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

Summer is a time for habit building.

posted in: mother | 3

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 nebulous issue. How can we train character? What does it mean really? This is not … Read More

Education works through habit – Aristotle on kindergarten

posted in: classical education | 3

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 Scholé Sisters podcast episode “Making the Most of Summer with Habits and Virtue.” CH061: Classical Education Demands Habit Training The … Read More

Consistency, my word of the year – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra | 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 | 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

Planning for Real Life

posted in: homemaker, podcast | 3

It’s a new year and that means time for new goals. It’s irresistible. And I don’t recommend resisting. I love new year goals and resolutions, but they can lead to discouragement unnecessarily. Sometimes we conclude that because we can never reach and maintain our ideal, then it is the ideal bringing us down. We’re tempted to stop trying to clean the house, organize the toys, lose the weight, balance the budget, or train the children because we never reach our … Read More

What is Scholé?

What does scholé even mean? Blame Josef Pieper and Christopher Perrin. Pieper’s seminal work, Leisure, the Basis of Culture opens with this: 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 concerned with productivity, profit, or politics. We think now of education being a different sort of work – intellectual work – but still work, partly … Read More

5 Essential Pieces of Our Homeschool Day – Simply Convivial

posted in: 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

Morning Time As Lectio Divina

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: 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, or Morning Time (or Basket Time or Morning Meeting or whatever your family calls it), is our time for centering on … Read More

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