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Mother’s Journal – July 2017

My lack of posting here on Harmony Art Mom should have clued you in to the fact that life sort of ran away with me. The days were filled to the brim with good things, both here at home and on the East Coast as I visited with my kids. I know many of you subscribe to my Handbook of Nature Study blog and follow me on Instagram, so you saw some of the highlights as they unfolded.

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Selfie with 3 of my 4 children- July 2017

But, here in this entry, I am going to keep my focus and talk about my mama thoughts. For those that keep track, I now have two children in their early 30’s and two in their early 20’s. Hardly seems possible!  I’m still anxious for them as they navigate the world on their own. The two younger boys will be coming to stay with my husband and me for a short time starting in late August. They have not led conventional ‘after high school graduation’ lives. There has been no real college. Much of what they’ve done is volunteer work. But, in my estimation, they have both grown in skills and qualities that will make them amazing men.

I hate to talk too much about them and their specific paths on the internet for their privacy’s sake. But I will relate an experience that made me know this has been the right direction for these two particular boys.

Mr. A is my child that was always busy building things, creating things, and tinkering with tools. He is a visual spatial learner who spent lots of time figuring out how things work. Everyone loves Mr. A because he’s an easy going and friendly sort of person. College would have squashed Mr. A, but it has worried me that he couldn’t find the kind of job he would be happy in unless he did some kind of college, perhaps a technical trade school. Mamas worry about things like that.

I was also worried when he decided to move so far away from home that I couldn’t “finish” training him. He was only 19 when he moved to New York. He seemed too young to be off on his own.

I needn’t have worried.

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He started with one job and switched several times, landing in his “dream” position. Remember, this is the RC helicopter, airplane pilot, video making, LEGO maniac child. What do you get when you mix all that together? You get a drone camera operator! This was a sweet spot for him and he balanced that with being the head of a crew of women old enough to be his much older sisters.  As this position unfolded, I could see the drone operator part easily enough but the leading of four women sort of made me raise my eyebrows. Mr. A supervising four women? We talked several times on the phone about how to handle the emotional side of leading women…something he had little experience with.

Well, a few weeks ago when I visited him at work, I was greeted by these 4 young women with big hugs. They had actually asked if I could come in and meet them because they wanted to thank me for raising such a great son. They all had nothing but good things to say about how he treated them, how they felt he listened, and how he created a team atmosphere that got things done. One of them told me how they appreciated Mr. A’s diverse skills and willingness to learn.

This humbled me and made my heart soar.

It’s all going to be okay.

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Love this girl!

I don’t care what my children do for work if it allows them to grow in skills and character. I walked out of there with my head and shoulders held high. I had learned a valuable lesson. Create in your children the eagerness to learn and grow, to be humble when they need to learn something, and to allow them to take a chance on a job that might not be exactly what you want in the beginning and see where it takes them.

For homeschooling moms that are in the trenches of homeschooling young boys, hang in there and remember that working on good character qualities will be the foundation of any future success your child will achieve.

I continue to be humbled as a “homeschool” mama.

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5 Charlotte Mason High School Ideas That Worked

5 charlotte mason high school ideas

Building Good Habits

“One last word about habit–the point of training children to have good habits is so that they’ll do things without being nagged or scolded. Then the mother isn’t constantly chasing them down with a barrage of commands and reminders. She can leave them alone to thrive in their own way once habit has secured a boundary for them to grow in.” Volume 1, page 134

The forming of good habits continues through the high school years, leading our children to the place where they self-regulate their actions. In our home, our teens were never rebellious or contrary and I think a lot that was because we didn’t have many “rules” to live by. They were guided and corrected in a way to help them build habits that will last them a lifetime. Children with good habits are a joy to be around. Read more about habits: Building Good Habits in High School and Good Habits for Moms.

Living History

“Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” Volume 1, page 280

Incorporate as many avenues of reading and learning as possible, using literature, biographies, speeches, and videos to help your child immerse his learning of a particular time period. High school students are capable of reading a lot of material and if you follow up your reading with some form of narration it will stick better and longer. History will come alive. Read more about my thoughts on this: Charlotte Mason Knew the Secret to Learning Relationships.

Shakespeare and Poetry

“To become intimate with Shakespeare in this way is a great enrichment of mind and instruction of conscience. Then, by degrees, as we go on reading this world-teacher, lines of insight and beauty take possession of us, and unconsciously mold our judgments of men and things and of the great issues of life.”

There were times when it seemed like a lot of effort to add in a Shakespeare play every term but afterwards I would realize how much we all enjoyed the experience. The same was true pretty much for poetry as well. Poetry is not an easy topic to cover on your own with high school students and our tastes in poets varied greatly which added an extra element when planning. But, in the end, I look back on our Shakespeare and poetry studies with much warmth because they did add that extra “something” that made each year a little better. My boys still quote Shakespeare from time to time and I know it will be carried with them into their futures…better for having read it while they were young. Read more: Shakespeare and High School Poetry.

Nature Study

I could talk all day about the value of continuing nature study in high school. I hold those times we were outdoors together as cherished memories. My boys have grown in their knowledge of our local plants, trees, birds, reptiles, weather, and so much more. They are comfortable outdoors and seek opportunities to spend time in nature. They appreciate the changes in the season and are skilled at following a map, planning a hike, and growing things. Dirt is not their enemy. You can read more: Nature Study for High School Students.

Narration

Last but not least is the skill of narration that is emphasized in a Charlotte Mason education. Narration is never tiring for my boys and if given a choice they will write a quick summary, give an oral account, or create a follow-up project in place of a test any day. Their notebooks are filled with their individual accounts of their learning. These thoughts are their own connections with their reading and research. I can’t think of a better way to learn for my boys. You can read more: Narration in Our High School.

Reflections on a Charlotte Mason High School – read more of my thoughts on high school.

Please visit and share with us at the CM blog carnival! We'd love to have you! I am submitting this entry to the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and if you have any entries you would like to submit, you can send them to this email address: charlottemasonblogs@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seasoned Mom Tip #4 – Be On Time

Seasoned Mom Tip Be On Time @harmonyfinearts
Here is practical tip that has made my life so much easier.

Plan a starting time for your homeschool day and then show up on time consistently and with a good attitude.

Leaving your day to chance and not having a starting time for your schoolwork sends the message to everyone that it is not a priority. Create a pattern of responsibility whether you start your day at 8 AM or 1 PM, show up prepared to get busy.

Children like rhythm and continuity.

Create a pattern that fits your family and homeschool style.

Homeschool Mom Tip to Be on Time

  • We have always started with our Bible reading setting the tone for the rest of the day. (Read more about our circle time activities which also include poetry, journals, and check-in time.)
  • Perhaps your family wants to start with math or a read aloud.
  • You may have wiggly boys that need to move first thing in the morning.
  • Remember that older children still need you for support, encouragement, and companionship.

It is worth the effort to establish this habit.

Seasoned Mom 125x

You may wish to read:
Seasoned Mom Tip #1 – Balance Academic and Project-Driven Learning
Seasoned Mom Tip #2 – Set Goals
Seasoned Mom Tip #3 – Keeping in Touch With Independent Learners

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