FAQ

What do I need to get started?
Can I just purchase the audio files?
Are the audio files necessary to teach with Charlotte Mason’s method?
Is the teaching guide “Teaching Languages with Miss Mason and François” necessary to teach with Charlotte Mason’s method?
Should I buy the ebook or the printed book?
What ages can use these volumes?
Can we use these volumes for high school?
What about grammar?

What do I need to get started?
All anyone needs to get started is Volume 1 of one or more languages. Each volume contains a detailed introduction of the method and how to use the volume. Each volume is designed to last you two years if you follow Miss Mason’s pace; three years if you go a little more slowly.

If you as the teacher are unfamiliar with the language you choose, consider buying the MP3 audio files for the volume. Note that the audio files are not an audio book; you still need the corresponding volume.

If you know the language well and want to create your own curriculum for your children or students, then our ebook Teaching Languages with Miss Mason and François would be a great aid. It is a teaching guide that outlines the process of teaching a language lesson. It also talks about what Miss Mason brought to François Gouin’s method and how her contribution makes a difference in the way we teach. It includes Miss Mason’s words about why this method is so effective and also what we know today from the latest research in neuroscience. The guide includes Miss Mason’s ideas for language assessment, teaching grammar, and some occasional alternatives to series work.

Can I just purchase the audio files?
There are MP3 audio files for all lessons and exercises recorded by a native speaker. But teaching with Charlotte Mason’s method requires the full lesson text, both the English and the target language. By themselves the audio files will not make sense unless you also have a corresponding language volume.

Are the audio files necessary to teach with Charlotte Mason’s method?
No. If you already know the language and the correct pronunciation, you do not need the audio files to teach the language with Charlotte Mason’s method.

Is the teaching guide “Teaching Languages with Miss Mason and François” necessary to teach with Charlotte Mason’s method?
No. An explanation of how to teach with Charlotte Mason’s method is included at the beginning of each volume. However, just as with Miss Mason’s books, there are some deep subjects here so in the teaching guide I cover some aspects of teaching in greater depth. Miss Mason had several things to say about the effectiveness of the method–which are included in the guide–but modern neuroscience also supports many of Miss Mason’s ideas and I discuss that. The guide also addresses how to assess languages using Miss Mason’s methods, how to teach grammar, and ideas for both taking breaks from series and creating series of your own.

Should I buy the ebook or the printed book?
Charlotte Mason believed that children should hold fine materials in their hands, including books. We have kept her vision by producing printed books that are nice to look at and to hold. We do realize, however, that some people prefer the lightness of having their library on an electronic reader, and we have responded by offering ebook editions of the language volumes that have the same content with a slightly different layout.

What ages can use these volumes?
ASI schools have used our volumes for classes k-8. In our CM co-op we have used them with pre-K students–though they go much more slowly. At home we have used them for high school, but with grammar supplements.

Can we use these volumes for high school?
Our volumes were not designed with high school credit in mind. We use them at that level in our home, but with some additional resources. If you compare our volumes with high school texts, two differences will strike you:

  • High school texts are heavy on learning nouns
  • High school texts are heavy on explicit grammar lessons

Students using our volumes will use (not simply conjugate) more verbs than those covered in high school texts. They may also use more verbs in various verb tenses, however they will not necessarily know the name of the verb tense they are using. That is, they will know how to say, “I did this yesterday” or “I will do it tomorrow” but they will not necessarily be able to tell you whether they are using the past tense, the preterite, the future, or the subjunctive. The explicit grammar vocabulary is not provided. To obtain high school credit today, students will need many more explicit grammar lessons than our volumes provide. I would advise that our volumes could be a part of your high school study, but they are not sufficient.

For French we can recommend checking out the resources at FrenchToday.com. Camille Chevalier-Karfis in Paris focuses on pronunciation and grammar drills and has numerous reading and culture resources for adults and older students.

What about grammar?
Mostly Miss Mason believed in deducing grammar rules from the series. But her books contained some explicit grammar lessons; we have followed that example. The grammar exercises are there to provide a lesson in-between series. Some of the lessons are explicit, e.g. definite articles in the language that change according to gender. Many of the lessons are implicit though, e.g. instead of teaching “the past tense,” we learn to say the series for “Yesterday, I …” The idea of changing how you say something for yesterday (or tomorrow) is taught, rather than the more abstract idea of “past tense” or “past perfect tense.”