Charlotte Mason’s Alveary is the culmination of over a decade of research and work. The Charlotte Mason Institute (CMI) began exploring the idea of creating a modern Charlotte Mason curriculum and teacher training program in 2007. Since we knew we needed access to primary source documents in order to gain a fuller understanding of Mason’s ideas, CMI worked with Redeemer University College, The Armitt Museum and Gallery, and The University of Cumbria to digitize letters, articles, manuscripts, programs, and many other items, which are now housed in the Charlotte Mason Digital Collection. After analysis of Mason’s original programs and other resources, we piloted the Alveary in 2016. Our program has evolved since then due to further research, feedback from our members, and the dedication of our development team, which now numbers over 20 teachers, homeschool parents, and content area experts. What started as an idea for helping teachers implement Mason’s methods while also learning them has grown from a collection of spreadsheets to a beautiful, robust curriculum that brings the full Mason feast within everyone’s grasp.
In 2015, the Charlotte Mason Institute hired Dr. Jen Spencer as Project Manager, asking her to create a curriculum and teacher training program that could be used by both schools and homeschools. The CMI Board recommended the following criteria:
The curriculum should be American in focus, rather than British.
It should be based on research into primary-source materials.
It should use updated books that reflect our diverse population.
It should rely primarily on books that are currently in print.
It should follow the precedent set for us by Mason and the PNEU.
It should not be based on the work of any other organization.
It should reflect current education and brain research insofar as they do not conflict with Mason’s principles.
ONGOING WORK OF
Charlotte Mason’s Alveary Team
- Continuing to read the original volumes
- Reading the Parents’ Review
- Analyzing the original PNEU schedules and programmes
- Examining the books Mason used
- Working with publishers to get books reprinted and/or updated
- Working with Mason- and subject-matter experts to create materials when we cannot find them
- Keeping up with current research to evaluate where it does and does not match with Mason’s 20 principles
- Keeping our program fluid so that we can make appropriate changes as we make new connections and discoveries