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    Books & Reading, Educational Philosophy, Mother's Education

    Beat Spring Fever with a Mother’s Group

    March 16, 2016 by Brandy Vencel

    And let us not grow weary of doing good,
    for in due season we will reap,
    if we do not give up.

    — Galatians 6:9

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap] don’t know if you’ve realized this yet, but it’s going to be a very long spring. For most of us, at least, the countdown to the end of the school year begins Monday after Easter break. Usually, that means sometime in April. You did notice that Easter is in March this year?

    I thought so.

    People! This means we might feel like we’re dying before we reach the end.

    Are you growing weary in running the homeschool marathon? A mother's group is a helpful remedy!

    Homeschooling is a marathon (which is why I say that at the end of each podcast), and each year is a sort of mini-marathon. But some marathons are easier to run than others. In my experience, an early Easter makes for one of the harder ones.

    So that’s the bad news.

    The good news is that, in my experience, a mother’s group — a Charlotte Mason group, a Scholé Sisters group — call it what you will — is a helpful remedy.

    I’ve written about this before. When I’m concerned that I’m going to grow weary in my homeschooling — that I’m losing steam and getting rocky in my perseverance or diligence — it’s my friends that save me every time. Sometimes, it’s very direct — they’ve prayed for me, given me advice, encouraged me, and more.

    But other times, it’s more subtle than that. At our monthly Charlotte Mason meeting, I’m just generally inspired by being around a bunch of women who care about their homeschooling, and are trying to do it to the best of their ability. I get ideas from them on how implement the philosophy. I feel motivated by seeing other people have success in one area or another.

    Beyond this, the books we read are inspiring.

    When I’m really feeling the pressure, I stop reading. I get all frantic inside of myself, and then I can’t concentrate for long on a book. The irony is that books tend to be exactly what would help me in those moments — they’d center me and offer me the wisdom I need. In times like that, it might be that the only reading I get done {other than reading for school or Bible reading} is the reading I do for my mother’s group, because it was assigned.

    And I’m supposed to lead the discussion.


    Here’s the thing: when we’re stumbling and falling all over ourselves, we need something outside of ourselves to steady us or pick us up, dust us off, and generally help put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Humpty Dumpty could not — I repeat: could not — put himself back together again.

    For him, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men failed, but we, thank the Lord, are not in quite as bad a condition. Generally, one or two friends will do. Coffee and chocolate also help, as does the all-important reading assignments in a worthy book.


    If you’ve been thinking about forming a mother’s group, I encourage you not to wait until summer. Because long spring.

    I always offer discount codes (20% off Start Here or The Afterthinker’s Guide to Home Education) for any group using the study.  Just use the contact form below to arrange a code for your group. For a coupon code expiration (because my system requires an expiration date), simply take the date your group study is starting and go out a few weeks after that.

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  • Reply Celeste April 1, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I so agree. I have a few different moms’ groups going on, and it’s just the refreshment I need as a homeschooler. Amber and I just finished putting together the talks/discussions for the beach retreat, and we decided to focus almost exclusively on Mother Culture because I really think that when burnout comes along, Mother Culture is the place to start battling back.

  • Reply Catie March 17, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I’m so blessed to know FIVE(!) women in REAL LIFE who use the CM philosophy! I do not take it for granted! 🙂 We meet monthly to go through CM’s books (we’re reading Parents and Children currently) and in the summer we meet twice a month to do nature study.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Catie, that *is* a blessing! I’m so happy for you. ♥

  • Reply Virginia Lee March 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I just wanted to say that even *one* friend to do this with, doesn’t have to be a group, makes such a difference. I do not live where anyone homeschools with the same philosophy as us. But I do have a good friend who homeschools and loves to read and discuss. She also has an open mind and wants to grow herself as well as her children. And most of all she loves the Lord and being a mama. So even though we homeschool differently, we still meet together. Right now we are reading Consider This, it’s all new thinking for her. And it has been so uplifting to talk and debate and pray and explore together. So when I see those mamas who are longing for a CM group (and I’m one of them) I’d say maybe try to find even just one person who you enjoy and respect and make a plan with them. It makes a massive difference!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      VL — YES! I completely agree that even one friend makes a difference. That was my original prayer for myself, and then God brought us more than we ever dreamed, but in the beginning it was just one friend. 🙂

      • Reply Virginia Lee March 16, 2016 at 4:28 pm

        God is so good! Love that He did that.

  • Reply Dawn March 16, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I am very excited to report that after a hiatus of 8 months our local CM group is scheduled to begin again – with many new members – in a couple of weeks. And we are going to be using Start Here. I’m so excited!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Oh, Dawn! That is fantastic! I hope it offers you all the inspiration and encouragement you ned for our looooonnnnnggg spring. 🙂

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