Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Nature Study Outing :: A Special Hike

Usually I highlight the nature study outings I take with my children in this space, but today I thought I would share something different...


My husband and I had the chance to get away for 24 hours to celebrate our 15th anniversary! We took advantage and headed to Carmel, with a long afternoon at Point Lobos. This stretch of coastline is often foggy but still gorgeous. And it was so fun to get some nature study in sans kids!

First, the vistas...





Next, the wildflowers! They clung from every crevice in the bluff and lined the trails. I can't imagine what this looks like in spring if it was so beautiful in August.

indian paintbrush

california buckwheat

seaside heliotrope
The rock formations kept calling to mind my geology reading with the children.







We spent the rest of the time walking around Carmel -- the fog burned off, and really, that town could not be more lovely.








Hoping we won't have to wait another fifteen years to go on an adventure together!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Announcing :: 2018 CMEC Retreat Package!


Today I am going to recap the wonderful time I had speaking with Amy Snell in Philly in July. But I am so happy that in doing so, I can also tell you that the whole set of workshops we presented over that weekend are now available to purchase from the Charlotte Mason Educational Center website!

We designed and created this workshop series around a central theme: A Thinking Love: Its Duties and Delights. The set of seven talks builds in order, considering various aspects of our role as mother-teachers, from preparing lessons to teaching in the daily, to reflecting at end-of-term, to running the home alongside our homeschool. Our aim was to encourage the new homeschooler and experienced homeschooler alike -- I pray we accomplished that.

These talks are really where my heart is and were a labor of many, many hours of love and thought for me over the course of this spring and summer. I hope they are a blessing to you and your family!

And I have to say: if you aren't yet familiar with Amy Snell of The Mason Academy and Learning How to Live, you should be. Besides now being a close personal friend, she is one of the most committed and thoughtful Mason mamas I know.  And beyond that, she has the added experience of taking what she knows and loves about Mason and sharing it with many families and teachers in hybrid, conference, college, consulting, and retreat settings. She is truly a treasure and it was (is!) amazing to work with her.

For details, click over to the CMEC website to read workshop descriptions and about the beautiful package handbook the retreat team put together.

We also have a fun little side project in the works related to this retreat series: coming soon! :)

~~~

Okay, on to my recap of the trip itself! I flew in a day early and we spent an evening in Princeton and a day in New York City at the Cloisters Museum. Heather and Camille, my fellow @charlottemasonirl curators, came too, as well as Erin Daly of Riverbend Press. It was thrilling to be able to meet all of these e-friends in real life. Such a refreshing use of our pre-conference time, both to visit the museum and to chat with good friends.









The retreat began the following morning. It was held at a small Christian college outside of Philadelphia, Eastern University, in the top floor of their library. Such a pretty backdrop for our talks.





I got to spend time with some ladies I have known online for ages.





The days were full but didn't feel rushed. We interspersed poetry recitation, picture study, swedish drill, singing games, and folk songs into our talks, and also had time for lettering and nature study. The ladies of The Mason Academy directed all of those "extras" and they did a wonderful job. By Saturday evening, I was tired but in the best way. Lots of good work, great conversations, and food for thought.









I stayed up way too late every night gabbing but it was worth it. It was such a treat to be back east with this group that I didn't want to waste a minute. Plus they have their regular meetings at a brewpub and a cake shaped like Volume 4 one of the dessert content -- so basically they are my kind of people. ;)



And then it was time to head home.


If you are in the Philly area, I highly recommend the annual CMEC summer retreat. They have been holding high-quality events and support for years, but are just now able to open their doors to a wider public -- and that promises to be such a joy for the local community. If only I weren't a plane ride away!

And in lieu of all of us flying out to Philly every summer, I hope you will consider listening to this retreat from the comfort of your own home. :)