Monday, April 28, 2014

Conference After Thoughts

What a lovely Home Education Conference we enjoyed with this past weekend!  I always enjoy speaking and teaching.  It gives me an opportunity to meet new friends and encourage others in their homeschooling adventure! 

For newbies especially, one tip I try to clearly emphasize is that you can't go learn to 'do this' or 'do that', then begin in the fall with the expectation everything will be just as you planned!  Nothing in life ever works that way! We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps.  What a relief that it doesn't depend on me to make all the right decisions & do it all perfectly!  Remember friend...

Be patient, learn as you go, check your expectations, and depend on God's unfailing GRACE!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The 'Wider Circle' of Living Books

Dear Charlotte Mason Friends,

I recently read through some Parent's Review articles about "suitable" books for children.  It seems the question of what that is has been a hot button topic all along!  Today as well, 'Living Books' can be vague and even ambiguous phrase depending on the source of the definition.  The term is much in use in the home education venue and many different curriculum makers grab the words and apply their own meaning.  Which tends to make things more fuzzy!  After listening to a disillusioned young mom beginning the home school adventure exclaim, "Just tell me what a Living Book is for goodness sake and I'll get them!", it occurred to me that instead of setting out a feast of ideas, we are back down to our system perspective where we input this and out comes this, removing the life and vitality out of individuals AND books!  We were able to talk a little about the aura that seems to surround 'living books', give a few examples and realistic applications that helped clear the tension in the air a bit.

A note to self & other CM advocates:  We may be in need of a gentle rebuke... I think we have to be more careful and thoughtful in the way we use familiar "CM" words. I am sad to remember times of hearing a flippant, "Oh, you know... we only use living books in our home.  None of that twaddle for us!" And off we go having left, at the very least, a snobby impression in our wake and no clearer understanding of what Charlotte Mason meant when she said that children should be fed upon the very best and many worthy books.  I think it is not generally intended that way, and we would be aghast and even ashamed that we tread so rough-shod upon a foundational method instead of sharing discussion on vital thoughts and living ideas!
a display of living books for older students
Vital thoughts and living ideas are contained in living books, but to give hard and fast 'rules' won't encompass the nourishment of truth, nobility and beauty of those works.  We need a bigger picture and an overarching perspective.  There are some principles we can consider to help in our choices; we will discuss some to consider as we continue talking more about living books.  For now, I will leave you with a couple of thoughts to ponder...

Matthew Arnold's definition of 'culture' may apply: "to know the best that has been thought and said."
"One of the great functions of reading [sic] is to widen the sympathies by throwing the reader into a larger circle of life than his own...that annihilates time and space...a world that is opened up..." (Ronald McNeill, Parent's Review, vol. 8)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A long time ago...

All that wander are not lost. ~ Gandalf
in a land far away, there lived a family who took an adventure.  It was fraught with struggles and challenges to overcome.  This is the part of the story where new things were discovered.  It begins in foreign place, in a beautiful spot, right across from the forest - in the east portion of la forêt Soignes, Kapucinnebos.

These are the memories of those times and travels...

I have begun posting on our old blog, Legacy of Learning.  The one we set up as part of a school project, but that's about all.  I figured it was time to go back and remember some of those adventures now that all the kids are older and off to college.  I'll just be sharing stories and pictures of our time overseas and some lessons learned and wisdom gained along the way.  Join me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Charlotte Mason Help

Helping other Home Educators and Afterschoolers is something I have done for a long time now.  Everyone has challenges and strengths in different areas and when we discuss and share those ideas, we all are encouraged; We need each other don't we! We support each other in our learning and application of Charlotte Mason principles in our local CM study group if we are fortunate to have that, otherwise we reach out to other like-minded educators and ask questions and discuss ideas and thoughts and compare them with Charlotte Mason's writings and instruction.  There is always more to learn!  I have the privilege of sharing about the Charlotte Mason Education approach through conferences, speaking engagements, workshop sessions, our local CM study group, online Charlotte Mason support groups, and here on my blog, Grace for the Day.

I recently set up a new blog page listing with all the mentoring and consulting help I offer.  I continually meet new friends and Charlotte Mason folks who are looking for support and encouragement.  It seems to be a more frequent request lately and I wanted to share some options with you.  My Charlotte Mason Help page has the details and more about about Personal Consultation options.  Here is the General Consulting information.

Let's connect...
General Consulting:
You can email me with any homeschooling or Charlotte Mason questions at I would love to help make your adventure a smooth and joyful one.  I try to respond to email questions weekly. All general homeschooling and Charlotte Mason questions and those specific to Ambleside Online or House of Education Online are always Gratis!

My sincere hope is to come alongside and help you apply a Charlotte Mason Education with beauty and grace and encourage you in your CM schooling!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Quote for the Day - Adventure

Anticipating Adventurous Days...

Thinking of the Adventure a new little sister will be for some precious young friends who are Ready for Anything!
Christopher Robin was sitting outside his door, putting on his Big Boots.  As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look  Ready for Anything.  ~ Winnie-the-Pooh, pg. 111

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CM & Poetry: murmurings

When I started enjoying poetry with my young son many years ago, I did not think it would be anything important.  I have gradually gained an appreciation for verse over the course of time and it has enriched my own life. {It has been similar with great works of art we have enjoyed over our years of exposure and study.  If you are new to art study and would like to know more about what to do, here is a previous post where I talk about Picture Study.} If I had dismissed poetry studies as an extra, we would have missed many beautiful ideas that now are integrated into our perspective of life.