ambleside curriculum, Ambleside Forum, Book reviews, charlotte mason, classical education

Consider This, Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, by Karen Glass

Karen Glass, -advisory member of  Ambleside Online-, surprised us with her soon to be published books,


A divulged Vol. 6, Towards a Philosophy of Education, (abridged or paraphrased rendition of Charlotte Mason’s influential book),

both of which I was honored to get in advanced copies, and both of which I read in the span of a few days, that hungry for them I was.

In her Consider This, – don’t you admire the title?-, she gives shape to many lingering and not so articulated ideas many of us familiar with Charlotte Mason, or Classical Education, or both, may have scattered in our minds. Reading it after her abridged vol. 6, has been a boost to my thinking, and it has humbled and encouraged me tremendously in this path of not only educating, but of living.

Her book is concise, her writing to the point, yet it contains all we need to hear on the matter. One can appreciate in this text the many years of careful study and practicing Charlotte Mason principles, and of learning and reading about what the Classical Tradition was and what it means to us. It is a gift Karen has, that of expressing herself with clarity and humility, that of doing the hard work and presenting it in such a graceful and masterful manner. Like all great thinkers, one cannot help but say, “how is it I did not think about that myself?”, and we might have, but we lacked all her years of these ideas simmering, all these observations being confirmed through her readings, and finally, her ability to put them in words. She spare us from tediousness and obscure argumentation, and writes with the authority of one who knows and lives that which is expressed and defended.

I believe this book will be a blessing and such an invaluable reference to others as it has been to me. I cannot wait to see it printed. It is an injection of vitality, a living book in all its power, a book to read and remind ourselves the whys of our whats and hows.

The book is unique in its kind. To my knowledge, there is no other book that delivers all Charlotte Mason principles and method in few words but in completeness, a book that explains what Classical Education was and is, and that unveils the classical nucleus of a Charlotte Mason education. She looks carefully at the sources that Charlotte Mason learned about and built upon, and quotes with a sharp eye from those original sources. Her conclusions and thoughts all come together and prove themselves through the thread of the book’s discourse.

I highlighted many different sections of the book, and I cannot wait to have a paper copy to be able to write on the margins, highlight, and make it more mine. But to quote abundantly, -or just to quote- would be, to me, and in this case, similar to dismembering the book and revealing some of her ideas in a second hand way that would surely dishonor it. I rather have you, reader, once the book is published, -sometime in August, according to Karen-, be the one to read it and experience it first hand. For this once, I want to keep the mystery and lovely surprise of reading it without any quote or clue, just you and Karen, and her uplifting proposal, “Consider This”.

Thanks for writing these books, Karen.


2 thoughts on “Consider This, Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, by Karen Glass”

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