A school is a community dedicated to students, families, and their educational needs. Accreditation allows schools to clarify their values, vision, and mission so that they can serve their community “for the children’s sake.” The Charlotte Mason Institute accreditation process requires schools to meet rigorous and comprehensive standards. Accreditation affirms that the school provides a quality educational experience for learners and demonstrates to all stakeholders that the services, activities, and educational programs the school provides meet the expectations of the educational community worldwide.
From Interest to Accreditation
- Initial Interest
- Candidacy Application
- Mentor Visit
- Acceptance for the accreditation process
- Begin Self-Study
- Evaluation Team Visit
- CESS Decision
- Accreditation Awarded!
In addition to the suggested questions in the guides, beta club leaders have started using "prediction" questions to encourage participants to think about past and future seasons:
- What do you think this landscape will look like in the winter?
- (On your second visit) Does this look like what you thought the landscape would look like when you made your prediction last season?
You might also want to use index cards to write down a few questions before you go to use as you begin your walk.
The first visit takes longer - give yourself and your participants grace as you both figure out how to use the guides and plan your walk for the first time. Even the intro lesson to each location is longer the first time. As you continue to visit the same locations, you'll build knowledge and context - and you and your group will be familiar with the process.
No! We want to make these resources as accessible as possible, so only the club leader needs to register for the group. Club leaders can then share resources and cost with other group members or just enjoy the resources as a family. We do ask that you refrain from sharing private resources with friends not part of your club. Encourage them to register their own family or community!
Groups can use the guides in any order and use each guide in a rhythm that works best with their climate and personal schedules, but here is one way to organize your year of walks.
- September: Forest Guide (Autumn Visit)
- October: Grasslands Guide (Autumn Visit)
- November: Wetlands Guide (Autumn Visit)
- December: Forest (Winter)
- January: Grasslands (Winter)
- February: Wetlands (Winter)
- March: Forest (Spring)
- April: Grasslands (Spring)
- May: Wetlands (Spring)
- June: Forest (Summer)
- July: Grasslands (Summer)
- August: Wetlands (Summer)
Anyone! These guides are suitable for your family, school group, church, neighborhood, colleagues, or just a few friends who want to get outside more! We see these guides as a great way to invite others to join you outside in nature and learn to love the outdoors and observe the world more deeply.
CMI Natural History Clubs are distinct from Alveary and are open to anyone, young or old, interested in learning to love and observe nature more closely. However, Alveary members will find that these guides dovetail with Alveary science lessons and give them an easy and natural way to invite friends and family into Nature Study with them.
These guides are written to for use across North America and so are purposefully broad and aimed at ecological themes rather than a lot of specifics. This year, the guides focus on encouraging participants to observe relationships within a landscape. What vegetation do you see? Do you start to notice that certain plants appear together, or in certain locations? What animals do you see? How are animals interacting with the vegetation? Do you see the same animals around the same type of vegetation? Ecologists refer to specific types of landscapes as ecological communities. A certain type of geology and elevation will result in a specific type of vegetation, and specific animal species adapted to that environment and vegetation. While this guide does not use textbook language, the goal is for participants to begin understanding landscapes as a community.