Charlotte Mason (1842–1923) was a British educator and philosopher who believed that children are persons, and as such they are entitled to a broad education that is delightful, challenging, and full of life.
Just as our students’ bodies need food, their minds need food too—living ideas of all sorts in many subjects. And so a Mason education has at its heart what Mason called “living books,” books that not only provide students with information, but also capture their imagination and offer the nourishing ideas they need to grow. We work hard to choose the best living books for each grade for each term in all areas of study. Students also receive living ideas from being in nature, looking closely at art, listening to music, making things by hand using media such as clay and paper, and more. Through the student’s course of study, he explores a broad and rich range of books and experiences.
We then pair that living material (what Mason calls “books and things”) with narration—a method of assimilating ideas that, for the Mason student, replaces the dull repetitiveness of workbooks and comprehension. Narration’s power is its simplicity: as the student tells back what he knows, he must bring his whole mind to bear on the assignment and do the work of his own education. As such, it is a living method; it grows with the child, developing in him worthwhile habits and a genuine relationship with the material he studies. The books he reads and experiences he has become part of him, and he develops through this wide engagement with the world a knowledgeable mind and a magnanimous soul.
This was Charlotte Mason's approach, and she aimed to spread it far and wide through her curriculum (the Parents' Union School), her international organization (the Parents' National Educational Union), her teacher training college, and the monthly journal she published (the Parents' Review). During her life, her philosophy and program gained the support of professors, teachers, educationalists, and homeschool families around the world. This legacy continued for many decades after her death -- and we at the CMEC continue it today.
We believe Mason’s principles and practices offer us the best way to educate and offer our children the best way to learn! Most importantly, they provide solid preparation for whatever God has in store for their lives.
To learn more and see samples of our program, download our Information Packet:
What members say about our support for a Mason education...
"The CMEC is unique because no other CM program offers a community alongside a completely manageable and doable course of work. I have tried other CM programs, and I have been left feeling inadequate or unquenched. The CMEC is truly an education for the child and the parent-teacher."
"The CMEC is helping me grow into my best person. Isn't this so foundational?! I am a better everything - wife, mother, teacher, and friend - as a result of the support I receive through the CMEC. The Mother's Education Courses and Challenges are so practical, while also causing me to do a lot of THINKING. I am being trained to REFLECT. I am challenged to ACT!"
"Implementing a Charlotte Mason education has always seemed daunting to me. I've tried multiple times but struggled to get my head around it all. The CMEC is the answer to that specific problem of implementation. It's the hand-holding I needed to successfully create the education and environment I've always longed for for my children."