Winners !

Our winners have been chosen!  Our blog comment winner is Brittany, who chose the darker color and our Instagram winner is Amy who chose the same color!  As soon as we get your addresses the books will be sent out.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

Also, if you are not the winner this time, we have some more special giveaways in the works with our good friends at Riverbend Press!

img_0792

Advertisements

Riverbend Press Giveaway

There are a few companies that just do things really well.  I’m talking about the type of companies started by people who pour their heart and soul into it because they love what they do.  Riverbend Press is that type of company.  Begun by a homeschooling mother of two darling girls who also happened to be the daughter of an old fashioned book binder, she couldn’t find what she wanted when it came to high quality notebooks – so she stepped out and partnered with her dad to start a whole new company.  Her creations are based on hours of poring over the Charlotte’s volumes, PR articles, and L’Umile Pianta articles to make sure her books were as authentic as they could be.  She then had the books printed on the best paper with sewn bindings so they lay flat and finished them with beautiful gold-stamped covers.  This is a company that cares about quality, produces their goods in the United States in a family-run business, and aims to offer the best service to all of the families who trust them with their patronage.  We couldn’t be prouder to partner with them for our very first giveaway!

Today, we are announcing a giveaway of two Books of Centuries in your choice of grey or wine cover.  We will give away one here on the blog and one over on Instagram, so head over there for another chance!

The Rules:  Leave a comment below stating the color you would prefer.  If you share this post on social media (your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc), leave a separate comment with a link leading to where you shared it and you can earn an extra entry!  We will allow up to five entries per person.  The comments will be closed at 8pm on March 2, 2017 and the winner will be chosen at random and announced here on March 3.  Books can be shipped within the US only.

Narration Webinar Registration Closed!

This is your last chance to sign up for The Art and Practice of Narration Two-Session Webinar.

Registration is now closed. Thank you to everyone who has signed up.We are going to have a full house and are excited to spend time with all of you!

The first session explores Mason’s principles on narration as integral to a child’s education, then moves to its practice. It will include a complete narration lesson plan from teacher preparation to the final Grand Conversation.

The second session refines your art and practice as a teacher and provides solutions for the common pitfalls and road bumps. How do you work with children who have nothing to say or forget details or are disorganized? When will these narrations start to have the sophisticated language and syntax I’ve been promised? Won’t this be monotonous? What about my artsy child who loves to draw and create?

Both sessions include a live Q & A  to cover your questions.

At $20 for two sessions, you will gain the confidence and know-how to start implementing narration right away. Say goodbye to worksheets, study guides, quizzes and other techniques that rarely lead to real learning.

narration

If you missed it, check back for ways to watch the replay!

Register for our Narration Webinar Series

Hello Learning How to Live readers!

We are pleased to announce that we are offering a series of webinars this Spring!

Over the years we have taught at The Mason Academy and the Charlotte Mason Institute and we are now ready to offer our workshops to a larger audience!  We are excited to help you grow in your practice of Mason’s philosophy and be blessed as we have been by her methods.

The first Webinar Series is coming up quickly. The class is almost full so sign-up today!

The Art and Practice of Narration with Amy Snell

Session One: Narration: The Foundation for Communication and Composition.
Tuesday, January 31st. 7-8:30pm.

Session Two: Narration Beyond the Basics. Tuesday, February 7th. 7-8:30pm.

A Two-Session Webinar Bundle for just $20.


Buy Now Button

“I should like to leave you with a picture of a class of enthusiastic bright-eyed children, bouncing excitedly up and down in their eagerness to be the first to [narrate]. Such children will never be at a loss later on when they have to speak in a school or college debate, or open a bazaar, or even make a speech in Parliament!

(Manders. We Narrate and Then We Know.” Volume 2, no. 4, PNEU, July 1967, pgs. 170-172).

If you have read anything of Charlotte Mason than you have heard of narration.

The idea of bright-eyed children eager to narrate intrigues us. The idea of throwing out the end of chapter questions, study guides, quizzes, tests, and expensive writing programs delights us. And yet, we wonder, will it really lead to children who can make speeches for Parliament?

In the day in and day out of homeschooling life, doubts creep in…

  • Am I doing it the “right way”?
  • Is my child really making any progress?
  • Should I be doing narration differently depending on the subject?
  • Won’t this become boring?
  • Does it really work for all learners?
  • Shouldn’t I buy that curriculum guide that gets good reviews in the homeschooling catalogue?
  • Will my child really be prepared for writing in the workplace and at university?

 We are told that Narration is simple, true to every child’s development and the way truly to know. And yet, these glorious promises don’t always seem to be taking hold in our own homes and classrooms!

If you want more than a primer on narration…

To be given the tools of the practice…

                                          Tied to a philosophy of who children are…

And how they learn best…

This webinar is for you.

When I first began teaching writing 20 year ago, I tried many curriculum and approaches to help my students communicate effectively. After a few years, I “produced” students who could write “5-paragraph essays” that garnered high scores on AP exams and the grades they wanted in their college classes. But when I was finally introduced to Charlotte Mason’s cohesive philosophy and methods, I found what was always missing, an approach which helped students write naturally and to find their voice. Through the practice of narration, students learned to express themselves clearly and powerfully without the tedium and artifice of “composition” classes.

In the next season of life, it was an unexpected gift to teach the practice of narration to many different families through workshops at The Mason Academy and to mentor teachers in their practice in a wide range of classes from Artist Study to Plutarch. It has also brought me great joy to listen to my own five (different and unique) children’s narrations, watching their syntax and vocabulary grow in complexity out of a love for words and what they are learning.  All of these experiences have confirmed what I recognized about Charlotte Mason the first time I read her Philosophy of Education.

So what will be covered in this webinar?

The first session explores Mason’s principles on narration as integral to a child’s education, then moves to its practice. It will include a complete narration lesson plan from teacher preparation to the final Grand Conversation.

The second session refines your art and practice as a teacher and provides solutions for the common pitfalls and road bumps. How do you work with children who have nothing to say or forget details or are disorganized? When will these narrations start to have the sophisticated language and syntax I’ve been promised? Won’t this be monotonous? What about my artsy child who loves to draw and create?

Both sessions include a live Q & A  to cover your questions.

At $20 for two sessions, you will gain the confidence and know-how to start implementing narration right away. Say goodbye to worksheets, study guides, quizzes and other techniques that rarely lead to real learning.

Sessions are expected to fill quickly–register today!


Buy Now Button

Merry Christmas!

Well, it took until the third day of Christmas to get one of us on here to officially say, “Merry Christmas!” to our dear blog readers.  It has been so delightful to hear your kind comments and emails this year.  We hope to make this space a great resource for your and your families in the new year!  Since Amy and I both celebrate Christmas for the full 12 days, we’ll be back to posting after the Feast of the Three Kings on January 6th.

Pause and Reflect

In this time of Advent, Amy and I are spending some extra time with our families preparing for the Christmas season so things will likely be quiet here.  We may stop in with one or two more posts before the New Year and the feast of the Epiphany, but we also reserve the right to simply stay quiet the whole time and see you in 2017.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and we can’t wait to share with you all the great ideas we have for posts in the new year!  If you have any requests for posts or are curious about any specific topic, send us an email or leave a comment.

(As an aside, I highly recommend hanging your Advent wreath from a light fixture.  All surfaces are easily wipeable and no little hands pick at the wreath.  Also, its a big treat to light the thing and the kids will gladly have the table set and the dishwasher unloaded to be the one to stand on the counter to light the candle.)

How Camille Met Charlotte Mason

My third baby in a sling, my older two children aged four and six, we were in a neo-classical program and I was exhausted.  Partially from having a newborn, partially from trying to make memorization of long lists of facts (that compounded on each other each week) seem fun to a four- and six-year-old, and partially because I was sure there was more to homeschooling than this.  I never seemed to have time and the kids never seemed to have enthusiasm for the joyful things we wanted to do after we were burnt out on our memory work. I knew there had to be more to homeschooling than this.  As I hung out in the parent lounge to keep the squawking newborn from being too disruptive in class, I met someone who would become a lifelong friend.  After many conversations, she pulled me aside and told me I should read Charlotte Mason’s Volume 1.  She said she was reading it with a book club and that it had really shaped her ideas about how to go forward in the schooling of her daughters. I found a way to download it to my Kindle that same day, and then proceeded to read it in a week during my ample time spent nursing at night.  It had the dual effect of opening my eyes to a new philosophy of education and the great relief that my instinct was right – there is so much more joy to be found in homeschooling than I had experienced thus far.

When I saw my friend again the following week, I told her I had read the book, cover to cover.  She laughed, saying her book club had been reading it for over a year, soaking in the ideas deeply with a slow read and here I had consumed it in a week!  But I had taken her recommendation to heart, and we now had a whole new bond.  I joined her book club as they read Volume 6 and I found even more lifelong friends, a new co-op, and dear friends for my children as well.  IMG_6228

Mason’s ideas were starting to permeate not only our homeschool, but also our home.  I realized that in order to implement her ideas of education being an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life, there simply was no line of demarcation between “school” and “after school” – it was all one fluid life at home.  It was this knowledge that would allow us peace as we moved away from those dear friends, lived overseas, lived in temporary housing, added another son to the mix, and now aim to create the atmosphere of home in a new place yet again. Our atmosphere, discipline, and life we take with us everywhere we go and it has been a fruitful education for every member of our family.

This method brought more peace, more joy, and more learning than I ever could have imagined.  Far from being casual and easy, it was vigorous and challenging, but also natural and enjoyable.  Not every moment was so Pollyanna, of course, but if it wasn’t it was because of poor attitudes or some outside factor, and not the work itself. School became a time to hike and make great discoveries, read and meet characters as new friends, listen to the great masters of music, view the great masters of art, write down our daily observations, new ideas, and reflections on great works.  Questions abounded, a sense of wonder grew, and a deep joy has taken root.

IMG_5763

It is at this point in the journey that this blog seemed like a natural next step.  One of those lifelong friends mentioned above is Amy, my partner in this venture.  She has been a mentor to me as well as a kindred spirit from the first.  We are both setting up a new home in a new state and want to share with you not only how Charlotte Mason’s ideas take root in our daily schedules and the books we choose in our homeschool, but also how Charlotte has changed how we cook, decorate, entertain, and organize.  I hope you’ll come along with us as this blog takes form.  We welcome your suggestions and questions, as well as good conversation in the comments.  We’d especially love to hear how Charlotte’s ideas have taken shape in your homes!