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A Pocketful of Pinecones
Pocketful of Pinecones is a kind of teacher’s guide in the form of a soothing and uplifting story. Interested in Charlotte Mason’s ideas, Carol (a 1930s homemaker) takes nature walks with her children. She guides them in creating Nature Notebooks. Throughout the four seasons she and her children observe more than 200 living things together. You will find Carol to be busy but not rushed. She loves her husband, home teaches, cooks healthy meals, and understands “make-do and mend” frugality. See full description →
from the Author
“I wish I could be a fly on your wall,” I’d been told. “I could use a closer look at the gentle art of learning.”
I’m flattered. But I like my privacy. So I wrote a story. I meant it to be a pleasant and relaxing way to get a closer look at a lifestyle of learning. It touches upon a range of subjects but its emphasis is nature study.
Homeschool moms will relate to the main character Carol, who on her feet industriously caring for her family. She has worries, hopes, joys and disappointments.
At the start of the story Carol is concerned about her son’s chronic boredom. She fears that Donald’s natural child-like curiosity had been “schooled out” of him by a stack of textbooks and a stack of daily homework during the previous school year. Her sister-in-law sends her a copy of Charlotte Mason’s Home Education. This provides Carol with the guidance she needs.
Although not the most confident of mothers, she is determined to go ahead with plans to home educate. She learns as she goes. Carol takes nature walks with her children. Together they observe God’s marvelous creation and record their finds in their Nature Notebooks. In fact, throughout the year they observe more than 200 “finds”—which are noted with Latin names at the end of the chapters.
With patience, Carol listens to her young daughter Emily hobble through the sentences she reads aloud. Emily was labeled slow in school. Donald was burned out by mindless tedium. But Carol happily finds just the right “living books” and experiences for them. Emily likes learning with Mom. Donald even starts asking questions again.
Meanwhile Carol copes with the late hours her husband Michael must keep at his workplace. When he is home he often sighs and is thoroughly drained. Hard times and difficult choices must be faced. Because Carol and Michael trust in the Lord, their choices are met with courage. I am too fond of my characters to let anything really terrible happen to them, therefore the story has a happy ending.
I wrote Pocketful of Pinecones in hopes that it would minister and be advantageous for Mother Culture™. The chapters are short enough for the mother who has just snatches of time to nourish her soul. May she who reads it take courage (like Carol) to live, with her husband and children, the life she has imagined.
|Dimensions||10 × 7 × 0.75 in|
I have never really considered myself a nature person. In fact, nature study was one thing from Charlotte Mason that I was not even going to try. I bought this book and could not put it down! I loved reading about this family’s journey into nature and homeschooling. It really helped me to appreciate time outside with my children. Now it’s one of my favorite parts of our week.
LaToya, thank you for this review. I feel the EXACT same way!! I am going to order this book and hope I have the same experience. Thanks
Family life, nature study and a Charlotte Mason sensibility set in the 20th Century is a wonderful and swift read. I am not one to re-read fiction but this book and it’s sequel are ones worth revisiting and grounding.
This is an excellent book and resource. It is so well written that it will keep you captivated and you do not even realize how much you are gleaning. I enjoyed it, fell in love with the characters and learned so much about nature studies. I will now be getting the second book, Blackberry Inn. I look forward to new ideas and learning more.
Sarah C –
What a phenomenal book! I grew to love the characters, and could barely put the book down. The lifestyle they had is something I’ve only fantasized for my own life, and so reading the book made my heart yearn for a more fulfilling daily life. I’m eagerly looking to buy the second book to see what happens next!