4 Components of the Charlotte Mason Method

Charlotte Mason described her approach to education as, “… an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life.”  This quote, in and of itself, is the basis by which all Charlotte Mason stylistic teaching has derived. Whether you are a new homeschooling family or you are looking for new approaches to homeschooling, it is worth exploring these 4 components of the Charlotte Mason method.

Charlotte Mason’s style of education promotes a focus on the training of attention and habits. This typically included letting children read loads of great literature, being in the natural world, and encouraging critical thinking in students.

This method of educating children is rich in the natural course of learning and thinking. It is intriguing in so many ways, some of which include short lessons to keep a child’s attention on the topic, and nature studies as to spend much time outdoors discovering the world around them.

Children who learn the Charlotte Mason way holistically absorb information, making a well-rounded student. There are many aspects to this approach which help the whole child in becoming an independent thinker and productive adult. These are just a few components that help make this method effective.

4 Components of the Charlotte Mason Method

Living Books

Charlotte’s method incorporates living books into your child’s education by an author who has a passion for his topic, making the story “come alive.” No textbooks are allowed in the Charlotte Mason approach but instead, the style focuses on first-hand experience, autobiographies, biographies, classical writings, scriptures, and poetry for children to glean from. AmblesideOnline.org is a great free resource to find living books that align with your child’s learning level and subject.


Charlotte Mason carefully selected copywork that created good thoughts to meditate on and fostering ideas. Most sources of copywork should be found in the living books that the child was currently reading, scripture, poetry, and quotes.


In this sense, narration includes the way by which you realize a child has learned. When a child can retell what they heard or read, the information has successfully been stored in their memory and becomes their own. Narrating what they have learned from each subject is found to be telling of comprehension and knowledge acquired.

Art and Music Appreciation

Charlotte Mason encouraged students to study one composer per term to learn about their history, life, and artwork. She believed that studying art, music, and the ones who created them, would foster a balanced education and a well-rounded child.

A Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling lends itself well to use Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner as a homeschool organizer and homeschool record keeping tool. For instance, using living books as the primary source of text in reading can get challenging. Keeping records on this volume of text can be taxing for busy families.

With a reading list and scheduling widget, Homeschool Planet easily organizes your child’s reading schedule. It can capture how many pages each child needs to read a day to be done by a specific date. Instead of you having to track every book, every page, and chapter, Homeschool Planet can be customized so that your child knows exactly where they need to be and when.

All you have to do is plug in the number of pages on the reading log, and by what date your child needs to complete the book and… Viola!

To ensure short lessons, as recommended by Charlotte Mason, you can set timed lessons on the Homeschool Planet homeschool planner online to ensure kids never go too long or get distracted.

Homeschool Planet’s online homeschool planner gives some organization to your child’s education while allowing the freedom for you to choose precisely what your child needs to learn and activities for them to do.

The homeschool organizer is perfect for busy families and encourages your child in accountability, time management, and independent learning – perfect for a Charlotte Mason style homeschool education.

If you are a Charlotte Mason homeschool family, then check out the Homeschool Planet lesson plans for The Mystery of History curriculum.

The creators of the curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies for years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different theories, pulling largely from Charlotte Mason.

Resources for YOU!

You can explore the Homeschool Planet customized lesson plans for additional resources that dovetail beautifully with a Charlotte Mason approach here:

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!