Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles of Education

Welcome to our journey through Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles of Education. Much has been said about Miss Mason, and I’m not the well seasoned expert with 20 years of experience, a podcast, or a book. I’m new here. But every voice adds value to the conversation, so I thought I would share my own perspective. I don’t love labels, but I think it matters here because we all see things through our own lens based on our sociocultural perspective (including reminding ourselves constantly that Miss Mason had her own unique lens). I’m coming to Miss Mason as a secular, white, female, North American, midwestern Millennial in 2018 with two young first generation homeschooled girls. I could probably add way more labels to that which reflect our journey - but you get the point. When we read and discuss methods, theories, etc. that tell us what we “must” do - there are many outside factors to consider before we decide if we actually “must”.


1: Children are Born Persons

The very first principle that Charlotte Mason lays down is the overarching philosophical thought of all of her ideas. To really grasp this one idea will put the rest of her approach into perspective. She says that children are born persons.

2: Nurturing the Potential in Every Child

When we look at newborn babies, they seem to be a blank slate. Their hearts and souls are unwritten upon by the world. Anything is possible! Some of us might tend to think that if our child doesn't get exposed to evil, that they won't know evil. When Charlotte Mason says that children have possibilities for good and evil, she isn't saying they're a blank slate and that our writing upon them creates who they are. She suggests that within them from the beginning, no matter the child, is a natural intuition of good and bad.

3-4: Authority & Obedience

Our authority as parents and their obedience as children are a natural part of the parent and child relationship. That is a natural and necessary dynamic. The most important part of this principle is that she says the word: BUT. We have authority, they are expected to be obedient...but, there's more to that story!