“Which Idea Did You Use First?”

A number of years ago, Catherine Levison published a print newsletter, The Charlotte Mason Communique’.  Levison did a survey of her readers to find out how they were personally applying Charlotte Mason methods in their homeschools. It’s interesting to see what others are doing in their CM home schools.

Here are two of the survery questions with some of the actual responses from Levison’s newsletter readers:


QUESTION #1
**Which CM concept did you first try with your children?**
[Editor’s Note: Many people chose two or more concepts, resulting in the percentages equaling more than 100%.]

Reading aloud and/or using literature — 58%
Narration — 38%
Nature notebooks — 16%
Short lessons — 16%
Art — 8%
Music — 6%
Habits — 2%
Century book — 2%


QUESTION #2
**What is the most positive reaction or change you’ve seen in your children since using the CM method?**

“Education is becoming a way of life in our home, as natural as combing one’s hair or brushing one’s teeth.”

“More attention to the details of God’s creation.”

“In the last few months I have noticed much improvement [with narration], she is beginning to self-correct during her narrating.”

“They show high initiative on completing independent book work and ever increasing enthusiasm in diving into group subjects.”

“They are familiar and ‘at home’ with artists, composers, poets and great authors.”

“Their confidence in themselves has grown because they can each function at their own level and not be pushed ahead until they are ready to advance. And they love beauty — in music, nature, words, life!”

“Retention, attention, but mostly he no longer says, “I hate school.”

“My daughter has come to really appreciate the value of classical literature, the study of artist and composers.”

“They love to read and listen and have wonderful imaginations; they see things outdoors that I don’t even notice.”

“This is the only method we’ve used — but I think children would benefit in general from being treated as an intelligent human being who has the capacity to learn great things. Children who are not talked down to, but are thought of as ‘persons’ will live up to it.”

“We are all more relaxed!! The boys have more time to play.”

“It has helped my shy six-year-old son to talk more when asked during narration, and memorizing is getting easier for both children.”

“They know how to learn anything on their own by reading books.”

“Having my six year old son tell me Shakespeare wrote good stories is exciting.”

“The emphasis on habits, on observation, on reading excellent books carries beyond my teaching time to the rest of their lives.”

“Writing is not a hardship. The amount they narrate orally (with detail) compared to what they would write on their own is impressive to me. They love our nature walks and picture study.”

“It has improved attitude when they know exactly how much time they will be spending on a subject.”

“They enjoy learning: the variety has brought life to our home school [through] reading, art, music, and nature!”

“A love for reading and a genuine appreciation for good literature and good books in general. My children can intuitively tell the difference between good living books and twaddle even though I don’t believe they consciously know the definitions for these two terms.”

“They read constantly! When we go to bookstores they immediately grab a book and splat down on the floor perhaps we should improve our manners a bit on this but it always makes me smile! There is also a big reaction in me. I’m reading all the classics, even Shakespeare, and I’m enjoying music and art!”

“I think the concept of developing good habits and breaking bad ones has had a very positive effect. … Using shorter lessons has helped to break the habit of dawdling. It is one we have to keep working on, but I have seen a tremendous change.”

“I know [my son] is really learning with narration. I tried to read him a short story but before I could get going, he stopped me and informed me that I had read that to him several months ago. He narrated it perfectly to me to prove it.”

“My children feel more a part of the schooling, less teacher preaching and more student involvement.”

“The complaining has almost come to a stop. They even say I don’t work them as hard — but the funny thing is they are learning more.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catherine Levison — long-time homeschooling mother of five and popular conference speaker to parenting and educational audiences throughout the USA and Canada — is the author of several books on Charlotte Mason-style home education.  Visit Catherine online at:   http://www.catherinelevison.com/

You can order Levison’s books online at:

  1. A Charlotte Mason Education: A How-to Manual
  2. More Charlotte Mason Education
  3. A Literary Education: An Annotated Book List

NOTE: Stop by and “Like” Charlotte Mason Home Education on Facebook!  :-)


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One response to ““Which Idea Did You Use First?”

  1. It’s no longer just about her completing work, and me grading work, day in and day out. It’s no longer a challenge, or a chore. It is enjoyable, valuable time, We are both learning together, growing closer, and enjoying our relationship as mother and daughter. It just happens to be school. But it’s our lifestyle now. God has blessed us with the ability to home school!

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