Recently I’ve been reading through as many homeschooling books as I can get my hands on to help refine my personal philosophy of homeschooling. I have been sharing book reviews with you, my readers, to help you know which books you should spend your precious time reading.
Today I finished reading When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today edited by Elaine Cooper. Normally I would give you a brief summary and share some things I loved and didn’t love. This book does not lend itself well to my regular format.
Some thoughts on the book:
- Please, please, please, do yourself a favour and read Charlotte Mason’s books before reading this one! I was assuming I would get a helpful summary of Mason’s philosophy and strategies for implementing them in my homeschool, but I needed far more background information to get the most out of this book.
- The writing can be quite technical. It is good and informative but if you are looking for an easy read, this is not it!
- I appreciated the religious nature of this book. In fact, Charlotte Mason’s whole philosophy is based on her views of God and the qualities that he gives to children. If you are not religious, Christian in particular, you may find yourself getting frustrated with this book. I suggest you do a Google search for “secular Charlotte Mason” as many of her strategies are being adapted for a secular home.
- I always thought (wrongly so!) that Charlotte Mason’s work was primarily geared towards home education. That is not actually true. She wrote a great deal about both the home and the school. This book is a lot more about a formal school setting than home education.
- The authors have made both Charlotte Mason and her philosophies quite compelling and I plan to do some more research into her ideas because of what I was exposed to in this book.
If you are more familiar with Charlotte Mason than I am and are an avid reader, I do recommend this book. It gives some very helpful reminders about the personhood of the child, the nature of the teacher, the importance and qualities of “living books,” as well as guidelines about what subjects to include and how a lesson would look. Buy a copy here.