I have been homeschooling since 2006 (first one, later two children) and over the years I have been influenced by the Charlotte Mason (CM) approach.
What is the Charlotte Mason approach, you ask? In answer, I will send you over to the Simple Homeschool website for a very thorough explanation.
Why specify SECULAR Charlotte Mason?
The Charlotte Mason approach tends to be a Christian approach since Charlotte was a devout Christian and incorporated her beliefs into her educational philosophy. As secular (non-religious) homeschoolers, this isn’t something our family is interested in. But that doesn’t mean that Charlotte’s approach cannot be tweaked and used in a secular way. It’s actually not that difficult to do so as Christianity is not actually intertwined in every aspect of the approach.
However, resources specifically related to Charlotte Mason’s approach are usually Christian based and secular resource lists remain somewhat difficult to come by. As of the writing of this, it remains still a frustrating fact that non-Christian CM’rs must wade through Christian resources and book lists and discover their own appropriate resources, creating their own secular lists.
So I thought I’d share information and booklists that I personally have collected and compiled. Hopefully, others that are attempting to use this approach secularly will find them useful.
Most of these resources were compiled from the Secular Charlotte Mason Group at Yahoo.
This is a group I was on for years that used to be very active. It’s quiet now, but the past conversations are still all there to sift through and find lots of great info!
Gina Reich Guzman and her SecularCM website:
In the midst of the awesomeness that was the heyday of the Secular Charlotte Mason Yahoogroup…and coincidentally around the time I was adding my own secular CM resource pages (great minds think alike!)…one of the most active and awesome members of the group, Gina Reich Guzman, created her secular CM website (not affiliated with the Yahoogroup). This site was jam-packed full of fantastic secular Charlotte Mason info and resources, which included a bunch of her own articles on related topics that were so helpful to so many of us.
Gina had her site up for a number of years and filled it full of so much goodness that when her kids grew up and she let it go, there were many of us that lamented it’s loss.
Years later, I got the idea to contact Gina, whom I was luckily still able to locate online. I asked her if I could revive her fabulous content by posting much of it onto my own CM pages, giving her full credit, of course! I wanted to keep the info alive and continue it’s availability to future generations of secular CM’rs.
SHE SAID YES!!
And so…in addition to my own compiled secular CM resources… I now bring to you many of Gina’s original webpages! …copied exactly as they were from Gina’s website! I’ve chosen all the most important and relevant info pages. (A lot of her website was local info about her local classes or specific about what her kids were studying at the time. So I weeded out those pages and brought you only what would be the most helpful to you.)
I am including each of Gina’s pages on their own individual pages, separate from my own content, and with a very clear “By Gina Reich Guzman. Reprinted with permission.” at the top of each of Gina’s resource pages.
The only exceptions to this will be some of her resource lists, where I am combining her book lists with mine, for a more streamlined resource list. It might be interesting to know, however, that most of the books that I have included on my lists already come from the Yahoogroup, and probably a LOT of them were already coming from Gina’s recommendations on that group!
PLEASE NOTE: I’ve tried to keep all the info I share secular, but I’ve found that even some of the religious CM info can also be useful to secular CM’rs. So I choose to not, as they say, “throw the baby out with the bath water.” I will try to mark non-secular resources as possible…just realize that as of the writing of this, pretty much every CM resource out there is faith based, except for these pages and the SecularCM yahoogroup.
If you know of other secular Charlotte Mason resources, PLEASE SHARE in the comments below! I’d love to link to them as well!
You can find the info in these pages divided by main topics:
(Available via the menu in the navigation bar above.)
- The Arts
- Language Arts
- World Religions
Charlotte Mason Books (about and by):
- Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series (6 volume set), by Charlotte Mason…available free online…along with a Modern English translation
- A Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison and
- More Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison–by far the most popular and easy to read of all the books about CM education. (not secular, but tolerably religious)
- A Charlotte Mason Companion, by Karen Andreola–NOT secular, have to filter religious content
Charlotte Mason Info Sites & Articles:
- A Charlotte Mason Home–Timeless Ideas for a Twaddle-Free Education
- A Full Life: The Works of Charlotte Mason–a blog that goes through the original homeschool series by CM
- Penny Gardner–Charlotte Mason approach to home education (not secular)
- Ambleside Online–CM info site with free curriculum and booklists (NOT secular, VERY Christian! But still a lot of great info!)
- Simply Charlotte Mason–lots of great CM info and resources…not secular
- A Charlotte Mason Education, A Basic Tutorial
- Mater Amabalis (“mother most amiable”), a free online Catholic Charlotte Mason curriculum for the 21st century–not secular, but still has useable info
- 4 Real Learning (another Catholic CM site) & “Real Learning” blog, both by Elizabeth Foss
- Catherine Levison’s website (author of “A Charlotte Mason Education” and “More Charlotte Mason Education)
- Here in the Bonny Glen–blog about home education and fun learning resources–by children’s author (a series of books about Laura Ingalls’ mother and grandmothers) and Charlotte Mason hs’ing mother Melissa Wiley…this is a Catholic author, but very low-key.
Some of Melissa’s particularly relevant to CM entries:
- Tidal Homeschooling
- Strategic Strewing
- Home Education: Delicious and Nutritious
- Rabbit trails
- Why some families can’t afford not to homeschool
- Wildwood Curriculum-free secular Charlotte Mason curriculum!
- Rainbow Resource Center–online book store
- Tanglewood Education (an incomplete online curriculum which is a combo of Classical & CM)
- Classical Home Education (not specifically CM, but classical, but very good resources that work with CM)
- Queen Homeschool–CM supplier, not secular, but there are still good books to be found
- Books-a-Million–online book store
- Dover Publications–historical coloring books, educational books, etc…
- The 4 Real Learning Booklist–not secular, but easily secularized.
- Real Learning Nature Booklist–not secular
- Dawn Publications–bookseller, secular, “Sharing Nature With Children Books”
- The Baldwin Online Children’s Literature Project
- Abebooks–“new and used books, textbooks, rare and out-of-print books”
- Nothing New Press–“curriculum honoring the ancient paths”–Guerber books come with recommended reading lists to go with the chapters of the books
- Beautiful Feet Books
- Horn Recommended Books List
Other Resource Books:
- Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers (Core Knowledge Series), by E. D. Hirsch Jr.
- The Complete Home Learning Source Book: The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology, by Rebecca Rupp