You may have heard the name Charlotte Mason thrown around in the homeschool community. But what is Charlotte Mason Preschool really about?
What is Charlotte Mason Preschool?
Charlotte Mason was an educator from Britain who spent her life improving the quality of children’s education.
She preached about teaching the whole child, not only educating the mind.
Charlotte Mason Preschool is a gentle approach to homeschooling preschool.
Play and nature study are the primary focus of Charlotte Mason Preschool.
What Makes It Unique?
Charlotte Mason believes that children should be able to play freely until they are six.
This means no formal education, curriculum, or lessons.
By allowing children to have this free time, they are able to experience and discover the world around them using their own five senses.
Charlotte Mason was a big advocate for getting kids out into nature.
When kids are in nature, they can see what interests them, and they will naturally go looking for information.
This article may contain affiliate links to products that may help you when homeschooling preschool.
How To Implement a Charlotte Mason Preschool
A Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum may look a lot like what you envision your homeschooling experience looking like…or it may be the complete opposite!
The key is to make sure you’re doing what works for your children and your family.
Kids can never spend too much time outside.
Nature grounds kids and is a whole-body sensory experience.
There are many things for them to do outside.
It’s not always up to you, as the parent or educator, to come up with nature activities to do.
Let kids explore and get their hands dirty and do the heavy lifting (literally).
Charlotte Mason’s philosophy insists on quality books.
This is extended to Charlotte Mason Preschool, too.
Pick books that are engaging, have morals, teach lessons, or have beautiful illustrations.
This makes reading the books worth your time (and theirs).
So when little ones ask to read the same book for the tenth time, they are getting something good out of the book, too.
Free play is the most important job a preschooler has.
Let them come up with what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
You may be surprised by what they can learn and figure out if you give them space to learn and explore.
Help littles create good habits and shield them from society’s pressures.
Have them help the family in some way or another every day.
Truthfulness, patience, manners, and paying attention are all habits that can be worked on during Charlotte Mason Preschool.
Character traits you find valuable can also be encouraged.
Activities for Charlotte Mason Preschool
Go on a Nature Walk
Nature walks don’t need to be fancy. Any walk outside is a walk in nature.
Take it slow and let your little ones lead the way.
Stop to smell the flowers, look at the moss, or admire a butterfly.
Create a love for reading by reading to your preschooler frequently.
Pick books intentionally to draw your little one in.
Handicrafts is a Charlotte Mason term for carving, stitching, needlework, knitting, weaving, etc.
Paper weaving is a great way to introduce weaving.
Punching holes around the outside of a shape (like a heart or circle) and having your little one stitch using a plastic needle and yarn can be a simple way to start stitching and needlework.
Grab some ivory soap and a butter knife to let your little one start carving. *Use the butter knife at your own discretion*
Art & Music
Let kids listen to different styles of music.
Encourage them to come up with ways to make music with things around the house.
Of course, have a dance party, too.
Art appreciation can be as simple as showing interesting illustrations in books or helping littles to notice colors, facial expressions, shapes, or other items in images they see.
Informal Activities for Math, Reading, Writing
Although Charlotte Mason Preschool encourages waiting until six to start formal education, informal activities that focus on math, reading, or writing are okay.
We have a few different posts that can help inspire informal activities.
Something as simple as making a sensory bin and putting numbers, letters, or shapes in it can help littles start to get familiar with these concepts.
Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool
Whether Charlotte Mason Preschool is right for your family or not, books and reading will always have a place in homeschooling preschool.
Hopefully, you have gathered more ideas to implement in your homeschool.