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.
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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 makes this program different from a curriculum you might find in a school?
Well, the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum is unique in that it is based on the educational philosophy and method developed by Charlotte Mason, which aims to train children as individuals (instead of a class). Charlotte Mason’s education also includes a lot of nature walks & study. In addition, they use living books (educational storybooks) in education.
Some of the key features of the curriculum include:
- A focus on the whole child: This program is designed to nurture children’s intellectual, moral, and spiritual development and to help them develop a love of learning.
- Use of living books: The curriculum emphasizes using high-quality literature, also known as “living books,” as the primary source of education. Living books are books written by an author passionate about the subject and written in an engaging and lively style. This is in contrast to textbooks written to convey a set of facts and information in a dry, often dull manner.
- Nature study: The curriculum includes regular nature study as an important part of education, encouraging children to observe and appreciate the natural world around them.
- Flexibility and adaptability: The curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of individual children and families. It encourages parents and teachers to find the best ways to implement the ideas in their homes and classrooms.
- Emphasis on the arts: The curriculum includes studying art, music, and other creative subjects, recognizing the importance of these subjects in a well-rounded education.
- No grades or tests: The curriculum does not include grades or tests, as it is based on the idea that children should be encouraged to learn for the love of learning and not be pressured to perform to certain standards.
Overall, The Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum is unique in its approach to education by focusing on the child’s individual development and using living books, nature study, and the arts as the primary sources of education.
Watch the video below to re-cap the Charlotte Mason method if you need to.
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.
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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.