A Bookless Education is a Contradiction in Terms by Shannon Whiteside


You know you are a Charlotte Mason educator if your bookshelves are overflowing and spilling onto your floor, into baskets, and every other corner of your home. Mason understood the power of books to instruct and inspire children, and therefore well-written books were the foundation of her curriculum. Perhaps it seems too simple. How can […]

A Brief Discussion on Living Books – Part I by Therese Racklyeft


Therese Racklyeft is a Charlotte Mason teacher at the Charlotte Mason Community School in Detroit, MI.  In Part I she incorporates some of her own story and the ideas of Mason about living books to help us gain a deeper understanding of living books both old and new.  Next week in Part II she will […]

Murder Mysteries: Do They Belong in the Trash or on the Couch? by Kathryn Forney


Whenever asked the question, “What have you been reading lately?” and my answer is, “A murder mystery,” I feel I must qualify and explain myself. There is a stereotype at least in my world that nice people don’t read murder mysteries—or, if they do, they read them in secret in the dark by flashlight. As […]

The Power of Living Books to the Orphan Who Grew Up to Be an Engineer and President by Andy Smith


I have recently become acquainted with Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) through reading his (1962) book Herbert Hoover On Growing Up:  His Letters from and to American Children and was struck with the similarities of things dear to him that were also dear to Charlotte Mason.  They both had a high regard for the mind of the […]

Narration for the Newbie by Carroll Smith


The next series of Charlotte Mason Institute Blog posts on narration are a conclusion to what I started by in the summer.  Narration, the practice of students telling back after a single reading what they have heard or read, is a cornerstone in the educational practice of Charlotte Mason.  The previous posts on narration began […]

Misspeaking–A Symptom of a Greater Problem? by Carroll Smith


 Happy New Year 2014 from The Charlotte Mason Institute In recent weeks there were a number of “misspeaks” in the news and social media.  One was a TV personality who spoke his opinion about a certain subject, another was a rather quick response of the bosses, another used inappropriate language on Twitter and there were […]

The Danger of Safe Reading by Liz Cottrill


Convincing families to venture into the world of living books as the heart and soul of their children’s education has had some challenges, but there is one challenge I can honestly say we were not prepared for. Evidently there is a deep mistrust of books, especially if they are not included on some well-known book […]

What Should Children Narrate? by Carroll Smith


In the last several blogs we have discussed some key points about narration.  1)  It has been used since time began.  For centuries people have narrated stories of events in their lives (history) to the next generation.  In fact, one author told us that the various forms of literature genres in use now were formed […]

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