Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase, but the amazing thing is that it does not cost you anything extra! I purchased all materials and curriculum with my own money. My opinions are my own and my opinions are not swayed based on anything. I will always tell you about my family favorites regardless of commissions or not.
Finding a Charlotte Mason curriculum or making your own Charlotte Mason education can be quite a daunting task. If you are reading this you are most likely familiar with Charlotte Mason and some of her philosophies.
In case you are not familiar with Charlotte Mason, she was an amazing, ground breaking teacher in England in the early 1900s. Her work in creating an education that focuses on the child as a person that is an individual is pivotal in her ideals. She could not stand “twaddle” which refers to things that have been dumbed down for the child. Instead she was a believer in “living books” that excite the imagination and help the child to learn through the characters in the book, as opposed to textbooks and lectures. To learn more about Charlotte Mason and her work, I would recommend reading her volumes and starting with “For the Children’s Sake” written by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
I Fell in Love with the Ideas Behind the Charlotte Mason Method, but Struggled in Putting Together My Own Charlotte Mason Education
I began to listen to amazing podcasts by A Delectable Education and learned as much as I could about utilizing and creating my own Charlotte Mason education for my son. As a mommy, wife, caregiver to my 84 year old grandad, I was overwhelmed and fearful that I would not be able to put all of this together on my own. I then looked at some Charlotte Mason curriculums that have been put together and each had things that I liked about them. I still wondered as a new homeschooler, how was I going to do all of this with all we have going on at home? I was scared of failing my child (this is a lie from the enemy, but more on this later).
I Desired More Hand Holding
After looking at all the curriculum options that I could find that had the books to read and when to read them I began to pray. I believe that all of these curriculums are great and many long hours have gone into creating each of them.
But ultimately, it comes down to what works best for my family.
After praying about it and MANY hours of research (if you know me, I research a ton) I decided to go with A Gentle Feast. According to the creator of A Gentle Feast, Julie Ross “Following A Gentle Feast has breathed life and beauty into our homeschool. It has been a night and day difference. I took the plans I used for my own family and packaged them to share with others. I wanted other homeschooling parents to find the freedom and peace I found in implementing Charlotte Mason’s methods and philosophy in our home.”
What I Wanted Out of a Curriculum
- Follows closely to a Charlotte Mason education
- Guidance that told me when to read and what to read
- Morning time plans that will coincide with what we are doing in other subjects (Including Bible time, scripture memorization, composer study, Hymn study, Artist Study, etc)
- I wanted a history cycle that began with American History instead of British History
- I wanted something that I could easily do with our sometimes hectic lifestyle
- I wanted to read great living books
- I wanted a program that let me choose math and phonics/reading/handwriting
A Gentle Feast met all of my desires and I purchased the Cycle 1 plans And the Morning Time Packet.
So How Does it Work?
I can honestly say that I am shocked at how well things worked with the curriculum. With the curriculum purchase you gain access to an online resource that is invaluable. It gives you access to all the songs, Spanish or language lessons, and so much more. Granted we have only completed six weeks since we started this at the end of the school year. My son is almost 7 and what we were using prior to this was not working and he was bored. The most amazing thing that I found with A Gentle Feast is that my son LOVED recitation. Who would have thought that a 6 year old boy would love learning a poem? He began to tell it to everyone we saw. Then another amazing thing happened, my 4 year old picked up the poem by listening to her brother tell others.
We really enjoyed the first few history books that we read. My son enjoyed drawing Lief the Lucky.
Is this curriculum perfect? No, but there isn’t a perfect one out there. Is this curriculum for every family? No, you must choose what is best for your family and I think most would enjoy this curriculum. Is it 100% open and go? No, but I truly do not believe there is any true boxed open and go Charlotte Mason curriculum out there, at least I have not found it.
A Gentle Feast does offer several levels of Language Arts, but we have not tried them yet. We are still finishing the program that we started last year.
A Gentle Feast offers a FREE 2 Week Sample of the program if you would like to try it before you buy it.
To learn more about A Gentle Feast check out the website. Julie Ross has been amazing to work with and her customer service and support is like none other I have found.
I hope this was helpful and encouraging for you, especially if you are looking for the right Charlotte Mason curriculum. Comment below what your favorite curriculum is and if you have ever used a Charlotte Mason method.
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As a reminder, these are all my opinions. I purchased the curriculum and materials with my own money. I am an Influencer with A Gentle Feast and the links do allow me to make a little off your purchase, but do not cost you anything!