Seventeen years ago, when I first heard a description of the Charlotte Mason Method, my heart resonated with that brief snippet. If you had asked me then why I was drawn to CM above all the other approaches to homeschooling, I probably would have said that I loved its use of good living books.

But as with any long-lasting relationship, over the years I have grown to appreciate much more about CM than just what first attracted me to it. If you were to ask me now what I love about CM, my list would look something like this.

The Top Six Reasons I Love the Charlotte Mason Method

Through the years I have valued these aspects of a Charlotte Mason approach.

  1. CM is flexible.

    Because CM is a group of methods, not a set-in-stone curriculum, I have freedom to apply those methods as they best fit my family. I’m not locked in to covering specific material in a regimented time limit. I can use Charlotte’s methods as they work best in my situation.

  2. CM is portable.

    It’s so easy to take living books on the road! And electronic books and audiobooks make it doubly easy! We can do music study while we run errands, listening to our selected composer in the van. When we see a turtle by the side of the road, we can stop and do nature study along the way. CM is portable!

  3. CM is customizable.

    When I first began using the Charlotte Mason Method, I didn’t realize how many living books there were. You can find living books on so many subjects! And the best part is that if one doesn’t strike a chord with you, you can usually find another that does. It’s wonderful to have the freedom to customize.

  4. CM is interesting.

    Charlotte believed in giving the students a wide variety of subjects, not just the three R’s. This generous and liberal approach to learning keeps our days interesting. If things seem to be plodding along, it’s usually because I didn’t schedule the variety that Charlotte did. Add the variety back in, and the interest factor returns.

  5. CM is personal.

    So many of Charlotte’s methods reinforce the truth that the child is a person. Students are encouraged to form personal relations and connections with ideas, rather than memorizing data as a herd; to share those absorbed ideas touched with a bit of personality, rather than just regurgitating dry facts; to develop their own styles of composition, rather than following a formula. With the CM approach, my children have been encouraged to grow as individuals. With four unique daughters (one having special needs), I appreciate that CM is a personal approach.

  6. CM is balanced.

    Perhaps most of all, I love that the Charlotte Mason Method addresses the important aspects of life—growth, character, priorities, habits, spiritual—not just academics. It truly is a lifestyle; which makes sense, since education is about so much more than the mind.

What do you love about CM? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.

New Look for SCM Online Bookstore

Thanks for your patience while our online bookstore was unavailable for a few days. We were busy putting some changes into place that we think will make your shopping experience even more convenient and pleasant. Our new bookstore sports several great new features.

  • Now you can create an account that will keep a record of all your orders. You will be able to see what you have already purchased and when. Plus, the links to your purchased e-books and audio mp3 files will be stored there, so you will be able to log in and access those download links any time. If you already have a log-in for our SCM Forum, your account has already been created and you can use that same log-in to access it.
  • With the new ordering system, you will receive an e-mail when your order has shipped, so you will know that it’s on its way to you quickly.
  • Now it’s easier than ever to mail your order with a check. Simply select the “Mail a check” option when you check out, and it will walk you through the simple steps.
  • PayPal is no longer required for check out, but it is still an option for those who want to use it.

We’re excited about the new features of our online bookstore because they will help us serve you even better in the days ahead!


  1. CM frees me from overplanning and from planning the wrong things for my family. Her methods continue to encourage me to “get out of the way” of my kids’ learning. And the whole idea of living books? Well, I can thank her for helping me spread the feast before my kids, and for giving me the privilege of going along for the ride! 🙂

  2. I have “grown” into the CM method as I have taught my now 6th and 2nd grader. I also have a CM group in Montgomery, AL that meets once a month that has encouraged me in going the CM method. I love the nature study mindset – once we watched a hawk across the road from our house dive into the bushes “looking for breakfast” and who finally took off with a little sparrow in its talons. The girls came in and wrote about what they observed in this “nature” study and we looked up hawks online to see pictures of them. CM method lets us be spontaneous. It’s not tied to books all the time. We love using living books to learn by and not all the facts, facts, facts. But, real people who had real stories. We’ve been listening to James Harriett’s stories (the English vet) in our van as we go places. And, of course, getting your emails is always encouraging and gives me insights into the method. Thank you so much!

  3. I just want to say that I love everything I have learned for one huge reason! Some of us homeschooling moms feel like we are trying to reinvent the wheel. When I need counseling or advice, it’s so easy to go to the Bible. When I need sound schooling logic – I had nowhere to turn, until I stumbled upon Charlotte Mason. She resinated with my beliefs that we’re trying to hard and pushing our kids so hard that they don’t have time to develop a relationship with what we’re teaching them. I’m so excited to be released from the misconception that I will be leaving something out, when in fact, we will be gaining!!! With that said, knowing which subjects are “Inspirational” (like History and Science – let them develop that relationship) and which are “Disciplined” Subjects like Math, Grammar, etc… I feel capable, now more than ever, to help my children develop these relationships! Sonya, your conference in Fort Mill, was an honor to attend. I am finally feeling confident and competent to do what I love most – take care of my children. Thank you!

  4. I am beginning to see the long term benefits of the relationship building (in every way) principles of narration especially as my university-enrolled struggler student excitedly narrates of his new classes and asks for MY help as he edits and contemplates the effects of HIS living ideals being put into writing for others to respond to. It has amazed me to see what God has done through my meager efforts to experiment with implementation of CM ideals in heart and head aspirations -of student AND “teacher”. I look forward to more of that glue, the binding agent in learning of individual and corporate (family) motivation- indeed… mission.

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