Thursday, April 5, 2018

Keeping Company :: Spring 2018

Is it strange that I measure time partly in notebooks? A few pages in my nature journal, a third of my pre-reading commonplace, several new drawings in my Book of Centuries...and here we are, over three months into the year, at the start of a new spring!

Starting the Discussion
What changes does this spring bring to your notebooks?

Spring usually sees a refreshed interest in nature journals for all of us, as we start weekly wildflower hunting and watch trees re-leaf. It does in your homes too, based on what I see in the #keepingcompanycm feed!

I have also started a new notebook for my book club study of Norms and Nobility with online friends. I didn't want to mash up the quotes from this book and my Charlotte Mason commonplace, and I also wanted bigger pages for this particular read.  It's working great so far. I definitely think writing and outlining is helping me understand the book better.

We have also all been busy in our Books of Centuries, which is our new addition for 2018. It always feels exciting to start making connections in a new form.

As I mentioned on Instagram, the Book of Centuries is my personal goal for this year -- to get mine started and actually get some ink in there! ;)  I have done the first faithfully (lots of entries so far, including a couple drawings), but no pen yet. Baby steps. :)

From the Community

On Instagram, @keepingcompanycm has featured lots of mama-keepers as well as student work.

We spent a few weeks discussing keeping goals for the new year...




The ever-keeping Mariah shared about her "keeping hour." (If you'd like more info, check out the follow-up post she did at Ladydusk!)


And a few other fresh ideas I wanted to highlight...

favorite quotes -- like a Book of Mottoes? by @owl_creek_homestead

the start of a family Calendar of Firsts - a poster on the wall, by @lauren.keptandkeeping

embroidered phenology wheel, by @northlaurel

mama as "detailer," by @accidentalstars

From the Charlotte Mason blogsosphere...

Annie Kate is hoping to strart a Book of Centuries in earnest, but in the meantime, she shares her nature walks in winter. (This reminds me of the science journal entries we have been doing alongside A Drop of Water.)

Carol tracks the idea of "interior riches" through literature to inform her understanding of Mother Culture -- fascinating!

She also has fabulous examples of science journals from older students up. (Side note: she kindly let me use some as examples in my notebook talk for CM West! They really show the mark of interest, observation, and skill.)

Amy hosts a fascinating discussion of work and leisure...spurred on by a commonplace quote from Swiss Family Robinson.

I did a post on getting started with lettering recently. If you (or your kids) are wanting to add a bit of extra style to your notebooks, take a peek!

And one last thing I'd like to highlight from this quarter: my talk on keeping at the CM West retreat! Dozens of beautiful examples from a variety of families.

And now it's your turn!

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!


  1. I started a new notebook for N+N too. :-) I have been using it for quotes and written narrations, but I think I may try some outlining too. That’s a good idea. I’m enjoying having it altogether like this in one notebook, and I’m glad I started doing it this way. I’m curious to see what I decide to add next to the notebook after we finish N+N.

    1. Maybe it will be time to read Beauty in the Word. :)

      I'd love to see inside your notebook! :)

      I'm enjoying finding different ways of expressing the same ideas I see in Mason. I think the classical vocabulary, with all its connotations (LOL), is very useful for educational discourse. I also enjoy pondering where I see some divergence or a lack of completeness in Hicks' descriptions that I think Mason represents more fully -- like the idea of a holistic education and an acknowledgement of God speaking to us through more than just the "word." But I am withholding judgement until I get to the end of the book! LOL It was been a fruitful exercise and I'm glad I'm using the notebook to help me along in understanding.

    2. That’s a good idea! I started Beauty in the Word almost two years ago but I didn’t feel like it was the right time to read it. I am finding N+N very helpful in thinking through ideas and I’m appreciating seeing some of the same ideas but expressed in different terms. One of the things I’m particularly finding helpful is how N+N is helping me to refine my thoughts about how we know what initial ideas we should accept. Given our last chapter, I’m wondering if having the right metanarrative - the right mythos - is what is going to make it far more likely that we will accept the right ideas. And that mythos is like the well-formed conscience, but perhaps in a more primal state? Anyway... the morning time music is playing and I need to be obedient to it and our schedule!

  2. Hi Celeste, our Autumn Nature Studies link:

  3. Hello again! A mother Culture post: 🙂