About Charlotte Mason

The educational method used at Covenant Christian School is based upon the ideas of English author, philosopher and educator Charlotte Mason.

Charlotte Maria Shaw Mason was born on January 1, 1842. Orphaned at the age of sixteen, she enrolled in the Home and Colonial Society for the training of teachers and earned a First Class Certificate. She taught school for more than ten years at Davison School in Worthing, England. During this time she began to develop her vision for “a liberal education for all.” English children in the 1800s were educated according to social class; the poorer were taught a trade, and the fine arts and literature were reserved for the richer class. However, Charlotte envisioned a generous and broad curriculum for all children, regardless of social class.

Charlotte was soon invited to teach and lecture at Bishop Otter Teacher Training College in Chicester, England, where she stayed for more than five years and gave a series of lectures about the education of children under 9, later published as Home Education (1886). She co-founded the Parents’ Educational Union (PEU), an organization that provided resources to parents educating their children at home. She launched and served as editor-in-chief at the Parents’ Review to keep in touch with PEU members.

Charlotte was nearly fifty when she moved to Ambleside, England, in 1891 and formed the House of Education, a training school for governesses and others working with young children. By 1892 the Parents’ Education Union had added the word “National” to its title.

The following years brought more collections of writings by Charlotte, which were eventually published under the titles of Parents and ChildrenSchool EducationOurselvesFormation of Character, and A Philosophy of Education. More and more schools adopted her philosophy and methods, and Ambleside became a teacher training college to supply all the Parents’ Union Schools that were springing up. Charlotte spent her final years overseeing this network of schools devoted to “a liberal education for all.” She died on January 16, 1923.