Wednesday, October 29, 2014

{This and That}

First, I'm guest-posting today about the hands-on aspects of a CM education over at Afterthoughts.  A teaser:
So when I hear "CM isn't 'hands on' like other curricula," I actually might agree: "Yes, CM isn't hands-on like other curricula."  But that doesn't mean a Charlotte Mason education isn't hands-on.  Rather, Miss Mason proposes a way of being hands-on that complements her vision for education, respects the child, encourages the science of relations, maintains efficiency in lesson time, and has the student doing the mind-work rather than the educator.
Want to read the rest?  Head over to Afterthoughts!  

(And here's the index for Busted: 31 Days of Charlotte Mason Myths.  If you're new to Charlotte Mason homeschooling--and even if you're not--this series contains lots of inspiring reading.) 


Last week I had the opportunity to meet up with Amber from Flare of Light.  She is a fellow Catholic CM-er and it was such a joy to visit with her and her lovely children.  Amber has been an inspiration to me in her nature adventures (including bears in her backyard!), her CM-inspired personal reading schedule, and so much more.


I can hardly believe the end of October is already here, but All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are coming up this weekend!  Last year I created a printable prayer card (in Latin) for you to take to the cemetery for your All Souls' Day devotions.  Remember, we have an opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence for the Poor Souls every day of next week!

+ Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them.  And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen. +


One of the books from the stacks I posted on Monday was an ex-library copy of the out-of-print Chimney-Corner Stories, a collection of simple folk tales illustrated by Lois Lenski.

The outside looks fairly non-descript, but inside...

...just oozing with vintage charm.  

I added it to my Kindergarten basket, so the littles and I have been reading a couple stories a week, and Lenski's line drawings turn a good storybook into a great one.  My preschoolers call it "the gray book" and clamor for me to grab it every time I sit down to read.


I caught up on my blog reading over the weekend, and I thought I'd share a couple recent favorites:

Heather always writes so eloquently and I feel like she is a kindred spirit in many ways.  Her recent posts on Making Connections and Mother Culture were particularly inspiring.  (Can you believe that nature journal?  Lovely.)

I have been a long-time reader of Erin's bearing blog, and I am greatly appreciating her series on applying Salesian spirituality to motherhood.  Her description of her Morning Exercise, for example, has made me rethink my own prayer routine.  And her post about not apologizing for blogging?  So right on.


That's it for today!  Wishing you a happy Wednesday.


  1. I enjoyed your post on the hands-on aspect of a CM education. I left a comment over there. :)

    Heather's nature journal was beautiful, wasn't it?

  2. We had a great time visiting, too!

    I really liked your guest post on Brandy's blog. My kids were recently building a trebuchet from a kit (one of Leonardo da Vinci's designs) and I was reflecting on how glad I am that I focus on the reading and the narration with the kids and then they can take off and do these things on their own. It seems so often that the craft comes first along with a short lecture (which is promptly forgotten), and the book is perhaps an extra thrown in as something for the child to do on their own if they so choose. And then what is the child left with? A fun experience (maybe), but no actual lasting knowledge or connection to da Vinci. I much prefer this way! And I also like not having to build a trebuchet... :-D

    I'm so far behind on blog reading... these 31 day memes have killed me! It has made me not even want to open my feed reader... which makes me even more behind. But I saw Bearing's post too and thought it was great. I've been thinking about it ever since I read it and wondering how to blog more, and how to comment more as well. I think the commenting is perhaps even more important than the blogging - at least for me!

    1. Your DaVinci example really hits the nail on the head--I would so much rather the book be teaching than whatever craft-and-lesson I might come up with. (Where did you get this trebuchet kit?!) Thanks for your kind comment on my post. It was a really fun one to write. (As you might guess, it was about double the required length before I started editing! A very good topic. :))

      I really appreciated bearing's take on the importance of blogging and how it is a genuine hobby with a long history for women. I enjoy both the writing aspect of it (researching a topic and narrating it in coherent form is a wonderful tool for learning) and the social aspect of it. And like you said, commenting is a big part of the latter. I always end up saving posts "for later" in Feedly and coming back to comment when I have more time or when I'm reading on the laptop (rather than my phone)...and I still feel like I don't comment as often as I should. Blogs have been a huge part of my coming to a Charlotte Mason education, and I'm really thankful for all those who take the time to share.

  3. We've done two kits - I originally saw a different one at a local craft store then found some others on Amazon that I thought my son would like more. They are made by Pathfinders. Here's the link to the catapult - and the trebuchet -

    They aren't cheap, but they are very good quality and the directions are excellent. I was able to buy them with charter money, so that might be an option for you too. The kids thought the catapult was easier to put together than the trebuchet, but they were able to put together both without my help.

    Blogs have been so incredibly instrumental in my life - coming in to the Catholic Church, homeschooling, Charlotte Mason... there's so much I've learned! I feel like I'd love to give back, but I don't feel like my writing is up to par. But I can comment more, and I should. I need to figure out how to do it more though. I tend to read when I'm not in a position to comment, but then it is so hard to go back and actually write the comments that I "write" in my head as I go about my day.

    1. I will definitely be looking up the building kits. I think Vincent would love those. And yes, we should be able to use charter money for them, so--even better. :)

      I too spend a lot of time writing blog posts and comments in my head. Sitting down to actually type them out...not so easy to find time for that! (And I know you weren't fishing for compliments, but I really enjoy your writing--and the thoughts that go into it. So I hope hesitation over your writing skills won't keep you from blogging. :))

    2. Thanks, Celeste, I appreciate it! It is amazing how paralyzing perfectionism can be. Definitely something I am trying to work on!!