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Charlotte Mason’s original six-volume series is a wealth of ideas, encouragement, and good humor. The books are not easy reading, but they are rich reading. You will gain much insight and confidence if you spend even ten minutes a day reading and then narrating to yourself what you have read.
I often get asked, “Which volume should I start with?” Each book in the series has a definite focus. Once you know each one’s focus, you have a good framework for choosing the one that will encourage you most during a particular season of life.
So here is a quick overview of the six volumes in the Original Home Schooling Series.
- Home Education (Volume 1) focuses on the training and educating of children under nine. In it you will discover
- how to encourage growth in your child mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically;
- practical and simple ideas for enjoying time outdoors;
- the power of good habits and how to cultivate them in your child;
- how to create the best growing ground for your preschooler;
- natural and effective methods for educational lessons in your child’s elementary years;
- ideas to help you strengthen your child’s will and instruct his conscience.
- Parents and Children (Volume 2) explores the important role of the parent in the education of the child. In it you will be reminded of the role of parents as
- rulers, using your God-given authority to establish a secure family environment;
- inspirers, nourishing your child’s mind and heart with ideas;
- schoolmasters, equipping your child with the discipline of good habits;
- trainers, shaping and correcting your child’s character;
- instructors, educating your child morally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
- School Education (Volume 3) presents Charlotte’s ideas on developing a curriculum. In it you will explore how you can give your child the best education through
- the atmosphere of your home, including how you handle your role as an authority;
- your view of your child as a whole person;
- intentional physical, intellectual, moral, and religious training;
- great ideas presented in living books;
- a wide variety of natural objects to be handled and observed;
- opportunities to form relations with everything that is suitable for him.
- Ourselves (Volume 4) encourages growth through improving character and conscience. Written for young people, it is divided into two books and gives vital guidance for self-knowledge and self-direction. Your older student will
- learn about himself as he explores the inner workings of the Kingdom of Mansoul;
- receive wise counsel regarding his body, mind, and heart;
- gain new understanding of his conscience and how it works;
- discover how to make good choices with his will;
- be encouraged to grow in his faith and knowledge of God.
- Formation of Character (Volume 5) delves into shaping the child’s personality through incidental, rather than structured, education and circumstances. In this collection of mainly living stories you will gain wisdom for many areas of everyday life, including
- dealing with temper tantrums;
- helping a child learn to pay attention and focus;
- curbing sulking and pouting or the cold-shoulder treatment;
- handling a child who repeatedly lies or forgets what he has been told;
- getting the most out of holidays and vacation times;
- guiding graduated children still living at home.
- A Philosophy of Education (Volume 6) reveals how curiosity is the pathway to creative learning. Written in two books, it explains the Charlotte Mason approach and cites results in students using her approach. In it you will find solid principles and practical methods that make education simple yet effective. Discover
- what it means to view a child as a person;
- how to educate through atmosphere, discipline, and life;
- the roles of the Will and Reason in a child’s life;
- how curriculum should impart knowledge of God, of man, and of the universe;
- the best methods for encouraging children to grow in that knowledge.
We consider it a privilege to be able to make the entire Original Home Schooling Series available to you in the Authorized Version. This version gives you page replicas of the complete text as originally published, so you can be sure every word is authentic and accurate.
Our wide-margin study edition features many special touches to help you dig in and study Charlotte’s original writings for yourself or in a group. The text on the original page scans has been enlarged and meticulously restored for ease of reading. Wide margins are given for note-taking, so you have plenty of room to record the relations that you are making and document your growth as you study. This Authorized Version keeps the original page numbers, so you can easily look up favorite quotations and cited references—great for study groups!
Now that you know what is in them, which volume are you going to start with?