Mom’s HOMEroom ;) BaCk tO sCHoOL 2013

first day f

first day single

We started the new school year last Monday.  Yes, I am quite behind on getting the first day of school picture posted.   (We actually did a little school all summer, but this was a fun, fresh start!)

Back in the spring I began reading book after book on Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy.  Just what is all of this CM stuff I hear people talking about?  I decided to find out, and let me tell you, I am impressed.  I read Charlotte Mason’s first volume in the Home Education series and many other authors’ interpretations and methods of implementing her ideas.  I’ve been slowly moving to a more Charlotte Mason type approach in our studies, but her idea that I most love is that the curriculum, studies, ideas, “stuff” we moms tend to worry about choosing is really only a third of our children’s education.  Their education also includes training in discipline and good habits and also includes the atmosphere of our homes.  It is so refreshing to be reminded that education is really more than the books, rigorous studies, memorizing, writing.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the reading, writing, and arithmetic and forget that our children are watching us day in and day out… The fact is that much of what a child learns he picks up by watching and listening to those around him… The ideas that rule your life as a parent will rub off on your child… What ideas rule your life?…    Every look of gentleness and tone of reverence, every word of kindness and act of help, passes into the thought-environment, the very atmosphere which the child breathes; he does not think of these things, may never think of them, but all his life long they excite that ‘vague appetency towards something’ out of which most of his actions spring. Oh, the wonderful and dreadful presence of the little child in the midst!”  (Education Is... , Sonya Shafer, Simply Charlotte Mason)
“Education is a discipline—that is, the discipline of the good habits in which the child is trained. Education is a life, nourished upon ideas; and education is an atmosphere—that is, the child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which rule their own lives.” (Charlotte Mason, Vol. 2, p. 247). 

I hope to share a more detailed look at our studies for this year, and while I have gleaned many things from Miss Mason’s writings, my goal is not to provide my children with a  Charlotte Mason education.  It is to provide them with a Christian education, though the two do not have to be separated.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10

Here are some glimpses at memories from the beginning of our new school year…

All around us, little puffs of white cotton are peeking through the green leaves in the fields.  We had a fun nature study right in our yard.


cotton collage

kids study of cotton

We have enjoyed being botanists with our Apologia Botany book.  The children worked on “shoe taxonomy” to better see how scientists look at details to classify plants.

shoe tax

A Vincent Van Gogh artist study that we began few weeks ago was a fun addition to our week!

van gogh study 1

We are moving along in our study of Biblical history, family Bible reading, and the book of Numbers.  It is getting a bit complicated to read in different areas, so in case you are keeping up with our studies, we are streamlining soon.  Here is a snapshot from our Numbers study (more to come).  I never thought about why there is a snake on a pole on ambulances and other medical equipment and supplies.  I never took much notice I guess.  Wow!  Healing!  Now I know…


We have a very special 4-year-old, our “little cartographer”, who amazes us and makes us laugh everyday…j with mapI’m trying to leave the kids little notes and surprises to make the start of the school year special.  I want to MAIL them letters!  Will you join me?  Let’s mail our kiddos letters!  Mine love to get mail!  Until then…

“Put your best foot forward!”  ~ Fruit by the Foot

“You brightened my day!”  ~  highlighters

Bookworms ~ (picture from last school year)



foot forward

(more ideas here)

We are working on transferring some of our previous learned material onto a NEW timeline!  I am excited!


I hope that in all that we do… each topic we explore and each letter we write and each object we count, each plant we examine, each person we study, we would remember the Creator of ALL things, the One in whom we live, move, and have our being!  HIS name should be extolled…

psalm 148

I went back to reread my VERY FIRST “FIRST DAY OF HOMESCHOOL” post.  Here is a little encouragement from me to me!  😉  He he!  It is encouragement for all homeschooling mommas…

I know I am not the best teacher, but I am their best teacher because I am their momma!  I know them like no one else and know how they can best grow in our family.  I can best teach them about our faith and our life by having them here with me.  Thank you to our supportive friends and family who have prayed for us and loved us during this time as we seek to answer His call!  There will be tough times, but I have no greater joy!  🙂  I often remember this verse:

“He who calls you is faithful.  He will surely do it!”

1 Thessalonians 5:24

When it comes to school, there’s no place like home!

suncatcher with art


22 thoughts on “Mom’s HOMEroom ;) BaCk tO sCHoOL 2013

  1. daddystractor

    <3! I wanted to send my kiddos messages this year, but we're doing it a little different. I write to them in a notebook each day and then we use the "Mommy message" to look for writing conventions like capitals, punctuation, etc.. They highlight letters we've learned or proper nouns or whatever we're working on. But mailing it to them would be such fun!!

    Love your inspiration– as always!!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      I have seen a “Mom and Me” notebook on Our Family for His Glory. I started it, but I failed to follow through. Hers did not have “lessons” , but what a great way to teach grammar and composition! You are so creative! HOpe you and your sweet kiddos and new babe are having a great school year!

  2. godmadeknown

    We just finished posting our blog and I had to laugh when I just clicked on yours and found you had quoted almost the exact verse I had at the end of mine about “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I haven’t read any books on Charlotte Mason but the more I’ve heard about her methods the more I can relate them to what we do. Thought you would also like to know that we’re doing notebooking this year thanks to your own prompting and so far the boys really like it. Thanks for all your wise suggestions. Your posts are always rich with ideas.

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Yes! 🙂 I noticed your verse! I tried to refrain from commenting though because I usually ramble on and on and on… Ha ha!
      I think that is how I came to read about CM– we were already doing some of it. I began homeschooling thinking that I loved the classical method. (Did I mention we attend a CREC church?) I learned that there just isn’t any one method right for everyone although there really are MANY GREAT methods. Memorizing every pharaoh and kingdom of ancient Egypt or every part of speech in grammar just wasn’t for us.
      I will warn you that if you ever read her first book in the series, Mason says “Children are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for either good or evil.” As you can imagine, I had a bit of a problem with this statement, but this is how I have often heard it explained– “* Note – Principle 2 should not be understood as a theological position on the doctrine of original sin, but as a belief that even poor children who were previously thought incapable of living honest lives could choose right from wrong if they were taught.” So, once I got over that statement, I could glean from the rest! 🙂
      I am really glad you like notebooking! I hope it lasts! 🙂 I pushed it along with my crew until they got onboard because I loved reading back over the pages. I have seen my big kids look back at them already after only 2 weeks of school this year.
      I loved the little prayer and poem you posted (and verse and hymn), and can’t believe the info about the Hawaiian bird Wisdom! Wow!
      Your boys… all 6… are so blessed to have you! You always inspire me!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      You always seem to share things on your blog that I feel but am not good at expressing. Thank you for your real, honest look at homeschooling and motherhood! And thank you for reading my ramblings! 🙂

  3. Heather

    Such an encouraging post! It’s so fun to see how other families homeschool. We have adopted many of Charlotte Mason’s ideas into our own little school, and they are almost always a hit. 🙂 Excited to read about how you streamline your Bible lessons! And the timeline looks great! Plus, what a fun idea to mail notes to our kiddos! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Hi, Heather! Good to hear from you! I hope your crew is having a great year! I hope I’m going to like the timeline! We used graph paper. I saw it on another blog and the family used one square for each year. We don’t have enough room for that, so we are using 1 square to equal 5 years. We don’t even have a place to hang it, but we can at least roll it out! Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂 Keep in touch!

  4. mummyshymz

    Love what you are doing with your kids 🙂 the shoe taxonomy idea is so interesting!
    Know what? I bought a box of postcards that I’ll be mailing to my daughter 😉

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Oh that is a great idea! I just ordered little sets of famous artist Dover postcards for our picture studies. It would be a fun way to reveal who we are studying next and encourage the kids all at the same time! Love your idea!

  5. mwfinchwren

    So much to love in your post today! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family life. I loved the CM quote from Sonya Shafer; in fact, I am copying and printing it! I am also so inspired by your sun catcher (HOW did y’all make that???) and the mixed media art….time to bring art back now that we’ve got a few weeks under our belt. And as always, I adore the cotton bolls. Blessings!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Thank you! I have learned so much reading your blog, and I will visit again soon to look back through some older posts and see how to apply CM in real life! 🙂 You do a great job walking readers through the steps. Hope your year is going well! Thanks for your encouragement! It means a lot!

  6. Pingback: Memory Verses, Character Building, Notebooking Pages | i have no greater joy

  7. the resilient child book

    Just found your blog and I am amazed by you and your kids. I am also looking to start homeschooling but I guess I have been procrastinating since I do not know where to start. Thanks so much, your blog is just full of love and inspiration! Makes me excited and proud to be a parent!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Wow! Thank YOU so much! 🙂 Homeschooling has been a wonderful blessing for our family. My children attended a Christian school for two years before our family began homeschooling. So many great choices can be very overwhelming! Blessings to you on your journey! I wish you much success on your book! 🙂


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