We have been doing the Charlotte Mason approach since we began homeschooling. I knew that it would be good for Logan because it is so similar to RDI. You work at the child's pace (for Logan, we slowed everything way down) and his zone of development. The lessons are short enough to keep his attention and to end on a positive note. Thus , he feels like he accomplished something. This keeps him coming back to learn.
This post is about Madison, though. I know you are shocked! She is a typically developing 7 yr old (if you can call being a princess, typical!). Last year, I was seriously concerned about her reading skills. She was enrolled in Florida Virtual Academy and was not doing well by their standards in reading. After a year and a half of trudging through it, we pulled her and started doing Charlotte Mason with her too.
For reading, this has meant doing flashcards everyday , reading out loud for 15 mins and reading together A LOT! She also has free reading but she doesn't have to narrate that back to me. Just read what's in her basket and enjoy. Since January, she has been reading the Curious George books out loud to me. As I laid on the bed with her today, I couldn't help but marvel at her progress. When we started , she wouldn't sound out the words and she could barely read. It was kinda depressing for a first grader. Today, she read for the entire 15 minutes with minimal help.
This is what happens when you work in the child's zone of proximal development. You take where they're at and push them a little past that point. Typical or special needs, it works for all children. They feel confident and sure about themselves. This leads to more and better learning. It also teaches a child how to think. Not how to spout off facts or how to read 1000 words per minute. But to think and appreciate what they are doing. What more could any parent want?