Classical Education: Definitions | Norms & Nobility Notes, preface

I am currently in an online book club studying Norms and Nobility by David Hicks, a classical education cornerstone. By the time I was halfway through chapter 1, I knew I’d have to blog through my readings. As I continued to make my commonplace notes and copy quotes, I also realized I was going to have to blog slowly, because I don’t want treatise-length posts, and I also don’t want to skip any of the ideas. So, if you want … Read More

Twelve-year-olds are persons, too.

posted in: homeschooler, mother | 6

Charlotte Mason’s First Principle, applied I am in a local book club, studying Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles using the study guide by Brandy Vencel. I’ve done this study in an online group before, but there’s something different and more personal in a local group that includes people who know your kids and family. Last month’s meeting was on Principle 1: Children are born persons, and one of the extra readings linked to in the study guide is a post I … Read More

What Is Character? and How to Build It.

Character is one of those words we toss around often. Too often, we do so without a clear understanding of what it is. We say we care about character, perhaps even homeschool for the purpose of shaping our children’s character, but what exactly does that mean and how exactly do we go about such a task? The dictionary defines character as: Suddenly, we are taken aback. 
Wait? 

Mental qualities are a part of character? Our character is not simply our … Read More

Intrinsic v. Extrinsic Rewards for Moms at Home

posted in: homemaker, productivity | 1

We’ve all felt it. We sip our coffee and stare down at our list. We just don’t wanna. Maybe we just can’t even. Or, perhaps with the coffee we think we can take on that list, but come 10am or noon or 2pm, all the motivation is gone – poof – seemingly for good. What do we do? Give up? Trudge, grudgingly, on? Fuss and whine, whether internally or, worse, externally in the tone we mete out to the kids? … Read More

When your kid says, “I hate math!”

posted in: homeschooler | 3

If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered them: math fits. On good days, it looks like mad math doodles and rhyming complaints. On average days, it looks like snarky word-answers to word-problems and bitter mutterings about John or Sue finding out how much they spent for themselves instead of asking someone else to do their work for them. Sure, we have good math days, too. Sometimes we even encounter a new topic, it clicks, and we … Read More

You Need Self-Control, Not Self-Care

posted in: mindset, mother, productivity | 13

The other day as I stared into the empty bottom of my coffee mug, a movie quote jumped to mind: “I don’t want to see the bottom of this glass,” uttered desperately. It’s an early scene in Mask of Zorro, before the drunk vagabond is chosen by the master for a transformation. We’re like the drunk vagabond. We want a transformation. We want a different sort of a life. But we also don’t want to see the bottom of our … Read More

Homeschooling for Sanctification

posted in: homeschooler, mindset, mother | 3

What do we do with tedious homeschool days? What do we do with turbulent homeschool days? What do we do with terrible homeschool days? They happen. Sometimes they outnumber the terrific homeschool days. Ok, often they do, really. So we’re troubled. But we shouldn’t be. Life isn’t going to be easy. If we smooth out one area of conflict, there will be another to replace it. If we replace one bad habit, we will suddenly unearth another one that needs … Read More

What Every Homeschool Mom Needs to Know

posted in: homeschooler, mindset, mother | 3

When homeschool moms talk shop, there’s a topic that is not politic or polite to bring up. There’s a secret that some moms are afraid to bring up and others don’t yet know. We need to talk about it. We need to own it. When homeschool moms get together, they chat about curriculum, schedules, checklists, books, methods – all necessary details, but there’s something missing. So, let’s be honest and get this one out in the open. The truth will … Read More

Reliable Homeschooling – Simply Convivial

posted in: mother | 4

Do you do the One Word thing for the new year? I know it’s a thing – a thing I’ve participated in before – but I’m not sure who started it. I do think it is helpful to find a focus for a short-term period, whether that’s a planning interval or a school term or a year. Not long ago I would have called a year-long focus a long-term focus, but the years are speeding up and it now seems … 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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