Around the time that I started pouring over the Read-Aloud Revival podcast and we became a family that reads, I started listening to A Delectable Education, a podcast that spreads the feast of the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. It was autumn, and we had just settled into another year of homeschool using the My Father’s World curriculum.
We really enjoyed using the My Father’s World curriculum. It follows a Charlotte Mason and classical method of education with a biblical worldview and international focus. I used it since we started our journey to homeschool and especially enjoyed using it for the beginning years. It’s gentle, moves slowly, focuses on good literature, and outdoor exploration.
This planned curriculum was just what I needed as I started diving deeper into Charlotte Mason’s methods of education. While we were trekking along using My Fathers World, I started reading Home Education, volume 1 of Charlotte Mason’s writings, all the while listening to the podcast, A Delectable Education. By listening to the podcast alongside reading her book, I was able to fully understand her methods and how to practically implement them in the homeschool.
If you don’t already follow Charlotte Mason’s methods of homeschool, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Who is Charlotte Mason?” For a brief overview, click on over to Simply Charlotte Mason where they give a good brief outline of who Charlotte Mason was and her methods of education.
The more that I started learning about her methods through her writings and the podcast, the more that I started to pull apart the curriculum we were using and piece together, what I felt, followed more in line with her methods. As the year progressed, it became evident that we were using a textbook as a spine for history. We had a difficult time using it and trying to narrate after those readings were nearly impossible.
I wanted my children to enjoy their history lessons so I read to my boys from the living books My Father’s World shared in their booklists instead and skipped the spine altogether. It was for the best; They came away with a great understanding of Ancient Egypt and its geography by reading and narrating well-written narratives. It was then that I decided to move away from the My Father’s World curriculum to a complete Charlotte Mason education.
I was delighting in the information shared on A Delectable Education, however, without an out-of-the-box curriculum, I was going to have to plan their complete education on my own. I started to relisten to all of the podcast episodes, taking notes and making sense of them alongside Charlotte’s own writings. I was trying to understand the history cycles, dictation as spelling lessons, and soon enough found myself completely overwhelmed.
I was about to give up and plan another year using My Father’s World until I noticed a small little blue box on the sidebar of A Delectable Education website that said, Personal Charlotte Mason Help. I prayed and then immediately scheduled a consultation with the ladies from A Delectable Education to plead for help.
The consultation started by speaking to Liz Cottrill, co-host of A Delectable Education, seasoned homeschool mother, and owner of Living Books Library. I really didn’t know what to expect. In my notes, I had written to ask for encouragement and prayer.
In the beginning of our conversation, Liz reminded me that the work of education wasn’t upon me, but instead that the work of educating would come directly from the Holy Spirit. It was my job to provide the feast (a wide array of subjects), He’ll take care of the rest. I was encouraged! This aligned beautifully with my family’s homeschool mission, Making God Real in the Lives of our Children.
After those words, I remember telling her, ” You know what would be a blessing for many homeschooling families? If you and the other ladies at A Delectable Education could develop a curriculum.” She chuckled and said, “Well, what do you think we’re doing today?”
So that’s what we did. For the remainder of our consultation, she asked me about each of my children, including their ages and reading levels, and then explained to me every subject included in a Charlotte Mason education and how it should be taught at home. I was speechless. She then went on to tell me that her daughter Emily Kiser, would be putting together a custom booklist and class outline that she would send to me within a week.
I hung up the phone and praised God for this blessing in my life. Thanks to Liz and Emily, I was equipped to start a new year in a Charlotte Mason education.
That was the spring of 2016. Over the summer, I attended the Living Education Retreat put on by Nancy Kelly of Sage Parnassus and slowly but surely started gathering the needed books for our new year in a complete and whole Charlotte Mason education.
A New Year in Charlotte Mason
It’s been a good school year, but a trying one as well. My family sold and moved into a new home this past October (a lot of work!) and we’ve just gotten back from an unexpected trip to California that’s slowed things down a bit more than I would have liked. Besides that, however, our school year has been delightful and I’m just smitten that we’ve gone in this direction.
Not everything flows smoothly, it is life after all, but we’re enjoying our school days and this mama’s heart and nerves have been at rest and dare I say, at peace?
God is good and for that I am thankful.
It’s been a good year and we will indeed continue on this path. I already have a consultation scheduled for this coming year and am praying about joining the Alveary as well, a new Charlotte Mason curriculum developed by the Charlotte Mason Institute.
A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Planner
Once I was provided with my class outline from the ladies at A Delectable Education, I created a Charlotte Mason Homeschool planner that you can download for FREE by clicking here. I’m currently working on updating the planner for the 2017-2018 school year. Sign up to my email list to be alerted when it becomes available for download.
To Liz, Emily, and Nicole
Ladies, I want to publicly thank you for the tremendous amount of work you pour into A Delectable Education, online communities, and conferences that you speak at throughout the year. You are a tremendous blessing to my family and many others! May God bless you!