Carroll Smith

Dr. Carroll Smith

Dr. Carroll Smith was introduced to Charlotte Mason many years ago through Mason’s book An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education. From there the seeds of ideas given by Mason in her various books have slowly taken hold and have grown year by year as Carroll worked as a middle school teacher, a principal and a college professor. He founded the educational nonprofit, The Charlotte Mason Institute, to promote the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason and cherishes the relationships that have gown over the years through a collective camaraderie with people interested in seeing education from a very different paradigm. He enjoys reading, gardening and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra live in Roanoke, VA.

2023 Conference

Narration: How, What, & Why?

In Home Education Mason says, “Let us take the goods the gods provide. When the child is six, not earlier, let him narrate the fairy-tale which has been read to him.” (p. 232). Language, we know, is innate to all of us. It is part of the imago Dei within all of us as humans. Narration is simply a product of what God has already put within us. I have watched short videos of my new granddaughter babbling to herself, and her language has grown exponentially during her first three years of life. Mason wants us to use “the goods the gods provide.” Children, as she describes, love to retell stories and particular events in their own lives. How do we make use of this natural language development that occurs in most children? Getting a thorough understanding of narration can take a full day. In this short session we will explore: “What is narration? When do we narrate? How do we begin to narrate? What do we narrate? And, what types of narration are possible?” and much more. Join us as we start an exploration of the use of narration in a Charlotte Mason education.

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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. The Charlotte Mason Institute is a nonprofit that seeks to research and amplify the educational theories and practices of Charlotte Mason. We help educators practice relational education through our Alveary curriculum, conferences, publications, training, and social media.

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Alveary is CMI’s full first through twelfth grade curriculum and teacher training program, serving thousands of students across the country and beyond. Alveary provides detailed daily lesson plans, booklists, training, and community support to allow you to implement a relational education with confidence and joy. The curriculum is written by a team of over 20 veteran Charlotte Mason teachers, administrators, and researchers, and our aim is to provide a robust and modern course of study that is both true to Charlotte Mason’s model of education and relevant for 21st-century students living in North America. You can sign up as a yearly member or purchase individual courses in our store.

Blue Orchard Bee

Blue Orchard Bee

The Blue Orchard Bee is a resource that is open to anyone interested in pursuing a Charlotte Mason education within a home or classroom that has at least one neurodivergent student. We’ve named the initiative “The Blue Orchard Bee” because when people think about the bees pollinating our crops and flowers, we tend to think about honey bees. We don’t think about the over 3000 species of native bees, most of which have needs that are very different from the honey bee. The Blue Orchard Bee is one example of these native bees and if we want to care for Blue Orchard Bees, then we have to understand what they need and provide for those needs appropriately. Some of our children are just like those Blue Orchard Bees, living and learning in a world that is built for honey bees. When discerning how to provide for those children, we looked to Mason’s example. So, at the Blue Orchard Bee we offer both training and cultural engagement through our publications, and we offer support and encouragement through our online community. The Blue Orchard Bee is absolutely free and open to anyone interested.

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