Informal
Thomas Jefferson Education focuses on the interests of the student and allows the child to develop and study areas of interest.
Semi-Formal
Charlotte Mason Education has a defined curriculum which will give the child the essentials but also allows them to discover on their own.
Structured
Classical Education is a structured curriculum which is logic based. It focuses on skills children need in an organized and structured manner.
Charlotte Mason Method
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s whose philosophy centered on teaching children as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits. Charlotte's students used "living books" rather than dry text books. Living books are books that are written in story form and by an author that has a passion for the subject. The idea of living books is to make a subject come alive. She found it effective to teach spelling from great books which communicate great ideas rather than from lists of words and encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God's creation first hand and learning the living ways of nature. Many people have adopted her philosophy and use it in teaching their children. The Charlotte Mason Method is three pronged:
Create It for Your Children
Charlotte Mason believed children absorb a lot from their home environment and the surroundings in which they grow up. We have taken this idea to heart and have tried to create a learning environment in our home. We built bookshelves in prominent places in our
house with the idea that our children would see that we love books and want to read them. We have also set up a "school" area where the children can have space to read, study, do projects and learn. The atmosphere, according to Charlotte Mason, is one third of a child's education.
Habits of Character
In explaining good habits, Charlotte Mason refers to instructing children in character and values - the discipline of good habits. This establishes who they are and gives them a foundation for life which then allows them to move forward in academia with confidence.This aspect of Charlotte Mason's Method of Education is particulary in line with our views and is the foundation of how we want to teach and raise our children.
Living Thoughts and Ideas
Charlotte Mason explained that "Life" refers to academics. She believed we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. Everything in the Charlotte Mason Method is centered around this. She believed you could draw all the aspects of academia through "living books" which make the subjects come alive. Children can learn all subjects as they dive into living books. These three areas of focus are the overall concept for Charlotte Mason Education.

Websites we recommend about Charlotte Mason Education:

www.amblesideonline.org
This site is a great resource for information about Charlotte Mason Education and free Charlotte Mason Curriculum.