16 September 2014

Introducing Jordan Jeffery Chandler

This post reminds me that I am NOT keeping by blog updated.  Jordan Jeffrey Chandler joined daughter Christie and husband Jeff on July 25,2014.  He is beautiful and we love him like crazy. We've been blessed with 2 babies this year and our hearts are overflowing! Our family continues to grow and absolutely NOTHING is better than adding new ones to shower with love.

Saturday mornings = great book

as opposed to say, cartoons or other such "twaddle" as Charlotte Mason would say.  Imagine my delight when going into the girls' room to find them like this.  It only furthers the truth that I have known for a long time that a good book is something difficult to put down.  I'm also thankful that at a young age they were given much opportunity to get "sucked in" if you will to the wonderful world of literature.  Per their own desires they decided to add a few things they learned about George Washington to their learning journals.  I decided to throw in some vocabulary by having them learn what the underlined and circled words mean.  (it's a mom/teacher thing)

More information 

Journal page by Mary 
Journal page by Mary 

03 June 2014

What is the Charlotte Mason Method? - Simply Charlotte Mason

There is so much information in this article that rings true.  I just had to share it.  I hope it blesses your homeschool life as it has mine.

What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte's firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, "Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life."

An Atmosphere, A Discipline, A Life

By "Atmosphere," Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that the ideas that rule your life as the parent make up one-third of your child's education.
By "Discipline," Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits—and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child's life make up another third of his education.
The other third of education, "Life," applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

Living Methods

For example, Charlotte's students used living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books are usually written in narrative or story form by one author who has a passion for his topic. A living book makes the subject "come alive."
And the students were required to tell back, or narrate in their own words what was read in the living book, in order to secure it in their minds. No fill-in-the-blank or multiple-choice for them; they practiced using rich language as they pointed out the ideas they gleaned from the reading and any mental connections they made between it and other ideas already residing in their growing minds and hearts.
She taught handwriting and s
pelling  by using passages from great books that communicate great ideas rather than using just a list of words.
She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God's creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature.
She introduced the work of great artists and composers to her students and let them spend time with each, getting to know their works personally.
She spread before her students a feast of ideas from a wide variety of sources—from Shakespeare to knitting to Bible to tramping through field and stream to algebra to singing to foreign languages. And woven throughout it all, she emphasized the habits of full attention, best effort, and learning for the sake of learning.
All designed to help the child grow; for we learn to grow.
It's no wonder that many homeschoolers have adopted her philosophy and methods as they seek to educate the whole child!
Take a look at this chart to see the variety of subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education along with the methods she used to teach each one. (Be sure to click the links for more details.)

Why I Chose the Charlotte Mason Method

In this video, Sonya Shafer explains why she chose to homeschool with the Charlotte Mason method.

Does the Charlotte Mason method sound like the approach you would like to use in your home school? Here's how to get started.

What They Don't Know - Simply Charlotte Mason

What They Don't Know

When More Is Less Calendar JournalI remember pulling some all-nighters during my high school and college years. A test was scheduled for the next day, and there were so many random facts and pieces of information to be recalled for it that every moment counted. Another hour and another memory trick might just secure a few more bits of information until the test. And the more I could stuff into my head, the better my chance at receiving a good grade.
It's funny, but I don't recall a single one of those facts now. Those cramming sessions had one goal in mind: to remember until the test. Once the test was over, my memory no longer needed to entertain those facts, and they were dismissed.
So the good grade, which was supposed to represent how much I knew about the subject, was only a testament to how much I could cram for the short term. I didn't really know.

They Cram But Don't Know

Cramming does not equal knowing.
In fact, the more information we throw at our students, the more they have to resort to cramming methods just to keep up. Once the test or assignment is over, their minds jettison most of those facts to make room for the next batch. How can we call this futile process "education"?
It's no wonder students who go through a perpetual cycle of cramming, testing, emptying, and cramming again lose their natural desire for knowledge. They have been schooled in a shallow counterfeit and develop an aversion to anything remotely like it. Thus, we end up with adults who stop reading; who stop wanting to know; who stop asking questions to satisfy their curiosity about things; indeed, who stop being curious at all; and as a result, who stop growing.
Cramming is not a modern technique. Charlotte Mason recognized its futility and the harm it can do:
"We all want knowledge just as much as we want bread. We know it is possible to cure the latter appetite by giving more stimulating food; and the worst of using other spurs to learning is that a natural love of knowledge which should carry us through eager school-days, and give a spice of adventure to the duller days of mature life, is effectually choked; and boys and girls 'Cram to pass but not to know; they do pass but they don't know.' The divine curiosity which should have been an equipment for life hardly survives early schooldays" (Vol. 6, p. 57).
What if, instead of filling and emptying and filling and emptying our children's minds in a futile endeavor to pass, we gave them less to know but expected them to really know it?
The simple truth is that we can't teach our children all about everything. It's impossible. No brain can hold that much information. As they are trying to keep up with today's information, so much more is being generated that they can't help but continue to fall behind. It's a mathematical fact in this information age.
We must make choices. We must select where our focus will be. If we have the courage, we can give our children a deeply meaningful education—one that esteems how well they know more than how much. And in doing so, we will also preserve for them the love of learning that will guarantee their continuing to learn all throughout their lives.

When More Is Less: New Calendar Journal

The article above was taken from our new calendar journal, When More Is Less. The new calendar was designed to help you discover the richness that simplicity can bring to your schedule, your home, and your children's education.
This handy school-year edition will walk you from July 2014 through June 2015 with encouraging articles like the one above, inspiring Charlotte Mason quotes, and plenty of room to write your personal notes.
The year-at-a-glance calendar, monthly calendars, looking-ahead thumbnail calendars, monthly divider tabs, and two-page spread each week will help you stay organized. Plus, special touches—like areas to jot down gentle reminders, prayer requests, and books you are reading—will combine to help you create a keepsake journal of your year. All with a gentle Charlotte Mason touch.
The When More Is Less calendar journal, 2014-15 School Year Edition, is available at a special introductory price through May 1.
Reduce the stress and enjoy the simplicity that Charlotte Mason's ideas can bring!

19 May 2014

LOVE this protein smoothie!

One cup "milk" (whatever your favorite - hemp, cow, oat, 7 grain, coconut...)
5 T Whey
1 tsp Maca Powder
Fruit, whatever you choose.  My favorite which is pictured had frozen strawberries and 1 organic banana.  I prefer fresh strawberries but I used them this morning so I had to resort to my frozen. Whirl in blender and enjoy!

Just know that this particular brand of whey tastes very good.  It doesn't have a grainy texture to it, funny taste, or any of the negatives that pure whey can have.  I purchase it HERE!  I highly recommend it if you want a delicious and "so good for you" pure and natural whey powder.

If you love yams!

Then you must try this ice cream/pudding dessert.  Whatever you call it it is delicious and so good for you.  When we were at the Whole Foods in Denver earlier this month a company out of Boulder was sharing samples of their new recipe.  Sweet potato ice cream.  Sorry, I didn't catch the name or brand of it but it was excellent so I was determined to try it when I got back to Wisconsin.  I don't remember the exact taste of the one in CO but nevertheless this was still delicious.

I took 3 organic yams and baked them as usual.  I put them in the fridge for a day or so to get plenty cooled.  I then peeled them, mashed them, and added the rest of the ingredients I thought up.
3 yams
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped pecans (more or less)
2 T. organic vanilla
2 cups cream 

Mix well and eat this way or freeze.  We did both.  We ate some and the rest we froze.  It was a really good hit with my family!  You should try it.

08 May 2014

Introducing Charlotte Hope Phillips

Introducing Charlotte Hope Phillips.  Born 21 April, 2014.  Our family is blessed for the 7th time to enjoy the gift of a new grand baby!  Robyn and Luke are enjoying their first baby and so are the rest of us!  We had a great trip to Washington to meet Charlotte and enjoyed each and every second with her.  The trip came with perks in that not only did I get to see Robyn and her new baby but her sisters as well.  Juli came from Colorado, (our family's famous photographer) Christie from Idaho, and from home I brought along Kim and Makenzie while the others stayed home with daddy.  We are so thankful everybody is doing well and feel so very blessed.

Love of family...

These photos are precious.  Makenzie was so.....what's the word, happy/overflowing/joyful/emotional/etc. to see her brother!  It's been 11 months since seeing him and I can tell it made her day!  And of course mine!  

Seeing Aaron off on his mission

Seeing Aaron off on his mission
We all love and miss you Aaron. We pray you will have a great and accomplished mission. You have chosen well.