Secular Charlotte Mason?

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  • Alysee123

    I’ve been researching homeschooling for my family and Charlotte Mason style suits my way of thinking and definitely our interests as a family but everything I’ve read so far and seen on the internet mentions hymns and bible quotes. Is there any curriculum(SCM or otherwise?) that is secular? Specifically the 3Rs?


    Thanks in advance!


    Welcome Alysee! 🙂

    I think that Living Books Curriculum is secular. It’s rather easy to find secular resources for math and reading. CM writing is centered on great literature so that would be easy-just use secular literature for your copywork, dictation and written narrations.

    Living books are used for history and science so, once again, you simply choose living books that are secular.

    I think you could tweak Simply Charlotte Mason or Ambleside Online to make either one secular-simply switch out any religious readings for other living books.

    Charlotte Mason herself was a devout Christian. She included Bible reading, hymn study and religious readings in her curriculum so most Christians who follow a CM approach will choose to implement these studies in their homes as well.



    You may be interested in SCM’s Planning Your CM Education.  It’s a great resource for designing your own curriculum.  That may be your best bet.

    For 3Rs, most math is secular…either RS or MUS are good options.  We are currently using ELTL for language arts, which would work fine for you.  There is an occasional Bible verse in the copywork, but I think she provides an alternative passage as well…I haven’t played close attention to the passages, since we are using SCM’s Print to Cursive Proverbs in its place.   I believe Spelling Wisdom would be fine as well…it mostly includes famous quotes and book excerpts.

    We are currently using SOTW 2 alongside SCM’s Middle Ages.  I know it’s used by both Christian and secular homeschoolers.  You may find it a good choice for history.  I’m sure there are tons of good science options, but I’m mostly familiar with the Christian options.

    Another resource I’ve found helpful is Cathy Duffy’s reviews.  On her website she lists whether a curriculum is religious, secular, or usable by either type of homeschooler.  I find this very helpful when selecting curriculum for the coming year.

    In place of hymns, you may want to study folksongs…we follow the AO selections.  Instead of scripture memory, maybe add in some poetry memory work.  CM methods could easily work in a secular setting.



    Thanks for pointing me in some good directions. I’ll be checking Cathy Duffy, AO and SOTW.


    Hi Alysee – We are a secular homeschooling family and I have enjoyed using CM methods over the years. We use living books for many subjects, I don’t always choose from CM booklists but they are a great place to get started. There are so many great historical novels to choose from – and wonderful living books about science – it is easy once you get started.

    I very much like the Language Lessons books from Queen Homeschool Supplies – even though they are very much not secular, I love their format and I don’t mind the bible verse that turns up now and then. The Bible is an important book in our culture and we need to know it, too.

    I have benefited from the wisdom of the community here at SCM for years – their schooling advice is great no matter what your religion or lack thereof and they are always respectful of others.

    There  is a Secular Charlotte Mason page on facebook that is very good. Here is a link.

    My advice is – just choose some good books and get started reading aloud to your kids – do lots of playing outside. And have fun!


    I haven’t used them before but this one looks good

    Also Book Shark is the secular version of sonlight


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