Tag Archives: Charlotte Mason

From my Commonplace… Wonder…

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Wonder:: A state of delight and astonishment at the mystery of our world.

“There is something very small-minded about a person who doesn’t wonder. One of the most dismal states is knowingness, where someone has settled for one narrow version of the world.”

“A life lived without wonder can easily drift into despair. Wonder is capable of nurturing hope even in times of doubt of loss.”

“Wonder is the necessary human condition, a state of being alive.”

“Day-to-day life finds most adults wonder deficient. Each day holds a new and profound experience for a small child, but it’s rare that I find myself in that vulnerable place, halfway between exhilaration and fear. I rarely find I have the time to stop and stare.”


Quotes from The Wonder Stuff article in The Simple Things January 2015
Linking up with Keeping Company CM

A Charlotte Mason Afternoon

Last week I took myself off on a little adventure. I drove to the airport, hopped on a plane (all at an absurdly early hour), met some new people, talked, laughed, ate delicious food, discussed books, looked at books, oohed and ahhed over some beautiful books, slept very little, then I retraced my steps on another plane, returning home to my waiting family. I made some lifelong friends (didn’t I lovely ladies? friends for life?), learnt ever so much about homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method, asked a lot of questions, shared my experiences with others and came home feeling very inspired for the year ahead and very content with the homeschool plans I have in place.

It was the first time I had travelled alone since I was 18. Yes, seriously. Quite a number of years have past since I’ve done something like this and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience – cancelled flight and all (my flight mix-up was a gift to me – it allowed me to meet a lady whose conversation I found quite impacting at this season of my life). I was collected by complete strangers (well, one was a fellow blogger, so I felt I knew her from her online words) and spent the next couple days in their company and what a delightful experience that was – a meeting of fellow kindred spirits.

While I had a couple days together with these couple ladies, the real purpose for my adventure was a Charlotte Mason afternoon hosted by Jeanne. We discussed various aspects of our homeschooling experiences and I suspect each of the 20 gathered ladies went home with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement as we begin a new homeschooling year – I certainly did.

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CM Afternoon


On Our Bookshelves

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It’s the reading material found sitting on the little table in my ‘reading corner’ which I’m sharing with you today. I love seeing what other people are reading, discovering good reads to add to my wish list, and getting to know an author or book before purchasing it sight unseen. So I’m sharing my selections with you, in the same manner in which I love reading about your current reading material.Bookshelves 7

Charlotte Mason has been a staple of my reading diet over the past three years. With one of her volumes on the go at all times. I find that my concentrated reading time is limited, and I really want to concentrate and take notes as I read through these books. But little by little I’ve been plugging away, reading a paragraph or page at a time, and suddenly I’ve realised that I am beginning the last book of the series. I know a lot of people suggest reading this one first as it sort of gives and overview of her methods, but I decided to start with volume one and I find I’m very excited to be beginning volume six at long last.

So much has been written on-line and off about Charlotte Mason, her principles and her approach to education, that I won’t go into any quick overview here – this wouldn’t do her justice at all. (If you do want to know more and want my favourite blogs and websites relating to educating children using Charlotte Mason as a guide, leave a comment and I’ll help out.) What I will say though, is that I truly appreciate her approach and the way it fits seamlessly into our family life as we live and learn together.



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Ok, so a confession – I only just purchased this book last month…. I know I’ve been told more times that I care to remember just how good it is, how it would fit into our way of learning, how it would help keep things simple and focused etc. etc. etc. I know that many people view this book as one of the few absolutely essential books when beginning homeschooling. Yet, I have only just got my hands on a copy about 4 weeks ago. And I wonder why it wasn’t four years ago!!

What can I say except my copy is already ‘dog-eared’, already filled with post-it-note bookmarks. A notebook which I keep with it is already half full of notes on how I am, or intend to work through some of the ideas with my ‘learning to read’ son. And I would recommend it. Sure, it’s not a pre-planned program which you just open the next page, you do have to work out what your child is ready for and provide the activities relevant. But that’s the beauty of it, you are working with your child, at their level and not doing busy work just for the sake of it.

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This was a present from my husband who visited the ‘Common Ground’ store in Hobart late last year. I find the tv show, Gourmet Farmer, incredibly inspiring (feeding my deep down dreams of big veggie gardens and growing more of our own food – one day) so was very interested to read this book. Matthew Evans tells his story in a candid way, how and why he left Sydney and moved to rural Tasmania, then proceeds through the journey of the past few years learning all that’s involved in running a farm, growing food and raising animals. I have enjoyed the way he brings his stories together with a food/animal as the topic and gives a recipe at the end of each chapter (and yes, I’ve already tried two recipes). An easy read, but inspiring and educational for me as well – perfect for the quiet of the evening after a long tiring day.

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I have a husband who knows me very well (probably a good thing since we have been married 13 years). This book was my Christmas treat. And what a visual feast it is. A cookbook, yes. A cuisine which I’m very unfamiliar with, yes. A few recipes which I’m planning on trying, yes. A story about a country and culture of which I know very little, yes. But the photography is what grabs me most of all. Oh the beauty of those pictures. Yes! I’ll pick up this book and be drawn into these people – their lives and stories. I feel like I know them and am visiting their kitchens in person. All the while imagining what their day-to-day lives entail and how it is so vastly different from mine. Simply magical. It’s given me a new appreciation for photography and it’s ability to tell a story. Have a little look at a few of the pages with me, I’m always ready to browse this book again …..

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