How to Do Reading Lessons

Sounds and sight recognition of words through observation and attention  is what Charlotte Mason’s reading lessons use. The lessons should not be drudgery, but interesting and engaging. Sounding out words as well as sight word recognition are part of her method. Lessons in CM are short in order to train attention. These lessons typically run 10-15 minutes.



1. Using Books Basic Plan. 
CM does not describe this, but it lines up with her philosophy. It is a stripped down version of her reading lessons.
1.  Get a book with larger sized print (it is easier for both teacher and student to see it at the same time. And it is easier to see the words the teacher is pointing to)
2.  The teacher reads, pointing to words.
3.  Together they sound out words that lend themselves to this.
4.  The teacher tells the student words that cannot be sounded out.
5.  As the lesson continues the student reads all the words he can including any that he has been introduced to in the lesson, words he can sound out, and previous words.

2. Mrs Wesley’s Plan.
1.  Set a day and time for beginning. Everything and everyone else on the back burner.“household in order”.
2.  Day 1. learn letters. Learn the alphabet.
3.  Day 2. Genesis 1:1 . Learn to spell the verse.
4.  Read the verse.  Read it over and over until reading without hesitation.
5.  Repeat with verse 2.
6.  Day 3 and following. Continue this process until working up to 10 verses.
7.  In 1-2 months time, be reading a chapter at a time.

3. Charlotte Mason’s Own Reading Lessons.
Charlotte Mason’s lessons, as she describes them in Volume 1, are the Using Books plan and Mrs Wesley’s plan, but with more organization, intentional specific word presentation, using words in language context, and various ways of practice using individual words. Rather than seeing a word once or twice in a lesson, Charlotte has multiple ways and varied presentations to work with particular key lesson words. At the same time previously practiced words are reviewed in CM’s lessons.

There are a lot of components. I’ve detailed this method in First Reading Lessons. All Charlotte’s details, examples, and suggestions are fleshed out in a useable, ready-to-go form.

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