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Joyful Discovery

private school Princeton

The Charlotte Mason Influence

Our view of the way children learn is influenced by the ideas of Charlotte Mason. Mason herself was a classical educator from mid-nineteenth century England. Classical education in her day, as in ours, emphasized highly cognitive teaching, driven primarily by memorization and drill. Charlotte Mason pioneered teaching methods that took advantage of a child’s natural curiosity and delight in discovery. Her ideas engaged a child’s heart and imagination in the learning process and avoided the tedium and exasperation that can creep into overly rote teaching environments.

At Wilberforce, we believe that children learn best with a balanced approach that is both experiential and disciplined, that engages both the mind and heart, that develops cognitive ability, igniting curiosity and passion.

We all have need to be trained to see, and to have our eyes opened before we can take in the joy that is meant for us in this beautiful life.
- Charlotte Mason

private school


Many of the ideas and methods Charlotte Mason developed achieve this balance beautifully, and we have incorporated these tools in several ways: