School Education, the third volume of Charlotte Mason's Homeschooling Series, consists of thoughts about the teaching and curriculum of children aged 9-12, either at school or at home. She suggests that parents should practice what she calls "masterly inactivity"-not neglectful or permissive parenting, but simply allowing children to work things out for themselves, do things for themselves, learn from their own mistakes, and to have time for free play, and space for spontaneity.

Charlotte Mason uses "living books" instead of dry textbooks; in this book, she discusses what kinds of books to look for in each subject, and how to use them to teach children to love knowledge and become real readers and lifelong learners. Charlotte Mason was a late nineteenth-century British educator whose ideas were far ahead of her time. She believed that children are born persons worthy of respect, rather than blank slates, and that it was better to feed their growing minds with living literature and vital ideas and knowledge, rather than dry facts and knowledge filtered and pre-digested by the teacher.

Her method of education, still used by some private schools and many homeschooling families, is gentle and flexible, especially with younger children, and includes first-hand exposure to great and noble ideas through books in each school subject, conveying wonder and arousing curiosity, and through reflection upon great art, music, and poetry; nature observation as the primary means of early science teaching; use of manipulatives and real-life application to understand mathematical concepts and learning to reason, rather than rote memorization and working endless sums; and an emphasis on character and on cultivating and maintaining good personal habits. Schooling is teacher-directed, not child-led, but school time should be short enough to allow students free time to play and to pursue their own worthy interests such as handicrafts.

chapter II|12 pages

Docility and Authority in the Home and the School

Part II.—How Authority Behaves

chapter III|11 pages

‘Masterly Inactivity’

chapter IV|8 pages

Some of the Rights of Children as Persons

chapter V|12 pages

Psychology in Relation to Current Thought

chapter VI|12 pages

Some Educational Theories Examined

chapter VII|11 pages

An Adequate Theory of Education

chapter VIII|12 pages

Certain Relations Proper to a Child

chapter IX|10 pages

A Great Educationalist (A Review)

chapter XII|11 pages

Some Unconsidered Aspects of Moral Training

chapter XIV|16 pages

A Master-Thought

chapter XV|10 pages

School-Books and how they Make for Education

chapter XVI|8 pages

How to Use School-Books

chapter XVIII|10 pages

We are Educated by our Intimacies

Part II.—Further Affinities

chapter XIX|11 pages

We are Educated by our Intimacies

Part III.—Vocation

chapter XXI|12 pages

Suggestions Towards a Curriculum (For Children under Twelve)

Part II.—School-Books

chapter XXII|8 pages

Suggestions Towards a Curriculum

Part III.—The Love of Knowledge