The Charlotte Mason Approach | Oakbrook Preparatory School

Charlotte's Motto

“I am a child of God. I ought to do his will.
I can do what He says. And by His grace, I will.”

Oakbrook Preparatory School views each child as an individual spirit to be kindled rather than a vessel to be filled - a person endowed by God with uniqueness. The Oakbrook educational experience seeks to be a joyous adventure and celebration of life, as well as a solid preparation for living. We hope to instill in each student a love for learning that will last a lifetime. To do this, Oakbrook has adopted much of the philosophy of Charlotte Mason, an innovative British educator of the late 1800’s. Charlotte Mason was a remarkable Christian woman who truly loved children and worked diligently to change the educational climate of her day.

The Charlotte Mason method is based on the firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. A Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” 

She outlined her methodology in a series of six scholarly books on education. Her work is founded on scripture; she saw God, the Holy Spirit, as the supreme educator of all mankind. Miss Mason saw no separation between the intellectual and spiritual life of children. Her academic emphases were to put children in touch with nature and the classics in literature, art and music.

  • Education is an Atmosphere refers to the attitude toward learning that is established in the classroom and beyond as we travel and learn together. The classroom atmosphere should invite students to learn from real things in a real world.
  • Education is a Discipline implies the inner attitude and motivation. Students should be trained to have good habits and self-control. Children need time to think and reflect if their work is to be worthwhile.
  • Education is a Life refers to the moral and intellectual ideas we place before children. The mind feeds upon ideas and therefore children should have a generous curriculum. Children need to be encouraged toward worthwhile thoughts: beauty, faith and the sciences.
  • Education is the science of relations means that children have minds capable of making their own connections with knowledge and experiences. The child should learn about nature, science and art, know how to make things, read many living books and be physically fit.
  • Education is the acceptance or rejection of ideas – it is the child’s responsibility in choosing to either accept or reject ideas. To assist them in this choice, students are given principles of conduct and a wide range of knowledge.