As I sit down to write this introduction, all I can think about is how thankful I am for you, my readers. When I started this blog seven months ago, I had the feeling that I was typing away into a vast abyss and all of these posts would be lost in the World Wide Web. But your support and participation has been such a blessing and so encouraging! Thank you! These are the 10 posts from My Little Robins that you liked the most in 2016 (according to stats!)
A homeschool mom mentioned recently that they have a hard time figuring out what the Charlotte Mason philosophy would actually look like in their home. This comment made me realize that while there is so much great information out there about the philosophy, there isn’t much that describes what a lesson would look like. I’m noticing that the general advice out there for preschool is Play outside, read living books, and then play some more. For older students, it seems to be, Read living books, talk about them, and narrate them. While I definitely agree with both of those thoughts, there are some of us (ahem…me!) who have a hard time with abstractions like these. We need something more concrete to grasp so we can understand what this philosophy looks like when it is being used correctly.”
This post came to be when I started thinking about this question: if so many moms are aware that entitlement is a problem, why are there still so many entitled children out there? Then the thought process moved on: could I be raising an entitled child?
Before I had children, I was positive that I wouldn’t raise entitled kids. Now I’m realizing that some of the areas where I consider myself a good mom could lead to entitlement. This week for my Five for Friday post, I thought about 5 ways that this happens.
I think that I could probably start a blog based on all of the amazing talks we have at MOPS!
When Miss H was a baby, I thought there was no way I could ever get angry with her. Then she got older. If you’re like me, you’re usually a super nice mommy. Until a switch is flipped. Suddenly, I’m a raging beast, and all the fruits of the spirit have shriveled up and died (temporarily). This doesn’t happen on a daily basis, but I think a few times a week would be a safe guess. After I lose my temper, I feel guilty and apologetic. The angry me is not my best self, and it sure doesn’t reflect unconditional love. That’s why I listened intently when I heard a speaker discuss anger at MOPS a few weeks ago. I decided to treat this like any other habit, and come up with a plan to stop angry outbursts.
This post was my first link-up with the iHomeschool Network!
The Charlotte Mason philosophy is so rich in ideas and suggestions that if you’re hoping to learn about it, you might not know where to start. I decided to put this list of 100 benefits together to show you why I think this philosophy is so good, right, and true for children and their families. I’ve included links to help you learn more about the different areas.
I’m working on trying to build some mini-breaks into my day. This is easy with Baby E as he likes to explore and destroy on his own. But I’ve had to work with Miss H on playing independently. This took some practice and patience! The biggest thing I had to work on was alleviating my mommy-guilt. Rest is not just for those who work outside the home! Not only that, but our kids will be better off if we don’t constantly entertain them. They can learn without us- isn’t that great news? Young children learn through play, and pulling them along from one structured activity to the next doesn’t count.
This post was written as response to my awkwardness in public. We were visiting my family, and I realized I had nothing to talk about!
Moms, are you with me? You’re home all day with these awesome little people, but you need some grown-up conversation. When the chance to talk to someone over three feet tall arises, it often flops. It’s hard to carry conversations when our lives are so centered on the events in our homes. When people ask questions, carrying a conversation is a challenge.
This post hopped on over to the top ten during the last week of December!
When I was in college, a popular education book described a teaching strategy that encouraged children to connect what they’ve learned to what they already know. This is a lower-level thinking skill, but it helps children to understand and remember new information. I learned about three different types of connections that they could make, and had an arsenal of worksheets to help them document these connections. A good portion of each lesson was devoted to sharing these connections, which Charlotte Mason called “mental associations.”
When I taught third grade in a public school, I learned that many children didn’t understand their own emotions. I saw this play out every day in the classroom, and read research to support it. At a staff meeting, I learned that the majority of third-graders could only identify happy and sad emotions. That idea really resonated with me. Right now, Miss H (3) can identify about 4 emotions. I’m not sure she can identify them in herself, but she definitely notices when I’m happy, sad, angry, or frustrated. I want her to be able to identify and appropriately respond to her own emotions. We have a lot of work to do!
If how we spend our money and our time reflects what we value, then I value cheap plastic toys and diapers. I value buying amusing things that Miss H plays with for about 3 minutes, then putting them away over and over again. Washing cloth diapers, buying and throwing away disposable diapers, sorting them, organizing them. Always. The diapers can’t be avoided in this season of life, but I long to be free from the clutter that rules our lives. It’s not just my little ones, either. I have plenty of my own useless things that float around the house, looking for a place to land.
And the number 1 post from 2017?
I have an unpleasant memory from Sunday School many many years ago. I was supposed to memorize the Bible verse of the week, but I hadn’t. My older sister had. Feeling like a failure, I practiced the verse over and over again in the car on the way. When the teacher handed the little stickers and prizes out to the other kids as they recited it, I blanked. I didn’t get a sticker. What strikes me about the story is that I remember the sticker, but not the verse that I was supposed to know.
I’m excited to see what God and 2017 hold for this blog!
Make sure to see iHomeschool networks most popular posts linkup!