Good Habits, Great Books, and Guided Discovery

Charlotte Mason Education Fundamentals

You have, no doubt, heard of the 3 Rs when it comes to education: reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. (Why writing is considered an R, I don’t know, but let’s just keep going.) Those three Rs make it simple to summarize what the teacher is focused on giving the students.

Well, we came up with 3 Gs that seem to neatly summarize a Charlotte Mason education: good habits, great books, and guided discovery. Those three phrases capture a handy snapshot of what a CM parent should be giving her students.

  1. Good HabitsGood habits are wonderful servants. Bad habits are tyrannical masters. Charlotte Mason understood the power of habits in a person’s life, and her school methods were designed to reinforce good habits. This brilliant melding of home school and home life lays the foundation for learning and lays the path for future success.Good habits lead to good character.
  2. Great BooksStories have a way of making themselves at home in your mind. You can mull over a good story for days, examining it from different angles and poking around in its word pictures for truth that feeds your mind and influences your life. Well-written books that make the subject come alive—that touch the emotions and fire the imagination—those are the books that will give your child the idea that knowledge is supremely attractive and that reading is delightful.Great books foster a love of learning.
  3. Guided DiscoveryA child learns best through a combination of books and things. With guided discovery, you introduce worthy things to your child—things like beautiful art, excellent music, the wonders of God’s creation outdoors—and spotlight a particular aspect of it, then encourage the child to look closely and discover for himself.Guided discovery makes learning stick.

So next time you need a quick summary—next time a curious friend or a well-meaning relative asks, “What is Charlotte Mason?”—I hope the 3 Gs will give your discussion a succinct starting point: A Charlotte Mason education is about helping the child to grow through good habits, great books, and guided discovery.

The 3 Gs in the SCM Curriculum

The SCM Curriculum is committed to all 3 Gs. Habit-training is an integral part of our curriculum, and we have carefully pre-read and selected great living books for the whole family, grades 1–12. Our handy lesson plans walk you step-by-step through guiding your child to make discoveries of his own, to form personal relations for himself.

Take a look at our enjoyable and doable curriculum plans. You can start with any History Study, pair it with any Enrichment Study, and add the Individual Study for each grade level you need. Put those together and you have a complete Charlotte Mason curriculum plan for your school year!

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