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323 of 329 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2005
I've known that I want to homeschool my children since birth and have slowly but surely been devouring everything I can about the subject. I started by reading general guides on the subject of homeschooling, then progressed into some more specific books based on the methods and curriculum choices that appealed to me the most. I purchased Charlotte Mason's original series after reading Karen Andreaola's companion book (which is excellent). When I began reading Charlotte Mason's original work, I couldn't believe how much wisdom just oozed out of it. It seemed to be dripping from the pages. I interrupted my husband's reading and tv shows to share her pearls of wisdom about 20 times an hour while reading it. I have been totally impressed with her general philosophy but, now that I have read further, I'm even more impressed with the VERY specific instructions to the homeschooling mother. I mean, just her discussion of teaching children about geography and boundaries, including the use of a compass, was mind-numbingly useful. I absolutely recommend her books to anyone interested in incorporating Charlotte Mason techniques into their homeschool. So, where's the caution? All of the other reviewers are right. This is some heavy reading and the reviewer who said you need to read it little by little in order to digest the wisdom is completely correct. That does not mean that it is intimidating reading! It is simply packed to the gills with incredibly useful information. I would like to caution anyone considering buying this six volume set to first select a companion guide to read. I found that falling in love with the idea of Charlotte Mason instruction by reading a companion guide gave me the patience to read through the original works because I had a general idea of the wisdom contained therein. If I hadn't read a companion guide first, I might have grown impatient with the sheer weight of the originals. This may not be true for everyone, but I know it would have been for me. So, I recommend this without hesitation but with the recommendation to get your feet wet with a companion guide prior to reading the full set.
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177 of 183 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 1999
This six volume set is certainly not light reading, but it's well worth your time. Miss Mason was a widely read educator in Victorian England. She gathered ideas from many sources, and shared her conclusions on education with her readers. Her books are deep and thought provoking. She discusses everything from the proper amount of fresh air, to the development of good habits, the training of the will, the formation of character, to what sort of books contribute to a truly educated person. She also explains why to teach certain subjects as well as how. She is passionate about encouraging the natural love of learning in children. I do not agree with everything Miss Mason has to say, but I cannot recommend her more highly as wonderful reading for the serious home educator.
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128 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 1998
Well for those of you homeschoolers who have heard the name Charlotte Mason, this is it! This is her complete works written by Charlotte Mason herself. For those of you not familiar with this method of teaching and learning I will explain a little. A very basic definition is that she suggests a narrative method of learning. For just one exmple, a child reads a history lesson. The child then repeats back to you in his own words, what they have read. This assures comprehension of the material read. For those of you with reluctant writers, or younger children, this is great! Of course older children can write down what they have learned & experienced. She suggests studying the classics verus dry textbooks for learning. Similiar to that of a unit study approach. If you want the true Charlotte Mason method, this is all the material you will ever need.
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109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
**PLEASE NOTE: This review does NOT refer to the red/white or pink/white copies published by Charlotte Mason Research and Supply, even though Amazon is linking this review to them. Those publications are completely legitimate.**

Many *volunteers* for Ambleside Online spent thousands of hours typing and editing and making notations and proofreading all six volumes of Charlotte Mason's work, that they might be available free on the web. Now, someone seems to have cut and pasted all of the volunteer work into a single volume to make themselves a tidy sum. If you disagree with this sort of violation--cutting and pasting, and then publishing not just the public domain material, but also AO's own work, such as footnotes about baby care (which are NOT public domain, but the property of Ambleside Online), etc.--then I highly suggest you do not buy this. Read the material free on AO's website instead.

I look forward to the day that AO's work is made available free on Kindle, and edited to be professional, rather than such sloppy cutting and pasting.

It is one thing to type up your own copy of a public domain work, but quite another to capitalize on the work of others without their permission. Just because AO makes material available free on their website does not mean that others are free to take it and use it for their own profit.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2002
For those of you who want to have direct information, I strongly suggest reading this series. I borrowed and read five other books about Miss Mason's techniques but felt that I really needed to have the original. This series has not been disappointing. I will use this as reference material for many years to come and am so glad that I have been able to read through these books for myself. Please do not be fooled by the titles in the series and skip over any. The first one was especially useful. This is a MUST READ for ALL Homeschoolers.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2004
For those who are interested in Miss Mason's philosophy of education or are still forming their own, this set is "must" reading. Deep, intense, and serious in some places, the 6-book set is not a quick read. The series needs to be intellectually digested and the time of the writing held in context. Many of her turn-of-the-century examples can be wisely applied by a contemporary reader.
I read several other books about Miss Mason's method before I attempted to read the Original Series. A Charlotte Mason Companion, More Charlotte Mason Education, and Educating the Whole-hearted Child were good introductions to her method.
Reading the entire Original Series was a rewarding experience. I am reading them for the second time now and would recommend them to anyone interested in her method and philosophy.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2003
I had read comments in other books about Charlotte Mason's writings being very difficult to read, so I was nervous about getting her books. I read several of the companion books on the market before I decided to get these books. They are wonderful. They are not a quick, easy read, but they are full of wonderful, valuable information that the companion books don't give you. If you want to incorporate only a little of Charlotte Mason into your homeschool the companion books will probably be sufficient for you, but if you are serious about having a Charlotte Mason homeschool you should read these books for yourself.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2008
If you already know the basic premise of Charlotte Mason's philosophy on education, then you should be able to get through this series rather quickly. I skipped over much of her material since it is pretty antiquated. For example, I didn't feel I needed to read about the importance of outdoors or her dietary restrictions (no mustard, vinegar, pork or pastry...weird) not to mention how night air "quickens the blood". The best way to view this series is to skim it and pluck out the gems of wisdom regarding educating your children- I wouldn't follow her every recommendation to the letter. All in all, an essential read if you are planning on adopting the Charlotte Mason method.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2008
There is so much wisdom to be gained from reading these books! Often, homeschoolers buy the curriculum of choice, but never learn HOW to homeschool. The CM series contains practical advice for creating a love of learning that will last a lifetime and training future members of society with good habits and a "think for yourself" attitude that is often lost today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2009
I thought these would be a lot harder to follow, so I started with the Charlotte Mason Companion. I am glad I chose to read the originals. It was easy to grasp what Charlotte is trying to say even though some of the language different from how we talk today. There are so many good nuggets of information.
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