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If I'm going to read one Charlotte Mason book,


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I think For the Children's Sake is a great entry book. If it appeals to you, keep going.

 

I find some of the books like Andreola's really misstate what she taught. Anyone who tells you CM is a "gentle education" is reading something I don't see in the original books. (Or defines gentle differently than me.)

Emily

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I think For the Children's Sake is a good introduction, though in a way I prefer the companion book, When Children Love to Learn.  I found it really gave a much greater sense of how it was meant to actually work and how her ideas fit together.  But it might need some minimal sense of what CM education taught.  That could probably be gleaned from online material though.

 

Consider This is about the only systematic treatment as a philosophy of education, and so worthwhile just for that although I have serious reservations about its premise.

 

There are some modernized versions of her own books which you might consider if the originals are too time-consuming for you.

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I really liked Consider This. I just read it over Christmas, and it gave me a good feel for the overall goals of a Classical/CM education and motivation to keep trying to implement it. I've read For the Children's Sake a couple times, but I've never absorbed anything from it. I don't know why--lots of people recommend it, but her books have never resonated with me.

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I thought I didn't have time to read the originals ("they are so dry! they are so long! there are so many of them!") but then I told myself a few weeks ago that any day I had time to browse facebook or come on the WTM forums, I had time to read a chapter of a CM book. I'm almost done with my first book and ordering the second! Also, as I've read on a daily basis (yep, that is how often I'm on FB and the forums) the style has become easier to deal with.

 

Emily

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:iagree:

 

Consider This is a perfect first CM book.  You won't be able to stop with one book, though...so When Children Love to Learn is the 2nd book to read.

 

CT gives the foundational philosophy. WCLtL breaks it down into practical things you can do today. I don't think most people understand the practicals when they haven't first taken the time to understand the philosophy, and then you have lots of problems. 

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I like For the Children's Sake for dipping your toes in, but I'd really recommend picking one of her volumes (Home Education is a good place to start) and just dabbling in it.  I have my versions on the kindle, so it seems easy to read when I'm snuggled in bed at night, for 10 mins or so.  They aren't quite as onerous as one would think.

 

And honestly I'd also recommend a few websites, such as Ambleside and Charlotte Mason Help and Sage Parnassus, to get the feel of what's what.  I'd avoid booklists/curricula/schedules and just read summaries of the philosophy of education itself and the approach.  Charlotte Mason Help was my favorite back when I was starting to get into CM.  

Edited by pehp
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Circe Institute has several lectures that you can listen to for free.  Circe is a Classical Education organization with a flair that is CM, though not intentionally. The talks about teaching boys who would rather be building forts and the Divine Image, etc...those are all from the same philosophical source where CM drew her inspiration. Cindy Rollins even has some Mason Jar programs specifically about the CM homeschool.  Those are great.

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I found the modern CM paraphrase (over at AO) to be very readable.  (The concise summaries are even shorter... ) 

 

I just popped it on my Kindle (free kindle version here)  and read little bits as I could.  I started on Vol. 6.  Took less time than I thought it would.

 

I also highly recommend the Mason Jar podcasts, or just about anything else that has Cindy Rollins involved in it.  She has a more common sense approach to CM--maybe it has to do with having a large family of boys ;)--well worth a listen.

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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