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Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival – How To Use School Books

Welcome to the latest edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival!

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

Homeschooling today may look different on the outside than it did back when Charlotte Mason was alive on the earth. But, when you get to the heart of homeschooling, the nitty gritty of teaching children, it comes down to just a couple of things that have remained the same. Choosing good books to expose your children to during their growing years and then offering those books in a way that make them reach their hearts.

Charlotte Mason shared her thoughts on this topic in Volume 3 of her writings. I invite you to take a few minutes and read through the information, gleaning some new points to apply in your teaching. Volume Three Chapter 16: How to Use School Books You can see the previous Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival on this same theme from earlier this month here: I Will Lift Up My Eyes Unto The Hills

Narration question cards

Here is an entry from my archives: Forming a Good Question: A Different Kind of Narration. In this post I share how I applied one of the thoughts in the How To Use School Books section of Volume 3.

“My son would read one of his books, mark down some notes as he read in the margins of the book, and then instead of completing his usual oral or written narration or summary of the information covered, he would make up two to three questions about what he had just read. This gave him a new way to internalize the new information and facts he had covered for the day.”

Charlotte Mason to the rescue

I would also invite you to read this important post from my archives: Is It Me Or Is It Them? Charlotte Mason’s Ideas to the Rescue. I hope you find my revelation helpful in your family.

“We have worked on habits and made a good base for our current studies. They know how to read and write with confidence. All along the way we have encouraged them to think and ask questions. Now as teenagers, they are going to be expected to work a little harder, to “make judgments and discriminate”.



Mama Squirrel from Dewey’s Treehouse shares the first installment based on the carnival’s topic: Using School Books With Charlotte Mason. In this entry she gets right to the heart of the matter, sharing a few points that shed some light on the application of the information in Volume 6.  I invite to read a thought from her article below and then continue to read for gems to apply in your family.

“We are looking for subjects and studies that encourage the development of intellectual habit and “muscle,” but (she says about three times here), it’s not about “faculties,” it’s about “persons” and relationships.  Making connections.  Discovering “other minds.”


French Notebook Journey and Destination

Next there is a post from Carol from Journey and Destination: French Lessons, Vocabulary and Folk Songs. In this post, you will find some practical tips and resources to use with your family, including her French Notebook.

“This year I’ve started keeping a French notebook. Better late than never and I must say that it has been very helpful. I was inspired by the words above to make our French language learning more in keeping with the ideas Charlotte Mason had on foreign language acquisition.”

Archipelago grab button 3

Now for Anne White’s entry from the Archipelago blog: Making Sense of Everybody’s Learning. She shares some thoughtful reflections on the book, Making Sense of Adult Learning.

“In other words, it’s not about the teacher, and it’s not even (primarily) about the content: it’s about the meaning and connections that the student makes with that content.  The science of relations, self-education.”

Chickory from Joyous Lessons

Celeste from Joyous Lessons is hoping you enjoy her entry: Nature Study Outing-Tiny Finds at the Park. They found some new things to learn about on their refreshing nature outing.

“I promised them a half hour swinging and sliding if we spent a few minutes hunting down wildflowers first.  It was a fruitful little outing; we found a new flower for our life list…”


Our family enjoyed has enjoyed keeping track of our summer birds. I invite you to pop over and read all about it on the Handbook of Nature Study: Summer Bird List 2014.

“The bird story of the summer is the story of the house finch. We have discovered that in the evening, just at dusk, we have a flock of house finches flying from all directions to roost for the night in our Sweet Gum tree on the side of the house.”

Classical Mamas Read - Home Education

My friend Amy Maze over at Living and Learning is hosting a Charlotte Mason themed link-up. Participants are reading through the Home Education book by Charlotte Mason. I invite you to pop over and take a look at each of the chapter’s discussions.

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

You can contribute to the next Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival by sending in your CM related entries to this email address: [email protected]

The next edition will be at Simply Charlotte Mason!

Make Geography Study More Meaningful

Making Your Geography Study More Meaningful

Five Ways We Made Geography More Meaningful

“But the mother, who knows better, will find a hundred opportunities to teach geography by the way…”Charlotte Mason Volume 1 page 72

1. Don’t just add places to a map as part of a geography project…pick one of those places and research it. Share your work with the whole family.

From my blog on March 1, 2009:

“We just recently made changes to our geography assignments each week. Instead of completing the suggested maps, the boys pick a place from their reading each week and do a little quick research on it to share at our Friday meetings. This week one son picked the Ural Mountains and one picked the Bering Sea. We are learning so much more this way compared to when we were trying to complete whole maps as put into the TOG plans. Following the TOG suggestions were bogging us down. The boys would rather know something interesting about one particular place than a whole lot of nothing about a lot of places.”

2. Use notebook pages for customized learning about a geographical location.

Geography notebook page high school

3. Keep a large world map in plain sight to refer to as often as possible.

Wall map geography plans

4. Include a study of the plants and animals of a country when completing a geography project.

Children are naturally interested in animals from far away places that are different than your local creatures so let them use that as a way to learn about geography and habitats.

Animal High school notebook pages

5. Use geographical references when going places and taking hikes. Your local geography is just as important as learning about places far away.

“The first ideas to learn are that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Just by knowing this he’ll be able to tell in which direction nearby streets and buildings are from his house or the town.” Charlotte Mason Vol. 1 page 74

These are just a few of the many ideas we used during our High School Geography. You can read more in detail with a free downloadable geography curriculum in this post:

Harmony Art Mom’s High School World Geography

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].

Renaissance Art Printable

Harmony Fine Arts Renaissance Art printable unit

Renaissance art is a joy to offer to our children and a time period rich in great artists. Every child should learn to recognize the famous paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo! When children start at a young age to view great art, they develop an appetite for more as the years go by.

I found a mini-unit stuck away in my archives that I would love to share this week. I updated a bit of the information and it is all ready for you to download, print and share with your family.

You will find printable art prints (small size), a mini-book about Renaissance art, a notebooking page, and two coloring pages in this Renaissance Art mini-unit.

Here is the download link:

Renaissance Art Printable from Harmony Fine Arts

Harmony Fine Arts Renaissance Art Printable 2013

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