Educational Philosophy, Home Education

AfterCast EP 29: The Mother’s Compass (with Brittney McGann)

January 24, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

Today, I’m interrupting our Charlotte Mason series to bring you this season’s special conversation. Brittney McGann is back with me today; I hope you recognize her from last season. Brittney has been studying Charlotte Mason for over seven years. Mason’s philosophy embodies all the things Brittney loved about her own upbringing and everything she would have wished for in her education, had she known it was possible. Brittney hosted the Grace to Build Retreat in Black Mountain, North Carolina for three years and has presented workshops at multiple Charlotte Mason conferences. These days she is teaching her three children, leading two Charlotte Mason groups and working with her husband to restore native plants to their 3.5 acres.

You can find Brittney’s articles at Charlotte Mason Poetry, Charlotte Mason Living and the Charlotte Mason Institute blogs. She has been a guest on A Delectable Education podcast and also written the introduction for Paper Modelling by M. Swannell, one of the sloyd books used in the PNEU programmes. You can find that book through Amazon or Living Library Press.

Today, Brittney and I discuss the “Mother’s Compass”. We talk about Charlotte Mason and working within limitations — for both ourselves and our children. It’s a great discussion you won’t want to miss!


Listen to the Episode:


Show Notes:

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9 Comments

  • Reply Nancy Buterbaugh February 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    This was such a refreshing topic! I feel like sometimes CM’s famous (infamous) quote about “mothers work wonders when they know wonders are required of them” can really put mothers under a pile of guilt. While it is true that many mothers will make heroic efforts for their children’s sake even the most dedicated mother will often fall short of all she hopes and desires and learning to live with that is a huge part of finishing our journey well I think (saying as I have launched 2 of my six and have 2 more waiting in the wings)…

  • Reply The Simple Woman's Daybook for February 11, 2019 - Little Drops of Water February 11, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    […] break next week!Post Script…this conversation on the AfterCast Podcast was thought-provoking: The Mother’s CompassShared Quote“It is within the sphere of the circumstances He chooses for us – single, […]

  • Reply Bethany January 29, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you both for speaking the Holy Spirit’s freedom into the Charlotte Mason community! I haven’t read through the previous comments, but I have no doubt that it has not fallen short of the need in the “CM culture” of today. Blessings to you for carefully speaking truth and bringing light into a confusing and sometimes overwhelming space.

  • Reply Betty January 28, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    I cannot tell you how needed this message is today. I started homeschooling with CM back in 2000 and the atmosphere of CM has changed so much. CM info has EXPLODED which is both exciting and overwhelming. There is this undercurrent goal of becoming a CM expert or doing “it” perfectly. CM methods are the means to an end of education our children and for me, discipling my children. You said on this episode that someone once counseled you to not sacrifice your marriage or family on the alter of CM. This is probably the best piece of advice I’ve heard in a long time. Back when I started, there was not much info on sloyd, solfedge, Swedish drill, architecture, brush drawing, etc… The emphasis was on saturating our children in good books, narrating, nature study, and some of the feast and everyone fleshing it out in their own unique ways. But there is such pressure to fit everything in which is almost impossible if you have any extra life circumstances or multiple children or health issues or caring for elderly parents, etc…. Thanks for addressing these topics and being brave enough to do what works for your families and talk about it!! This was amazing.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 28, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      ♥ It’s so true that the glut of information is helpful and hurtful all at once. For years, all I did was read the volumes and a couple blogs. It truly was enough! I *like* that there are answers to questions about how she did some things, but it sure seems to have added a lot of pressure, hasn’t it?

    • Reply Martha Clarke February 23, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      Yes! I ditto your comments having also begun CM homeschooling in 2000. Thank you Brandy for this encouraging podcast.

  • Reply Mama Rachael January 27, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    This was so good. Thank you for recording this chat. I’m struggling right now with feeling like I have too much on my plate. I’m not sure that I do, but I feel the strain at times. I needed to hear this.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 28, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      Glad it was an encouragement, Rachael. ♥

  • Reply Thoughtworthy (24 Family Ways, New Episode, Haha, and MORE!) | Afterthoughts January 25, 2019 at 1:34 am

    […] In case you missed it, there was a new AfterCast episode out yesterday. (You should subscribe in your podcast player, you know.) This was the season’s special conversation — I try to do one thing that is “special” in some way each season. I had Brittney McGann on again, who is someone you just can’t go wrong with. It was such a fun conversation and I think you’ll love it, too. […]

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