From Classical Teacher to Charlotte Mason Educator

From Classical Teacher to Charlotte Mason Educator

“… things I had never heard before… a radical change of the way I thought… It was totally different, totally new, totally amazing, and life-changing…”

Art Middlekauff catches up with Shannon Whiteside in this exclusive interview in which Shannon describes how she went from being a teacher at a classical education school to an educator in the Charlotte Mason method.

7 Replies to “From Classical Teacher to Charlotte Mason Educator”

  1. Thank you for this interview! I found it extremely helpful in crystallizing my own thoughts about the differences between CM and Christian classical education. And in the future when I get the “how is Charlotte Mason different from CC?” question, I’m going to send the questioners here.

  2. Fascinating interview! Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your experience and for showing clarity in what your experience and education in the classical model taught you about CCE and its marked difference from a CM education.

    I also appreciate you articulating that you are not trying to be divisive or nit picky about definitions but truly want people to understand what is out there… truly understand what Charlotte Mason stood for… truly know that her methods are different and unique. I agree whole-heartedly with you in your fear that if everything gets combined, “someone will look up classical education…and assume that her name is just under that and then they might never pick up her book and have that awakening”.

    What you said at the very end resonated very much with me, and I believe that it will resonate with many who take the time to listen to this interview. “If you are educating in a way that has not changed you, then I think you need to question your philosophy of education.”

  3. This was such a gift to receive. Thank you, Shannon, for your heartfelt testimony. It provided just what I need right now on my Charlotte Mason journey. I’ve been trying to blend Classical Education and Charlotte Mason in my homeschool, as I was homeschooling for 15 years (dabbling in different philosophies, and never finding a real “fit”) before I discovered Charlotte Mason. Now I’m transitioning over to Charlotte Mason, and have experienced some fear of taking the great leap across the chasm (you’re so right – they’re VERY different). But your experiences and thoughts have given me the conviction to trust the method and take the plunge. I’ve seen so much fruit in even the little bit of Charlotte Mason’s approach. And, you’re right, it is confusing to be inconsistent.

    Thank you. I will be sharing this with others.

  4. “Is this what I want my children to do all day?” What an honest question. Thank you, Shannon Whiteside for sharing your story.

    All that deadening repetition in contrast to giving a child the opportunity to digest “ideas” with narration is lasting knowledge, rather than “information” gotten up for the grade. You make so many good points such as when a teacher is a servant to the grade she asks logically, “if I can’t measure this why waste time teaching it? I like how you said your family will sometimes sing a narration or draw. How delightful.

    I esteem your experience and insights, how different you see the methods to be, even “opposite” in places, starting with the view of the child as a whole person who is endowed with intelligence when he is born. Therefore we can trust much to curiosity.

    Seeing the beauty of Christianity is a point that resonates.

    I agree with how very sad it is for a student to think at the end of his years of school, “I’m done with this.”

    I’ve seen, too, how Charlotte Mason’s manner of educating “changes the teacher.” It is the “common pursuit of knowledge” of both teacher and student that does it. (Vol. 6 p.97). Moms have told me they sometimes feel like they’re “cheating” because they guide but they do not mediate or give preambles (spoilers) to every book or chapter read, etc. and they enjoy all the learning, too.

  5. I loved this interview and enjoyed it very much…This is just what I needed to hear today, and I thank you, both Shannon and Art, for bringing this to us…It is always encouraging to hear how Charlotte Mason’s ideas work, and just hearing that they do work, on their own, without the mixing of anything else, is very encouraging…Thank you…

  6. Thank you for sharing your experiences in education! I identified with so much that you shared – as a student, as a former professional educator, and now as a parent. I have felt like I have “discovered gold” as I began reading Charlotte Mason’s Volumes this year. I loved how one of you mentioned that Charlotte Mason is more than doing Nature Study, reading good books, and adding narration. It is so much more! Thank you for helping me to think through what Classical Education is and what Charlotte Mason is. I appreciate your insight.

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