Charlotte Mason and Nature Journaling

The Charlotte Mason homeschooling system is a profound and effective framework for teaching. It is widely adopted across the world. Many of Mason’s principles parallel current best practices in education. Keeping a nature journal is a part of Mason education. In this workshop, we were joined by Art Middlekauff, a leading thinker in Mason education and how to apply it today. We discussed the intersection between Charlotte Mason education and nature journaling.

About our guest: Art is the founder and leader of the Charlotte Mason Poetry podcast, blog, and website. He and his wife Barbara have been home educating their three children for more than a decade. Over this time, Art has been studying Charlotte Mason’s writings and applying her living ideas to his family’s homeschool, both indoors and out. Art has written several essays about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy which have been published in the two volumes of Essays on the Life and Work of Charlotte Mason, published by Riverbend Press. Art has also produced a video about Charlotte Mason’s key principles which may be obtained from Sage Parnassus.

4 thoughts on “Charlotte Mason and Nature Journaling

  1. Jo Craig says:

    This was so good guys – thank you for sharing this conversation with us. I’m inspired to make an effort to incorporate nature journaling into our (home)school days.

  2. Gisela Foster says:

    My sister-in-law reported right back and I am pleased to know that she is well aware of Charlotte Manson. Here is an excerpt of her answer.
    “ Yes, I am familiar with Charlotte Mason and her approach is not uncommon in college, sadly not enough in the lower grades. I think some would call it hands on approach. Instead of reading about it, you do it. Instead of looking at it in a book,you go out and see it in its habitat. That sort of thing. And instead of pummeling facts to students, you give them the means to figure out those facts on their own. I did a lot of this at Presentation and always at West Valley. Teachers are somewhat limited in their ability to apply this approach because of the way in which their institutions are run,financed, regulated, etc. but it is a GLORIOUS way to teach and to this day I have students write me and tell me that they learned more from some of the field trips and real life events in which we all participated than they ever learned anywhere else. It is a very rewarding way to teach. “

  3. Sandra D’Onofrio says:

    This was an amazing hour of information and inspiration. I listened, spellbound, but taking furious notes. Credit Jack’s gregariousness for bringing Art to us. Bravo!
    More, please.

  4. Gisela Foster says:

    This conversation was wonderful.Thank you!
    I have just emailed my daughter and best friend, and have asked them questions about Charlotte Mason, because they are both educators.
    One thing I want to point out, something that is often not mentioned when changes in education are discussed, is the lack of opportunity for some underserved communities. For a black child in the inner city wonder and nature’s beauty are often far removed. Not so much for lack of nature but for lack of understanding of their significance. Lack of time for parents.
    What we need, while we revamp education, is more opportunities for all children. Equal opprtunities for all.

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