Well, our day does not look like is going to be a beautiful Colorado summer day. It is going to be cold and rainy. As we do not have another date to which we can move the park day, we will need to move to another location. If you are planning to attend, please send me a message through Contact Us, and I will send you directions.
(It is my privilege to introduce my Mom, our first guest blogger in our series Thoughts That Burn. I hope you enjoy reading of the experience of a non-CMer at a Charlotte Mason retreat. -- Dawn)
My daughter invited me to accompany her to the Living Education Retreat in Iowa. I was glad to have some mother-daughter time. She flew to Omaha Wednesday night (on an airplane). The following morning, she and I packed up the car with sleeping bags, sheets, towels, and pillows. We also packed snacks in case we got lost in the wilderness that occurs when you leave the interstate highway system. We had enough provisions for a week (better safe than sorry). With all the bases covered, she and I headed up to Milford, Iowa. The trusty navigation system on my phone, got us there in good time. In other words, we didn’t get lost.
We arrived at the Lodge and checked in. We got our folders and badges. My daughter greeted old friends. I didn’t have any of those; but I met people I can call old friends in the future should the occasion arise. If they wear nametags, I will also remember their names.
We found our cabin and unloaded the car including the wilderness provisions. We packed those in the refrigerator for the trip home. Fortunately, we both got bottom bunks. At my age, a bottom bunk is a necessity.
After arranging our belongings, we headed back to the Lodge to peruse the book sale. My daughter has plans to cover every available wall space in her home with bookshelves and shelves must have good books. One limitation on the number of books to choose on this trip was the baggage weight limit on the plane ride back home.
We attended the pre-retreat gathering, where I learned about Charlotte Mason. I had heard her name but hadn’t the need or desire to research her methods. I was able to give a successful elevator presentation to my seat neighbor regarding Charlotte Mason. My takeaway from that session: “Contemplate the personhood of the child you are holding.” My grandchildren are individuals; and I must recall that in my interactions with them.
By Dawn Rhymer
This blog is the third and final part in a series written to journal a few of the things I hope to do as a result of attending the 2017 Living Education Retreat. Here are links to Part I and Part II.
I will love what I do--for the children.
By Dawn Rhymer
When: Friday, August 11th, 10 AM - 4 PM
Where: Fox Run Regional Park at the North Oak Meadows Field (see the Park Map on the website)
Bring: Drinks and lunch for your family, snacks, folding chairs, blankets, sunscreen, outdoor games
Feel free to come and go as you need. We hope to see you there!
By Dawn Rhymer
This blog is Part II in a series written to journal a few of the things I hope to do as a result of attending the 2017 Living Education Retreat. Part I can be found here.
5. I will learn one new nature-thing a _______.
By Dawn Rhymer
Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time
Charlotte Mason, School Education (V3) p. 170
These words of Charlotte Mason were before me the whole weekend. I was at the Living Education Retreat (LER), and the quote was printed on a banner placed behind the podium in the main meeting room. Each time we gathered as a group, I was reminded through the soft and gentle echo of the banner, "Live, live, live."
As I drove home, after sweet goodbyes to many friends, I found myself asking the same words the crowd posed to John the Baptist as he began to prepare the way for Christ: "What then shall we do?" I wanted to return, not merely with thoughts and ideas which would be quickly crowded out by the hustle and bustle of a busy home, but rather with a clear grasp of those things which I would do. How would my life, and potentially the life of my family, be changed by the small investment of a weekend?
I am going to reflect on each session I attended and choose one thing which I do not want to forget, one thing I can do so that life can be all living.
By Karen Canon
I am knee-deep in planning for our next school year.
It is a good place to be, for me. I enjoy this part of the process very much. But whether you enjoy it or not so much, whether you are a veteran CM practitioner, or just starting out, it is always refreshing to gather a few new ideas to inspire and encourage. I keep a folder of articles and/or books on hand just for that purpose.
As I was reading Marion Berry’s I Buy a School, a few thoughts struck me from her stories of the PNEU school she ran. Miss Berry attended Charlotte Mason’s Teacher’s Training college in Ambleside in the years just following Mason’s death. After college, she did a short stint as a governess before teaching in cottage schools. She then took over Miss Kitching’s Rickmansworth PNEU school and remained there for thirty years.
'It is January 1927 and I’m on the long seven hour train journey to Windermere in a coach reserved for the College…' (p. 21)
Her book is difficult to find so I thought I would share a few gleanings that were needful reminders and aids to me and might be of interest to you as you plan out your school year.
By Dawn Rhymer
(This blog was originally published in January 2013.)
"A slight rewording of John 15:13 may be helpful for us Christian moms: “Greater love hath no mom than this, that a mom lay down her life for her family.” Laying down our lives doesn’t sound fun, but Jesus said that whoever loses his life for God’s sake finds it—and the life we find in Him is abundant! What perspective, hope and blessing!" -- Kari Lewis
I have recently started to receive the magazine Home School Enrichment. I'm actually not sure why. I have a suspicion that I may have signed up for it when I attended a home school conference this summer (I guess that makes sense, but I have no memory of it). As I look at the mailing label, I see that it is a sample subscription. Maybe someone out there signed me up for a sample subscription. If you did, thank you.
By Dawn Rhymer
But a child cannot dream parts of speech, and any grown-up twaddle attempting to personify such abstractions offends a small person who with all his love of play and nonsense has a serious mind.
Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education, V6, p. 210
"Does figuring out grammar really need to be this hard?" As a mom new to Charlotte Mason, I first had to grapple with the idea of not starting grammar until fourth grade. The program I had previously been using with my children had them beginning formal grammar in first grade. At the point of making this transition in our lives, Charlotte Mason's educational philosophies and methods were like the warm glow on the horizon letting one know the sun was coming. They looked appealing, but in reality I knew nothing about them. She thought quite highly of children and believed their minds were very capable. But really, who was she and why did she need to be so contrary about EVERYTHING? With a clear conscience I could find a "Charlotte Mason" grammar program for my fourth and sixth graders, but I also couldn't seem to let go of it for my second grader.
By Karen Canon
In early springtime, the atmospheric light acquires a brightness, a vibrancy. The sunlight dazzles the eyes, and it reaches everywhere. Within a few weeks, though, the trees begin putting on their summer dress and the landscape achieves a variety of tones, from bright spring sunlight to the deep undertones of cast shadows on lawns.
I enjoy noting each year in my Book of Firsts—a calendar of happenings in the natural world—the first of these tree shadows. Of course, a tree has a shadow all year long, but deciduous trees exhibit variety in the shadows they create. The shadow of their crown foliage is very different from the skeletal forms created by winter branches.
With the return of the foliage shadows, there are dark as well as light spaces; places where the eyes can rest as they scan the landscape. It is a sight I enjoy welcoming each spring. This year, in the Midwest, this spring event is coinciding with the opening days of May.
What is happening in your neck of the woods?
Here we come a-piping,
In Springtime and in May;
Green fruit a-ripening,
And Winter fled away.
The Queen she sits upon the strand,
Fair as a lily, white as wand;
Seven billows on the sea,
Horses riding fast and free.
And bells beyond the sand.
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