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    Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

    April 30, 2013 by Brandy Vencel

    Greetings! I am excited {and nervous} to be hosting this edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival. I have never hosted a carnival of any kind before, so I hope I do it right. This is a wonderful collection of links so, needless to say, I am excited about it.

    Charlotte Mason Education: Simplicity and Life

    This post from Jen contains good reminders for all of us.

    I almost burned myself out trying to do this when doing preschool-at-home with Michelle the year she was 4. I was spending more time researching ideas of cute projects and fun things that we could do to learn the alphabet than we actually spent together doing them. (And as cute and fun as those projects were, did they really help her learn the alphabet any better or faster than she would have had I employed simpler methods? No, probably not.) We were not going to last in this homeschooling thing for the long haul unless I did something differently.

    Get some grit {Parents’ Review Volume 2}

    Mama Squirrel points out the wisdom in the Parents’ Review articles. The article from PR Volume 2 that she’s discussing says this:

    A certain amount of hardness and sternness is inculcated as necessary to the production of energy, self-reliance, self-control, endurance, and dignity–of everything, in fact, that is commonly summed up under the phrase ‘strength of character,’ or in the Scotch term ‘grit.’

    The question becomes: Where does “grit” come from, and how do we cultivate it?

    Children of a Greater God

    Silvia tells us about a lesser-known, but must-read book:

    Dedicated to the Andreola couple, mentioning among others Francis Shaeffer, Dorothy Sayers, the word utilitarism, and quoting C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, George McDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien, Aristotle, and the Fruits of the Spirit, it was destined to be a book that leaves an impression, a companion that reassures us and defines with detail our vision for our children and ourselves, and how to accomplish this forge of character that a christian education is.

    If you want to know the title, I guess you’ll have to click over to find out!


    Letting Go

    Nebby reminds us that we don’t really have control after all:

    We want to be able to control what our children learn and who they become. But we can’t. They are not blank slates, they are persons. All we can do is to provide the best materials, ideas, Charlotte would say, to feed their hopefully eager minds. But we cannot force them to take them in.

    Simple Lessons Work

    Lanaya tells us that most learning can take place with far less preparation!

    Do you like to put together little lessons where everything matches a theme and then use them to teach your kids? As pinterest and copious blogs can attest, many moms and teachers do enjoy this, including myself. At least I enjoyed it at first.

    Thoughts and quotes on the use of the mind

    Amy collected some quotes for us to enjoy! {The thoughts are fabulous, too, of course…}

    Charlotte quotes Paterson as he talks about the fact that in Elementary schools time is WASTED on such like as tiresome unit studies or spending too many years teaching the basic R’s of education, instead of providing that feast of knowledge on which a mind must inevitably grow.

    Young Students and “the Fairyland in Geography”

    Celeste tells us that geography is more than capital cities and river names:

    The next element of geography lessons is pictorial geography, which she describes simply as “pleasant talk about places.” Sounds doable, no? It basically consists of furnishing the child’s mind with beautiful images and feeding his imagination through stories of places with which the mother/teacher is familiar.

    Summer Plans

    Angela shares with us her summer plans!

    I hope there will be lots of beach days, ice cream, books read in the shade, and long naps in the breeze. Summer should have all of that and more!

    Unsung Heroes: The Bielski brothers, Bushcraft and World War II

    This fascinating post from Carol explains a little bit of her family’s Year 11 studies:

    There must be so many untold stories of heroism from World War II. The movie Schindler’s List, based on a book written in 1982, brought attention to the story of one man who was responsible for saving the lives of more than a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. More recently the story of the Bielski Brothers – Tuvia, Asael and Zus, has been uncovered and told in book and film.

    Fitting in the nice bits

    Are you tempted to drop all of the little things that round out a Charlotte Mason education? Jeanne encourages us to keep them in, and explains how:

    By the extra bits, they mean the nice stuff – folk songs, composer study, Shakespeare, Plutarch, picture study, art, map work, handwork, a nature walk. I scratch my head a little because without these things you’re left with reading, writing and arithmetic – hardly a liberal education at all, really, is it?


    Jeanne only wanted to link one post, but I requested we add in this one, too, because I loved it. I love to mark up my books, and my hope is that, in the upper years, I can afford individual copies for my children, that they may be allowed to freely mark up their books as well.

    Miss Mason suggests that our students be able to write in the margins of their books, but I’m afraid that’s going to take a little while for Jemimah. It has taken me 50 years to come to this decision. That means she still has another 39 years to go.

    The next Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival will be hosted at Dewey’s Treehouse. The theme is The Way of the Will and the reading assignment is Chapter 8 of Volume 6.

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  • Reply Celeste May 9, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Just got back in town from vacation and am finally getting a chance to catch up on my blog reading–thank you so much for hosting! The carnival looks great.

  • Reply Lanaya May 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Well done, thank you!

  • Reply Carol May 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Congratulations on your first hosting, Brandy. Nicely done.

  • Reply lindafay April 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Excellent posts. I’ve enjoyed reading and sharing them.

  • Reply Nadene April 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    What a wonderful carnival! Well done! I love the layout – so clear and easy to read – and I enjoyed a rich afternoon of inspirational posts!

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