Seaside Cottage School chooses Topics and books which we believe match closely with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. The Topic list appears lengthy, but these are really things that fit as smaller parts of what contemporary schools call “subjects.”

A typical Christian school will have subjects with names like these: Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Music, and Art.

Our Topics fit into these general subject categories in the following way:

Bible is Bible, Habits (character development), Christian History, and Biography of Great Christians (Trial & Triumph). Christian schools also have Chapel with worship time, like our Hymns.

Language Arts is Reading, Phonics, Composition, Grammar, English Language Lessons, Spelling, Dictation, Literature, Copywork (Handwriting), Recitations, Shakespeare, and Poetry.

Math is Numbers, Arithmetic, and Math Lab.

Science is Nature Study, Natural History, Drawing (promotes observation of nature), and Lab Science.

Social Studies is World History, American History, English History, French History, Plutarch’s Lives (Citizenship), Current Events, Biography, and Geography.

Foreign Language is Spanish, French, Sign Language, and Latin.

Music is Composer, Hymns (fits here also), Sol-Fa (handshape notes, a cappella), and Folksongs.

Art is Picture Study (Artist study), Handicrafts, and Drawing (fits here also).


The following Topics have a set curriculum, drawing from books we have chosen to use year-after-year.

Bible is The Bible, King James Version and The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos.
Habits are chosen from Charlotte Mason’s writings and Laying Down the Rails for Children.
Hymns came from old Baptist and Methodist hymnbooks using traditional arrangements.
Reading follows the classic Word Mastery book by Florence Akin and its modern counterpart, First Start Reading by Memoria Press. Readers are the Free & Treadwell series (Primer to Third Reader), followed by McGuffey’s (Fourth to Sixth Reader).
Composition uses the Writing Strands series and the Language Lessons series by Emma Serl.
Shakespeare is read from Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales From Shakespeare narrative through Form II.
Math is Singapore Math, U.S. Edition.
Drawing lessons come from the method popularized by John Muir Laws.
Lab Science uses a selection from the Apologia series.
English History comes from Our Island Story.
French History is French History for English Children.
World History is A Child’s History of the World.
Plutarch’s Lives comes from the Gould’s translation and then Kaufman’s.
Current Events is based on “God’s World News” magazine for elementary children.
Spanish uses Speaking Spanish with Francois and Miss Mason.
French uses Speaking French with Francois and Miss Mason.
Sign Language, the Form IB Topic, comes from the “Signing Time” series.
Latin uses both Classical Academic Press and also Memoria Press books.

Recitation Parable, Recitation Poem, and other Recitations are drawn from the books the students read.