What did Charlotte Mason really say about Kindergarten?

On the Thinking Love podcast, we love to bust Charlotte Mason myths and in this episode we’re taking on kindergarten. While we firmly believe in ‘gentle and quiet early years’, Charlotte Mason never said that kindergarten is wrong, harmful, or off-limits. Tune in for a helpful conversation about how to approach the education of our five and six year olds.

This episode is sponsored by the Wise Beginnings Summit. If you’re thinking about your child’s early years and laying a beautiful foundation for their future learning, you can purchase the Wise Beginnings Summit through our website. Featuring Amber O’Neil Johnston from Heritage Mom, we each share practical advice and encouragement for the early years – Charlotte Mason style! Find out more at thinkinglove.education/wisebeginnings.

And of course, don’t forget to register for our new course, Education is a Life!

Listen now, or scroll for show notes!

If the very essence of the Kindergarten method is personal influence, a sort of spiritual mesmerism, it follows that the mother is naturally the best Kindergartnerin; for who so likely as she to have the needful tact, sympathy, common sense, culture?

Charlotte Mason, Home Education

Formal Lessons versus Kindergarten

[1:55] In the UK, Children would typically start nursery after their third birthday….Then reception begins the year you turn five.

[3:43] When my daughter was five, I always got the impression that kindergarten was WRONG…It wasn’t until I really started digging into Charlotte Mason’s words in Home Education that I realized this wasn’t true.

The Good of Kindergarten

[6:50] “It is hardly necessary, here, to discuss the merits of the Kindergarten school. The success of such a school demands rare qualities in the teacher– high culture, some knowledge of psychology and of the art of education; intense sympathy with the children, much tact, much common sense, much common information, much ‘joyousness of nature,’ and much governing power;–in a word, the Kindergarten method is nicely contrived to bring the child en rapport with a superior intelligence…”

[8:29] The caveat is that she thinks the mother is the best Kindergartnerin, because she has all of the qualities that are necessary and that she can give her child the environment that’s important for them.

Charlotte Mason on Froebel

[13:59] Froebel was a German educator in the 19th century and he is referred to as the ‘inventor of Kindergarten’

[16:55]  the “Kindergarten teacher” would help the child understand each object and guide them through the process of creating something new with it.

Modern-day Homeschool Kindergarten

[19:01] So far kindergarten has been different for both of my children.

[23:57]  It’s important to recognize that a good foundation for a CM education can look different between different families

Mentioned in the Episode

Habit Training Workshop

What should our children do all day? (podcast episode)

Charlotte Mason Reading Lessons (podcast episode)

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