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Classical Homeschooling: Overwhelm and Perspective

Classical Homeschooling: Overwhelm and Perspective

This is part of the series: Classical Homeschooling. (This post may contain affiliate links).

I sometimes pause my reading of some or other book about homeschooling or classical education, or stop homeschooling for a minute and feel overwhelmed with all that I do not know.

  • How to I implement a classical education? (A true classicist probably wouldn’t call it “implementing.”)
  • Can I really even define the Trivium? The Quadrivium?
  • Oh, there’s more to a classical education than just the Liberal Arts? Oh geeze.
  • I don’t remember a *thing* I’ve read from Aristotle or Plato, and only a little of Augustine and Aquinas, etc. What about the massive list of great books I’ve never read or mostly forgotten?
  • I wasn’t even *aware* of the classical tradition all through college and early adulthood (and I studied philosophy!) Yeesh.

And on, and on…

I’m especially suceptible to feeling overwhelmed when I listen to others who have been involved in the classical renewal for many years.

For example, Cindy Rollins interviewed Karen Glass on the Circe Institute’s latest Mason Jar podcast episode. For those unfamiliar with this new podcast, it’s all about Charlotte Mason and integrating her educational philosophy with a classical approach to education.

Cindy and Karen are both veteran homeschool moms. Cindy has 8 boys and 1 girl, most of whom have already graduated high school. Karen is the mother of four children whose ages range from 11 to 24 years.

I, on the other hand, and many readers here, are merely fledgling homeschooling moms. My experience with homeschooling only goes five years or so–since I started learning about homeschooling when my oldest was about three. And I type this with my newest 5-month-old on my lap. Some of you are so new, you’re drinking from the firehose of researching homeschooling to see if it’s right for your family.

That is an intimidating place to be!

Cindy has spoken and written for many years about classical and Charlotte Mason homeschooling, while Karen has authored Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, in addition to being on the advisory board of Ambleside Online.

In other words, they’ve been involved in a conversation for years–a conversation many of us are just now joining.

Remembering to Have Perspective

And then I have to remember where I am in the big picture. Cindy and Karen must have started there too. Their arms were once filled with babies and books like For the Children’s Sake. I can guess that they, too, felt overwhelmed in the face of the task ahead: giving their children an education which fed those little minds, bodies, and souls with truth, goodness, and beauty.

The most wonderful thing is that this classical renewal is like a snowball: gathering mass as it rolls along. We may feel like we’re fumbling in the darkness, but if we tap into the right resources, we newer moms can benefit from the experience of the veteran homeschooling moms around us. In Cindy and Karen’s case, they’ve so graciously written and spoken about what they’ve learned, all it takes from us is an eager ear.

I don’t know about you, but even though I have my share of overwhelm, I have more than enough eagerness to learn how to do this well. Let’s not let our fears keep us from joining this conversation about rebuilding our culture, one student at a time. And let’s take advantage of the generous wisdom offered by veteran homeschooling moms like Cindy and Karen.

Thanks ladies.

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rewrite”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of almost 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a monthly newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.


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Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

--the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
--current homeschool news,
--and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

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Here are 2 CM principles to accompany, so you don’t break out in hives at the prospect of a kitchen tornado: “(a) The children, not the teachers, are the responsible persons; they do the work by self-effort. (b) The teachers give sympathy and occasionally elucidate, sum up or enlarge, but the actual work is done by the scholars” (vol. 6, p. 6).
I had to resist 1) Saying “No,” in the first place. I literally had to say to myself, “Okay, this is what we’re doing today.” 2) The urge to turn baking into a whiteboard lesson on fractions. That would have killed the enchantment quicker than snuffing out a candle. We *may* talk *after* we bake. 3) The urge to correct or do it for her. If the cake fails, it fails, and we will talk about why.
That is all, happy Thursday!
#homeschool #homeschoolmom #charlottemason #charlottemasonirl #Charlottemasonliving #education #bravewriterlifestyle #charlottemasonhomeschool #homeschooling

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