Thursday Mar 31, 2022

Teaching Charlotte Mason - Sonya Shafer, Part 3 (Homeschool Survival Series)

“Teach the child, not the curriculum” ~ Sonya Shafer   

Sonya Shafer joins Yvette Hampton for an in-depth look at the Charlotte Mason method for homeschoolers. 

Sonya Shafer is a popular homeschool speaker and writer, specializing in the Charlotte Mason Method. She has been on an adventure for more than 20 years studying, researching, practicing, and teaching Charlotte’s gentle and effective methods of education. Her passion for homeschooling her own four daughters grew into helping others and then into Simply Charlotte Mason, which publishes her many books and provides a place of practical encouragement to homeschoolers.

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Teaching Charlotte Mason  - Sonya Shafer on the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast (Homeschool Survival Series)

Watch this full conversation on our YouTube channel.

In this interview, Sonya Shafer talks about who Charlotte Mason was, how she discovered the Charlotte Mason approach, and why she decided to use CM in her home school.

Charlotte Mason Distinctives

  • What makes her approach different from other approaches? GREAT BOOKS and a focus on educating the whole person  in a Christian/Biblical worldview.
  • What are living books? Sonya shares excerpts from a textbook and a "living book" and discusses the difference 
  • What is "narration" and why do you use it in teaching? How does narration differ for children as they get older? Are there multiple methods of narration? 


  • Sonya demonstrates a picture study and has Yvette do a narration exercise to illustrate this method of guided discovery. 


  • Charlotte Mason believed that education was shaping the whole person, not just dumping facts into the child’s brain. Sonya explains “shaping the whole person"  and discusses how the Charlotte Mason approach focuses on that.
  • What would a typical day look like? Sonya Shafer walks us through a typical Charlotte Mason homeschool day and explains how all subjects are tackled, even with multiple children of different ages.
  • Sonya Shaffer gives a list of her favorite books on the Charlotte Mason approach and some of her favorite literature books.

Recommended Resources:

Charlotte Mason Books:

A Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levinson

A Charlotte Mason Companion, by Karen Andreola

Free eBook - Subject by Subject, Simply Charlotte Mason

Check out Sonya Shafer's books on Amazon


Favorite Books for Read Alouds:

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Little Britches (Series), by Ralph Moody


Simply Charlotte Mason Resources:

Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum Guide

Simply Charlotte Mason Presents - Stories of the Nations, Volume 1

Simply Charlotte Mason Presents - Stories of America, Volume 2

Simply Charlotte Mason Podcast 

- Pre-Reading Your Students' Books episode

Painting - The Gleaners, by Jean-Francois Millet

Simply Charlotte Mason - Picture study portfolios

Smooth and Dasy Days - free ebook

Literary Lists on Simply Charlotte Mason

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Podcast Topics: Sonya Shafer, Charlotte Mason Method, Literature, Living Books, Simply Charlotte Mason, Homeschool Survival Series, Gospel, Teaching Styles, Teaching Methods, Learning Styles, Classical, Yvette Hampton, Interview, Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution, Homeschool Movie, Homeschool Documentary, Homeschool Podcast, Christian, Parenting Podcast

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