Agreeing with pslively that I too am sorting this in my mind. I have not studied classical very much and obviously I am still learning about CM, so please take this for what it is worth. =) I have never seen an educational plan laid out in actual scripture that is like one we are familiar with - Wouldn't that be great?? - but we have plenty of people's versions of what they have learned. Obviously we all think our chosen method is the best - and it probably is for our individual families. However:
I think the need to defend CM with the Classical title comes from the pre-conceived notion that CM is tea parties and playing in fields every day and therefore is not of "real educational" benefit, and this is continually being brought out as a "CM education" with no additional studying of the philosophy and method. Those of us using this method understand that is not true - it is rigorous and demanding - and we don't like being made to feel "less than" some one else.
When you mention classical, there is a vague sense of deep mysteries and hard work and shadowy images of really smart people like Socrates, Plato, and Hippocrates floating around in these ideas...so combining all that emotionally makes it seem deeper and more rigorous. Especially when you consider the Sayer version of the trivium memorizing everything when the child is young (as opposed to letting children explore and make their own connections with the world around them) and on up. Just the names of the stages of learning in the triuium sound impressive and cool. In a conversation with "ordinary" people (read: not homeschooling outside the box people who are reading about it and researching it, lol) classical means a lot of "deep learning" about all those things that people did a long time ago that we hear about, but don't really understand very well. So a Classical Education sounds impressive. I had an experience with this the other day - I was talking with a lady who asked me what we were doing with school this year and mentioned that we were going to start Latin. She was so amazed by that she just assumed that we were brilliant. =) That is what I think that most people associate with the idea of a classical education. ;)
To me, Charlotte Mason advocated a classical education when she reminded us, (implored us really), to make sure that children are exposed to beautiful, enriching ideas that broaden a person's mind, opening up new worlds to a child's thirsty, inquiring minds. While many Ancients did not know God as taught today, their ideas and innovations are still at the very heart of so much of our world in terms of both beauty and education. The very beautiful artwork, the beginings of the understanding of the sciences, mathematics, medicene and anatomy, the fascinating world of written language was recorded and refined, and are still of benefit to us today. You can learn from them without rejecting Christ or your principles. I very much suspect that is why Charlotte was so adament about us teaching scripture and how the Spirit works while encouraging us to teach these other things. IF both are taught, children will be able to know what is truth and what is not because they will have the Biblical standards to measure with and the Spirit will teach them. So:
My personal idea is that I am teaching a Classical Education using the Charlotte Mason philosophy and methods by making sure that my children are exposed to beautiful, enriching ideas that open up new worlds to my children, while insuring that they are grounded in scripture.
Well, that's my goal, anyway. =)