Topic | Ruth Beechick and CM


This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  erin.kate 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • Tukata

    Can anyone do a comparison on Ruth Beechick and CM?  I feel like they are very compatible, but I haven’t sorted out the differences in my mind.  I’m sure some of you are well-read on both and could shed a little light on this. 

    Thanks in advance!  I love this group!


    Does Ruth Beechick have a distinct philosophy? I have read a number of brief articles by her over the years and usually find them good. I tend to think her approach is CM-like. But I am not sure I have actually seen anything where she says “this is my philosophy of education.”



    I am far from an expert on either CM or RB’s philosophies, but I am just finishing reading “A Biblical Home Education” right now, and I can share a few differences I have noted from that. Overall, they are similar, in that they both advocate for a quality education through living books and ideas, and through the student being engaged and naturally learning from the world around them.

    In the primary grades (K-3), however, Ruth Beechick suggests just focusing on just the three R’s. Things like artist and composer study go by the wayside until the student has a good handle on reading, writing, and basic arithmetic.

    I believe that she believes in utilizing copywork passages to teach more than just neat handwriting. For example, the parent would give the passage orally (maybe starting 8 or 9 years old?) and the child would need to also figure out correct punctuation, capitalization, etc. Like CM, she does believe in delaying any formal grammar studies until the child is older.

    She also differs in that she recommends things like basal readers when kids first start reading . . . she gives specific suggestions like Dick and Jane readers, Frog and Toad, etc.

    I think that we will end up using a blend of the two styles over the years.



    Nebby – I wasn’t sure…I guess that’s why I asked.  I have the 3R’s and then I just got another book of hers from a used curriculum sale.  I don’t hear a lot about her on this board, so I was wondering if there was a reason – like that she wasn’t very CM.

    April – Thank you for that info.  It seems like it would be quite easy to blend the two.  I appreciate your reply!


    I am not an expert either.  One clear distinction is that Beechick is modern, while Mason is late 19th century/early 20th.  I personally find Beechick more practical, but I am learning more about Mason and CM methods.  My favorite Beechick book is A Biblical Home Education.  I found it to be very encouraging and thought provoking as well.


    It would be interesting to see a well-documented comparison of the two.  I’ve read quite a bit from both of them and see many similarities, and can’t think of any huge differences that I came across.  I also see similarities between Ruth Beechick and Mary Pride — they both seem to have the philosophy, ‘cover the basics well and give children plenty of time to play’, although there’s much more to their books than that!  


    I always find encouragement from Ruth Beechick’s writings. She uses many of the same terms that CM’ers use (narration, copywork, dictation, living books) but there are differences that I’ve noticed. I don’t have a detailed list of differences, though, but here’s what I got so far…

    – copywork & dictation work hand-in-hand with Beechick. The student copies a sentence (or passage) until they know it and then it is dictated to the student to see what they remember. As far as I understand with CM, copywork is for handwriting practice; dictation is for spelling. Now the student might copy their dictation while they are studying it, but it’s not required (or at least it’s not required in our house).

    – I think Beechick is fine with short lessons but I believe, if a student is enjoying something, she would say let them continue; don’t cut them off. CM’ers would like to stop while the student is still excited, before they burn-out on it. That way the excitement is still there when it is pulled out later. (or if there is no excitement, at least the child knows it will be over soon!)

    – Also, as the other poster said, Beechick does seem to focus mainly on The Three R’s until around 4th grade. CM is a full feast right from the start.

    Perhaps someone else can tackle the differences between narration, living books, and such. And I’m sure this has been discussed before somewhere in the archives or Sonya’s writings…



    I just finished A Biblical Home Education as well, and have previously loved The Three R’s. I find Beechick and CM a balance of sensible and lovely. Much as Joy described. I appreciate Beechick’s approach to learning to read and to math … the organic simplicity of it, and yet can’t imagine home schooling without CM’s “feast” from the start. I am still learning the nuances between the two but I do see practical ways to blend both into a CM education.

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