Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.
Atmosphere; refers to the child's surroundings or environment the child lives in. A child absorbs a lot from their home environment. It is believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education.
Discipline; refers to the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life is believed to make up another third of their education.
Life; refers to academics. Charlotte Mason believed that children need living thoughts and ideas over dry facts and therefore she used "living books" over textbooks to make up the final third of the child's education. Living books refer to books written in narrative form by single authors with passion for the subject.
This idea of learning with living thoughts and ideas and through living books is the foundation for Literature Based Learning. Well chosen books make any topic come alive and build an interest for more exploration. High quality, interesting literature, hand picked by parents, promotes a desire to read, to learn and to absorb the information and is the first and main step to becoming a life long learner.