Morning Time As Happy Time

What is happiness, really? That’s actually a deep philosophical question expounded upon by great minds for millennia. Too often, we think happiness is doing what we want, having no laundry to fold, or eating chocolate. And our kids think happiness is sleeping in, playing computer games, and having no chores. Guess what? We’re both wrong. If that’s your idea of happiness, make sure your goal is not to keep your kids happy. Then again, we can’t say happiness doesn’t matter. … Read More

Share the load.

posted in: homemaker, mother, podcast 1

Organize your attitude #46 “No, I’ll do it.” We often associate these words with two-year-olds, eager to enter the larger world and assert their independence. However, too often mothers are the ones saying it – perhaps not in so many words, but by their actions. Would you rather do it yourself? #089: Why we need friends Of course we can do things better and faster than our children, but they need to gain experience by helping out. They need to … Read More

Convivial: Because Mom Is the Home Atmosphere

posted in: mother, podcast 3

It was about 5 years ago now that I deleted my old blog and started over from scratch, choosing the name Convivial Home for my new effort. A real estate agent promptly offered me a large sum for that domain, so I sold it and switched my name to Simply Convivial. I did not want to let go of the word convivial – though perhaps it is a more unusual word than I realized. Convivial has been a stake-in-the-sand word … Read More

Ordo amoris in real life: making kids care

The math page looms. “But I don’t want to,” the child moans. The book awaits. “But I don’t like it,” the child whines. Maybe you start off homeschooling with grand visions and high hopes. Maybe you change your approach and your style and think that will fix the bad days and the bad attitudes. It turns out that even in spite of best laid plans, principles, and practices, we’re teaching real children. They don’t always like what they should. They … Read More

Read a novel.

posted in: mother, podcast 4

Organize your attitude #41 Yes, read a novel. It doesn’t even have to be a Great Book. Just a story. Get out of your own particulars, relate to someone else, and gain perspective. When we read novels, we are able to see the world from another point of view, experience different settings and lifestyles and circumstances, and are better able to see how small circumstances build into a big picture – into a story. Novels are not a waste of … Read More

Have a good cry.

posted in: mindset, mother 0

Organize your attitude #40 To organize our attitudes does not mean to “buck up,” “get over it,” or “plaster on a smile.” Organizing our attitudes is not positive-thinking changing reality. Organizing our attitude is recognizing that our perception of reality is an interpretation, and double-checking that our interpretation is correct. If we’re getting cranky because of the way we see things, we’re not seeing things correctly. No, there’s not always a way to spin our view so that things are … Read More

Build your house.

posted in: mindset, mother 0

Organize Your Attitude #39 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. – Proverbs 14:1 Our words build or tear down – there is no neutral. And what do they build up or tear down? Our own homes, our own families. Every word we say, every look we give, communicates to our children and gives them identity – whether good or bad. We are their mothers. Even while arguing and complaining, they are … Read More

Laugh.

posted in: mother 0

Organize Your Attitude #38 You know those days. Those terrible no good days where we just can’t seem to pull ourselves together, even after two (or three) cups of coffee. Sometimes we have to choose the right attitude before we feel it. If we wait for our feelings to lead the way, we’ll be left nursing hurts and holding grudges. We’ll be left with our coffee dregs and headaches, feeling miserable. It’s tough. Feelings are powerful and insensitive to reason. … Read More

My Secret Weapon for Beating a Bad Attitude in our Homeschool

So. It’s February. In our neck of the woods, it’s been a harsher winter. We’ve had inches upon inches of snow, then ice on top of that, when a typical year rarely sees snow that stays on the ground for more than a day or two. The sky is covered in gray, and often so is my head. Because of the cold and the wet, I don’t get the same level of exercise and activity. Worse yet, the kids don’t … Read More

Homeschooling is an art.

posted in: mother 0

Applying formulas will not work. But something does need to be applied: ourselves. We don’t need more tactics, different set-ups, or a new curriculum. We need a new attitude, a new approach – not in what we’re doing, but how we’re thinking about it. In Home Education, Charlotte Mason wrote that “Mothers owe a ‘thinking love’ to their Children”: We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless … Read More

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