here are a few examples of these programs:

  1. A Gentle Feast: This is an online curriculum with videos, support phone calls, and lesson plans. They also give a booklist and many more resources.
  2. Ambleside Online: This free curriculum is based on the Charlotte Mason method and provides a detailed schedule, booklists, and other resources for each grade level. Check out a thorough reviewย of Ambleside online here.
  3. A Living Education: They provide lesson plans, book lists, and other resources for parents and teachers to use in educating children. Proceeds of curriculum money go to help educate the poor in other countries.
  4. Heart of Dakota – a printed, mailable curriculum.

All of these programs, like Simply Charlotte Mason, are based on the educational philosophy and methods of Charlotte Mason, and they provide similar resources such as lesson plans, schedules, book lists, and so on.

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Conclusion: Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum Review

The Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum is a powerful and effective program that can help families provide their children with a well-rounded education emphasizing the importance of character development and a love of learning. The curriculum is based on the educational philosophy and methods of Charlotte Mason, who believed in the power of living books and the importance of teaching children to think for themselves. The curriculum’s use of living books and its focus on character development are key reasons it’s an exceptional choice for homeschooling families. The program’s flexibility and the level of support it provides are also important factors. The Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum is worth considering for families looking for a comprehensive, practical, and fun homeschooling program.

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Rebecca Devitt

Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.

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    • Charlotte Mason is an educational Method. Simply Charlotte Mason is a homeschool curriculum. I don’t think it is accredited. BUT you as the parent can actually issue a homeschool diploma for your children. See this article for more…https://howdoihomeschool.com/homeschool-transcripts/

      So you don’t need an accredited homeschool program for your kids to get into university as you can write one up yourself which will be accepted by almost all universities.