Monday, November 12, 2007

Making time for Mother Culture ...

Westward is hosting the most recent Charlotte Mason Carnival.  If you wish to see more entries, go here.

Karen Andreola talks about Mother Culture in her book, A Charlotte Mason Companion.  I decided that I wanted to talk about Mother Culture, because as homeschooling mothers, it is so important that we take time to implement this habit into our lives.  Mother Culture is taking time for ourselves ~ to follow our own interests and find inner peace, so that we can grow and expand ourselves.  In this way, we become better mothers.  John Ruskin said, "Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings: treasure-houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to live in."  It is especially important for us, as homeschooling mothers, to fill ourselves with new knowledge and pleasant experiences, so that we can have much to offer our children.  What we sow, we will later reap in our children. 
 Karen Andreola suggests that we keep three books that we are reading at any given time.  One should be stiff, one easy to read, and one that is a novel.  I admit I am not great at this task.  My stiff book at the moment is Ourselves Vol. 4 by Charlotte Mason.  I only get through 5 or 6 chapters a year and read it like a college textbook with lots of note taking.  I will be reading this series forever.  LOL!  Can I count the latest Homeschooling Today magazine as my easy reading?  As for a novel, I need to pick out a new one.  It has been a while.  I have been reading classics with my big teen that I never read in school.  We just finished the Old Man and the Sea.

Besides quiet time and expanding our minds through reading, we are encouraged to follow our own personal interests.  My interests are scrapbooking, listening/singing to music, teaching myself a few simple songs on the piano and maintaining this blog.  I find all of these rewarding and they help fill me up, so that I can in turn give generously to my family.  I never thought that I would get so much out of blogging.  I have found that you, my sister bloggers, have a vast wealth of knowledge to share and help me stretch myself so I do not become stagnant in one way of teaching or thinking.  It also has provided a diary of sorts of my family history.  I do hope someday to take up needlepoint and quilting but have found that thus far these do not fit into this season in my life.  I've thought about starting something on a much smaller scale.

I will leave you with this last quote by Billy Graham, "Mothers should cultivate their souls, that in turn they may cultivate the souls of their children." 

She also suggests that we find time in the day for quiet meditation or prayer ... if only for a few minutes.  That is very challenging since my house is rarely quiet, but it is much calmer at night.  Although I have to work on this, I understand its importance.  I was raised a Quaker, so I love this quote from William Penn, "In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, be still.  Wait upon God and feel his good presence."   I love thunderstorms, and find sitting on the back porch watching God's Glory to be very fulfilling and a tender reminder that there is far more going on in this world than my sometimes hectic life would suggest.  My children are welcome to join me on the porch --if they will sit quietly. 


  1. PeterRabbitPreschoolNovember 12, 2007 at 10:55 AM

    You have very thought provoking blog entries - thank-you for taking the time to do that!

    I also struggle to find quiet time to pray - and have found the best (and only available) time is after everyone in the house is asleep (including my husband). It's not ideal, but it's reality...It does make a difference though, as the challenges of mothering are so big. Keeping in communication with extended family also feeds my spirit (they all live at a distance). Now that I'm at the end of the pregnancy, it seems impossible to read, but reading is one of the greatest loves of my life (other than God and my husband!) It really does open up the world...

    p.s. We all have our health back at home here & thanks for your well-wishes!


  2. I gave you a novel about Amish children and it is short and easy to read. May I suggest that one?

    Love, Mom

  3. Oooh! Your blog doesn't like me anymore. I can never get it to load quickly!

    I tagged you! Come to my blog and check out the rules.

  4. And for stopping by. It's fun to meet new friends! We are currently fostering a little guy with attachment issues who I think is RAD. What fun! Too much attention is certainly a no-no!

  5. Wow! This entry spoke directly to my heart! I have been struggling for some time now to figure out how to prioritize things for my own personal interest. I relish a period during the day where I can get a bit of quite time, I love reading books; all kinds, fun, intellectual, "stiff" (as you put it), and I do tend to have many going at one time. I have been thinking that maybe I suffer from some kind of adult ADD or something because I have so many different things going on at once. But, after reading this entry, I think I am actually on the right track. It just needs some tweeking. Reading this entry was like a counseling session for! Thank you.

  6. 13, 2007 at 2:43 AM

    I appreciate you sharing this topic with us. I hardly ever take time for myself. If I do, it's usually taking books to bed with me to lesson plan. That's not really relaxing is it? Blessings to you.


  7. Thanks for writing this post. It is so true that we need to find ways to grow, even though it can be difficult!

  8. I especially enjoyed this post! I finally got the Charlotte Mason book to read (because I found it at Half Price books) I am hesitant to pay full price for any book. I am nearly half way through it and have not heard of the term you mention, I forget now, so I have something new to look forward to! I don't have much time to read this book, as much as I enjoy it. There are tons of books to read to prepare for history and literature lesosns for my kids which have been wonderful! So I guess those all count! In the last year or so, I have become pretty much faithful to have a daily quiet time and that has done wonders for my spirit! If only I had been more consistent in the past. It is near impossible to have one if dh is home or once the kids are up. I try to have it when dh goes to work at 6am. That was a real chore to get up early, but so worth it. If all else fails, I have my quiet time after everyone goes to bed. For interests I garden, sew, quilt, and scrapbook. Not always but I'm usually doing something. Recently I've started blogging and digital photography! Like you, I have found the blogging world to be phenomenal! This is helping me explore my creative writing skills. I hope to get into journaling on paper eventually. I'll be back to reflect more on this post!



  9. What a great post. I have been doing much better the last year at having a consistant daily quiet time--with a few exceptions. I am thankful that my children respect my quiet time, and if they are up, they usually play happily. This makes a major difference in my day!

    I love to read, but go through spells. I have been on a ban of mind boggling books lately. I read so many of them, I got....well....mind boggled. Most book reading I do is novels, and if I have one, I am not very disciplined to put it down and do my work. Hence the reason I read them in "spells". I also read WORLD magazine and TOS.

    For myself-mostly I blog. I like to scrapbook, but don't get to as much as I would like. Wed. nights used to be my time for that, but it has been very hit and miss the last few months.


  10. I am presently reading 'Ourselves' in Modern my children. Only one short passage each night. It's a wonderful book.

    I am reading Karen Andreola's 'Pocketful of Pinecones.' A story for Mother Culture.

    I enjoy reading one chapter from this book before bed.

    It is a simple book that calms my busy mind.

  11. I have a multitude of interests but the ones that I really am focusing on right now (like you said, we have seasons in our life) are blogging (love it!) and cooking. I love to try new things in my kitchen all the time.

    I have my devotions in the morning before anyone wakes up. I find it does not happen if the family is up and moving and since I'm an early riser...

    Reading. I love to read. I don't usually read novels but homeschooling books, cookbooks, blogs, devotional books, child rearing books. I find my time for reading books has dwindled a lot since the days when my kids were small. (Maybe because I'm reading blogs too.)

    Thes are some of the ways I incorporate Mother Culture. :)

  12. straight to my heart. It made me think and realize that we, Christian moms, should also nurture our hearts, our spirit, ourselves... I do read 3-4 books at a time that is not used for our lessons: a light one, a serious one, a short read and a novel. But too many things get in the way that I had a loong time finishing any. Yes, I also am trying to make use of a quiet time of prayer and reflection and that would be at night when everyone else is already asleep or in the wee hours of dawn before anyone else gets up.. it IS a major challenge for me to keep it going.

  13. I posted the comment above... forgot to log in =)

  14. I have been reading the Charlotte Mason Companion for a while, but find little time to sit and finish it. I agree with you about blogging and the blogging community. What a wonderful outlet for creativity and support. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insight.

  15. Thanks for the great post! You know, I tried that Andreola three book thing, and it just wasn't happening. Maybe it's my stage of life (my oldest of four is almost 7). If you count the books we read aloud for lessons, though, I'm really doing well ;)