Back Issue: August 2015 – Educating Our Kids & Ourselves

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Educating Persons
by Brandy Vencel

Principle 1: Children are born persons.
For some of us, this is a revolutionary idea. For others of us, this is so totally obvious that it is hard to imagine that it even needs to be stated. In Charlotte Mason’s Victorian context, there was definitely an idea that only adults were fully human. So children were treated as Less Than.

I have heard this first principle, or at least its necessity, dismissed as a Victorian idea—and there really IS a different view of children than there was 100 or 150 years ago. It’s true. But at the same time, I think we are kidding ourselves if we think we’ve gotten to the point where we truly believe children are persons.

Sometimes, it helps to look at practices as evidence what we really believe about children. What I mean is, if you had asked me when I was a new mom if I believed my children were persons, I would have saidyes, absolutely! And yet some of my practices may have pointed to other beliefs.

Some people, for example, act as if children are something more like toys or pets—these are the people who baby talk children. They seem to think children only capable of thinking about silly subjects. And so, for example, we have a whole industry of cartoons and books based upon the idea that children are not capable of real thought—within the Charlotte Mason community, we tend to call these products “twaddle.”

I don’t want to belabor this point, but I think it is valuable to stop and ask ourselves: “What do my practices say that I believe about children?”

Work Your Homeschool Plan – a free live workshop with Mystie Winckler and Brandy Vencel on October 9 at 1:30pm Pacific.

Are you familiar with the concept of grounding? I mean in the sense of electricity or physics?

In working with electricity, there is always the risk of electric shock, right? Grounding is a way to prevent that — a wire is used to remove any leaky current and carry it harmlessly away {rather than through the person that comes into contact with the current}.

Read more. »»

This post by Sara Dennis will encourage you to continue to seek scholé in your homeschool:

“Scholé reminds us that the goal isn’t to get everything done. The checklist will never be completed. Instead we’re looking for balance, for an atmosphere of restful learning.”

Read more. »»

Pam shares about three ways she’s bringing her basket to her school year:

“My problem lies in the fact that I can’t give over control to anyone other than me. Even to Him. I have built up the illusion in my brain that if something is going to be done right then I have to be the one to do it. I’m am fairly certain this is one of my main motivations for homeschooling, though I would never admit it.”


Sarah asked experienced homeschool moms and other educators what to do when the day falls apart – because sometimes days will simply do that. Read more »»

Brandy shares how astronomy is the perfect science for inspiring wonder and worship.

“Even the most ardent atheist feels a bit inclined to worship after a night under the stars in Joshua Tree! It’s a tough heart indeed that isn’t softened by a glance at a clear night sky. ”


Mystie gets practical and shows close up shots of her master weekly checklist – the tool that helps her orchestrate 4 students, a toddler, and 3 sets of mini-co-op lessons.


How I Nearly Let My Son’s Transcript Get in the Way of Virtue – by Cindy Rollins

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