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Charlotte Mason Study Guide Paperback – April 1, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"It was taking me forever to read through all of Charlotte Mason's The Original Homeschooling Series. Then I came across Penny's book. What a delight to read a condensation of Mason's most important ideas! Most of all, I enjoyed the many hands-on articles to help me get started with "living" books and narration. This is one book to read over and over." -- Tina Crowder, home educator and author

"Mrs. Gardner, I had to tell you how pleased I am with your book. I purchased the original six-volume set several years ago, but ended up selling it as I found it too hard to digest. I was searching for something, a way to teach our children. About a year ago I found a CM loop on the internet. I knew this was the way for us, but I was still afraid to try to comprehend the series by Ms. Mason. Then someone suggested your book. Finally it all made sense! You took the nuggets from Miss Mason and put them in a condensed, logical format that made it easy for this beginner to understand. Thank you for making my transition to Miss Mason's writings easier! I highly recommend your book to everyone interested in CM methods or anyone just looking for a better way!" -- Rhonda Warren, homeschool mother

"Penny's book is a helpful addition to any home school library. It simplifies the task of topically studying Charlotte Mason's philosophies. I appreciate having Charlotte's exact quotes so readily available. Indispensable for Charlotte Mason support groups." -- Catherine Levison, author of A Charlotte Mason Education

"Charlotte Mason's many pages of original writings my overwhelm some busy parents. But Penny presents to us little bites to chew, coated with the sugar of her personal fondness for Charlotte's ideas. She has arranged paragraphs of Charlotte's own words into study topics. This makes it a helpful companion to The Original Homeschooling Series and a delightful introduction to the educational philosophy of my heroine. Thanks, Penny, for providing home educators [and all parents] a taste of something so good for them." -- Karen Andreola, author of A Charlotte Mason Companion

From the Author

Traveling the Scenic Byway

Some of the roads we travel as we educate our children are arduous, making us weary. Following the Charlotte Mason road is a gentle trip in the English countryside. Miss Mason built this road in 1885 and continued to work on it until her death in 1923. But the road didn't close; others who had experienced this lovely journey continued using and promoting Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education. During the past dozen years, home educators and classroom teachers in the United States have discovered this enchanting country lane.

Nature studies, the arts, great literature, building noble characters, and knowing our Lord are some of the materials of its pavement. Miss Mason said, "To form in his child right habits of thinking and behaving is a parent's chief duty.... To nourish a child daily with loving, right, and noble ideas... is the parent's next duty.... The child, having once received the idea, will assimilate it in his own way, and work it into the fabric of his life.... Nourish him with ideas which may bear fruit in his life."

Charlotte Mason wrote The Original Homeschooling Series, a six-volume set. But now there is a less time-consuming option. The Charlotte Mason Study Guide: A Simplified Approach to a "Living" Education is a condensation of Miss Mason's works. It also contains current writings on how to apply this philosophy in today's home schools. This book is the perfect companion to the series or it can stand independently for those who do not own Miss Mason's books.

For now, this is a road less traveled. As the word spreads, it will become a more popular route-though no less pleasant. The Charlotte Mason Study Guide is the map to help you find your way as you travel this scenic byway to a great education.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 167 pages
  • Publisher: P. Gardner (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576360393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576360392
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Penny Gardner, an experienced teacher with degrees in Elementary Ed and Music Ed, is author of The Nine-Note Recorder Books; Charlotte Mason Study Guide; and Italics: Beautiful Handwriting for Children.

When Penny wanted to teach her daughter music she chose the recorder, an inexpensive and easy-to-play instrument. After purchasing several "beginner" books, she realized that could not find a method that she liked. Knowing that she could do better, she wrote a book for beginning students.

The Nine-Note Recorder Method is a book for any beginner, regardless of age or musical background, and is used in schools and colleges, as well as by individuals at home. See the video overview of the Nine-Note Method on Penny Gardner's page.

Penny's favorite past time is playing recorders and viola da gamba in local groups, including a performing Renaissance group. She loves reading, writing, nature, hiking, yoga, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I wish I had discovered this book earlier in my journey into researching Charlotte Mason's methods and philosophies of education. It provides such a wealth information about what Charlotte Mason actually said and taught through her own extensive writings. The topics covered in this book include: child-rearing and discipline, habits and character, the habit of attention, narration, the way of the will, the way of the reason, goals of education, the 3R's, geography and history, the arts, outdoor education, nature notebooks, and much more. For people who want to read Charlotte Mason's six-volume set, this study guide could provide just the helping hand needed to dig into Mason's writings for themselves. Gardner's book would also make an excellent outline for use in a support/study group setting. If you're seriously interested in learning all you can about Charlotte Mason and her educational methods, I recommend that you read Catherine Levison's books for the practical how-to's, Karen Andreola's book for inspiration, and by all means make certain you have a copy of Penny Gardner's book on your shelf so you can delve into Charlotte Mason's writings and thoughts for yourself. You'll be glad you did!
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Format: Paperback
If you love the Charlotte Mason method, then you will want to grovel at Penny Gardner's feet after reading this book. She has given us an invaluable tool for implementing the sometimes hard to understand nuisances found in CM's Original Home Education Series.
Think of this book as a Study Guide for each volume. It takes most, if not all, of the most important quotes from the entire series, and arranges them into 20 different "Study Topics". The topics include quotes taken from the series, testimonials from other CM users who have been successful in implementing the particular subject, insights and prose from Penny Gardner herself, and quotes from scripture. All of these elements work cohesively to create a much deeper understanding of the topic, thus eliminating most of the frustration one endures when first reading CM's original work. There is even an in-depth chapter on Narration, the cornerstone of Charlotte Mason's philosophy.
I found every chapter (Study Topic) to be a rewarding reading experience. I felt as if I knew exactly what I was suppose to do and how I was suppose to do it. All confusion was eliminated. If you own, or a planning to purchase, Charlotte Mason's Original Home Education Series, then you most definitely need this book.
5 Stars (plus more) for keeping the dream alive...Thanks Penny!
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Format: Paperback
Penny Gardner has given a great service to educators who want to learn more about Miss Mason. She has taken the golden nuggets of Charlotte Mason's lectures and articles, condensing and reorganizing them into study topics. This makes Miss Mason's methods much easier to understand and impliment. Thank you, Penny, for saving us time and effort in our studies! Now we can get down to the business of teaching our children with simplicity and good sense.
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Usually the Charlotte Mason books assume that one has read the six-volume 19th century writings of this important educator. Penny Gardner has done us the favor of distilling important quotes while weaving them into her analysis and application of the Mason method into the subject areas that all homeschooling parents worry about. My big problem with this book, as with others dealing with the same subject, is that it leaves the homeschooling parent hanging into how to compile an adequate portfolio for our students in states that require such reporting. It also does not adequately explain how the Charlotte Mason approach to education can be applicable in the all important high school years. On balance, though, the book is one of the best introductions to the subject I have read.
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Format: Paperback
I think the title is a bit misleading. This book is a wealth of information in and of itself! I read it after I had already read all of the Original 6 Volumes by CM herself. This handy litte book by Penny Gardener is a treasure chest for anyone intersted in pursuing this method of education. It is well written in "bite-size" pieces and easy to read/understand. It is very compact and we are using it in our monthly support meetings with great success.
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