Because I’m interested in Charlotte Mason’s ideas on education (her philosophy includes reading great living books, teaching children ideas, learning directly from nature and observation, narration, and character training) as you remember from my recent review of a book about her thoughts on habit training, I began reading through Charlotte Mason’s original writings on education.
The first volume in this six volume set, Home Education, is jam packed with helpful and detailed information about teaching children from birth through age nine gently but rigorously. I got so much out of this volume and took so many notes that I can’t list them in this review, but I particularly appreciated the detailed descriptions of how to use nature study to teach children beginning science and geography, as well as the habits of attention and careful observation, ideas on how to integrate beginning language study for young children, and how to teach many things without requiring onerous hours at a desk. Small children need lots of time to play and explore, and I think it’s helpful to think about ways to teach them a lot without handicapping their natural sense of wonder and need for free childhoods.
The book was originally written for parents whose children learned at home with their mother or a governess until being sent away to boarding school, so the ideas in this book are both useful for homeschoolers and for parents whose children aren’t in school yet.
Home Education is not a book to read quickly, and might best be enjoyed and absorbed in smaller sections, but I do think it’s a valuable and worthwhile resource and I highly recommend it. My links in this post are to the entire series available on Amazon – you may be able to find the single volume available from other sellers, but the set is 50% off and the best value I found. I’ll be reviewing the other books in the set as I get through them.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.