That was my question. I had always associated the Charlotte Mason style of educating with nature study and nature journaling. I pictured a peaceful walk hand in hand with my children down a nature trail, finding treasures like pine cones and acorns and then stopping to sketch them while the birds chirped pleasantly in our ears.
Oh wait, that was a mosquito. And it is hot, with humidity near 100%. So apparently the nature study in my mind was not my reality. The truth is I am not a nature lover. It’s not that I don’t appreciate His wonderful creation, but simply because I do not like being outside 85% of the year. Where I live it is HOT and humid with lots of biting bugs!
So, what did that mean for me? Could I still be a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler? I didn’t think so. I tossed the thought aside, thinking this was just not for me. My friends knew me to be a classically eclectic homeschooler and definitely NOT a laid back Charlotte Mason style educator. Then came my toddler. Working from home while homeschooling and trying desperately to hold it all together with my needy toddler at my side was proving to be more than I could handle.
How I Transitioned to Charlotte Mason Curriculum
My older daughter (now seventh grade), was struggling with her schoolwork. She wanted me by her side to “teach” her because she wasn’t getting it. To say she disliked doing school was an understatement. The one thing I found from the previous year that worked for us was notebooking. So began my hunt for an American History Curriculum that read like a living book and had an accompanying notebooking journal. We had used Mystery of History for the past 2 years with the notebooking pages and LOVED it. Since we had to move on to American History, sadly I had to switch it up. When my friend showed me A Living History of Our World by Queen Homeschool Supplies, it looked perfect! Could a Charlotte Mason style history curriculum really work for us?
That was just the beginning. I took the plunge and this year I purchased the history curriculum my friend had introduced to me with the notebooking journal, as well as Language Lessons, copywork, spelling, and vocabulary from Queen Homeschool Supplies. Every element was Charlotte Mason style curriculum! I was nervous; it looked so easy–too easy, actually. I wondered if it was enough.
The change in our homeschool has been huge. I have told my daughter numerous times she could skip the copywork because she had to do copywork in her Language Lessons. She didn’t care. She wanted to do it anyway! Sometimes she even…are you ready for this? WORKS AHEAD! She loves her Charlotte Mason style curriculum. Is she learning enough? Absolutely!
Do we do nature study? Not really. Are we outside with a sketchbook and journal looking at insects, leaves, or flowers and writing poems about them? No. So there you have it. You do NOT have to be a nature lover to be a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler. Using this curriculum has really brought the joy back into our homeschool.