CM Principles for Toddlers?

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  • Hi!

    I’m new here and have one child (so far). I am researching homeschooling approaches and learned about CM. My son is only a year old but are there CM principles that can be applied already? He has just begun walking so I know I will have to start disciplining him which is hard for me. I’m never sure how lax or strict to be. Thanks for any tips.

    Oh! And with the CM homeschooling approach do the kids become ready for university?


    Mama Asheri, an American mom in Tanzania, East Africa trying to figure things out on her own…


    Welcome Mama Asheri! 🙂

    Some of the CM principles that I use with my 17 month old so far..

    Lots of picture study ; we look at paintings, pictures, etc and I point things out with him such as the small bird painted in the tree, or the train far in the background, or the snowy mountaintop, etc.

    Paying close attention to nature and directing his attention to those things. Nightly we look out the window and point to the stars and the moon. Every morning we look out at the birds and I point out the differences in them, I show him the sunsets and sunrises. If it were warmer here, I would take him outside regularly. I can’t wait for spring. We garden, and I’ll have him in the dirt right along with us. I’m sure he’ll be finding lots of bugs and noticing many things come spring time. Maybe I’ll start a nature journal with him. Of course, until he’s bigger, I’ll take the pencil and sketch them for him – while he watches me. 🙂 What fun- I can’t wait!

    Everymorning we look at a beautifully painted childrens bible that has simple verses to read to him. We go over the same verses everymorning and look at the beautiful paintings that go with each verse.

    Everyone in the family reads aloud to him every day out of his special book basket with carefully chosen books.

    We play LOTS of music throughout the day and encourage him to “listen to the pretty music”.

    As far as habits go, we try to train him to work along side everybody else. Thismorning, he was pushing the broom, wiping the slider window, and dusting the bookshelf (of course, he can’t REALLY do a complete job but he thinks he’s helping and feels good about doing it) We teach him to pick up his toys whenever he’s done playing with them. I figure if he’s big enough to take them out of a toy box, he’s big enough to put them back in. 🙂 However, we make it fun and sing the “pick up” song.

    Discipline is such a personal issue and I know its not easy but, IMO, its important to begin teaching and training toddlers to obey right away. I’ve found that our toddlers were much happier when they knew what their boundaries were.

    I’m sure there are many MORE CM Moms here who have more experience than I do. I look forward to hearing the other responses because I, too, would love some more ideas.

    Its good to have you here with us!

    God Bless



    I have a toddler, he is 2 right now. We use a few books from the Winter Promise collection and sonlight collection, oh and before five in a row.. they are charlotte mason based. From all the reading that I have doing. I am under the impression charlotte is not jsut a

    homeschooling philoosophy but a child rearing one as well. I also was left with the feeling that education, life as well is god cannot really be seperated. Maybe I stand to be corrected, but that is what I have come out with.

    Here some resources that I am planning on using

    Math Play

    Mudpie to magnets

    ruth beechick bok Language thinkng in young children

    These books might be located at your local library




    Welcome! What a great time in your life to discover Charlotte Mason.

    I highly recommend reading Volume 1 by CM. I found her advice about younger children very helpful and comforting.

    Our littlest ones have so much to learn, and they love taking in the world and figuring it out. There really isn’t much you need to do other than have your child with you, giving him opportunities to be part of the family, and loving him up.

    Young children learn so much just by WATCHING you. When you are going about your daily life – with all the chores, quiet times, reading, recreation, conversations, etc – you are teaching him plenty.

    My advice is to get outdoors as much as possible and just enjoy it together. Read books to him like nursery rhymes or favorite board books, but don’t worry about formal academics for a few more years. Allow him to have some quiet times in his day; you don’t need to provide constant stimulation as the world is stimulating enough. (Personally, I don’t think toddlers need videos and DVDs or games that go beep…but some families have found uses for them.)

    Taking walks around the neighborhood, playing outdoors, collecting rocks and sticks, cuddling with a cozy book, napping, playing with pots and pans, crawling in a cardboard box…these simple and engaging activities lay the foundation for later academic work, imo.


    Well said, Esby! We had the pots and pans out thismorning after breakfast. 🙂 Hmmmm..I wonder why my head is pounding a little this afternoon lol. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing such great advice! We have spring fever around here, and can’t wait to have those walk around the neighborhood. 🙂

    Grateful for you!


    For a toddler?

    – Outdoor time

    – Habit formation

    – Read from quality literature

    – Read from King James Bible

    *but reading to him should NOT disrupt or short change time out of doors

    Don’t constantly teach or point everything out to the child, let him make his own discoveries and connections.

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