Educational Philosophy, Home Education, Mother's Education

Become the Teacher You Long to Be

October 1, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

Have you ever read Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake? I read it for the first time seven years ago when I was testing an early version of my Start Here study guide with my local Charlotte Mason reading group.

I really liked Macaulay. I hadn’t read much outside material (other than blogs, of course) on Charlotte Mason. I began with, and have always preferred, Miss Mason’s volumes and the Parents’ Review articles. My perception was that a lot of books on Mason’s philosophy (at the time, at least) make out this type of education to be either overly gentle (meaning not rigorous and almost student-led) or overly Victorian (lots of pinks, flowers, and making of embroidery samplers).

Not that I’m against samplers.

Macaulay, however, seemed so true to Miss Mason. She wasn’t too pink or too easy or too … anything. Her thoughts just were in the way that Miss Mason’s own work always has been. And so I appreciated that.

One of the things I still remember from the second chapter was the emphasis on the mother:

[T]he child puts all his little books and papers away, and turns his full attention to the adult. She will now be the medium through which he can “read” real books (not second-rate books).

Perhaps she reads a short portion from Pilgrim’s Progress. She must, of course, be a person who wants to understand and enjoy this herself. (p. 37)

And also:

There is only one problem that I can see. The adult, whether teacher or parent, has to be able to enjoy and understand what he or she is reading with the children. (p. 39)

It is really easy to think that all we need to do is organize a great curriculum. We can buy all the supplies and books, format a perfect schedule, and execute it in good time, being done-by-lunch-of-course.

Macaulay reminds me of the Apostle Paul here. Without love, all of these things are a clanging gong.

And love comes from the inside, and love is something we can’t organize into existence. We can’t fake it, and we can’t manufacture it.

We can’t buy it.

For me, at least, the love often disappears when I get caught up in the hustle in bustle of life. For all the temptations to indulge and enjoy in this world, I find I really can’t savor anything if I don’t slow down first. This includes school hours. How can I think deeply or enjoy a book when my soul is racing at 100 miles per hour and thinking more about my list of things to do than the reality right in front of me?

Each autumn, slowing down (for me) takes the form of Charlotte Mason Boot Camp. This is where I commit time to study. To walk this philosophy well, we need two things:

  • We need to know it.
  • We need to love it.

Both of these things take time.

Charlotte Mason Boot Camp is organized in such a way that by investing six weeks diligently, you will definitely come away knowing it, and I think you’ll be hard-pressed not to love it once you’ve spent so much time with it.

Whether you’re a newbie trying to execute a Charlotte Mason education in your homeschool without really understanding what that means, or whether you’re a seasoned Charlotte Mason homeschooler in need of revitalizing ideas and encouragement, Charlotte Mason Boot Camp is for you.

I invite you to come and join me! Six weeks is an investment that will pay you big dividends by helping you become the teacher for you children that you long to be.

Click here to register.

Other Thoughts

Thoughtworthy (Sweep Mini-Review, Book Recommendation, Houston Trip, And MORE!)

September 20, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

:: 1 :: TOMORROW is the Scholé Sisters Laughing Well retreat!! I’m so excited! My talk is ready to go and brimming with ideas I’m excited about, and what is not to love about a Central California Coast beach house in the fall? ♥ It’s not too late to register and join us for this refreshing event. :: 2 :: The kids and I finished Jonathan Auxier’s Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster on Wednesday. It was Continue Reading…

Educational Philosophy, Home Education

Health Issues? It’s Okay to Adjust Your Charlotte Mason Homeschool Schedule

September 17, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

We’ve had a lot of appointments lately, and I do mean a lot. Last week, we had thirteen. Granted, sometimes multiple appointments for multiple children were at the same office, so we weren’t driving all over the place (meaning: it could have been worse), but still. It’s been hard to fit in all the things that I have in my perfectly-laid plans from summer. One thing I realized is that once per week, we really need to have a set Continue Reading…

Other Thoughts

Thoughtworthy (New Podcast Episode, Finishing Books, Plutarch, and MORE!)

September 13, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

:: 1 :: There’s a new Scholé Sisters episode out today! This one was tons of fun to record. I love talking to Ashley — she has so many interesting thoughts rolling around in that head of hers! I think you’ll love this one. Click here to listen, or download and subscribe in your favorite podcast player (it’s free!). :: 2 :: If you did the Charlotte Mason in One Hour workshop, please note that the Q&A Session is now Continue Reading…