Our story

Promoting the principles and practices of Charlotte Mason’s design for a relational education for all, with charity, fidelity, and humility.

Our story

How it began

Charlotte Mason envisioned a relational education in a living environment filled with books, experiences, nature, and ideas, where the child is viewed as a person and the educator as one who cooperates with God.

We aim to bring this kind of education to all students and teachers in every setting. We believe that children are born whole persons, with appetites for  knowledge and strong powers of mind.

To this end, we integrate our scholarly research of Mason's original writings, curriculum, programmes, and schedules with current research on educational practice and child development., and we remain adaptable and implement appropriate changes as  new connections and discoveries are made.

The Charlotte Mason Institute began as an annual gathering of thoughtful school and home educators who desired to learn more about the theory and practice of Charlotte Mason's ideas for education. Every June for almost a decade, Dr. Carroll Smith, then Dean of Education at Gardener-Webb University, and his spouse, Andra Smith, together with a dedicated team, welcomed educators from all across North America for annual conversation and study with leading scholars from across the world.

Through the years we have grown to convene educators not only around our annual gatherings but through a blog, a full 21st century Mason curriculum, Alveary, study groups, teacher-training courses, and numerous other resources.

“We are limited to three educational instruments--the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas.” ~ Charlotte Mason

our Vision

a relational education

  • Begins by recognizing that children are born into many relationships. They relate with themselves, with other people, with the world around them, and with God.
  • Nurtures self-knowledge and respects the personhood and individuality of every child.
  • Values the dignity of students, parents, and classroom educators as they work alongside each other in an atmosphere of vital ideas.
  • Builds connections across a diverse curriculum sourced from living books, nature, and experience.
  • Honors the inseparable coherence of the intellectual and spiritual life of the child.
  • Cultivates a love of learning and an attitude of wonder.

Our story


Hear about some of the first research which has now birthed the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection.

Conversation with Dr Jennifer Spencer


Conversation with Dr Jennifer Spencer

What is the Importance of the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection for Curriculum Design


What is the Importance of the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection for Curriculum Design

Our teams

Ongoing work

  • Reading and republishing the original volumes
  • Researching and studying The Parents’ Review, the journal founded by Charlotte Mason and in publication for 99 years
  • Analyzing the original PNEU schedules and programmes and examining the books Mason used
  • Collaborating with publishers to reprint or update books
  • Working with Mason scholars and subject-matter experts to create materials otherwise unavailable
  • Keeping up with current research to evaluate consistency with Mason's 20 Principles
  • Ensuring our program and resources are adapted as new connections and discoveries are made
  • Collaborating with scholars affiliated with the Institute for Education at the University of Cumbria