Charlotte Mason Homeschooling on a Budget


Charlotte Mason homeschooling is possible, even if you’re on a budget. Quality education need not be expensive!

If you love the Charlotte Mason homeschooling principles, but aren’t sure how to work them into your own homeschool in a budget-conscious way, I have great news for you — it is possible to use Charlotte Mason homeschool resources on a budget! I have gathered some of my favorite tips and resources to show you how to reduce costs but give the education that you desire to your children.

charlotte mason homeschooling nature study

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

There are three main themes to Charlotte Mason education and all can be achieved frugally.


Surrounding and immersing your child in a positive learning environment.


Cultivating good habits in your child’s life.


Not just simple, boring, dry facts, but living ideas.

Our Journey WestwardCharlotte Mason Resources

Setting up the physical atmosphere

Nature is all around and it is free! Create a collection of nature items on a shelf or table with items you and your child gather — pinecones, leaves, shells, living plants, abandoned birds nests. Add items like a magnifying glass, journal, and sketchbook. If you’re new to nature study, you might want to read this post about Nature Study for Beginners or Why You Need Nature Walks in your Homeschool.

Living books

Living books are a very large part of the Charlotte Mason philosophy. They are written in a more conversational or narrative style than in the style of a textbook or encyclopedia. They make subjects come alive for children rather than dry textbooks. You can find living books at the library, Goodwill, yard sales, on Ebay, Facebook used curriculum groups, and local curriculum fairs.

Teach Math with Living Books – Use simple beans, buttons, rocks, wooden beads. You do not need a separate expensive curriculum. Choose living books instead of dull textbooks. Buy second hand when you can. I found these at a yard sale:

Math Curse

Math Curse living math book Charlotte Mason homeschooling


Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

Sir Cumference living math book Charlotte Mason homeschooling

We grabbed these wooden math manipulatives that are similar to a Charlotte Mason set at a fraction of the cost:

Charlotte Mason homeschooling wooden rods

 This is a great choice for living math lessons:

Our Journey Westward

Artists and Composers

This can be introduced and studied using books picked up from sources above, print pictures, play music from YouTube or other free sources. The resources available on the internet are nearly limitless, many sites offer free printable field guides, studies, and more. We’ve enjoyed Meet the Composers from SQUILT, which is an affordable hands-on study.


Spend plenty of time outdoors with your child — studying, observing, journaling, learning, and gathering. There is so much to learn about the world right around them and it costs nothing! Outdoors is a major part of the Charlotte Mason education.

Our Journey Westward

Here are a few Charlotte Mason books for you that are free or cheap on Kindle. {Remember that prices change quickly on Amazon!}

Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success

Charlotte Mason homeschooling book for moms


The Outdoor Life of Children

Charlotte Mason homeschooling outdoor life


A Twaddle Free Education

Charlotte Mason homeschooling twaddle free book

Charlotte Mason Conference Online

Join us for 5 days of workshops led by real moms who have embraced the Charlotte Mason philosophy in their homes. This is an online event covering topics such as getting started with Charlotte Mason, mother culture, habit training, living literaturenature studies, benefits of a Charlotte Mason education, and much more.

Curious about the Charlotte Mason method? Want to know if it’s a good fit for you, your family, and homeschool? Learn how Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education can bring peace and rest to your homeschool. Register now for the Charlotte Mason Online Conference.


Want to form lifelong positive habits as part of your child’s educational experience? Grab this free Charlotte Mason-inspired printable habit tracker to get started today!


Do you use Charlotte Mason inspired resources in your homeschool?

Charlotte Mason #homeschooling on a budget | frugal #homeschooling | affordable homeschool resources inspired by Charlotte Mason method



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  1. You’ve listed some good resources, Sara! My kids used to check out living math books from the library when they were still in public school (oh so long ago!). Sir Cumference is one that I recall. I don’t think they got through all of the series but they definitely enjoyed them!
    That math manipulative looks great! I might have to add that to my ‘to-buy’ list. We did use Life of Fred for quite awhile but switched in the upper years to something with less of a story line as it was distracting at points. Something about the math in a CM school: She used textbooks not ‘living books’ to actually *teach* math. A great resource to know more of how she did this can be found from Simply Charlotte Mason’s “Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching” handbook and the “Charlotte Mason’s Living Math: A Guided Journey” 2-DVD set. Now that doesn’t mean she didn’t use living books to help kids understand more about math; just not to actually teach it. We have two books that my daughter especially liked to pore over- “Math for Smarty Pants” and “The I Hate Mathematics! Book.” These are good for about 8-12 year olds- but I like them too! 😉
    We **loved** “A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers”! It was perfect to keep us on track with actually including this into our day, or at least once a week. But even if one doesn’t use this, listening to the pieces is so helpful in and of itself.
    For history, another resource readers might be interested in is TruthQuest History.
    An additional title that I’ll add here for those who have young beginning readers is Amy Tuttle’s “Discover Reading.” Although my kids were older and already knew how to read when we began homeschooling, this book would have drastically changed the way I ‘helped’ them learn to read!
    While I think that digital books and resources have their place, personally, I would recommend finding as many real, hold-in-your-hand resources as possible for a relational education (or CM, or living, however you want to term it 🙂 ).
    Again- great list!

    1. Thanks for your insight! I consider you our resident Charlotte Mason expert, so it’s good to hear this perspective. We incorporate many Charlotte Mason techniques in our homeschooling and it works well for us. We’re using Life of Fred math for elementary right now, as well as mixing in the Sir Cumference books. I agree that a textbook approach for learning math has been necessary for us, especially now that my oldest daughter is heading toward high school level work.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙂

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