The CMP Review — Week of March 27

The CMP Review — Week of March 27

March 27, 2023

“Probably he will reject nine-tenths of the ideas we offer, as he makes use of only a small proportion of his bodily food, rejecting the rest. He is an eclectic; he may choose this or that; our business is to supply him with due abundance and variety and his to take what he needs.”

— Charlotte Mason, volume 6, p. 109

📷 @aolander

March 28, 2023

Back in October as Barbara and I headed out for our third annual Charlotte Mason Poetry team retreat, we were anticipating a full but familiar agenda. Nature walks and handcrafts would be interspersed with brush drawings and discussions about plans for our website, podcast, and blog. But this time there was something new on the agenda: a Parents’ Review article that I had discovered and scanned a few months before.

At our cabin in the woods we sat around a gentle fire. I explained that I wanted to read and discuss a PR article. It was much later than articles we usually run — written in 1961 — and I wasn’t sure if it would be appreciated by our audience, or even by our team. I suspected at that point that everyone was curious about the content of this article that had given me so much appreciation — and concern.

As I read the article aloud, I was reminded of my prior silent readings, and admiration welled up in me again. When I finished I waited expectantly to hear the reaction of the team. The discussion that followed was vibrant, thoughtful, and beautiful. I felt my hesitations dissolve in the fire and ascend with the smoke into the night air.

The article is entitled “Joy to be Shared.” That night we all agreed that it was just that. A joy we share today.


March 29, 2023

🎶 It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 🎶

Are you in the happy throes of planning your next school year? Find a vast amount of free resources on our site, such as:

A series of articles with practical ideas and guidance for your preschoolers called “The Baby Number.”

See how mothers in the PNEU kept a Log Book for record keeping.

Learn the principles and practices of Math with Older Students in an original article (that can be applied to younger students as well).

Watch tutorials in sloyd and brush drawing or a video presentation on Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles.

And much more! Check out the site and tell us your favorite CMP resources or what you’d like to see us add.

Happy planning!


March 30, 2023

I love Charlotte Mason’s Formation of Character. Once after a conference Q&A, a fellow panelist point out that I had referenced the book in every answer I gave. It’s such a great read!

Part IV, however, presents some challenges. It is like listening to one half of a conversation. Miss Mason engages at a deep level with one book per chapter. It is possible to trace her line of thought in most cases, but “Young Crossjay” is especially difficult to follow if you haven’t read The Egoist by George Meredith.

In Idyll Challenge discussions, I’ve resorted to sending participants a summary of the plot with a synopsis of the major characters. That kind of information has helped me to better understand the chapter.

But 2023 is the year for me to listen to the other half of the conversion. Along with many others signed up for this year’s Living Education Retreat, I am reading The Egoist. I’m still in the early chapters, but it already feels like visiting a distant land for the first time after reading a fantastic travel guide. “Formation of Character” told me what to look out for, and now I’m experiencing it in 3D.

“Perhaps you are too proud for ambition, Sir Willoughby,” says Miss Dale. It’s lines like this that bring home the author’s remark that there is a bit of Willoughby in all of us. Are you reading The Egoist? How are you liking it so far? Do you plan to discuss it with us in July?


March 31, 2023

A day in the life of the Greco family.

“Mom, do you think it would work to knit on these skewers?”

Me: “I guess you could, but why would you want to?!?! They’ll be scratchy. And they’re short. You have perfectly good knitting needles right over there.”

🤦🏼‍♀️ 🤫

Mercifully undeterred, she goes to grab some yarn.

A few minutes later “The skewers even have an end to hold the stitches from falling off!”

Me: silence.

The next day, I find this.

And it’s not a tiny swatch just to prove it was doable. No no, it’s 16cm tall and 22cm wide. As wide as the skewers would allow.

Oh, mama, next time you want to discourage, try praying to the Holy Spirit instead. I’m such a work in progress!

Thank God that the indefatigable teacher is…well…indefatigable. 🙏🏻

(If you haven’t read Chapter 25 of Parents and Children recently, you can find it here. The indefatigable teacher bit is a few pages in, at p 273.)


April 1, 2023

Homeschool Planning Tip:

After always feeling a step behind, I began looking at upcoming event calendars well in advance. After determining the things we’d like to see and do, they were added to our monthly calendar and a reminder was set on my phone a few days in advance of the event, too.

This helps us not miss a museum exhibit, raptor talk, wildflower walk, free admission, or pick-your-own (like these tulips from a u-pick at a local flower farm).

What’s one of your favorite planning tips?


April 2, 2023

“By laying down for woman the same code of morality, the same standard of purity, as for man; by refusing to countenance the shameless and equally guilty monsters who were gloating over her fall,—graciously stooping in all the majesty of his own spotlessness to wipe away the filth and grime of her guilty past and bid her go in peace and sin no more … [Jesus] has given to men a rule and guide for the estimation of woman as an equal, as a helper, as a friend, and as a sacred charge to be sheltered and cared for with a brother’s love and sympathy.”

— Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South (1892), pp. 17–18

Read or hear Charlotte Mason’s poem about how in the presence of Jesus, no one would cast the first stone. Find it here.


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