Mentoring Still Matters: How Moms Help Moms

Think back to when you were a new mom. Do you remember holding a crying baby and wondering what you were doing wrong? Or having doubts that you would ever get him to sleep through the night? Or perhaps wondering at what age it was safe to introduce table foods? Perhaps you, like me, didn’t have the benefit of a mother or aunt or even older sister who lived nearby to pass on some encouragement and parenting wisdom. Perhaps you, like me, were in need of a mentor. Or think back to when you were a new Christian. All the questions you had: about Scripture, and sin, and walking out your faith. Can you think of the person who came alongside you and shared her own wisdom? If you had someone in particular come to mind, you’re very fortunate! Many of us go through life during these times on our own. But friend, let me tell you: we’re all in need of mentors and mentoring! What exactly is Mentoring? Mentoring is one of those activities that was an integral part of life long ago.  It is coming alongside someone, living life intentionally with them, and working together so that both partiesREAD MORE

Homeschooling Through the Eyes of a 6th & 7th Grader

Years ago, when child number three asked for permission to start a YouTube channel, my immediate response was a resounding no. I had safety concerns of course, but the resounding no, was more for me. I really didn’t want to add another chore to my ever growing list. However, after a very long discussion, I was sold. She had convinced me of the learning opportunities that managing a YouTube channel presented.   Last week child number six asked if internet activities, like blogging and creating YouTube content could be considered school. As soon as she finished asking her question, she realized she was already aware of the answer, and yelled “never mind” as she ran into her YouTube studio. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not just something we do from 9-to-3. The learning never ends, and it doesn’t only apply to math, science and English. There’s so much we’re learning all day long. Charlotte Mason, is known for saying, education is an atmosphere; … we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. Technology is all around us, therefore it’s essential toREAD MORE

It’s time for the 9th Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! Are you ready for the new homeschool year? We are, almost. The mere idea of teaching multiple subjects to four different grades is exhausting. So a few years ago, I opted to combine subjects and curriculum when possible. We adjust the workload and expectations depending on the girl’s ability and interest, and not on their grade level. Right from the start, the girls are involved in the curriculum choice process. This helps take a little of the pressure off me, and helps them become more accountable for their own education. Before overwhelming you with our middle & high school curriculum choices, you should know that our homeschool style is a combination between the Classical Education Method and the Charlotte Mason Philosophy. Therefore our curriculum choices will reflect a bit of both. We call it Classical Charlotte Mason. You can read more about it here. Something else you ought to know, is that we’re huge fans of history, science and the arts. Therefore you’ll see a larger selection of resources in those areas. Here is some of the middle and high school curriculum we’re using this year: Artist, Composer, Nature andREAD MORE

Our Organized Homeschool Space

When I was 2, I was the little girl who organized her stuffed animals by height, color and type on her bed each morning. I was the girl who cried when her younger sister sharpened one of the color pencils a little more than the rest, and the girl who had to get a brand new notebook every time a page had a tiny smudge. Wait a minute, I’m still that girl. I’m obsessive when it comes to organization. In my family it’s called the sickness and it’s taken very seriously. Having an obsessive personality can sometimes be beneficial. This month, I let the OCD tendencies completely take over when reorganizing our homeschool space. Organized Curriculum I’m a proud book and curriculum hoarder, you can see how serious my hoarding case is here, however I finally decided to part with some of our unused curriculum, you can find that post here. Once most of the unused books were gone; we took the rest of our homeschool curriculum, sorted everything by subject, and type. I like these magazine holders from IKEA, because they keep everything neatly in place. I printed colorful labels with a brief description of each holder, so curriculum isREAD MORE

I'm Not Antisocial, I'm An Introvert - I Am THAT Mom

For years I’ve been accused of being antisocial, and often times rude. I admit there’s been times when I’ve been short with people, but not rude, at least never intentionally. These last few weeks, I’ve come across several articles from Introvert, Dear. I’ve shared them on Facebook, sent links to friends and even quoted them to my kids.Being an introverted mom is lonely. Especially when you are constantly surrounded by normal moms, as woman once pointed out. Our girls were in the same gymnastics class, and she occasionally made small talk as I read a book. I politely laughed at her jokes and nodded at her comments on the weather, but there was no real connection even when I tried to pay close attention to the conversation. After a few weeks, she got off her chair, and loudly announced she was going to sit on the other side of the room; with the normal moms. What makes you a normal mom? I didn’t meet the expectation of motherhood she had in mind. I was a very young mother at the time, and I did not have as many mom-years under my belt as she did. Sadly, I began to wonder if thereREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

We’ve finally come to an end of our Classical Charlotte Mason series, and before we close, I wanted to leave you with a freebie. I created a weekly lesson plan and a 36 week planning printable. The weekly lesson planner I’m sharing is a blank version of the schedule I shared on day 4 of our series (minus the curriculum column). The first column is for the subject, second is for that particular week’s lesson, and you can break down what needs to get done by day on the Monday through Friday columns. We homeschool year round, in 6 week terms, with 1 week in between each term. I typically take that week to evaluate where we are, set a goal for the next term and schedule the next 6 weeks. Once upon a time, I planned every day of every subject. I’ve since learned the art of flexibility and come to realize that planning every second is just not reasonable. I share a bit more on how I plan here. The printable is broken down into 6 week terms for easy week by week planning . Click on the image below, to catch days 1 through 9 of ourREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason Homeschooling & Resources

There are many arguments for and against teaching Shakespeare, I chose to share one of each. First up, is an article published in the Washington Post, quoting a high school teacher who does not feel a need to teach it to her students. You can read it here. Next, is an article written by a homeschool mother, who was leery at first, but eventually incorporated teaching the Bard in her home. You can read that article here. I introduced Shakespeare sort of by accident during our first homeschool year, and it’s become our favorite subject since. I sometimes threaten to cancel Shakespeare for a week when chore and other lessons are incomplete, and the mere though of not being able to read their favorite thing is enough to get everyone back on track. Classical Charlotte Mason Shakespeare Resources Many of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets are also available in modern English. I’d recommend sticking with the original language, as long as it makes sense to you and your family, and switch to the modern version when/if necessary. One last thing to remember is that Shakespeare occasionally used lewd language, and included some themes that may be inappropriate for younger children. PleaseREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Music and art are important components of both a Classical and a Charlotte Mason education. In classical education they are a part of embodied learning –  where children learn to cultivate the love for truth, goodness and beauty. In the Charlotte Mason education is the science of relations – so we the child upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art. With that said, it’s crucial we expose children not only to science, technology and math, but also to the art of beauty. Classical Charlotte Mason Art & Music Resources There’s a great deal of art and music resources on the web. Here’s a list of what we’ve used, loved and are looking forward to this year. Ambleside Online – We typically follow the art & composer terms as listed on their website. Ambleside Online, also provides links to resources for each piece of art listed on their website. SQUILT – For music appreciation. It stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time. We’ve been using the SQUILT idea from day one. You can learn more here. Gentle Guitar – For music theory and guitar lessons. We’re starting this fall. You can even sign up for a free lesson to try it out. ClassicREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason believed children should spend many hours exploring and learning outdoors. However, this is not very realistic in our time. Specially for those of us who live in the city or in the suburbs. What we have done instead, is allowed ourselves time for a nature outings on Fridays. We’ve had the chance to explore farms, gardens, hiking trails and beaches. We study science more traditionally (books, experiments, directions, etc.) the rest of the week. Here’s a list of our favorite nature study, elementary and upper level science resources. Favorite Nature Study Science Resources Nature Study Books – There’s lots of great books you can use to guide you. Our favorite, because of it’s simplicity and illustrations is Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a chance at winning one for yourself. Field Guides – In a constant effort to constantly cut the weight and amount of luggage we tend to take on nature hikes, I’ve stopped packing up traditional field guides. Instead we use apps to help us identify plants, tracks and birds along the way. The apps we are using are Audubon California Bird Guide, Wildflowers Along the Way, Track Lite, Plant-O-MaticREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

We’ve developed a great love for history these past four years. History has come alive, and we’ve discovered so much about our ancestors, culture and our country. We spend an average of 3 hours a day on history alone, and it very often feels like just a few minutes. History is no longer a list of dates to be memorized, and dry facts we constantly forget. Our view of history has changed thanks to great curriculum and wonderful books, some of which we hope help you develop a longing to learn more about the past. Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason History Resources History Revealed Diana Waring’s the History Revealed series has been a game changer in our homeschool. I can honestly say that at one point, we’d rather see the dentist, than to think about history. Thanks to History Revealed, we’ve grown to LOVE history. We spend a great deal of our time in it. Please check it out. Notgrass History We will be using the Exploring America, and America the Beautiful curriculum this year. This is Christ-centered history, written by passionate authors. Both of this series, include a great list of living books to go along each lesson. Ambleside OnlineREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Dictionary-dot-com, defines language arts as the skills, including reading, composition, speech, spelling, and dramatics, taught in elementary and secondary schools to give students a thorough proficiency in using the language. In conventional schools, this results in an abnormal detachment of these arts (composition, speech, spelling, grammar, etc.). However both the Classical and Charlotte Mason methods rely heavily on the influence of literature, as a basis for mastering these arts. Most experienced writers will suggest reading more, in order to become a better writer. In the words of Jeff Goins: Nothing inspires a writer like reading someone else’s words. Great Literature and Living Books Great literature evokes emotion, it pulls the reader in, making it almost impossible to put the book down. Great literature makes the reader an active participant in the story. On day two of our series, we briefly discussed living books, as Charlotte Mason saw them, and today I came across a blog post that in my opinion gave the best explanation of what a living book is and how to spot one. Have you ever seen The Never Ending story? It’s the story of Bastian who goes on the journey of a lifetime as he reads the story of another boy, very different fromREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Welcome to day 4 of our Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling series. So far we’ve discussed the principles of Classical education, principles of a Charlotte Mason education and some similarities (in my opinion), between the two. Today I’m giving you a peek at what a combination of these philosophies looks like in our homeschool. Classical Charlotte Mason Curriculum and Resources For the last 4 years, we’ve used a combination of Classical and Charlotte Mason curriculum and resources. We’re pretty happy with the results. Some of our favorite free resources are Open Biola, Ambleside Online, YouTube (always exercise caution when on YouTube), No Fear Shakespeare and of course our local library. Some of the curriculum we love, that has worked very well with our Classical Charlotte Mason style includes the History Revealed, Notgrass History, Memoria Press composition, Latin and logic, Apologia science, Life of Fred math, Grammar Galaxy for language Arts, and Classical Conversations flashcards for fact review. Our Classical Charlotte Mason Weekly Schedule This will be our 2nd year of year round homeschooling. We like to take time off every so often, therefore we school in 6 week terms (six weeks on, one week off). I’ve been busy planning our first six week term, thisREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Welcome to day 3 of our Classical Charlotte Mason series. On days one and two we discussed the principles and benefits of a Classical Education, as well those of a Charlotte Mason education. If you missed either post, please go back and read them here, before we discuss some similarities, and why combining these methods works. I know there are purists on both sides of the spectrum, that would cringe at the thought of combining these philosophies, nevertheless, let’s take a look at how a healthy combination of the two can benefit your homeschool. A quick disclaimer; I’m no expert in either philosophy, but I have successfully combined the principles of both in our homeschool for the last 4 years. A Marriage of Two Philosophies Let’s take a closer look at 4 of the essential principles of classical education from day 1, and how they intertwine with Charlotte Mason principles. Repetitio Mater Memoriae Many Charlotte Mason purists dislike the memorization method of classical education, however Dr. Christopher Perrin points out that repetition and memorization does not necessarily come in the verbal recitation of facts. The repetition can be applied in different formats, much like narration, copy work and dictation would are used inREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason was a British educator, who believed education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. She believed children are people, with their own thoughts, and ideas, and should be treated as such. She was opposed to treating or talking to children as if they were inferior, unintelligent and ’empty canvases’ ready to be filled with ideas. Instead she encouraged parents to raise children as independent thinkers. Parents and teachers should know how to make sensible use of a child’s circumstances (atmosphere) to forward their sound education; should train them in the discipline of habits of the good life; and should nourish their life with ideas, the food upon which personality waxes strong. Charlotte Mason believed education was about knowing who we are, and how we fit into the world created by God. Principles of a Charlotte Mason Education The Charlotte Mason philosophy, is based on 20 principles: Children are born persons. They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for good and for evil. The principles of authority on the one hand, and of obedience on the other, are natural, necessary and fundamental. These principles are limited by the respect due to the personality of children, whichREAD MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

The center of classical education is to love goodness, truth and beauty, and at the very core of a classical education is God. Truth is defined by Him, and knowledge of all things comes from Him. Philippians 4:8 tell us: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. In turn, Plato has the following to say about education: The object of education, is to teach us to love what is beautiful. The Republic 8 Essential Principles of Classical Education There are as many as 28 principles of Classical Education, however I was recently introduced to Christopher Perrin PhD, from Classical Academic Press, who focuses on 8 essential principles. You can watch a video lecture here. The principles Dr.Perrin discusses are as follows: Festina Lente/Make haste slowly – Work in a way that ensures mastery. Multum Non Multa/Much not many – Do fewer things well. Repetitio Mater Memoriae/Repetition is the mother of memory – Great education takes time, repetition helps us remember, not necessarily memorize. Embodied Learning –READ MORE

Classical Charlotte Mason

What is Classical Charlotte Mason? It’s really is a thing, I promise. There are many debates as to why one method is better than the other, however there are many of us who see a great benefit of combining these two philosophies. Homeschooling allows us to customize the education of each individual child, so don’t be afraid to be creative! Here is what we discussed, during out 10 day series: Principles and Benefits of a Classical Education Principles and Benefits of a Charlotte Mason Education Similarities Between the Classical & Charlotte Mason Methods Our Classical Charlotte Mason Weekly Schedule Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason Language Arts Resources Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason History Resources Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason Science Resources Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason Art & Music Resources Favorite Classical Charlotte Mason Shakespeare Resources Yearly Classical Charlotte Mason Planning Printable Need more homeschooling resources, printables, and encouragement? Check out more 10 day blog series below. < < < < SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveREAD MORE

Relax You CAN Homeschool High School

When I started homeschooling high school a few years ago, all I could think of, was the millions of things that could go wrong, as a result of me not choosing the right curriculum, not assigning the right credit, or not meeting college requirements. Homeschooling High School was seriously scary as a rookie homeschooler, and it can intimidate even some veterans. Though homeschooling my then high school sophomore and junior was not the original plan; I had no other choice. The charter school system was failing them, and neither was on track to graduating high school on time. If homeschooling high school is in your near future, and you’re frantically looking for a paper bag to breathe into like I was just a few years ago, let me assure you that you won’t need it. Homeschooling high school is not that hard, and you might even have fun. This week, I’m sharing some tips and resources to get you excited about homeschooling your high schooler, at Kingdom First Homeschool, where 29 bloggers are sharing encouragement and wisdom to help you on your homeschool journey. You can also join the Homeschooling 101 Blog Party group on Facebook to chat with the blog contributorsREAD MORE

How I Teach Apologetics In Our Homeschool

It’s no secret apologetics are a crucial part of our homeschool. I’ve shared on previous occasions the reasons why having a biblical foundation is critical to prevent losing our kids to the world. Teaching Apologetics Is A Priority in Our Homeschool I picked up Already Gone by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer after a conference a few years ago. In this book, Ken and Britt uncover the reasons why young people are loosing their faith, even while attending Sunday school. I’ve read it a few times over the years and the statistics are eye-opening. In the last three years, I’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of kids we once knew as good church kids, walk away from the church and from Christ. This realization, prompted me to be more intentional about preparing my girls to defend their faith in the event it would ever be questioned. I formally introduced apologetics in our homeschool this spring. How I Teach Apologetics and How You Can Too We spend a dedicated 30 to 45 minutes twice a week discussing topics like the reliability of the Bible, a literal 6 day creation, the existence of God, absolute truth, etc. We start our time with prayer, followed by a quickREAD MORE

Homeschooling From A Biblical Worldview

I often get asked why we chose homeschooling from a biblical worldview, and though the reasons were many, one of them always stands out. Whatever You Do A few years ago; when all six of our kids attended public school; one of my girls had an exceptional love for God, and a desire to make Him known. Her teacher had declared the first 20 minutes back from recess as quiet reading time and each child chose anything they wanted. Comic books, magazines, picture books, etc. She chose her Bible. Her teacher never discouraged her, and many of the other kids were curious. One day she brought an extra Bible from home, and gifted it to a classmate. Her classmate’s father took offense and my daughter’s Bible was immediately banned from reading time. How do you explain to my eight-year-old, that her favorite book was so threatening? Years later when homeschooling went from maybe someday, to a current reality my husband and I decided God would be the center, and the Bible that was once banned from my daughter’s classroom would be the basis of our learning. We would homeschool from a Biblical worldview. A few months ago I shared how I use the Bible asREAD MORE

Used Homeschool Curriculum Sale!

As we near the end of the school year, and make plans for next year’s curriculum it’s time to make a little space of the bookshelves. As much as I’d like to keep expanding the collection, I don’t have much room for another book case. Here’s some stuff we loved, but no longer use. How it Works If you are interested in any of the curriculum you see here, send an email with your name, books you’re interested in, PayPal email, and your zip code to info@themusingsofmum.com. Please note that shipping costs are not included in the prices listed below. All curriculum will be sent via USPS Media Mail, and I will provide a shipping cost estimate via email prior to invoicing. All sales are final, books are sold as-is, please research before you buy. ** Payments accepted via PayPal only. ** There’s a lot more than just this on my shelves. Bookmark this page and check back in the next few weeks. I’ll be adding to this collection periodically. This list was updated on July 27th Exploring Creation with Astronomy $7.00 Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics $7.00 Easy Grammar Grade 11 $4.00 Easy Grammar Grade 12 $4.00 Walch Science HealthREAD MORE