Hospitality: The Whole Point | Part 10

  Hospitality is a commandment from God that makes our theology practical, but it has other residual benefits that are not always quantifiable.   God often works like that, attaching blessings to obedience in ways we couldn’t possibly have predicted.   It’s easy to have people over who are exactly like me. If you’re a Mom who loves kids, books, food, gardening, and generally appreciates different aspects of homemaking, we have oodles in common to

Read More »

Hospitality: The Antidote To Euthanasia? | Part 9

Yesterday, our government passed a bill that expanded the current euthanasia law to include a new category of people eligible for killing: those who are nowhere near their natural death, but want to end their lives because they suffer intolerably. The plan is to expand this bill further in the next two years to also include those who want access to assisted suicide because of mental health reasons. Why do people want to die? Experts

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: “It’s Illegal” | Part 8

There was one more obstacle to hospitality that I had included in my list of challenges, but I’ve been avoiding it because it seems to cause conflict, no matter how it is addressed, and I hate confrontation.  However, this is a very real and challenging threat to hospitality, and I think a healthy discussion about it is long overdue. I’d love to hear differing perspectives, too, in the spirit of iron sharpening iron, so please feel

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: Introverted Personality | Part 7

My husband is an extrovert. I am an introvert.  He is refreshed by spending time with other people; I am rejuvenated by time alone. He works better with music playing; I need silence to concentrate.  He prefers talking; I’d rather write. He loves to plan adventures; I am perfectly content to stay home. He enjoys career changes; I love predictability and thrive on routine. He is naturally hospitable. Me? I am most definitely not cut out for

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: Busyness | Part 6

“We’re too busy.” I had listed this as an obstacle to hospitality, and sometimes we really are. My husband and I have developed an accidental habit of cramming multiple major life events together at the same time. The births of our last two babies coincided with moving into a new home, changing careers, and physically injuries to either one of us. Life was busy, but it probably always will be with half a dozen kids. 

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: Exhaustion | Part 5

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1  Exhaustion is another obstacle to hospitality; a very legitimate struggle that God often allows in our lives, perhaps to keep us from believing that we are His greatest gift to mankind.  When we have nothing left to give, we are tangibly reminded of the greatest news in all the world: our salvation does not depend on what we can do

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: Food | Part 4

Food is often integral to hospitality (an aspect I truly enjoy), but sometimes it can be hurdle, even if you’re experienced in the kitchen! Increased cost, limited availability of ingredients, lack of time, and another’s food sensitivities or allergies can cause us to hesitate offering a bite to eat to someone who stops by unexpectedly. Consequently, we often miss out on the accompanying conversations that naturally occur around the table. The goal of this post

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: A Messy House | Part 3

  Personally, a messy house is my biggest hurdle to showing hospitality, and the root of it, if I’m honest, is pride.   I want people to think we’re cleaner than we are, that I’m more organized than I really am, that our kids are obedient children who have learned to put things back after they take things out – that I’ve got it alllllll under control.   (And I don’t want the toothpaste in

Read More »

Obstacles To Hospitality: House Size | Part 2

This past Summer, we were abundantly blessed to move into a house that was intentionally designed for hosting people, but that hasn’t always been the case.  Our last house was so small, we lived without couches for nearly a year to give us a little more room elbow room. The master bedroom and the toy room were one and the same (the basement), and one of our kids slept in the couch-less living room. The

Read More »

Hospitality Is A Commandment | Part 1

There always seems to be a reason not to show hospitality. Our house is too small. (I felt this many times when we were living with 8 of us in 758 sq ft!) Our house is too messy. (I have worn this excuse ragged.) We’re out of groceries. (It’s the day before my grocery run! What on earth can I make in a jiffy with minimal ingredients?) I’m too tired. (I have no energy to clean

Read More »

The Value of Self-Education

One of our girls loves to hand sew doll clothes.  By her own admission, her first few pieces were rather unrefined and sloppy, but she is learning a lot, and each new outfit is progressively better than the last.   The first skirt she made taught her that she needs to sew the wrong sides of fabric together for a polished seam. The second thing she made taught her that needs to leave a seam allowance

Read More »

Weaknesses or Strengths: Where Should I Direct My Attention?

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on something about me: I am a terrible speller. I can assure you it’s not for lack of trying.  I clearly remember trying at least six different spelling programs as a child, as my poor mother struggled to find a method that would work. In every Spelling Bee I participated in, I was always the first or second one out.

Read More »

Where To Start? A Charlotte Mason Companion Review

  The Charlotte Mason Companion has a special place in my evolving personal list of Top 10 Transformational Books.   (The list is subject to change, but I am certain this book will always have a spot on it.)   It helped take me from hanging-on-by-a-thread homeschooling to homeschooling from my heart, which has made a world of difference, not just in the level of enjoyment we get out of learning together, but in the

Read More »

The Secret To Improved Retention May Be At Their Fingertips

Before we started using living books and narration, I was entirely opposed to letting our kids pursue their personal interests while I was trying to teach. I thought that whatever was in their hands would surely distract them from the lesson. Narration gave me the opportunity to test my hypothesis about multitasking during school, and for most of our kids, it turned out to be incorrect. Four of our kids assimilate more when they do

Read More »

The First And Last Prayers Of Continental Congress

The kids are I are reading Profiles of Valor: Character Studies from the War of Independence by Marilyn Boyer and Grace Tumas as part of our Morning Basket Time. (I’m planning to write a full review of this book when we are finished, but suffice it to say, this gem is quickly becoming one of our favorite living history books of all time.)  A few weeks ago, we finished Chapter 5, which told the story

Read More »

How Do We Teach Our Children What Truth Is?

In a world where you can find data to support any narrative, where one ideology is perpetuated by mainstream media and the other is censored, where committees have been appointed to rewrite history, and where very few take the time to give both sides of a story fair consideration, how do we teach our children what truth is?   One religion states there is no absolute truth, and determines what is right or wrong by

Read More »

A Better Rhythm: Changing Routines For a Smoother Day

I am not a morning person, but one of our children most definitely is. (I used to be a morning person, but I suspect 7 pregnancies in 9 years may have had something to do with that change.) Regrettably, I’ve wasted much time lamenting lack of sleep. I had convinced myself I needed a tight 8 hours to get through the day, and often rolled out of bed grumpy when I didn’t get it. Truth

Read More »

The Art of Paper Quilling | Handicraft Spotlight

The art of paper quilling  was introduced to me when I was about 10 years old. My Mom had received a little thank you card from someone with a single quilled flower on the front. We had never seen anything like it before, and she kept the card tucked into the frame of her bedroom mirror above her dresser.  I remember looking at it every day and wishing I knew how to make something just

Read More »

Living Book List

At long last, I’ve compiled a Living Book List that reflects our family’s personal favorite stories! This list contains nearly 250 titles on a wide range of interests, and it will continue to grow as we discover more great literary works and add them to our personal library.   (I am always open to recommendations!) This Living Book List has been the most requested post by readers, and while it’s not complete (no living book list

Read More »

Homeschooling As An Extension Of Parenting

This was not how the last day of school before Christmas break was supposed to go.  It wasn’t that the work itself was particularly challenging (except for when one child forgot how to borrow while subtracting). It wasn’t that we spent 15 minutes looking for a book that got lost yesterday (which we still have not found).   Perhaps the anticipated lockdown of our city this afternoon, coupled with impending dental appointments, and unchecked hormones factored

Read More »

An Object Lesson On Socialism For Kids

My husband gave us an object lesson on socialism, human nature, and property ownership at breakfast the other day that seemed to have a great impact on the kids, so I thought I’d share it here. What you will need To do this with your own children, you may wish to use: a bag of real or faux coins, marshmallows will work well as currency for kids young enough to place more value on sugar

Read More »

Homeschooling: An Education For Imperfect Parents

Sometimes, I hesitate to write about Charlotte Mason and how her philosophy of education has changed the way we homeschool because, as much as I love learning from her, I am only confident of this: that I execute her ideas ever so imperfectly. When friends ask me about CM, I usually direct them to women, books, or websites which are much better versed in it and have years of experience to back up their counsel.

Read More »

Morning Basket: Teaching Multiples Ages At Once

This is our first year implementing the Morning Basket in our homeschool, after being introduced to the concept by a dear friend, and it has been such a delightful, useful tool in teaching multiple ages at once! Morning Basket has taken so much stress out of juggling multiple grades, saved an immense amount of time, and has helped our whole family become engaged with the same ideas and stories, resulting in more meaningful conversations to

Read More »

11 Easy Christmas Crafts For Under $5

One of my favorite things to do with the kids is learning how to use what we have to make beautiful things! Limiting how much we spend on decor and craft supplies teaches us how to be creative and resourceful, and the results are doubly satisfying!  Here are 11 Christmas crafts for under $5 that we enjoyed making this year!  1. Stocking Ladder My husband made this for me by gluing and brad nailing two

Read More »

6 Ways To Help Children Find Delight In The Outdoors

The other day, another Mom asked if there were any specific ways, books, or other resources available to encourage outdoor exploration. In other words, how do you help your children find delight in the outdoors? Truth be told, I cannot remember a time in my life where I didn’t love being outside (except when it’s twenty-five degrees below zero!), but not everyone is wired the same way, and I’ve also spent time struggling to encourage

Read More »

A Place For Textbooks In Charlotte Mason Education

I loved the idea of using living books to teach our children about the world, but I could not comprehend a complete education without the use of textbooks at all! This was another misconception I had about Charlotte Mason education – that children weren’t supposed to use any sort of textbook whatsoever – and it seemed to my uninformed mind, that subjects like Math and Spelling would be left with gaping holes, should textbooks be

Read More »

4 Suggestions For Weaning Children Off Literary Junk Food

As I began to see the value in using whole, or living books to teach our children about the world, I became concerned with how to go about changing their literary diet without turning them off of this new, healthier feast altogether. Was it cruel to just get rid of all the “fluff” I had allowed to accumulate in the house? The idea that they would voluntarily pick up a book like Caddie Woodlawn over

Read More »

What Is A Living Book? 6 Characteristics Of Great Literature

What Is A Living Book? Defining a living book is not as simple as it may seem. Although most living books share the same characteristics, what may turn out to be a living book for one child, may not be so for another. Charlotte emphasized that the book must be enjoyed to be effective. 1. Living Books Must Be Enjoyed “So much for the right books; the right use of them is another matter. The children

Read More »

Living Education Book Selections For Year 6

It’s been a few years since I’ve shared our curriculum choices; partly because of my own insecurities (anyone else get plagued with self-doubt, unsure if you’re “covering all the bases,” doing too much, or too little?), partly because the comparison trap is real, and I don’t want to be responsible for laying one that someone else falls into, and partly because the beauty of homeschooling is that it’s so individualized! What works for one child may

Read More »

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

One of my best memories as a child was celebrating a birthday with an outdoor scavenger hunt! I remember pairing off friends into two teams, scavenging all around 88 acres with a bag in hand, in search of all the things on the list! My grandparents’ property had a creek, valley, field, and forest, so the array of material we could collect was vast! Whether a person won or not made no difference in how

Read More »
shares