Charlotte Mason

An Introduction to Charlotte Masons 20 Principles

This post has been written for the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival.

Principle:-1. A moral rule guiding behavior. 2. A general or basic truth

When I was first introduced to Charlotte Mason, the group I attended was busy working through Miss Masons 20 principle’s. I fear being so new to her works and not understanding her methods, most of what was discussed was beyond me. Although in retrospect – its a great place to start! So five years on and I have to say that I was quite pleased to see the CMBC focusing on these 20 principles. It has challenged me to really try and understand and ponder on the foundation of what is now known at the Charlotte Mason Method.

Wondering where to start my own personal ponderings (which usually eventually lead to these written posts), it seemed the most obvious thing to do was to first understand what a ‘principle’ is.

It is something that means many things to many people. It is fluid – changing from family to family, person to person, yet it is concrete – once established it is hard to break down. It is a basic truth or truths upon which we pin our lives. We usually have a set of principle that we establish over time. Some we carry from our childhood, taught and instilled by out parents. Others we come by, establishing in our own lives the principles by which we choose to live our lives. They channel us, direct us and shapes us. Each principle leaves it’s mark. Each principle helps to shape who we are and what we become. With principle’s clearly having such a deep and lasting impact on our lives, it makes sense to give careful thought and consideration to which ones we choose to instill into our lives and the lives of our children.

If we were to adopt a Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschools, then it seems to me that we would first need to fully grasp, agree with, and thus adopt her principle’s as our own. To have a successful CM education we need to be familiar with these principles. More than familiar in fact, they need to become our very own. When they are our very own, then making decisions with regards to our children’s education, and indeed how we view the child’s spirit and mind, will become as a train running on well oiled tracks. We will not be de-railed at the slightest obstruction.

So this focus on Miss Masons 20 principles is the perfect opportunity to really study and see out if this is truly what you agree with. Does it measure up to and compliment the other principles that we hold dear to? Are we up for the challenge of learning all we can, of exercising our own minds so that our children will receive the utmost benefit of this challenging yet rewarding education?

I’m so excited at the prospect of reading the thoughts of seasoned and new CM’ers over the coming months!  Here’s to a new challenge! ;o)

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