A Charlotte Mason History Lesson
Before we begin A Charlotte Mason History Lesson…
First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.
Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.
PREPARING THE FEAST
“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)
There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.
Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly First Grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.
“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)
A Charlotte Mason History Lesson
“The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times–a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story-books.” (Mason, vol. 1)
First, Charlotte Mason reiterates we should begin with the child. Then, we work outward from there. Since we live in America, this is where we will begin for a Charlotte Mason History lesson.
The first year student should hear Heroic Age tales from his own country. Therefore, the time explored in History spans 1000-1600 AD. So, this period covers tales during the time of Discovery of America, which is before colonization.
WHAT WE ARE READING FOR HISTORY
While there are many good quality Living Books, this is what we are reading:
- Leif the Lucky by Ingri D’Aulaire
- Columbus by Edgar Parin D’Aulaire
- America First: One Hundred Stories From Our Own History by Lawton B. Evans
- The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose and Bryna Waldman
- Apache Indians: Raiders of the Southwest by Sonia Bleeker
- Children of the Earth and Sky by Stephen Krensky
These seem like appropriate selections for a six year old. Also, I’m including picture books, and inspiring tales to hold their interest.
Charlotte Mason used a History spine. In other words, one book was used to cover a large period of time. Therefore, a spine is often used for several years. I choose America First: One Hundred Stories From Our Own History since it was recommended and was affordable.
While there will be only a few stories covered in our first formal year of education, the remainder of the book will be used for the upcoming early elementary years as our History spine.
OTHER HISTORY SPINE RECOMMENDATIONS
- America Begins by Alice Dalgliesh
- And There Was America by Roger Duvoisin
Also, you can find And There Was America for free here: archive.org.
“Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” (Mason, vol. 1)
Next, Charlotte Mason advocated to read Biographies, in addition to the History spine. I choose Leif the Lucky and Columbus by Ingri D’Aulaire to start with, since they fit in the time period.
Also, I choose to order from Beautiful Feet Books. Right now, they are offering a D’Aulaire Biography pack 40% off! These books are such a great resource because they will be read for several years to support the History spine.
Also, one more recommended History Biography: The Book of Indians.
Charlotte Mason describes a History Lesson as occurring twice a week. Each lesson should last about 20 minutes.
Charlotte Mason placed the History Lesson second in importance behind the Bible Lesson. Therefore, it was very important to her.
“Their lessons, too, history and geography, should cultivate their conceptive powers” (Mason, vol. 1)
History lessons should inspire the child with wonderful concepts and ideas.
“Here, too, is a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas…” (Mason, vol. 1)
According to Living Books Library, “The best books reveal the living ideas of another mind that was very much alive when the potent ideas were put into words. We read and our living mind grabs hold of and runs with those ideas, feeds on them, is nourished by them.”
“Moral teaching falls, no doubt, within the providence of history…” (Mason, vol. 1)
Another article written by Living Books Library defines Living Books, “exemplify virtuous living.”
- First, the parent reads to the child. For a six year old, many parents can expect to read the school books to the children. Once the child is able to read the materials on their own, they can begin reading their own school books.
- Second, the parent asks the child to tell back what he heard. This is called narration.
- Finally, through this process, the child knows the materials.
This process of reading, narrating, and knowing was the typical method of a lesson in a Charlotte Mason education.
Charlotte Mason used a child’s natural “narration” skills as a starting place. She observed even very small preschool age children want to narrate their life, their play, their stories, and their experiences. So, Ms. Mason builds on this inherent capability in children.
Though I have not yet read this, I have heard Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass is a great resource. It shows a deeper understanding for the process of narration as a valuable tool for education. So, it may be worth a look.
Additionally, we can include maps so our children can visually see America. This could occur before reading the lesson. Then, the lesson continues with the reading and narration.
Since we have Maps and The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. , we may pull these out from time to time! I was lucky to find these at Half Price Books, since the price is so good!
Also, I have these LOVELY maps, and I can’t wait to decorate our Homeschool space with them!
Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason History Lesson.
GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES
- A Charlotte Mason Soiree Educator Courses (free and amazing!)
- A Charlotte Mason Soiree Facebook Support/Discussion Group
- Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education
- Volume 2 Charlotte Mason’s Parents and Children
- Volume 3 Charlotte Mason’s School Education
- A Delectable Education Scheduling Cards
- A Delectable Education Curriculum Templates
- Morning Tide to Even Tide Homeschool Planner
CHARLOTTE MASON HISTORY RESOURCES
- A Delectable Education podcast on Why Study History
- Another A Delectable Education podcast on History Chronology
- Suggestion of History Books podcast from A Delectable Education
- Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education (pg. 279-295)
Additionally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information,
check out these previous blog posts in the series:
- A Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Writing Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Bible Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Summer
- 29 Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool Books
Thank you so much for checking in! Also, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.
Homeschool Preschool Supplies List
All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.