Solus Christus

Grades 7–12 Cottage School & Charlotte Mason Educational Cooperative

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*The new academic year begins September 3, 2024!

About Us

The great work of education is to inspire children with vitalizing ideas as to every relation of life, every department of knowledge, every subject of thought; and to give deliberate care to the formation of those habits of the good life which are the outcome of vitalizing ideas.
Charlotte Mason
Educator (1842–1923)

 

Solus Christus Classical Academy in partnership with A Charlotte Mason Community Cooperative of Arizona is a covenant cottage school and educational cooperative serving onsite and online students. Our mission is to support the family’s desire for their student to engage in deeply enriching community learning experiences through shared learning objectives rooted in Charlotte Mason educational philosophies (see Mason’s bio below). We seek to compliment the family’s choice for a quality sound liberal arts education while also growing the Charlotte Mason community of home educators and greater student body. 

We’d like to thank you for finding your way to our site. You’re probably wondering what can be found at the Casa Grande House of Studies. We hope you’ll find an open door to new friendships, hospitality, humility, spiritual unity, peace, and love in Christ. There’s a panorama of living studies and subjects that spark imagination, wonder, and deep learning experiences. We have a low student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1 onsite and 12:1 online for more individualized small-group learning opportunities. It’s impossible to capture in words the experiences the students have in their daily studies. Whether your student is studying onsite or online you’ll see a laid-back atmosphere with people sparking thought-provoking daily conversations. Onsite at the house and gardens you might see a few sheep dog roaming around, some chicken and about a hundred fish and, of course, our Italian bee-colony friends. There’s a small outdoor urban garden of veggies, fruits, cacti, desert and pollinator plants. Above all, you’ll find people who love one another with a brotherly love. As Christ said, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We hope you will explore Charlotte Mason Education.

Explore the Programs

*The full-day onsite cottage school is open to Pinal County students in grades 7–12, Online courses are available to students residing anywhere in the United States.

Relational Education

"The culmination of all education ... is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with the Supreme, in which our being finds its fullest perfection."
Charlotte Mason
Educator (1842–1923)

The Charlotte Mason Heart

Charlotte Mason (1942–1923) was a Christian educator who most notably transformed the entire sphere of children’s education during her lifetime. Mason’s philosophy of instruction is best summed up in two personal mottos that she held true to. Those mottos are: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” and “Education is the science of relations.”

Mason placed great emphasis on the reading of the most excellent classical literature, and she coined the phrase “living books” to denote those writings that “spark the imagination of the child through the subject matter.” 

Mason unequivocally believed children were born persons in the image of God and should be respected as such. She also believed children have a natural love for learning and devised strategies that facilitated the stimulation of healthy mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth through the creation of positive learning atmospheres. She believed that children should feast upon the best ideas, which she called “mind-food” and that even the youngest children should be given “ideas, clothed upon with facts” as they occur, breathing inspiration into the tales of history while cultivating a creative mind. Her approach is entirely child-centered and propelled by the love of Christ.

 

Charlotte Mason – painted in 1902 by Frederic Yates, courtesy Wikipedia.

Charlotte Mason House of Education, Ambleside England

The Relational Education Vision

All true “learning” comes from within, as we are persons made in the image of God. Charlotte Mason believed that “There is no education but self-education.” What she meant was that the learner must labor with his own mind the same way the body must labor to digest food that has been consumed. Information becomes knowledge through a process of discovery and through learning how the knowledge fits in relationship to self . . . to others . . . to the world . . . and to God, which ultimately culminates in true wisdom from above. Mason called this process the “Science of Relations.” (Philosophy of Education) which is built upon the premise that “Children, as persons, are born into and meant for relationship.” We see it as a great honor to help revolutionize the student’s educational atmosphere by designing learning environments that are purposefully relational, spiritually engaging, and deeply connected to God’s creation, while at the same time meeting high academic standards and challenging students to love their learning process through living studies and relational education.

We hold that the child's mind is no mere sac to hold ideas; rather, if the figure may be allowed, a spiritual organism, with an appetite for all knowledge. This is its proper diet, with which it is prepared to deal; and which it can digest and assimilate as the body does foodstuffs.

Mason often said, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” To say that education is an atmosphere, we mean a place adapted and prepared for the presentation of living ideas designed to profoundly impact the nature of the student in positive ways. Students learn better when they are immersed within natural home environments that mirror comfortably-familiar, peaceful, and aesthetically=pleasing atmospheres that allow for the presence of God to dwell uninhibited, so that they may learn freely amongst their peers in proper conditions.

To say education is a discipline, we mean the discipline of habits, formed definitely and thoughtfully, as in habits of body and mind. Physiologists remind us that habits are formed through the adaptation of brain structures responding to habitual lines of thought.

And in saying that education is a life, we are speaking to the need of physical, moral, and intellectual sustenance which the mind must have in order to be nourished. The mind feeds on great ideas, and so it is our honor as hosts, mentors, and teachers to prepare a generous feast of living ideas, books, and curriculum for the student to feed upon, as to remain sustained far beyond the classroom environment.

These foundational elements are necessary for sound education, and they are Charlotte Mason’s timeless precepts in which we honor for every student who learns with us.