Switching to The CMEC in Our Homeschool

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This year, I switched our family to using the The CMEC for the base of our homeschool curriculum. I’m sharing a brief review about The CMEC and reasons why we switched our homeschool plans this year.

desk with a binder and stacks of paper with highlighters resting on top

Why We Moved to The CMEC

Throughout the years in our homeschool, we have tested out a few different curriculums and methods. And after some trial we finally settled on the Charlotte Mason method.

But we weren’t fully emerged in all of Charlotte Mason’s principles initially. Basically we eased ourselves in and we were more of a CM inspired homeschool family in the beginning.

Fast forward to last year and I started to really think of our homeschooling method. I was at a point where I even considered switching to a more Classical method of homeschooling.

I loved the idea of a Charlotte Mason education, but getting a good balance on teaching a variety of students at different levels was becoming challenging.

This was until I discovered The CMEC.

One thing that I really loved about this program is that it follows the philosophy and methods of Charlotte Mason the closest of all of the other programs I’ve found over the years.

And there were some other things that I struggled with…and I’ll get more into those later.

But first…

What is The CMEC

The CMEC or Charlotte Mason Education Center offers a full course of study for students in 1st-12th grade. There is also a wonderful Kinderleben guide for the younger years (before age 6).

Our curriculum is based on years of research into Mason’s philosophy and the working out of that philosophy with a diverse group of families in classrooms and homeschools across the country.

– CMEC website

The following is also taken from their website:

Some key features of our curriculum:
Crafted to achieve the breadth and balance of Mason’s programs.
Assigning an appropriate amount of work for each Form as well as ample time for leisure.
Designed around “streams” of history, science, and geography.
Assigning not only “living books” across the curriculum, but also “living things,” like science work and the fine arts.
Reflecting a thoughtful progression from year to year and Form to Form.
Accompanied by age-appropriate term exams for all work assigned.
Easy to combine for families with multiple students.
Offering simply and clearly organized materials.
All students in our program study the same historical era, allowing for greater camaraderie and collaboration among students and parents. (The 2022-2023 School Year will study roughly 1800-1900 and Ancient Rome.  We follow a 4-year history rotation.)
We also offer supplements for Canadian and British families with suggested books and breakdowns for history, citizenship, literature, historical fiction, and geography.

This is exactly what I knew that I needed. But before I dove in completely, I reached out to mothers who I knew were already using this program for their feedback.

All of them were positive and glowing reviews.

And so, I requested an information packet from The CMEC. (You can do this from the homepage on their site.)

This program does come with a fee. But that fee covers the entire family and is not per each student.

3-ring binder opened to Curriculum plans with two highlighters on top.

Favorite things about the CMEC

My first main reason for making the switch is because of how well it aligns with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy towards education.

And while it is not a Catholic based Curriculum, I tailor it more towards what will work for our family by supplementing certain texts.

A second and HUGE thing that I absolutely love about this program, is that they make it easy to combine subjects among my students.

So for example, we will be combining our morning time work, Literature, History, Science, and a few other common subjects this year.

This makes things simpler for teaching a variety of Forms at the same time.

Another big thing within this program that I am gushing over… they have art instruction videos!

Arts & crafts aren’t really my forte. And if you’re struggling with teaching your children these essential art skills, you’ll love this!

As of right now, there are brush drawing, chalk drawing, and clay modeling art instructions and guides on the site. This is so incredibly helpful!

🌵A few more favorite things about The CMEC:

  • there’s several ideas and guides for handicrafts! Again, not my skill level…so this is extremely helpful!
  • Mother’s Education Course! They provide educational training courses for the mother-teacher. How cool is this? I’m all signed up and excited to jump into the first course this fall.
  • the Kinderleben guide is amazing for the early years (before age 6).
  • Form leaders – teachers, mothers, mother-teachers – who are experienced in using this program are available for extra help & support as needed.

Final thoughts

As you can see, this program for following the Charlotte Mason method of home education is invaluable. I’m excited to dive in to our first year using The CMEC!

There are so many amazing resources that I will be happy to share my thoughts on as we become better acquainted with the program.

This program is perfect for anyone who is looking for a little extra guidance with Charlotte Mason methods in the homeschool.

Where would you like to start?

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  1. I just joined the CMEC for the 23/24 year and am SO excited!!! Im loving all the videos and PNEU articles already at my disposal as I study and prepare. I especially find it comforting how CM encouraged mothers to combine everywhere they could.

    1. That’s amazing! I just love the CMEC and am getting ready to renew my membership for the 23/24 school year. Be sure to check out the Mother’s Education Course if you’re able to! I’m learning so much about Mason’s methods and in new ways of becoming a better mother-teacher! Hope you love it! 😀

  2. Your review is so helpful, I am considering joining for 23/24, with a first grader and a Kinderleben. We’ve been using a Charlotte Mason Method utilizing planning resources from A Delectable Education and then building a curriculum. I love how CMEC takes it a step further and offers guidance utilizing the PNEU and offers exams as well.

    As a Catholic I would love to know what resources you supplemented for Bible, if you are willing to share!

  3. Hello from Kansas! I am considering joining the CMEC for the coming school year. I am kind of deciding between the CMEC and Classical Catholic homeschool program. Can I ask what drew you more towards the CM route than the classical route?
    I will have 3 school-age children next year (and 2 toddlers) and I also find the prospect of combining subjects to be vastly appealing.

    1. Hello Katie! Sorry for the delay, I was taking some time off (some posts were scheduled) 🙂 I kind of went back and forth with this a bit. I feel that Charlotte Mason is pretty classical. But it was after reading more about what the CMEC had to offer that drew me in. And we just absolutely loved how things progressed during this school year. So, I’m back again and ordered the school books for the new year…they recommend so many great classics. We’re excited to start the new school year! If you do consider testing out the CMEC, I highly recommend the Mother’s Educational Course!!

  4. Question: I have a rising 6th grader, 8th grader, and 10th grader. We have been using a Waldorf curriculum heretofore but are considering changing to the CMEC. Is it possible to jump in at these grade levels?

    1. Hi Holly 🙂 Ya know, I’m not really familiar with Waldorf or how they are structured. I would suggest reaching out to the ladies who run the CMEC for more info. They are very helpful and can point you in the right direction. https://www.thecmec.org

  5. Do you have any updates or reflections on this program? I am considering it, but with 4 kids in school, I am trying to get an idea of the total book costs of using their book lists and art consumables. I want to have to use e-books sparingly and titles add up. Not revealing the things you are prohibited do you have a ballpark on the costs?

    1. Hi Rita,

      We have used the CMEC for the past two years. It is an excellent program and has a ton of wonderful resources! I would recommend it for the extra resources like handicraft & art instructions + the mother’s course alone.

      I would say that it could be pricey if you’re not sure where to start or a beginner. Some of the books purchased can be used for multiple years, which is great. And often times you can find the majority of the books in good used condition online at a variety of sources. There is a fee of $300 per family which does not include the price of books, so something to keep in mind. But that does cover an entire family and not per student. As far as a book total, it would vary on some of the things I mentioned, so I don’t have an exact number to share. I would estimate around $300-400 for my family. But again, this can vary greatly.

      Hope this helps!