Mater Amabilis – A Charlotte Mason Curriculum for Catholics

Mater Amabilis (MAH-tare Ah-MAH-bee-lease) translated from Latin means Mother Most Lovable and is a title of Our Lady in the Litany of Loreto (Mother Most Amiable). Mary, under the title of Mater Amabilis, is our patron and our model. The inspiration for the name comes from the Catholic parish of the same name in Ambleside, England where Charlotte Mason lived and worked.The Mater Amabilis curriculum is placed under the patronage of The Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Mater Amabilis and Blessed John Cardinal Newman.

We are 100% faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the Holy Father Pope Francis and the Bishops in communion with him.

Welcome to Mater Amabilis, a structured, Charlotte Mason style curriculum for Catholics in the 21st Century.  The authors are British mother of three, Dr. Kathryn Faulkner and American mother of ten, Michele Quigley.*

The seeds of Mater Amabilis were sown in October 2003 when Michele Quigley visited England to carry out research in the Charlotte Mason archive at Ambleside and to spend time with Dr. Kathryn Faulkner and her family. In discussing the ideas of Charlotte Mason they discovered that each had followed a similar course in their home education. After becoming interested in Charlotte Mason, they each had each begun to introduce a number of her ideas into their homeschooling.  As they read more of her own writings they came to understand that the style of education offered by Charlotte Mason (and her educational organization, the PNEU) was both highly structured and highly efficient. Thus they found themselves adopting what they believed was a more complete application of her principles and method.

With a desire to share what they had learned and encourage other Catholic home educating parents in this method of education, Mater Amabilis was born and went online in June 2004 as a FREE Charlotte Mason style curriculum for Catholics.

A Charlotte Mason EducationThere can sometimes be confusion over what a Charlotte Mason [“CM”] education means. CM homeschooling is portrayed as everything from a relaxed, almost unschooling style, to a formal, structured method. Such confusion can be resolved by dividing the different styles into two categories: CM structured and CM influenced education.

  • A Charlotte Mason structured education attempts to follow the methodology set out in CM’s own writings as closely as possible. Children follow a set, formal course of study, using a highly efficient method which allows children to cover a broad range of subjects in the course of a short school day.
  • A Charlotte Mason influenced education gleans ideas such as living books, narration, short lessons and nature study from CM and applies them to a range of different styles of education –a particular curriculum, literature based education, relaxed homeschooling or even unschooling.

The Mater Amabilis curriculum presents a structured approach but the ideas here can also be used or adapted as part of a CM influenced education.

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Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her fifteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary". She blogs at