Posts about Simply Charlotte Mason and the people behind it.
Where does the time go? It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that my friend Karen (the other half of Simply Charlotte Mason) will be graduating her two youngest children this year.
It’s a big commitment to homeschool for the long haul. As I talk with other homeschooling moms, I’m finding that the two main things most of us need are more know-how and more encouragement. Both can be found at your local homeschool convention. [Continue reading 2 Great Reasons to Attend a Homeschool Convention …]
I have a daughter with special needs. We diagnosed her with autism and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) when she was four years old, and I’ve been trying to use as many Charlotte Mason methods as possible in our homeschooling journey with her over the years. (She’s 13 now.)
I often get asked how the Charlotte Mason approach works with an autistic child. That’s a tough question to answer, because autism covers such a wide spectrum. Some autistic children are completely nonverbal; others talk up a storm. Some are uncooperative and violent; others are mainly passive and compliant (until a meltdown occurs, of course). [Continue reading Charlotte Mason Homeschooling with Special Needs Children …]
As every fall rolls around, the time comes to re-evaluate my daily schedule. Yes, I try to organize my children’s daily homeschool schedule, but the evaluating and tweaking go further than that. I like to take a look at how I spend my day’s allotment of time in all areas.
This week, as I was pondering what my day might look like, I remembered that The Story of Charlotte Mason by Essex Cholmondley contained a description of a typical day for Charlotte (pp. 62, 63). This typical day’s schedule reflects the time in her life when she was overseeing the teacher training school as well as the many children’s schools that were using her methods and philosophy. [Continue reading What I Learned from Charlotte’s Schedule …]
This spring and summer have been chock full of homeschool conventions, and I have enjoyed many lovely opportunities to present workshops. It has been a blessing and a privilege to share ideas from my experience as a Charlotte Mason-style homeschool mom and from my heart as a mother of a special needs child.
As much as we would love to meet and encourage all of you, it is impossible for us to visit every homeschool conference, book fair, and convention across the country. So we are happy to be able to make available to you today some of the workshops I presented this year. One of our key goals at Simply Charlotte Mason is to help you keep things simple and to encourage you along the way. We hope these workshops will do just that. [Continue reading 3 New Workshop Recordings to Equip and Encourage Homeschool Moms …]
As we have been on the road this homeschool convention season, we have stayed in many hotels and eaten at many different restaurants. Two truths have been reinforced along the way, and it dawned on me that those truths also apply to Charlotte Mason’s method of picture study. What is the point of looking at old artwork? Why do we do picture study?
1. Little extras make a big difference.
2. You get used to what surrounds you.
As you read this we will be on our way to another homeschool convention, this time in Duluth, Minnesota. Conventions can be great opportunities to recharge your batteries, discover new resources, and connect with kindred spirits.
They can also become overwhelming, tiring, and expensive if you’re not prepared.
So here are some short articles that we hope will help you to enter the convention doors well prepared and to leave well satisfied. [Continue reading Homeschool Convention Tips and Help …]
The new issue of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is now online and we’re pleased to be the host this time!
As we mentioned last time, a blog carnival is a collection of blog posts about a common topic gathered on one website. Sites take turns being the host to gather and feature the articles of the other participants. Blog carnivals are a great way to discover new blogs and conversations, and recognize the efforts of others with common interests. [Continue reading Of Carnivals and Conventions …]
Charlotte’s ideas and teachings are such a balanced blend between grand goals and common sense, between high ideals and everyday small things.
The third Do Not is a call to keep your perspective amidst the day-to-day. [Continue reading Do Not Lose Sight of Great Ideals: Three Practical Do Not’s, Part 3 …]
Today was a day of small things. It looked something like this:
- Walk the dog
- Clear off kitchen counter
- Make grocery list at breakfast
- Take a phone message
- Put a load of jeans in the washer
- Teach young one’s schoolwork
- Empty the recycle bin
- Listen to another phone message
- Supervise older one’s schoolwork
- Transfer jeans to dryer; put towels in washer
- Read aloud during lunch of leftovers
- Put potatoes in the slow cooker for supper
- Quiet time
- Put towels in dryer; fold jeans
- Computer time
- Read to young one
- Finish cooking and eat supper
- Put young one to bed
I well remember trembling when, as a young homeschooling mom, I realized that it was up to me to teach my child to read. My imaginative mind started racing down the path of worst case scenarios. As if on cue, a little voice message started playing in my head over and over, “If you mess up, she’ll never be able to read.”
Now, fifteen years later, I shake my head at the memory of that panic-stricken thought and gently chide myself for getting uptight over something that doesn’t have to be all that difficult. Yes, all four of my children have learned to read, and in all four cases (even my youngest with autism and developmental delays) I just had to get them started and they did the rest when they were ready. [Continue reading Alphabet Fun: Teaching Reading, part 1 …]
Our family is preparing for a large family reunion this week. One of the biggest parts of that preparation is planning the menus and gathering the ingredients for our time of feasting.
But even as we walk the grocery store aisles, I’m hopeful that our feasting will be, not just of food, but also of joy and thanksgiving. I’m reminded of Charlotte Mason’s saying: “Gratitude spreads his feast of joy and thanksgiving for gifts that come to him.” [Continue reading A Feast of Joy and Thanksgiving …]
Last week we discovered that, according to Charlotte Mason, what we often call a strong-willed child is really a child with a weak will. Today let’s talk a little about how to help our children develop strong wills that can choose to do what is right even when they don’t feel like doing it.
I grew up around horses, and I distinctly remember my father warning me about letting my pony run to the barn at the end of a ride. “It will get into the habit of running to the barn,” he cautioned. “And soon you won’t be able to control it.” [Continue reading Out of Control – Way of the Will, part 2 …]
We enjoy meeting so many of you at events throughout the year. Here is a peek at upcoming events, both homeschool conventions or book fairs and SCM workshops and seminars. We will have all of our products at our book display at all of these events, including a brand new product that we’re very excited about! (More details on that later.)
We’re busy packing and mapping and tying up loose ends in order to hit the road next week. We’re looking forward to seeing you at one or more of these events so be sure to stop by our booth and say hello. [Continue reading Upcoming SCM Homeschool Events …]
Many school subjects are easy to do all together as a family regardless of the ages of the children. Last week we talked about how to combine the grade levels for subjects that involve books. This week let’s look at subjects that are more hands-on.
When you do picture study the Charlotte Mason way, you are allowing each child to form his own relationship with the picture and artist, so it’s easy to combine all your students. [Continue reading Combining Homeschool Grade Levels, Part 3 …]
When we started Simply Charlotte Mason several years ago, we asked the Lord to make our efforts a blessing to the families He would bring our way. But we never realized how much the families He brought our way would bless us in return!
You are an encouragement and a blessing in our lives, and “we give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2).
Every time you drop us a note, send us an e-mail, or chat with us at a live event, our hearts are filled with gratitude to God for providing a way to meet like-minded friends across the world. [Continue reading We Give Thanks to God Always for You All …]
When I was growing up in Sunday School and church, I heard the stories of the Bible many times. I could tell you all the details of Who, What, Why, and How. But I never thought about the When. I knew those Bible accounts were true, just like the history accounts I read were true, but I never put the two subjects together to comprehend how Bible events fit into world history events.
I also never thought about how the different Bible stories fit together. For example, I knew the story of Joseph’s being sold into slavery and eventually rising into the place of leadership in Egypt, [Continue reading New Matthew through Acts & Ancient Rome Handbook …]
Like many of you, I enjoy reading the Mitford books by Jan Karon. But you may be surprised to hear which one is my favorite: Patches of Godlight, a journal of quotes and mottoes that the fictional Father Tim has collected over his years of reading good literature.
I was delighted to find that Charlotte Mason [Continue reading A Book of Mottoes …]
We enjoyed getting to travel and meet many of you during 2008! And thanks to my husband John, you can take a look back over the year with us. John hauled his trusty digital camera to several of our All-Day Charlotte Mason seminars and the CM Planning Retreat and captured some of the fun and learning in photos (yes, including Swedish Drill).
We’ve grabbed just a few of those photos to give you a taste of our times together in 2008. [Continue reading 2008 SCM Event Photos …]
I enjoy the annual Christmas tree trimming at our house. (Well, aside from climbing up into the attic and hauling down all the boxes.) We put on some Christmas music, light a cinnamon-scented candle, assemble the faithful old artificial tree, and start unpacking the boxes.
We have several boxes full of ornaments that we have collected over the years. There are handmade ornaments, ornaments that remind us of special events, ornaments from around the world, and heirloom ornaments. Each has its own story to tell. Actually, we have so many that we can’t put all the ornaments on the tree at the same time. It’s fun to go through the collection and decide which ones to feature each year.
Yesterday, as I was walking past the tree on the way to the kitchen, the sparkling ornaments reminded me of something I read [Continue reading Another Kind of Ornament …]
Maybe you can relate. When my children were younger, we would always run out of time to do hands-on projects. By the time we got out all the materials and cleared a space for the activity, we had about ten minutes to work on it before we had to begin cleaning up. How frustrating! [Continue reading A Project Week Idea …]
We are in Iowa this week getting ready for the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators’ conference Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, in Des Moines. You can find the details on the NICHE site.
Sonya will present a habits workshop, Smooth and Easy Days, based on our book Laying Down the Rails on Saturday at 11:15 AM. (As always, check the schedule at the conference for any last-minute shuffling.) Come learn why habits are so powerful, which habits Charlotte Mason encouraged parents to focus on, and lots of practical ideas for how to cultivate those good habits.
We’ll also have the new Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education book and DVD available for you to get your hands on. Those of you who can’t make the conference can still download a sample of the book from our site.
We’re eager to meet all of you Iowa CMers, so be sure to stop by the SCM booth and say hello to Sonya and her husband John. We would love to see you there!
We just wanted to drop you all a quick note to let you know that SCM will be at the Georgia Home Education Association conference this weekend, May 2 and 3, near Atlanta. You can find registration details at GHEA’s site.
Sonya will present a habits workshop, Smooth and Easy Days, based on our book Laying Down the Rails on Friday at 11:00 AM. (As always, check the schedule at the conference for any last-minute shuffling.) Come learn why habits are so powerful, which habits Charlotte Mason encouraged parents to focus on, and lots of practical ideas for how to cultivate those good habits
And be sure to stop by the SCM booth in the exhibit hall to say hello to Sonya and her husband John. We would love to see you there!
“Daniel, I expect you to play nicely with your brother. Yes, Katie, I can change the baby’s diaper now; you go ahead and practice piano. Sarah, I’ll be right there to help you with your math. Hang on just a minute.”
Sound familiar? As we all can testify, parenting and homeschooling are inextricably interwoven. [Continue reading Intentional Parents …]
We, here at SCM, are thankful to God for
- you, our fellow CMers who encourage us as we walk this journey alongside you;
- our children and yours, whose faces confirm that learning can be enjoyable;
- snow up north in Illinois and rain here in drought-ridden Georgia;
- His provision and faithfulness to our families and yours.
My family just returned from a few days at the beach. We got some great photos of our children holding seashells, ducking under a flock of seagulls, building sand castles, and walking along the beach. [Continue reading Announcing the SCM Photo Contest …]
Sorry you haven’t heard from us lately. Some of you may already know that Sonya had an unexpected trip to the hospital and emergency surgery. [Continue reading Unexpected Down Time …]
We’re pleased to see new people signing up every day to receive these updates! Welcome to all you newer readers. Those of you who have been with us from the beginning have a pretty good idea of the big picture: who we are, what has been accomplished so far, and our goals for future development. But the newbies might like a fast summary in order to get up to speed, so to speak. [Continue reading The Story of Simply Charlotte Mason …]
In true homeschool fashion, our children have taught themselves a lot about the Internet these past few months. As we have been building our site, they have been building a site of their own. [Continue reading Incredibooks …]
We’re two homeschooling families with eight children and about twenty years’ Charlotte Mason experience between us. Over the years, whenever we’ve (Karen and Sonya) gotten together we’ve talked Charlotte Mason and books. At the same time, our husbands (Doug and John) have talked computers and the Web.
We’ve been excited in recent months to see a resurgence of interest in Charlotte Mason methods among the homeschool community. More and more moms are coming to us for help in getting started. They love the CM approach and they know that they want to use it, but they can’t figure out the details. We hear the same question over and over: “That’s great, but what do I do tomorrow?” [Continue reading About Us …]