Monday, March 20, 2017

{This and That}

First up: I have been quiet here but not elsewhere!

I have a post up at Charlotte Mason Living about keeping, one of my very favorite topics.  I was aiming at something a bit philosophical, a bit personal, and a bit practical.

Head over to CML to read more.  I hope you find it helpful, whether you are a beginner or just need an extra boost in your long-standing notebooking habits.

Second, over on Instagram...

I'm pleased to join some other wonderful Charlotte Mason mamas as a curator/contributor to the new Charlotte Mason In Real Life.  We hope it will be an encouraging community showing how Charlotte Mason homeschooling might look in the daily lives of diverse families.  We'll have weekly themes where we round up practical-and-inspirational posts on Charlotte Mason methods or principles -- not just by us but by you too!  Even if you aren't on Instagram, you can click over to view photos shared by community members and those featured by the CMIRL collaborators.


Since I don't think I mentioned it here: our tiebreaker baby is a boy!

This will bring us to five boys, four girls -- with three boys in a row at the end (so far).  I keep thinking what our homeschool will look like five years from now, with three little boys in elementary school!  I imagine a bit different than it does now.  :)  Other good news: baby is measuring right on track despite my feeling gigantic.  I keep telling myself that this is my ninth baby, so my looking nine months pregnant at only six isn't a huge surprise.  And that, like last time, I hit my biggest point a bit earlier than normal and then just kind of hang out with that belly until the end.  (Right?  I hope so.)

He is moving quite a lot these days -- all the siblings have had a chance to feel his kicks from the outside.  Drew camps out at my side with his hand resting on my tummy, waiting for kicks!

Around the web...

The official conference recap is up at Charlotte Mason West.  I'll be posting my own recap here soon, but if you'd like the scoop on speakers and schedules, head over to read more!

Karen Glass has two fantastic posts lately that illuminate how principles and practices work together in a Charlotte Mason education: The Spirit and the Letter and The Quote and the Context.  Not to be missed!

I really appreciated Nancy Kelly's description of using Ekphrastic poetry with older students.  I actually think this could work quite well for my Form II kids with some small tweaks, and we just happen to be studying Winslow Homer this term.


Happy First Day of Spring!  After the wettest winter I can remember, spring has sprung in our area.  We are enjoying it immensely.  We have done a couple beach trips in the past couple weeks to take advantage of the sun.  It will be raining again here this week, but after a long stretch of lovely days, I can't complain.

dune wildflowers

close up of all that yellow on the hills: western wallflower



I've got a couple posts all ready to go this week: What We're Reading for March and the conference recap.  I'm excited to share them with you -- starting tomorrow!


  1. Hi Celeste. I'm reading your article right now on keeping over at Charlotte Mason Living. And though I'm not finished reading it yet, I had to pop over here and tell you that I loved this statement you made: "We are creatures with a soul and body made in the image of a Creator God, so for us, knowledge comes through re-creation, and that re-creation often needs to happen outside of our minds. This is the principle upon which narration is founded (“we narrate and then we know”). But this principle also extends to other learning tools she recommends, which acknowledge our needs as persons and fulfill them in rich, varied ways."

  2. Congratulations on your new little one! I kind of cracked up as I read your post. I'm not sure I could ever use the work "ekphrastic" in a sentence! I'm curious, how long did it take you to become so well-versed in the language of CM philosphy? As I read the blogs and posts of those who have studied her far longer than I, I find myself wondering if I will ever "get there." I am beginning my study with a 2/5/7 yo, and husband works longer hours at a stressful-ish job so I don't find that I have any time for developing my own knowledge after I spend time doing basic household functions (including teaching them to my children!). I consider myself to be fairly well educated and when I want to learn about something I go do it, so not being able to get ahead of CM of feeling like I can ever adequately immerse myself enough to "keep" a notebook is really bothering me...

    1. Hi Karen! I only know the word ekphrastic from Nancy's post! :)

      I think you are at a spot in life (with the ages you have) where it is hard to make time to study in any really formal way, especially if you have a husband that is gone a lot. I am thankful that I found CM before my kids were born, so I did have some years to dig in before jumping in to the actual schooling part. But I am still no expert -- I become aware literally every day of all the things I don't know. LOL But I do make an effort to carve out time to always be reading from the volumes, even if it's just for a bit each week. It helps! You will definitely get there, to a place where you feel a bit more confident and your time is a bit more flexible -- just keep plugging away. :)

      Oh, and keeping a notebook doesn't have to be an overwhelming task and doesn't require a special level of immersion -- especially something like a commonplace, which is so straightforward. A commonplace can be as easy as just writing down something you read and liked now and then -- even just bits you read on blogs/forums/etc. It doesn't have to be full of deep educational philosophy or classic writers. :)

      Thanks for your congratulations. We are excited! :)

    2. Thanks for the insight. I'm a bit bummed, when I first discerned homeschooling, I turned to Classical since all Catholic homeschoolers around me seem to either unschool or use MODG. So I poured into Sayers and Berquist, and all that, only to realize quickly that it was not working as I intended. I had connected "reading the classics" with "Classical". Charlotte Mason philosophy is perfect for us, but I feel now like I'm doing worse by my kids by trying to sweep in such a whole-life approach with only a bare minimum of understanding. Sigh.

    3. I have several friends who have done the same turn-around you did and felt the same way. But the transition was fruitful, and I'm sure it will be for you too, no matter how long it takes. Don't be afraid to step into this philosophy in bite-sized pieces -- really any elements that you are incorporating are going to pay dividends and bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your family. <3