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Charlotte Mason’s “Presence” in Our Average High School Day

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More Than a Charlotte Mason Moment

Charlotte Mason’s “Presence” in Our Average High School Day

By the end of this homeschool year, I will have graduated my second son, Riley. Though I have mixed emotions, the most prevalent one is gratitude. I just feel incredibly blessed to have been Wyatt’s and Riley’s teacher. I look forward to finishing my teaching strong over the next four years with my last son, Emmett. Homeschooling is just such a blessing. We have a way of life I would not trade for anything. Faith, family, and a love for learning – all an amazing daily part of our homeschooling. One primary thing I am eternally grateful for is God’s abiding presence in our day-to-day learning. Another secondary thing I am especially grateful for is Charlotte Mason’s presence in our schooling each day. I was worried she might disappear in high school, but she is alive and well.

Charlotte Mason’s “Presence” in U.S History II’s Day 2 Plans of Unit 14

Riley and I just finished U.S. History II’s Unit 14, Day 2’s plans today. This was just an ordinary day. However, ordinary days seem extraordinary to me during the senior high school year. Everything just comes together beautifully. In this blog post, I thought we could see how Charlotte Mason’s presence makes each high school day special by just looking at a random day like today.

Charlotte Mason’s “Presence”… found in reading living books for history, completing Book of Centuries timeline entries, and copying famous quotes for Living Library

Riley read some amazing living books today!  Starting with the U.S. History box of plans, Riley read Mystery of History. In response to the reading, he added three entries to his Book of Centuries. Moving on to his History Activities box of plans, Riley read more of his Mystery of History book. His U.S. II notebook included multiple quotes from Gandhi that were taken from his reading. Beneath each quote, Riley noted the quote’s context, its significance, and any insight it provided into Gandhi. He also shared his own thoughts and reactions to each quote. Moving on to the Living Library box, Riley read A Room of My Own. He responded to his reading with a Triple-Entry Journal Assignment. In this assignment, he copied a favorite quote, explained its context, and shared his reflections on it. Now, that’s quite a Charlotte Mason “presence,” isn’t it?!?

Charlotte Mason’s “Presence”… found in reading living books for Economics and Finance, in studying citizenship, in learning Latin, and in studying the Bible

In Economics, he read Economics: A Free Market Reader. We then had a wonderful discussion about the circumstances under which a government should be able to use its power to compel citizens to comply. We moved on to Latin, where Riley translated sentences written in Latin to English. Next, came Finance with Dave Ramsey – a man truly passionate about this topic! Riley read Foundations in Personal Finance and answered written questions in response to his reading. After he watched Dave’s DVD, he completed journal questions about student loan myths and shared his answers with me. As he quoted Dave and excitedly shared his answers, this really turned into an oral narration. Likewise, after reading and annotating his Bible box’s I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, he gave another impromptu oral narration after sharing his workbook answers. Yet another indicator of Charlotte Mason’s “presence” in high school!

Charlotte Mason’s “Presence”… found in reading living books and doing copywork for Science, in British Literature poetry study, and in studying Great Communicators in Speech

In Science, Riley read The New Astronomy Book and watched the DVD What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy. After answering workbook questions, he moved onto his notebook. In his notebook, he completed copywork regarding “What You Aren’t Being Told About Uranus and Neptune.” He was so intrigued by this! As always, he did his copywork in cursive – he reserves cursive writing for copywork, which he deems as more special than other writing. In British Literature, Riley read and annotated The Devotional Poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Milton. In response, he did the “For Reflection or Discussion” questions and completed a narration entry in his literature journal. Finally, in Speech, Riley read about another amazing speech and continued to apply what he learned to take steps to become a better communicator.  Charlotte Mason’s “presence” found again!

In Closing

Charlotte Mason’s “presence” can be found all through Heart of Dakota’s high school, and I find it such a blessing to have her present. At a time when many curriculums fall away from much of what makes education an atmosphere, a discipline, a life, Heart of Dakota’s high school holds steady. For those of you looking ahead to high school who love Charlotte Mason, I just want to give you a glimpse of what is to come. Her presence remains throughout, all the way to the end of the homeschool journey – and let me tell you, it’s a glorious end.

In Christ,



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