City School embraces Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education, the aim of which is to train and educate the whole child – mind, body, and spirit. Our approach begins from a foundation of truth – that all children are created in the image of God and therefore eager to learn about Him and His creation. As you read in our Mission and Beliefs, we aim to create a beautiful and orderly environment and develop character through habit-building. Additionally, we challenge our students with a rich, living curriculum that leads them outward toward the world.
Though we categorize these principles as distinct concepts, each overlaps with the other, and exercised in unison they are mutually reinforcing.
The principles that govern who we are as a school create an environment that is itself an education – our children “breath the atmosphere”1 that emanates from our culture. We aim to create a beautiful and orderly environment, in both facilities and behavior, a reflection of our Creator and an inspiring space for students to explore and apply knowledge.
Character Development through Habits
“Every day, every hour, [we] are either passively or actively forming habits in [our] children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend.”2 We train our students in habits that form the foundational skills for life-long learning, emphasizing attention, personal responsibility, truthfulness, punctuality, and neatness & order.
A Curriculum to “Lead Out”
Philosophically, we aim to turn students outward toward the world (educate means “to lead out”) by engaging them with “big ideas”3 that highlight connections across disciplines. Practically, we build concepts through short & digestible lessons, hold students accountable for their learning through frequent recall & rehearsal, read “living books,”3 and instruct students in a broad selection of the arts.
Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923) was a British educator who invested her life in improving the quality of children’s education. An only child, she was educated mostly by her parents, and during her early years as a teacher, she began to develop her vision of “a liberal education for all.” The word “liberal,” as it related to education in Mason’s time, implied a broad curriculum for all children, regardless of social class. Her philosophy begins from proper Biblical worldview that all children are people, and we ought to educate them as whole persons – mind, body, and spirit – and not regard them as vessels to fill. Despite the changes brought by the modern era – mass produced learning materials, technology-assisted learning, , her ideas
1Charlotte Mason Series, Volume 2: Parents and Children (pg. 274)
2Charlotte Mason Series, Volume 1: Home Education (pg. 118)
3By “big ideas” and “living books” Ms. Mason means providing children with books which make the subject come alive, rather than dry texts