Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Keeping Company :: Winter 2018

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the quarterly Keeping Company check-in! I'd like to introduce you to some exciting examples from keepers around the web as well as what has been kept in our home over the past few months.

Before I get started, I wanted to remind you: I'll be talking about keeping at the CM West retreat next month in Northern California. Will you be joining us? There are still some spots left if you'd like to come.

And whether you're going or not: I'd love to hear what you would want most to learn about keeping from a conference talk. I asked the same question on Instagram and got some wonderful answers that have helped shape my speaking plans so far. I welcome more suggestions!

From the Community

Speaking of Instagram, the new @keepingcompanycm account has been humming along. Now that it's the New Year, I'll be back to daily-ish shares there.  (Remember, even if you're not on Instagram, you can still read along. Just click over to see what we've been up to!)

A couple months ago I did a round-up of Books of Firsts. The variety of formats was fun to see.






We also had some wonderful holiday-related keeping that I have bookmarked for Lent/Easter. (Did you know Lent is on Valentine's Day this year? That's not long from now!) Any of these ideas would work for liturgical keeping no matter the season.




And I think Abby's Winter Term plans are absolutely gorgeous and so inspiring. Truth, goodness, and beauty indeed!


There were some stellar blog posts shared as well over the past few months!  Let me repost just a few:

Melissa has all kinds of notebooks going in her home, but for this time, she has collected Mason's words on teaching reading for us and shared their morning time chemistry keeping.

The ever-faithful keeper Amy gives us her weekly glimpse into commonplace book. My favorite from this link-up was Brace, Compel, and Do Right. Just the motivation you -- and your kids -- need for new habits in the coming year!

Carol shares science journals, nature notebooks, and architectural sketches as she rounds up and remembers.

Melanie offers a stunning tribute to her daughter and granddaughter and captures fall on the page.

Starting the Conversation

The kids have been enoying their Weekly Paintings. The process of considering, culling, and representing has been beneficial both as a thinking exercise and as a way to develop skills that will scaffold other kinds of keeping. That's all happening in the context of an assignment that is enjoyable and works as a form of narration. Often I am surprised at what they choose to paint for the week's work. I am getting a different view into their minds.

Xavier came and asked me for a notebook one day so that he could start a commonplace. (Melt.)

I have been thinking about keeping goals for 2018. In past years, I have made goals for nature journaling, commonplacing, and keeping things like maps and century charts. Thankfully, those are all deeply-ingrained habits now! This year I'm turning my sights toward my Book of Centuries. I bought one for myself (and my children) mid-fall but haven't done more than pencil in a few events so far. I felt like I needed some quiet space to get started. I have had that during this break! So my goal is to make my first few entries in January and continue that every month following. Anyone else just now getting started in a personal BoC? I certainly wouldn't mind an accountability partner. ;)

What goals are you making for your notebooks in 2018?  Please share! I'm going to round up some thoughts from moms on Instagram making keeping goals too.

The Link-Up

:: For BLOGGERS: Leave a link to any blog posts related to CM-style keeping in the comments section of this post all quarter.  I will be sure to click over and read so I can highlight them here in the next edition!

:: For INSTAGRAMMERS: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM.  You can also follow my new account: @keepingcompanycm. I will be re-sharing daily on that account from posts tagged!
:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book or your kids' drawing.
:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.

Thanks for your participation, friends!  Happy to be in community with you. :)


  1. Love these examples. I’m really interested in the BoC! How early can/should you start one with your kids? Can you do one together in Y1? I’m just kinda wanting it more for my own benefit and to organize my mind, but I can see my very detail oriented oldest daughter loving the process too. She LOVES lists.

    1. Hi Nicole! I would wait to start a proper BoC for her -- the format CM used requires making decisions about events and their relative importance (hard for young ones) and was also meant to be kept for a lifetime, so Year 4 or 5 (or later -- my kids start theirs in Y6) is a good place to begin that particular form of the notebook.

      Since you mentioned your daughter loves lists (I have kids that are the same!), this is the timeline my kids keep starting in Year 1 until they begin that BoC:

      All five of my (list-loving) school-aged kids have begun with this and transitioned to other kinds of time tools in later grades. I think it's a good first step. Definitely not required in first grade (many moms wait until Y2 or so, as did CM, it seems), but if you have a daughter that enjoys keeping, this can be a nice stepping stone. You can keep it as a family, or she can keep it, or some combination of the two. CM had student keep a simple written list like I have in the photo, but you could also involve small drawings if your daughter prefers drawing to writing. :)

      In the meantime, I think it would be great for you to start a proper BoC as she begins her timeline! It is a wonderful practice for adults too. :)

      Hope that helps!

    2. There's another picture of one of my kids' timelines filled in this post:

    3. Thanks, Celeste! I’m off to read those posts!

  2. https://hearthridgereflections.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/monday-ponderings-january-22nd/

  3. Hi Celeste - some notes on our January Keeping:


  4. Hi again, Celeste. A post on Mother Culture:


  5. Beholding and the Keeping Hour by Mariah Kochis a guest post at ladydusk: http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/2018/02/beholding-and-the-keeping-hour.html

  6. Hi Celeste,
    I found you through Carol and feel right at home reading here! I started a Book of Centuries this fall (after wanting to for a dozen years) but it fell by the wayside. Perhaps I'm overcomplicating it. Here's a link to my January nature post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Annie Kate! Off to check our your blog. :)