A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson

French with Preschoolers
French with Preschoolers

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason French 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.


“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 French Lesson 


“The initial ideas, that we must acquire a new language as a child acquires his mother tongue, is absolutely right….” (Mason, vol. 1)

In the beginning of a CM edcuation, children typically learned French as a second language. Furthermore, they continued French lessons for the remainder of their education. Additionally, three more foreign languages were added over the course of their 12 years of education. Therefore, by the end of their formal education, the children will have been introduced to four different languages in total.

After our first year, I plan to introduce Spanish as a foreign language. Since we are in Texas, this seems particularly practical for us to learn next.


While you do not have to use all of these resources, this is a great list to get started with. Also, be sure to note the ones marked (FREE).


These books replace a French Text book, because they cover the basis for the young French lesson, using Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophies.





A Charlotte Mason French Lesson
A Charlotte Mason French Lesson


Charlotte Mason describes the French Lesson as occurring three times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about 10 minutes.

Ms. Mason writes you could begin teaching French words, and in general speaking French to your children, from a very young age; perhaps before formal lessons. In general, it seems easier for a younger child to pick up a foreign language, so introducing it early has its advantages.


“To train the ear to distinguish and the lips to produce the French vocables is a valuable part of the education of the senses, and one which can hardly be undertaken to soon.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Delectable Education (ADE) mentions the English language is most influenced by French. This is because when William the Conqueror was King of England, French influenced language and culture for approximately 300 years.

According to the Linguist.com, 60% of English words come from the French language, or from Latin, which originated from French. Emily Kiser from ADE, mentions learning French allows greater ease for learning subsequent languages. Finally, according to some, French is an easy language to learn.

However, I find it to be intimidating to teach a new language, that I don’t know anything about! So, I’m seeking out resources to help me teach French to my children.


“The child should never see French words in print until he has learned to say them with as much ease and readiness as if they were English.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A child should hear the language spoken first, before seeing the words in print. So, just as a baby learns to speak his first language, by listening to words spoken, the same holds true for learning a second language.

“Again, the child’s vocabulary should increase steadily, say, at the rate of half a dozen words a day.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Learning new vocabulary is a wonderful means of learning a new language.

“A notebook in which she (Mama) enters the child’s new words and sentences will enable the teacher to (ensure new words are put into sentences, and are kept in use daily).” (Mason, vol. 1)

Therefore, I plan to record new words the boys learn in a notebook, so that we can revisit the words often.

“The organ of language – ask the child – is not the eye; it is the ear.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Language acquisition is first acquired through the ear. Children learn a new language by first hearing it spoken in conversation. This step is necessary to occur before the child sees the written words with their eyes. This method is more natural, and effective for the child to learn the new language.



Attempt to learn two to six new vocabulary words at each lesson, in order to gain understanding of French.

  • First, prepare audio files with a few new French words. Also, find pictures to go along with the vocabulary words.
  • Then, show the child one picture. Listen to the audio of the word three times. Next, ask the child to repeat the word after hearing it.
  • If applicable, gesture to show meaning of a verb or noun.
  • Finally, put the new word into a sentence. Speak the sentence three times. Ask the child to speak back the phrase. Also, if they don’t get it perfectly, its okay!


A goal of memorizing two French poems per term can be attempted in order to teach the child French. One term lasts about three months.

  • First, prepare a picture and an audio file of a French poem.
  • Then, listen to the poem, one phrase at a time, and have the child simultaneously look at the picture.
  • Point to the picture as you hear the vocabulary words in the poem.
  • Then, listen to the poem two more times.
  • Finally, ask the child to repeat the poem along with the audio.


Hearing, and memorizing one French song per term is also a great means of learning French as a second language.

  • First, prepare one picture and one audio of a French song.
  • Then, listen to the song, one phrase at a time, and gesture to the picture when applicable to point out new vocabulary.
  • If time allows, listen to the song three times.
  • Also, invite the child to sing along and gesture as well.


Listening to one short story per term is another wonderful tool to learn French.

  • First, begin with one sentence at at time. Move forward reading longer passages as the child becomes more familiar with the language.
  • When possible, use pictures or gestures to introduce new words, while simultaneously saying it orally.
  • Next, ask the child to repeat the new word.
  • Continue reading the story, stopping after each sentence at first.
  • Then, ask the child to narrate back the story. Its okay if they can’t recite much back to you at first.
  • Read through the passage one final time.


One podcast I listened to, mentions if you can stay ahead of the child by one term, than you will be well prepared to teach the French lesson.

Also, Ms. Mason asked her teachers to read Hachettes Illustrated French Primer by Henri Bue in preparation to teach French. Or, you can find it online for free instead.

A Charlotte Mason French Lesson
A Charlotte Mason French Lesson


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 French Lesson.




Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, 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. Finally, 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.


Hi, I'm Randi! I'm the blessed Mama of two amazing little boys, Hudson (age 4.5) and Jude (age 3). I'm honored to be able to homeschool my preschoolers and we are trying to be intentional with our children each day. I'm all about slowing down, leading as natural a life as we can, spending time outdoors, and enjoying the simple, ordinary moments of life. I have always had health and wellness as an intense passion. Now I get to share it with my children!

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