- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Charlotte Mason Research & Supply Company; First Edition edition (January 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1889209023
- ISBN-13: 978-1889209029
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning(TM) First Edition Edition
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About the Author
Karen Andreola is the author of the perennial bestseller A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning™. The Andreolas created The Gentle Art of Learning™ as their company brand as it represents their personal interpretation and application of the Charlotte Mason method of education during the years they homeschooled their children from kindergarten through grade 12. The Andreolas were responsible for the modern day revival of the Charlotte Mason method of education dating back to 1988 when they republished Charlotte Mason's 6 vol. Original Homeschooling Series. The modern day Charlotte Mason movement has been based largely on Karen's practical interpretations and writings. Karen was editor of the Parents' Review Magazine for Home Training and Culture for 6 years, conducted and promoted home support groups, wrote for Practical Homeschooling Magazine, Homeschooling Today, and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She has been a keynote speaker for the Charlotte Mason method, The Gentle Art of Learning™, along with other topics such as parenting and Mother Culture®. She is also one of America's most respected homeschool product reviewers. Her other books include: Pocketful of Pinecones, Lessons at Blackberry Inn, Simply Grammar, Story Starters, and a revision of the classic Beautiful Girlhood. Ladies will enjoy reading her inspiring blog: Moments with Mother Culture®.
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Top customer reviews
Andreola is very interested in the Charlotte Mason method and her passion for the method comes through clearly. She is very thorough in her discussions about ways to put into practice Ms. Mason's theories. One of my favorite things about this book is that first and foremost it focuses on the importance of a happy and healthy home and family life for raising children. The backbone here is teaching the children respect, values, and virtues. Once those foundations are in place then it is time for introducing "school subjects".
All the components of the over 100-year-old Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling is here: using living books instead of textbooks, using narration instead of testing, teaching reading, writing, music, nature study, poetry, history and music. This book is so well written. It is not a quick read manual of how to implement the Charlotte Mason method; it is a well-thought out series of essays and personal reflections. Many times while reading the book I wanted to highlight passages and makes notes in the borders. This is a book to buy and keep for future reference. Even if you are homeschooling with Charlotte Mason's method as an inspiration this book is useful. The book heavily refers to Christianity but if that is not your belief system I feel you can still apply everything to your homeschooling, just ignore the references to Christianity.
Andreola repeatedly states that she didn't intend this book to be a replacement of Charlotte Mason's original books and she urges the reader to go on to read Mason's books as well. I think Andreola's book is a great introduction and if you want more then go on to read Mason's works.
Addendum: This addendum is being written 18 months after my original review was posted. Even after reading this book I felt a little confused about the day to day planning of how to homeschool with this method. This missing link was bridged by attending a workshop given by another author/homeschooling parent named Catherine Levison, which was an oral presentation of the information presented her book called "More Charlotte Mason Education". If you want a quick read that focuses on the bare bones of how to do the Charlotte Mason method (not theory) then I suggest reading "More Charlotte Mason Education".
If you are looking for a faster read about the theory of Charlotte Mason education then I'd recommend either Catherine Levison's "A Charlotte Mason Education" or Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's "For the Children's Sake". Andreola's book "A Charlotte Mason Companion" is wonderful reading when you have the time and desire to ponder over her thought-provoking passages.
I am now in a book discussion group where we are reading Andreola's "A Charlotte Mason Companion" together and discussing it. We read the sections aloud and stop to discuss our thoughts, and when the chapter is finished, we discuss the questions that Andreola provides at the end of every chapter. This discussion group has been enjoyable and an invaluable source of support and fellowship between other mothers homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method.