A Charlotte Mason Education for All

The CM History Rotation

A Quick Overview of CM History

Charlotte believed in exposing her students to a wide variety of history across a long timeline.  Her classes generally followed this pattern:


Now since time spent in a particular form didn’t always match up with the historical spread used, a child passing into a form or out of a form would not actually complete the full reading of the history.  I think this is often confusing for our modern worldview that desires to start a child at the beginning of the book and read through it consistently to the end.  This is not what Miss Mason did.

And I think that can be rather freeing when we realize that learning is about exposure to great material and connections made by our children with that material.

But in planning a modern-day version of the original programmes, we needed to make some changes.  This is the general plan that Wildwood follows:


The main body of the Wildwood curriculum includes a history rotation for American users, where the home country is American history, the secondary is British history, and the third will be either Canadian or Mexican.

For users in other countries, they will need to find spines for the history of their home country, one for the history of a country they are close to or most influenced by (this may mean American for many of us) and then a third country.

We offer some ideas on the Users from Other Countries page.

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  1. Amy

    This chart is great – thanks so much for breaking down the rotation for WW history. One thing that would make this chart (or the curriculum) even more helpful is including the general years of history covered each year. When trying to make history substitutions for the curriculum recommendations (or coordinate other studies with the time period), it’s quite difficult to figure out the years covered without having the recommended book to refer to. Thanks!

  2. Kerstin

    I am so happy I found this sight. I have been trying to implement the CM method and have struggled to modify it for our family. Thank you so much for this amazing resource!

  3. Jennifer

    Hi Amy, The PNEU programmes didn’t divide by years but by page numbers. Each year students would read 10 or 20 or 50 pages in a year depending on the form. So books chosen were divided up by page numbers and the years covered were merely a result of those divisions. As such, what historical years are covered in a form will be entirely dependent on the book chosen and the pages assigned to each term. It is impossible therefore for us to set historical periods to match with the forms. Instead, a substitution would need to be divided across the number of years studied by the number of pages needed each year. So for the upper years, a world history book would need to be divided into five years of about 300 pages each. I hope this makes sense. For more concrete examples check out the Facebook group.

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