Who is Charlotte Mason?
It’s likely that you’ve seen the name ‘Charlotte Mason’ if you are familiar with home education. But maybe you haven’t! Either way, this post and video is for you. I’m sharing a little bit about who Charlotte Mason is, why her work is important for home educators around the world, and what kind of impact she left. Keep reading to learn more about Miss Mason.
Mason’s Early Life, Works, and Later Years
Charlotte Mason, English educator and philosopher, was born in 1842. She was orphaned at an early age and didn’t have much financial security. Still, she found a career and a passion in education.
Mason taught for nearly thirty years before settling down in the Ambleside, England where she founded the House of Education. The House of Education was a teacher-preparation program that later turned into the PEU or PNEU (Parents National Educational Union). This PNEU school and it’s corresponding periodical The Parent’s Review gained popularity all over England, and helped spread the word about her philosophy and methods all over the world.
Mason also wrote six books or “volumes” about her philosophy based on her early lectures. The books cover her educational philosophy, her principles, and much more.
“A Liberal Education for All”
Mason knew what it was like to grow up without financial means. For this reason, she dedicated her life’s work to educating students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Mason believed that all students should have exposure to great poets, artist, and composers, in addition to their daily lessons. It is for this reason that we mark the Charlotte Mason Method a “living education”.
The Hallmarks of a Charlotte Mason Education
Mason believed in the use of “living books”, educating the child as a “born person”, and encouraged time out-of-doors, daily. Students in her schools, and who followed the PNEU programs excelled in academics and in character. Her well-rounded approach to education quickly gained popularity and families all over England, (and now all over the world) started using her approach. Her approach embodies the idea that it isn’t about how much we know, but how much we care.
Watch the Video
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Charlotte Mason’s childhood informed her passions for children and a “liberal education for all”. She viewed them as whole people, and encouraged them to use “living books” as a form of learning. She wrote several lectures that were eventually published into her Volumes that teach her philosophy. Now, mothers all around the world educate their children using the Charlotte Mason method.