Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Keeping Company :: December 2016

It's the last month of the year -- and the last Keeping Company link-up of the year, which has now run every month for two straight years!  I am thankful to host this space for my fellow CM-loving families to meet and chat, and I'm especially thankful for those of you who do share the keeping going on in your homes, as well as those of you that read, comment, and encourage.  I appreciate each of you, and I thank you for adding to the inspiration that the online Charlotte Mason community provides to me and others.

Starting the Discussion

December is a great time to reflect on the previous year, and I thought I'd use this space to talk about my 2016 Keeping goals and how well I fared in my habits.  I set myself four resolutions last January...

Resolution 1: A weekly entry in my nature journal.  This is one that I'm particularly proud of myself for keeping.  This doesn't mean I painted every week, or even drew every week -- just that I made some kind of entry.  That ended up being doable for me, because in those few weeks that I just didn't have time or energy to draw anything, I was at least able to sit down for five minutes and make a few "nature notes" and still meet my goal.  I found this resolution very motivating and I'm really glad I took it on.  I have always been close to doing a weekly entry but have never succeeded -- until now!  I'll be sharing a look into this year's nature journal entries some time after the new year.  It is amazing what just a bit of time each week can amount to.

Resolution 2: A weekly check of our Calendar of Firsts.  I'd say I was 60% successful at this. On the weeks I journaled at home, it was easy to remember to pull it out along with my journal.  But on the weeks I journaled in the field, it got overlooked much of the time unless something very special appeared.  I think I need to tie this habit to our Weekly Meeting rather than to our journaling because the former always happens at home and the latter happens frequently on the go now.

Resolution 3: A {From My Commonplace} post here once a month.  I definitely didn't meet this: I just looked and I had four commonplace posts for the whole year.  This is something I miss doing here and am aiming at for 2017.  (Along with sharing my nature journal outings a couple times a month -- remember when I used to do that?  I don't know how I fell out of the practice, but I'd like to go back to that next year.)

Resolution 4: To keep a Century Chart with my Big Kids for their Year 5 studies.  Success!  I have made a weekly entry on both the century chart and on the maps I'm keeping alongside my Y5ers.  This has been a really fun and educative practice and I will definitely be maintaining regular history Keeping going forward.

So: how did your Keeping go this year?  Did you meet your goals?  Were they realistic?  Did they bring you joy?

Next month I'll be asking about resolutions and yearly goals, so you might get thinking on that as well.

This Month's Round-Up

It is fitting that I highlight these blogs from the November collection because they have been some of the most faithful link-up contributors of the year!

:: I love when Amy quotes Charlotte Mason.  She has a knack for pulling just the right lines and pairing them with just the right photograph.  This month she's talking about governance -- and motherhood.

:: I have enjoyed Lisa's series of Amy Carmichael commonplace entries, particularly now as we have headed into Advent.  (Her post this month post reminded me of Amy's Mason quote, contrasting high and low and the different kinds of connection those positions allow or inspire.  Thank you, ladies, for the food for thought!)

:: My Peace in the Puzzle is Keeping on vacation, highlighting some witticisms from the wonderful Tasha Tudor -- found in a book selection from her vacation rental, of all places!  If you have your eyes open, you never know what you'll find!

:: Enjoy a peek at Australia from Carol, where she shares not just her nature notes but those of her daughter.  (And a little Sherlock Holmes! :))


And from Instagram, I'm pleased to introduce you to some lovely ladies, both new participants and old friends, who are doing all sorts of keeping:

Nature Journaling...

l to r - lylyfreshty - jeffsjessie - northlaurel

...by both mother and son!


A month-long nature notes challenge of sorts...


A family Calendar of Firsts...


Commonplace books...

And literary, musical, spiritual variety...

italianfarmgirl19 - mariasugiyopranoto - mariasugiyopranoto - all.saints.academy

Last but not least, a story of family history kept, both in writing and pressing...


And now it's your turn!

The Link-Up

:: For bloggers: Click on the "Add my link" button below, and it will prompt you to include the information for your post.  Once you submit it, your link will be added to the list, and others will be able to click over and read what you have shared.
:: For Instagrammers: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM.

:: Remember to link to a specific post and not to your blog's homepage. 
:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome!  The prompt is optional.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book or your kids drawing.
:: Feel free to add more than one post.  The link-up will be open for a month, so you can come back and add more if you are so inclined.
:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.

As always, thanks for participating!


  1. This is not a comment about keeping, although I loved the draw something a day nature chart, but on your instagram! Can you name your advent books? They look intriguing! Esp the one on the canticle of the bees!

    1. Hi Katie! The one with the Canticle of the Bees is Phyllis McGinley's A Wreath of Christmas Legends. It's out of print but they have cheap used copies available: http://amzn.to/2irfB9n It is a collection of lovely Christmas poems.

      The one with the vintage illustration is The Christmas Rose -- also oop and looks pricier: http://amzn.to/2hU2WPm

      And the one in the back of the stack is Biffi's The Way to Bethlehem. I believe it's scheduled in Mater Amabilis. http://amzn.to/2irk7EK

      Hope that helps! Merry Christmas Eve! :)