What Is the Charlotte Mason Method Anyway?

The Charlotte Mason method of education is the most child-friendly form of homeschooling.


Maybe you've heard of the Charlotte Mason method in homeschool circles, but didn't really know what it is.  This is a brief overview to give you more insight into this child-friendly form of education. #homeschool #charlottemason

Who Was Charlotte Mason?

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who spent her entire life improving the quality of education for children. Although she taught in schools, her methods of teaching are one of the primary methods of homeschooling being used today.

Charlotte Mason's thoughts on education, having filled 6 volumes, cannot possibly be written here. However, I have created a "simple" explanation.

Top Instagram Spots In Atlanta

Atlanta, GA, USA

If you’re on a mission to share some fun new photos from Atlanta with your Instagram feed, this post is for you!

Top Instagram Spots in Atlanta

As many of you know, I spent a few months in Georgia this year. One of the passions I pursued, during that time, was downtown exploring. In fact, downtown exploring, along with hiking, is the focus on my Instagram account.
Isn't it fun to find just the right shot? You probably enjoy finding just the right spot for Instagram pics, too.

While you won’t struggle to find a worthy spot to snap a photo of in the city, there are some places that stand out as excellent places to capture the moment - especially if you’re only in town for a quick visit. From unique street art and impressive architecture to hidden gems and picture-perfect meals, Atlanta has a lot to offer photographers of all skill levels.

If you’re on the hunt for the top Instagram spots in Atlanta, make sure these locations are on your list:


Your Homeschool Kids Are Going To Be Weird

Your homeschool kids are weird.
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"Your kids will be weird if you homeschool them."

While you may not hear that statement from a homeschool parent, you may hear it from someone who doesn't approve of homeschooling.


I know I have.


Well, guess what! It's true! Your kids will be weird if you homeschool them.


I've homeschooled five kids over the last 17 years. Those kids are currently ages 30, 28, 25, 17 and 13. 


In all those years, I've noticed some differences between kids who go to school and kids who don't.



A Simple Way to Include Music Appreciation in Your Homeschool

composer-biographies

If you've been a long-time reader here, you know I'm all about fine arts in the homeschool.

Music, art, composers, artists - I write about them all the time. I've raised several artists and composers.


It's what we do here.


So when I was approached to review Zeezok Publishing's music appreciation curriculum, I couldn't have been more excited!



How Much Time Does Homeschooling Really Take?

mom and child homeschooling


"I could never homeschool. I don't have enough time."

  • Maybe you're a single mom.
  • Maybe you have to work outside the home.
  • Maybe you have a large family.
Not having enough time is a common reason for not homeschooling. 

Does homeschooling really take a lot of time? Is it necessary to school the children for 6 or 7 hours each day? How does that work?



Winter Nature Studies Made Easy

Whether you're new to nature studies, or an old pro, this nature study curriculum is simply the best!

Winter Nature Studies Made Easy

Deciding it's important to conduct nature studies in the winter is one thing. Knowing how to do it is an entirely different thing.

If you're new to nature studies, or have run out of ideas - or maybe you just need an out-of-the-box feel to your nature studies, this is your day!


For years, I've used a curriculum that helped me truly get a grasp on the entire concept of nature studies in our homeschool. Better yet, I continued to use them even after I understood. It's a real time-saver when someone else has done all the work for you. (As a single mom, I need to save as much time as possible!)

Are You Following These 10 Secular Homeschool Blogs?

woman at computer


Secular homeschool blogs are difficult to find.


Although my homeschool is definitely not secular, I try to keep my homeschool materials as religion-free as possible. 
(This post at BookShark answers the question "Why Would Christians Choose a Secular Homeschool Curriculum?")


For those of you who prefer secular homeschool blogs, I've created this roundup for you. But first, since you've landed here, you may be new to this blog, so let me share a little about it.

10 Things You Need to Do Before You Begin Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a fantastic journey! Get off on the right foot with this to-do list.

Considering homeschooling? Here's a list of things you need to do before you start.


You've decided to homeschool, but where do you begin?


Buy textbooks? Choosing curriculum? Transforming a room into a classroom?


Maybe you'll do those things, but there are a few important things you need to do before diving into those activities.


I wish someone had told me these ten things. So I'm telling you now.


10 Resources for the Charlotte Mason Homeschool

charlotte mason resources

The Charlotte Mason method is a popular choice for many homeschool families. I've been using it in our homeschool since 2009. My only regret is that I didn't discover it 10 years earlier.

It has been a tremendous blessing to us.

Every now and then, I like to share Charlotte Mason resources. Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorites.

Changes in Our Homeschool Journey through the Years

One mom shares the many detours in her homeschool journey.

I don't know if you've ever noticed, but I always refer to our homeschool experience as a journey. That's how I picture it.

I picture it as a road, winding through beautiful, scenic landscapes. What we will see or do along the way remains to be seen.


Just like any journey, homeschooling consists of smooth riding, bumps in the road, and plenty of detours. Sometimes, we just stop to take a rest and learn from the world around us.

The Week I Became a Grandma (again) and Remembered Home School Is a Lie


I'm a Grandma! (again)

Eight days ago, my newest grandchild made her way into the world weighing a whopping 10lbs 11oz and measuring over 22 inches long.

Yep. She's a big girl! 

Why this Teen Girl Should Inspire You to Bust the Stigma of Mental Illness

Find out how this teenage girl showed her support of Mental Illness Awareness Week with her art at www.HeartofMichelle.com #BustTheStigma #SayItForward #MentalHealthAwarness

Alexis is a quiet 16-year-old girl. She keeps to herself and spends a lot of time drawing. She doesn't care for conflict, avoiding it at almost all costs. She always strives to be polite, respectful and to not hurt anyone's feelings. She can get along with most people with no problem.

She's a peaceable girl.


She's a Quiet Girl, but Speaks up When Necessary

On Monday, Alexis was telling me that someone she knows "doesn't believe in mental illness or at least she doesn't believe it's common."

I turned to her and said, "Uh, one in four. I just wrote a post about this today because it's Mental Illness Awareness Week. 1 out of 4 adults and 1 out of 5 children. 1 out of 17 of those has a serious mental illness like bipolar, schizophrenia or major depression. Not common? Quite the opposite."

We had a little discussion about all sorts of things. She's had several debates with friends about mental illnesses or even "disorders" that aren't mental illnesses, such as dyslexia and Asperger's. 


She's not afraid to tell it like it is. She doesn't hide from the conflict when it comes to helping others understand, or when she sees the need to bust the myths associated with a disorder.

She's bold when she has to be.

Our Learning Spaces 2014-15

This week I'm sharing  our homeschool spaces at the "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop.

{This post may contain affiliate links.}


This week School Room Week at the "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop! This is the week we hop around looking at everyone's learning spaces.


Our learning happens all over the place. Here are some examples of where we learn.

Use Local Resources to Teach Middle School Science


Local resources are a great way to make teaching homeschool science easier.

Thank you for joining me on Day 3 of my 5-day series "Super Easy Ways to Teach Middle School Science."


Online classes and nature studies are two ways to make teaching homeschool science to middle school kids easier. Another is taking advantage of local resources.

If I Could Get a Do Over on Homeschooling [A Letter to My Younger Self]

A homeschool mom writes a letter to her younger self warning of the mistakes she'll make an how to avoid them.

If I could write a letter to my younger self, warning of all my mistakes, what a letter it would be! I have no doubt its length would rival "War and Peace." Let's all be glad I'm not doing that.

What if, however, I could write a letter to my younger self about homeschooling?

I've learned many things in the fourteen years I've been homeschooling. Who wouldn't? I mean, if I haven't learned something in fourteen years, we have much bigger problems than my homeschool mistakes.

So what would I do if I had a homeschool do-over? Let's see....





How I Teach Language Arts to Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method

Teaching language arts can be simple with the Charlotte Mason method. Here's how one mom does it.
Original Photo Credit

This is my Day #1 in my 5-day series on How I Teach Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method. The topic today is "How I Teach Language Arts."


If you were to ask a school administrator or teacher what language arts is, you would most certainly receive a lengthy list of topics from the alphabet to phonics, parts of speech to essays.


The simple definition is this:

Language arts is the art of communicating. It includes listening, reading, speaking and writing. 
It's that simple. Teaching it is pretty simple, too.

How I Teach Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method



Have you ever wondered how to teach multiple ages? Or how to do it using the Charlotte Mason method?

When I first discovered the Charlotte Mason method, I was excited to realize I could teach both daughters, then ages 6 and 10, the same materials at the same time. What a time saver! 
Even better than saving time, it gave us educational family time. I treasure that the most.

7 Gift Ideas for Homeschool Moms

These 7 gift ideas will make any homeschool mom happy. #gifts #giftideas www.HeartofMichelle.com

What do you give the homeschool mom who has everything? (She does have everything, you know - family, children and the ability to educate them in their own environment.) 

Homeschool moms enjoy all the things any other mom does, of course... and then some.

Here are 10 ideas for gifts you could give to a homeschool mom. 

4 Reasons to Teach Composer Studies

Here are four good reasons to include composer studies in a homeschool curriculum.
A human being is endowed with an ear attuned to harmony and melody, with a voice from which music may issue, hands whose delicate action may draw forth sounds in enthralling sequence. With the ancient Greeks, we begin to realize that music is a necessary part of education.”   - Charlotte Mason
This is Day #1 in my 10-day series on Composer Studies for Young Scholars. Today, we're discussing reasons to teach composer studies. While many people think music and art are extra-curricular activities, they should be core curriculum. 

There are many reasons to conduct composer studies in our homeschools. Today, I share four of those reasons. 


#1. Music study has positive effects on cognitive development. 

There is compelling evidence which demonstrates music study improves fine motor control, motivation, creativity, self-discipline.

Have you ever found yourself able to do housework faster because music was playing? Have you ever found yourself inspired to write, draw, or do some other creative endeavor while music was playing? I know I have. This is something common to all humans. 


Our environment plays a huge part in the person our child becomes. Speaking of the principle, Education is an Atmosphere, Charlotte Mason said, "Selecting the best color scheme, the most harmonious sounds, beautiful objects, and considerate people will make a child grow up sweet, reasonable, and in harmony with his world."

Our Trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013


I meant to have this post published on Saturday. As you will see, I haven't been home, so here it is a couple of days late. 

In my life this week...

I've been away from home. I've been away from home a lot

Last week, we left on Wednesday to stay at my daughter's house. The following day, we departed for Georgia, to attend the Anime Weekend Atlanta con which was held Friday-Sunday. It was one of the greatest weekends we've ever had.

We returned on Monday evening. On Friday, we drove to Tampa to attend the ShadoCon Final Fantasy Ball. That didn't turn out well because we had some challenges that caused us to arrive quite late. Being late wasn't the problem. The problem was that event ended two hours earlier than we thought. The girls were disappointed but not nearly as upset as I would expect.

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