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5 Charlotte Mason High School Ideas That Worked

5 charlotte mason high school ideas

Building Good Habits

“One last word about habit–the point of training children to have good habits is so that they’ll do things without being nagged or scolded. Then the mother isn’t constantly chasing them down with a barrage of commands and reminders. She can leave them alone to thrive in their own way once habit has secured a boundary for them to grow in.” Volume 1, page 134

The forming of good habits continues through the high school years, leading our children to the place where they self-regulate their actions. In our home, our teens were never rebellious or contrary and I think a lot that was because we didn’t have many “rules” to live by. They were guided and corrected in a way to help them build habits that will last them a lifetime. Children with good habits are a joy to be around. Read more about habits: Building Good Habits in High School and Good Habits for Moms.

Living History

“Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” Volume 1, page 280

Incorporate as many avenues of reading and learning as possible, using literature, biographies, speeches, and videos to help your child immerse his learning of a particular time period. High school students are capable of reading a lot of material and if you follow up your reading with some form of narration it will stick better and longer. History will come alive. Read more about my thoughts on this: Charlotte Mason Knew the Secret to Learning Relationships.

Shakespeare and Poetry

“To become intimate with Shakespeare in this way is a great enrichment of mind and instruction of conscience. Then, by degrees, as we go on reading this world-teacher, lines of insight and beauty take possession of us, and unconsciously mold our judgments of men and things and of the great issues of life.”

There were times when it seemed like a lot of effort to add in a Shakespeare play every term but afterwards I would realize how much we all enjoyed the experience. The same was true pretty much for poetry as well. Poetry is not an easy topic to cover on your own with high school students and our tastes in poets varied greatly which added an extra element when planning. But, in the end, I look back on our Shakespeare and poetry studies with much warmth because they did add that extra “something” that made each year a little better. My boys still quote Shakespeare from time to time and I know it will be carried with them into their futures…better for having read it while they were young. Read more: Shakespeare and High School Poetry.

Nature Study

I could talk all day about the value of continuing nature study in high school. I hold those times we were outdoors together as cherished memories. My boys have grown in their knowledge of our local plants, trees, birds, reptiles, weather, and so much more. They are comfortable outdoors and seek opportunities to spend time in nature. They appreciate the changes in the season and are skilled at following a map, planning a hike, and growing things. Dirt is not their enemy. You can read more: Nature Study for High School Students.


Last but not least is the skill of narration that is emphasized in a Charlotte Mason education. Narration is never tiring for my boys and if given a choice they will write a quick summary, give an oral account, or create a follow-up project in place of a test any day. Their notebooks are filled with their individual accounts of their learning. These thoughts are their own connections with their reading and research. I can’t think of a better way to learn for my boys. You can read more: Narration in Our High School.

Reflections on a Charlotte Mason High School – read more of my thoughts on high school.

Please visit and share with us at the CM blog carnival! We'd love to have you! I am submitting this entry to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and if you have any entries you would like to submit, you can send them to this email address: [email protected].










Weekly Wrap-Up – Big Projects and Promises

This was the week where I didn’t post a single entry…a rare event for me.

I often receive email that asks me how I juggle all my different duties online and off. Honestly, sometimes I wonder the same thing. I recently read an article sharing a glimpse into Susan Wise Bauer’s life…how she has made some changes in her work and writing. This article resonated with me…not that I am a writer on a par with Susan Wise Bauer but rather just as a mom and writer who has dedicated a huge chunk of time to sharing and encouraging others through writing.

I love being the mentor to so many through my blog entries…I receive email from many readers who are appreciative and thoughtful in their kind comments. I savor those words when I am feeling a bit defeated or even overwhelmed.

So what have I been doing over the past few weeks that has kept me from posting much?

I have been working on a huge project, one that will be exciting to users of Harmony Fine Arts. I am working with a designer to build a completely new and reorganized website for Harmony Fine Arts. What a job! In the process of building the website, I have had to update many aspects. Grade by grade it is getting completed and soon….we hope… will be up and running.

School has been humming along for Mr. B and some days I honestly don’t do anything except listen to his narrations. We have done two art projects this week, one on our own and one as part of our homeschool art group.

O’Keeffe Floral Tissue Paper Collage

Miro Art Project – inspired by this Deep Space Sparkle lesson

Other Subjects

History: Continuing with our study of the 1960’s, Mr. B did some research and writing about Malcolm X which was totally interesting to both of us. This is a historical era that is so deep in contradictions and even as an adult it is hard to process the thinking.

 Literature and Poetry: Still working through The Canterbury Tales, gathering notes in anticipation of a writing project. We enjoyed reading and listening to some Rudyard Kipling poetry this week and Mr. B worked on a little poetry analysis and a biography.


Listening to Schumann. (

Human Anatomy: Working through the respiratory system with reading, researching, and his dvd course, Understanding the Human Body: An Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology.

PE: Fitness and Weightlifting at the community college, mountain biking with friends at the lake, and soccer with friends at the park.

Calculus: Still marching on….not thrilled with this at this point but he is muscling through. 

Yes, it has been a good week. Someone asked after my last wrap-up if things are as positive in our homeschool as I make them appear in my posts and I had to answer that they truly are. We are in a good place with our learning and Mr. B and I rarely have issues. He isn’t perfect and neither am I but we work together to make learning meaningful and interesting.

It is possible to homeschool through high school and really enjoy it.

I promise it can happen.

Poetry: Pleasant Pictures and Word Painting

“…you must let him realize that when you go with him for a country walk, you can add a charm to the brook or the meadow, or the oak tree, or the wild rose, by a familiar quotation, and his taste will not be long in forming itself. This taste should be formed, or should be in process of forming, before the child goes to school.”
Parents’ Review Archive-The Teaching of Poetry to Children, volume 12 1901.

In my experience, children have no trouble writing when they have something interesting to write about. As part of the Outdoor Hour Challenge this month, I created a free printable to help families try their hand at writing a poem or two on the subject of trees. The key to getting a meaningful poem is to have your children have an experience to relate, help them find just the right words, and then provide a place to record their creation.

Of course, if you keep a nature journal you have the perfect spot to make a written record of your time outdoors and sometimes include an original poem.

If your child has trouble coming up with a poem they want to make a part of their nature journal, you can help them find a poem to copy into their journal. Copywork is a wonderful way to introduce poetry and increase poetic vocabulary. The poems will model great language and show how to use just a few words to make a mental image of an outdoor experience. You can find two free sources of seasonal poetry in my blog entry from yesterday: Poetry in Your Nature Journal.

Not everyone is a poet….not everyone wants to write poetry. But, if you familiarize your child with a few great poems they may eventually come to appreciate this form of creative expression.

We can always hope.

Please visit and share with us at the CM blog carnival! We'd love to have you!
I am submitting this entry to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and if you have any entries you would like to submit, you can send them to this email address: [email protected]. The official blog carnival site is not working so you will need to send them directly to this email.

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