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ABOUT CMCS

Here at Charlotte Mason Community School, we have been committed to an equitable education in the city of Detroit for over 20 years! We believe every child deserves life-giving education. We offer students an education that will foster life-long learning with the skills to make an impact on the community that surrounds them.

Living Our Mission

Vision

For all Charlotte Mason Community School students to grow in a love of learning that extends beyond the classroom, for their good and the good of their communities.

Mission

To provide a Christian liberal arts education that fosters the development of great minds and wide interests while nurturing each child’s relationship to God and the world He created.

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Mission & Vision
Program Overview

Program Overview

Education is Relationships

Charlotte Mason believed education is about forming relationships with God, humanity, and the world. At CMCS, this philosophy is embraced through a curriculum rich in hands-on experiences, great literature, and the arts. Outdoor play and nature study are integral, enhancing learning success. Mason emphasized that true education is self-education, where children actively engage with a broad, challenging curriculum. Teachers at CMCS provide diverse ideas and help develop essential habits, viewing each child as a unique individual with God-given gifts and abilities.

Parent Involvement

We deeply value parental involvement, recognize its critical role in student success. Research shows that when parents engage with schools, students achieve higher grades, better test scores, improved attendance, enhanced social skills, and are more likely to continue their education. CMCS aligns with Charlotte Mason's belief that parents are the primary educators of their children, with the school serving as their support. Parents at CMCS participate in study sessions, practice educational methods at home, and contribute a minimum of 40 volunteer hours annually to the school community.

Outdoors Playtime

We recognize the importance of outdoor play and nature study as essential components of our curriculum. Research indicates that outdoor play enhances educational success and is vital for a child's development. The National Association for the Education of Young Children supports the need for outdoor play, and studies from the University of Illinois highlight its benefits, especially for children with ADD and ADHD. At CMCS, we ensure that students have ample opportunities for outdoor play, fostering their overall growth and attention.

Small Class Size

We recognizes the profound benefits of small class sizes for enhancing learning and overall student well-being. With a class size maximum of 12 students, our approach ensures personalized attention, academic excellence, and a supportive environment. This intimate setting promotes better safety, discipline, and order, making the educational experience more enriching and enjoyable for every child. Our commitment to small classes underscores our dedication to fostering meaningful relationships and individual growth.

The Arts

We value the arts as a vital part of education. Research from Stanford University shows that young artists excel academically, read more, and engage in community service. At CMCS, art, music, drama, and music appreciation are integral to our curriculum and are protected from budget cuts. We believe the arts enrich students' lives, fostering creativity, and enhancing overall academic and personal development.

Teacher Training & CM Philosophy

We prioritize teacher training in Charlotte Mason's philosophy, understanding its critical role in enhancing student learning experiences. Our teachers participate in sessions to study her methods, which promote higher reading achievement through the use of literature, integration of reading and writing, and library visits. This professional development ensures that our educators are well-equipped to deliver a rich, meaningful education. The real value of a CMCS education lies in fostering a love for learning and a deep understanding of relationships with God, self, others, and the world.

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Who is CM

The Life of

Charlotte Mason

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Charlotte Mason (1842-1923), an English educator and author, was a pioneer in educational reform. Despite facing personal hardships, she founded the House of Education in Ambleside, England, where she trained teachers and promoted her innovative educational philosophy. Mason emphasized the importance of relationships, self-education, and a broad curriculum, impacting schools across the UK and beyond. Her methods, nearly forgotten after WWII, were revived in the 1980s and continue to influence education today. Her legacy lies in fostering both knowledge and character in students.

Click here to learn more.

Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum

Charlotte Mason Community School (CMCS ) is a member school of Ambleside Schools International (ASI) and uses an adapted version of their curriculum. The adaptation includes books and materials that resonate with urban school populations, sharing stories, ideas, histories, and voices that reflect their experiences.

Charlotte Mason recognized in children a natural hunger to know, a profound craving for relationship with persons present and past, historic and fictional; with plants and animals; with earth, sea, and sky; with great story, poetry, art, and music. In accord with her vision, Ambleside Schools International created a rich, formative, and deeply satisfying curriculum for students, pre-kindergarten through high school.

 

The Ambleside curriculum is comprised of skill-based (disciplinary) and content-based (inspirational) texts and resources. These are not mutually exclusive forms of instruction — each discipline is infused with inspiration and each inspiration requires its discipline. Disciplinary and inspirational instruction work in tandem, enlivening students’ engagement with ideas and rigorous knowledge.

 

As the children mature, the curricula they encounter broadens and deepens. It moves beyond fundamental skills to advanced work that prepares them to cultivate a rich intellectual life through varied subjects, regardless of their post-secondary paths.

 

The curricula consist primarily of books, books they can live upon; books alive with thought and feeling and delight in knowledge, nutriment for the mind. These texts have stood the test of time and contain beautiful language, universal themes, rich characters, intricate plots. Still others offer disciplinary information in an inspirational, accessible format with plenty of practice.

 

Whenever possible, Ambleside Schools International selects books that are in print and readily available to accommodate the broadest possible audience. Some resources are selectively available via used bookstores and websites; these have been chosen because they will most effectively reach the mind of the student.

 

The Ambleside curricula provides: 

 

  • A wide and varied course of study (16 – 22 varied subjects weekly).

  • A daily plan for skill development and content mastery.

  • Knowledge characterized as vital, fruitful, interesting, and idea-rich.

  • Books characterized as representing “the best thought of the best writers”.

  • Materials that aid in understanding and exploring, without diluting, the discipline.

  • Grade-level sequences in select studies.

  • Grade-level sequences for inspirational subjects, among them citizenship and science.

  • Science observations and experiments correlated with science studies.

  • An unabridged Shakespeare play read yearly in fourth through eighth grades.

  • Art in various mediums and handwork.

  • The Gouin Series Method for foreign language.

Below is ASI’s video series with Dr. Bill St. Cyr and Maryellen St. Cyr. Learn more about Charlotte Mason’s tried and true principles and experience an Introduction to the Charlotte Mason Education Method.
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