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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival: The things we like the most (vol1)

Welcome to the latest edition of the CM blog carnival!  This is an unusual carnival in that instead of having a theme itself, it is the kickoff for a bunch of topics!  Read on for a little more info and then we'll get on with the best part, which of course is the submissions!

The polls have spoken.  It's obvious that as a whole, the majority of us who took the time to vote, love Charlotte Mason!!  Was there ever any doubt?  ;)  Of course not!   The living books and nature study top the list as being very important to us as well art & music and the value of habit training.  The things we love most in theory are the very same areas we need to work on in practice; following through with nature study and habit training!  Also, figuring out how to teach multiple children at varying levels... but what mother doesn't struggle with that, is what I want to know! ;)

With these facts in mind, I've organized a posting schedule from the list of topics. There was an attempt made to intersperse theory with practice and we are all hoping that we'll get a variety of posts in answer to the various topics, yes?  

*(remember that you can still post whatever's on your heart and then choose whether to wait until that carnival comes up, or we can always list it in the current carnival under the miscellaneous)

So, without further ado, the calendar with topics can be viewed HERE ... and you can always check back to the main Charlotte Mason blog carnival info page HERE as well.

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Welcome to the February 22, 2011 edition of the charlotte mason blog carnival!
Our favorite things (volume 1) : Books & Nature Study


Michelle Smith presents A Life Better Than I Deserve - Reading Aloud . . . the Lesson Reflective
Amber presents Book Review: The Wheel on the School (And a Read Aloud Tip) 
Annette Berlin presents How To Bind A Book, "Writing a story or keeping a journal in your own handmade book is strong motivator for children. Take a look at our 115 bookbinding tutorials and choose the one that best fits your student."


Barb presents Our Winter Tree Study: Nothing Short of a Miracle, saying, "Our winter tree study...helps us become "intimate with trees"."
Shirley Ann Vels presents A Bit of History - Charlotte Mason Style
Jimmie presents More Bird Resources for Backyard Bird Count, "Printables for bird study"
Amy @ simply necessary presents Field Guides as Living Books, saying, "Can a field guide be considered a living book? Come read and find out! What do you think?"
Amanda presents Homegrown and Beeyoutiful: The Joy of Nature Study


Nadene presents What kind of disciples does the mission demand?, "What does the Lord want me to grow in my children - in character, habits and attitude - that will equip them for His service?"
Nancy presents Sphere of Influence She talks about the far spreading influence of CM
Barb presents Building Good Habits in High School - Charlotte Mason Style, CM with older students is something MANY of us are interested in learning more about!
Jay3fer presents Charlotte Mason vs Classical, saying, "This is a long post - so she's made it a 7-page downloadable PDF, discussing CM vs Classical Education in various areas of curriculum."
Robin Phillips presents Home School Writing Kids: Three Techniques For Writing Fiction
Richele presents Math with Charlotte Mason

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So, that concludes our carnival until next time...
Submit your blog article to the next edition!

The next carnival's theme is: Education is an Atmosphere
Suggested (optional) reading: 

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Oh wait, am I forgetting something?!  Oh yes, we did have a drawing didn't we...
so, I suppose that means we also ought to have a winner!

Congratulations, Eve from Inchworm Chronicles!  Eve is relatively new to the carnival and in her honor we'll be starting the themed carnivals off with her favorite part, 'Education is an atmosphere!" 
Thank you, Eve! 

Thank you all for your comments and your participation. The carnival is a cooperative effort, so thank you for what each one of you adds to the online Charlotte Mason community! I'm looking forward to getting to know many more of you!! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

life in a small apartment

Living in small spaces certainly has advantages. I do find it necessary to remind myself of them regularly, however :) Here's a small attempt to do that...

We set aside several hands-on project kits from Christmas that are particularly interesting to the kids, knowing that we'd have more 'inside' time than we normally had when we were in the jungle. Though having toys with myriad small parts is not necessarily conducive to small spaces (nor extremely messy ones that involve chipping away at finely packed dust particles that fly and attach themselves to every surface within a three room radius), because of these cool projects, they have grown in their interest and knowledge of several key skill areas!  A living education!  They've both been thrilled with their machine building & excavation kits.

Living in small spaces necessitates that the kids play cooperatively.  There simply is not enough room in the apartment for each child to play independently.  I've enjoyed watching their creativity.  Even if there are disagreements regularly, I'd prefer that over siblings who will not play together!  :)

'A place for everything and everything in its place', because if it's not, believe you me, we will certainly trip over it. Our kitchen, like our entire apartment, is very compact, but super serviceable. I give thanks every day thrice over for the blessing of this little space to live in. We get along quite well, and less space means less to keep clean.  Hooray!  And it makes me silly happy just to see the colors, but I'm funny like that. :)

From the fourth floor, we have a really great view of the park in front of our house, which actually in itself provides lots of viewing entertainment.  We see sunsets longer than everyone else, we see the birds' business from the tops of the trees and we get a good breeze.  Are you getting jealous?! ;)

I've also concentrated on making it a beautiful place to live.  Not necessarily from another person's standpoint, but things that are beautiful to us, almost entirely composed of things we've found outside or in the fruit/vegetable market. well, that and books. 
nature and books, two of my most favoritest things in all the world. ;)
So, living in small spaces is kinda nice after all.


Friday, February 18, 2011

c'mon, it'll just take a second...

Did you vote and comment yet?

Just remember:
  • Polls are fun you get to click those little check boxes!  who doesn't like marking things off a list?
  • You will be helping.  I have to remind my children often that in the end it always makes us happy to help people.
  • A cool prize is involved*.  everyone likes the anticipation that they very well might be the winner, right?
*rules: vote and comment.  winner will be announced at the next Charlotte Mason blog carnival February 22nd.  for more information see this post.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    CM Blog Carnival - vote & win!

    Well, as mentioned in a previous post, it is high time to celebrate!  After all, we are alive!  That's one seriously good thing!  We got through the last couple months and are alive to tell about it.  :)   Okay, I'll admit, it wasn't even that bad, either! 

    That and this blog has reached a milestone, 100+ followers! (ahem, not that I've been counting... that'd be google's job)

    Basically, I thought it'd just be a good excuse to have a little fun!  You like?

    It just so happens that very soon, we'll be trying out some experimental changes with the Charlotte Mason blog carnival.  You may or may not have noticed that the carnival is in need of some rejuvenation lately?  Well, several of us have been chatting and we'd like to breathe some life into it... Go here to read about the changes.

    So, are you anxiously wondering when I'm going to come to the point and talk about the whole vote & win thing?  Did I say win?!  prizes?!  On a CM blog?!  No.  Don't worry, we will NOT call it a prize. We'll just call it straight...  It's a bribe. There you have it.  I know, not very respectable.

    I'm offering a really cool prize bribe to any of my readers and/or CM blog carnival participants or anyone perhaps just plain interested in participating in the carnival, mostly because it's time to celebrate!  ...well, that and I hope it will convince some of you to take the time to vote and comment regarding the Charlotte Mason blog carnival.  You see, it's not so sneaky.  Is it?

    {Does it make it any better that the prize bribe is from}

    Click here to vote & comment to win.

    What's the prize?

     From the SCM website:

    Discipleship is more than a curriculum.

    If you’re searching for that perfect curriculum to disciple your children, this live workshop will help you take a fresh look at what Biblical discipleship really is. Sonya explains the three facets of Biblical discipleship and how you can weave them into your home life.

    How to enter to win:
    Click over to this page, give your opinion in the four polls, and then leave a carnival related comment (only comments left on this page will be eligible). Comments left before March 22nd will be entered to win.  :)  Is that fun? 

    Oh, and if you've already voted, don't worry, just go back and leave a comment to be entered to win.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    weekly nature journal {printable}

    Need a little help with nature study?  Sometimes I do.

    Here we are back on the coast of Peru, and I'll just say that the coastal region is NOT as beautiful and lusciously inviting as the jungle.

    not at all.

    Here we are finding that we are no longer naturally drawn outdoors.  Well, that and living in an apartment on the fourth floor behind several sets of locked doors has it's deterring factors as well I suppose.  It's rather difficult to get out!

    Oh, and we're supposed to be actually increasing our journal entries this term.

    So, to help with this dilemma, I've crafted up some pages that will give my guys some guidelines, freedom to choose the format of their daily journal entries, as well as a list of ideas for what to write/sketch every day.

    Yes, I said EVERY day.

    Right. That hasn't happened yet, mind you. :)

    I want us to get into the habit, at least for a time, of taking note of the glories we see outdoors, keeping our eyes open to the beautifully simple gifts of every day.

    These journaling pages are very utilitarian and will never actually take the place of our official nature journals (occasionally handcrafted, always highly valuable books that are meant to be more contemplative and artistic).

    Have a look, download the pages, but keep in mind, it may be more helpful to use them to come up with ideas for making something all your own  :)

    I've included a eensy-weensy bit of instruction, a list of places to begin to look for nature inspiration, and several different formats for pages. Some have more lines for writing, others have more room for the sketches. I've let my boys choose, and they both chose the same format I would have chosen (the first).

    Download here:

    There are two different files with exactly the same content, just different orientation, 
    choose whichever suits best...
    {landscape} and {portrait}

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    oh. vivaldi.

    "oh. vivaldi."

    "We've listened to that music every day for the last 23 days straight, Mom."

    "Even though I don't play violin or guitar, I'm certain I could perform every piece in the entire orchestra since we've listened to it so many times... it's actually become the background music to my dreams."


    ...just a few of the things you might hear around our house.
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