Are you overwhelmed by the thought of choosing your own books to read with your students? There are many excellent, pre-planned curricula available for people who lean toward a Charlotte Mason (CM) style of homeschooling, some that are even free. While I don’t follow any of these as written, I do regularly visit these websites to get inspired, learn from their various articles, and get book ideas for our own home.
- Wildwood Curriculum — A free, secular and fairly CM-purist curriculum. It’s still in development so not every year is available yet, but there are many complete years, quality book ideas (with many options), and lots and lots of really useful information about how to implement. You will still need to do some planning on how to space out the readings.
- Build Your Library — A very planned out literature-based curriculum (has CM-inspired components but not strictly CM). Costs money to buy the plans for each year, but they are very affordable (as with all of these programs, you still need to buy the actual books separately). I’ve learned a lot just from reading through the website and enjoy many of the book selections. Many people love using this program.
- Ambleside Online — This is where I really learned how to implement CM’s philosophies in our home. It is a massive, free resource, lovingly built by many parents over decades of work. I have deep admiration and appreciation for the AO project and community, and I recommend that any new homeschooling parent spend some time at least looking at it. That being said, it is an explicitly Western-tradition (i.e. white history) focused curriculum that favors many older, highly problematic texts (including ones with very outdated and prejudiced depictions of people of color and Native Americans — when they are mentioned at all). It is also an explicitly (conservative Protestant) Christian curriculum. So, for our family, it is not the right choice.