CMP Review 2024-02-20

CMP Review 2024-02-20

February 20, 2024

When I consult with homeschool families, one challenge that often comes up is how to construct a time table when there are multiple children in different forms. The parent-teacher doesn’t want to spend the entire day from sunrise to sunset working on lessons. But then different children of different ages need different books, and who and when will their narrations be heard?

I usually end up suggesting approaches that involve children working together in groups, sometimes without the direct guidance of the parent. Sometimes I even suggest that one child listen to the narration of another. In making such suggestions, I know I am taking a risk. I know that someone might say it is not the “Mason Method.”

In the 1920s, some British schools were employing the Charlotte Mason method. They too had challenges with scale. How could one teacher be everywhere, and how could one book be shared by many children? A solution emerged that was known as the “Group System.” But a Gloucestershire Headmaster revealed that he faced the same risk: “One continually hears it said, that it is not part of the ‘Mason Method,’” he confided.

But this Gloucestershire Headmaster knew about an open secret. He knew about a special letter that only a few eyes had seen. A letter that had been quoted, studied, and applied. A letter that talked about dividing a class into groups. A letter written by Charlotte Mason herself in the twilight years of her life.

Do you teach more than one child, whether in a classroom, a co-op, or your living room? If so, read or listen to the story of the “Group System,” and find out about an approach that our Gloucestershire Headmaster said “received the approval of Miss Mason.” Find it here.