Charlotte Mason Reading Lessons: Sound Lesson

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Charlotte Mason’s Reading Method

After your child has reached the age of 6 and has become comfortable with letter sounds and phonetic word building, he may be ready for Charlotte Mason’s First Sound Lesson, as described in Home Education, Volume One.  This lesson’s sequence is found below, and it can be used with any beautiful nursery rhyme or poem.  Suggestions for poems are at Charlotte Mason Reading Lessons.

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Sound Lesson

Here is an example to teach a child’s First Sound lesson using Charlotte Mason’s method found in her Home Education, Volume One, this lesson is followed by the Spelling Lesson:

1. Find a short poem of interest to the child, Ms. Mason uses the following:

I like little kitty
Her coat is so warm

(I have used a word substitution here.)

2. Collect each letter from the words in the poem, using a moveable alphabet, or paper letters cut up.

3. Write on the board one of the words, for example, “kitty”.  Say the word out loud.  Have your child say it out loud.

4.  Erase the board and have your child create the word “kitty” with his moveable letters using his memory.

5. Show him the poem, have him find the word “kitty” in the poem.

6. Teach the words “coat, little, like, is, her, warm, I so” using the same above steps.

“When each new word is learned, (he) makes a column of the old ones, reads up and down” (218).

7. Now remove the moveable letters from the table, replace them with cut up words from the poem (one set only).

8. “(Place the words) in ‘reading’ order, one after the other, and then (read) off the sentence” (218).

9. Now create new sentences, such as:

Her little coat is warm.
Kitty is so little.
I like kitty.
Kitty is little like her coat.


“To make the verses up with his own loose words will give (your child) such a delicious sense that knowledge is power, as few occasions in after life will afford.  Anyway, reading is to him a delight henceforth, and it will require very bad management indeed to make him hate it” (219).  I love Ms. Mason’s humor here!

She does not delve into how often each lesson should be repeated, but I would suggest to follow the child, if he is receptive, then move onto your next lesson, and when you do come to a sound lesson again, try the next verse or a new poem.


You can find Charlotte Mason Reading Lessons here.

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  1. Hi! Thank you for so clearly laying out Charlotte Mason’s method of teaching reading. Going through each of your posts has made it seem so much simpler than I was trying to make it. I have one question…would you suggest using the same poem/passage for each of the lessons (reading, sound, spelling, and recitation)? Or do you use a different poem for each lesson? It seems like it would help solidify new words if the child was exposed to them over the course of all four lessons, but the repetition might also be too redundant? I’m curious about your opinion. Thank you!


    1. Hi Emily! Yes I had to do this to make sense of what she truly says in Home Education! Glad it was helpful to you! I am using something different for each currently, but I think starting out with just one poem, in all four areas, would be very helpful! Up to you and your learner!! :) Best, Amy

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