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charlotte mason eclectic homeschool
Homeschool Planning

Our Eclectic Homeschool: Favorite Elements of Charlotte Mason

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Like many homeschoolers, we embrace an eclectic approach that combines multiple philosophies or approaches. I often describe our homeschool as a kind of ever-morphing stew that starts with a base of Charlotte Mason and Waldorf, throws in a heaping spoonful of unit studies, stirs in some classical education, and occasionally gets ignored in favor of periodic unschooling. And it’s always changing–sometimes with the seasons, sometimes with our interests, and sometimes because life happens and we are okay with adapting as needed. Continue Reading

nature study books
Nature Study

Our Favorite Books for Nature Study

Here’s the thing: there is not a used book store, regular book store, library, book pile at a rummage sale, or Scholastic sale I can walk by without stopping and stacking up more books than two people can safely carry. I have a weakness, and her name is books.

It has always been, and will always be so. I’m pretty sure that’s why the Charlotte Mason philosophy resonated with me so strongly. I want shelves and shelves of books. And I want the rolling ladder so I can do that “Belle move” every morning as I swoon over my shelves and shelves of books. Continue Reading

homeschool room

Tour of Our Homeschool “Room”: Spring Edition

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I love homeschool room tours and videos where mamas share their homeschool spaces. It’s always fun to peek into the learning spaces of other families and see how they have everything organized and set up.

We’ve always been a bit on the casual side when it comes to our own homeschool “classroom.” In the winter, we curl up in front of the fireplace in the living room. In the summer, we spread out on the balcony between the calendulas and the zucchini (yes, we’re trying to grow zucchini on our balcony–it’s a science experiment.) The kitchen table features prominently throughout the year. Other than that, we’re talking stacks and bins of books everywhere, games tucked under our living room couch, and a modest IKEA rolling cart rip-off that houses our math manipulatives and art supplies. Continue Reading

reasons for homeschooling
Homeschool, Parenting

The Top 5 Reasons Why We Chose Homeschooling

If you gather a group of 100 homeschoolers together and ask them why they made the decision to educate their children at home, you will likely get 100 different answers. Although there are certainly similarities in the reasons that we jump into this endeavor, the heart of the matter usually comes down to specific needs of a child, values of a family, or (in many cases) a series of events that made that family decide to abandon public school.

And there is very rarely “just one reason.” Continue Reading

tinker boxes

5 Essentials for Homeschool Enchantment: Tinker Boxes

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Last winter, we went through a few months of medical issues with a close family member that required a lot of driving back and forth across the Colorado front range. Normally, this sort of upheaval of our “usual routine” would have made me feel anxious and unsettled, but thanks to the Brave Writer lifestyle (and Julie Bogart’s endless, soothing wisdom), I accepted that things would just need to be a little bit looser in this season of our homeschooling life. Continue Reading

nature study stem homeschool
Nature Study, S.T.E.A.M.

Planting the Seed: Nature-Inspired STEM Education in Our Homeschool

If a homeschool fairy swooped down one day and told me I could only choose three tools to teach my children, I’d like to think I would not hesitate. I would smile and reply, “Books, nature, and open-ended art supplies.” But my answer is a sneaky one. I firmly believe that, at least in the early grades, you can teach just about every subject with these three things. Continue Reading