Summer is a time for habit building. – Simply Convivial

posted in: mother | 3

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. In episode 8 of the Scholé Sisters podcast Brandy and I discussed habits for both mom and kids in light of Aristotle’s thoughts on habit and virtue from Nichomachean Ethics. There’s a lot of talk about character training in homeschool circles. Knowing they want to focus on character and virtue rather than facts, homeschool moms reach out to curriculum providers for solutions to this seemingly … Read More

Education works through habit – Simply Convivial

So I began the section in The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being of selections from Aristotle this week, which included portions of Nicomachean Ethics. And that’s amusing to me because I have two different translations of that title here on my desk still. I read different selections in preparation for the next Scholé Sisters podcast, which is recorded but will come out May 13. The section I read in The Great … Read More

Consistency, my word of the year – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing | 14

If there’s one thing I hear homeschool moms lament over and over it’s their own lack of consistency. And I’m right there with them. There were the early years – before I was truly homeschooling – when I determined that consistency was going to be the one thing needed and by George I’d do it. There were the tired years when I was both pregnant and trying to teach someone to read and I realized just how fragile my resolve was. … Read More

A “typical” homeschool week – my weekly time budget – Simply Convivial

posted in: mother, organizing | 9

I seem to be getting more and more “how do you do it all” questions lately. I think we’re all looking for the magic secret ingredient that will suddenly make our super-long to-do list possible. It seems like others are doing more and we feel inadequate. Here’s the secret you knew all along: I’m not doing as much as you probably think I am. My to do list is always longer than I can accomplish. I feel the pressure of … Read More

What is Scholé? – Simply Convivial

posted in: classical | 11

What does scholé even mean? Blame Josef Pieper and Christopher Perrin. Pieper’s seminal work, Leisure, the Basis of Culture opens with this: The Greek word for leisure (scholé) is the origin of Latin scola, English school. The name for the institutions of education and learning mean “leisure.” The classical ideal for education, which culminated in philosophy, was that its goal was truth-seeking, not profit-earning. To be pursuing education, philosophy, or theology was to be at leisure, because one was not … Read More

5 Essential Pieces of Our Homeschool Day – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing, podcast | 8

I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do. Listen to this post! http://media.blubrry.com/mystie/content.blubrry.com/mystie/Whole_SC_ep36_FINAL.mp3 Plan a Homeschool Day Homeschooling Lists Galore The first list of this series today is one that you probably … Read More

Habits: The Secret for Smooth and Easy Days? – Simply Convivial

posted in: mother | 5

Years ago, when I had only quite small children and I had immersed myself in books on educational theory, I latched onto an oft-quoted bit of wisdom from Charlotte Mason: The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days. She’s right, of course, but also wrong. I copied this quote out I don’t know how many times. I returned to it again and again, always hopeful – maybe this time … Read More

Circle Time As Lectio Divina – Simply Convivial

posted in: classical | 12

If classical education is the art of becoming free, then we need to build our habits of attention. The British-born turn-of-the-century American journalist, Sydney Harris, once posited: The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one’s mind a pleasant place in which to spend one’s leisure. For this to be accomplished, we have to be selective and meditative about how and with what we furnish our minds – yes, our minds, and not only our children’s. Circle Time, … Read More

Repetition, The Best Teacher

posted in: classical, teaching | 6

Repetitio Mater Memoriae, or Repetition part of the Education Is for Life series This motto is a bonus principle! When I started the Education is for Life series, I said I had five principles, trying to condense Christopher Perrin’s eight. But it turns out I couldn’t leave this one out. With each post, my thoughts kept returning to the idea of repetition. Actually, nearly every day I am confronted with the idea and the reality of repetition. The longer I … Read More

Desiring the Kingdom: Schedules and Routines Are Deep Waters – Simply Convivial

Smith has a call-out box in chapter 2 titled “A Practices Audit.” Here, we get practical; we get personal. Even without that direct invitation to examine our habits, this chapter certainly had me thinking that direction. Do I have practices, habits, that I am assuming are thin, insignificant, when they are actually thick, charged with shaping power? If we mistakenly think that certain habits or practices are neutral, or even thin, when they are actually quite thick and loaded, then … Read More

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