Charlotte Mason Journey Begins

Many, many moons ago I came across a website (I will now refer it as AO) I remember my thoughts very clearly. I was drawn to it. I loved the ideas. I loved the fine arts. I loved the literature. However I was so overwhelmed. As I kept reading, I kept thinking there is no way that I’ll ever be able to figure out all the moving pieces let alone implement them.

These two are in love.

I went on the choose another curriculum and a few years later another. Nothing ever grabbed me the way I first felt while perusing AO website. While living in Maricopa, I hosted several “New to Homeschooling” get togethers and would discuss different homeschooling styles. I would always include Charlotte Mason and refer to the AO website. At the last of these get togethers, I had said, “If I had to do it all over again, this (Charlotte Mason and AO) is what I would do.” A lady glanced up from the handout and said, “Then why don’t you?” That question has stayed with me ever since.

So beginning this CM journey, I turned to AO.

My oldest, 15, begged me to try Alpha Omega Online. I agreed since we were struggling with his participation. Lexi, 10, and Aiden, just turning 9, would begin this journey with me.

I first downloaded AO’s schedule for Y3 and Y5. I felt some panic trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish all of this. I looked for some ways to combine and read up on narration. I join a ton of Charlotte Mason FB groups including Ambleside’s and Charlotte Mason in Phoenix. Both such invaluable resources. I also signed up for a Charlotte Mason study group. I would recommend this to any one in any part of their CM journey.

The Love Triangle

Alyssa is only 5 months old as we begin this journey. I’m so excited to think of her future CM education. I think about how much she will benefit from her older siblings being guinea pigs. I also think about how having such a little one makes having school a little more difficult. Her schedule is at a different rhythm from the rest of us. She is rightfully more demanding of my time. She will soon create wrenches in my “smooth” days with her curiosity making messes like the tornado she is becoming. She makes one of her grins and of course the heart melts.

Here we begin…. (Note. When I began, I had no clue what I was doing. This was my starting point. This is not 100% CM. But I was not yet aware.)

Term 1

Bible: Cat and Dog Theology

History: Using “Living” Books from my Tapestry of Grace Collection, picking a few books from Y3 and Y5 of AO and Book of Centuries

(I put Living in quotations because I had no clue what living books were yet.)

Geography: Tapestry of Grace Geography

Science: Pagoo and Drop of Water

Plutarch: Life of Publicola

Aiden Readers: Sonlight Readers

Lexi Readers: Sonlight Readers

Poet Study: Robert Louis Stevenson

Math: Aiden, MathUSee Gamma; Lexi, Mathusee Delta

Copywork: Sonlight

Phonics: Aiden, Explode the Code

Grammar: Lexi, Simply Grammar 5

Foreign Language: Spanish

Nature Study: Hermit Crabs

Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice and Pericules

Recitation: Pick from Poet

Pic Study: Homer

Art Project: Artistic Pursuit Book 3

Handicrafts: Orgami

Music Composer: Louis Armstrong

Hymns: Amazing Grace, In the Sweet By and By, and I Need Thee Every Hour

Piano: Lesson with Mrs Jenna

Sisterly Love

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What is Charlotte Mason?

I have research homeschool curriculum for over 11 years.  Over the years I knew something  was off, knew that there was something I was looking for, knew that there was more to this so I just kept researching hoping to find it.  I either didn’t let it sink into my heart or just plain ignored the constant red flags that kept going off….  Ok maybe it was both.  Are you experiencing some of that too?

We start homeschooling.  Its new and shiny.  Its exciting.  It has a journey ahead that is full of challenges and sweet moments.  Is this it?  Its a journey with many pitstops and seasons along the way.  Is this it?

This weekend I attended the AFHE Convention 2018.  I finally went to Sonja Shafer’s workshops.  And it finally sank from my head to my heart.  Its not just school at home.  We are educating the whole child.  What does this mean?  Charlotte Mason says, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”  I encourage  you to go here to find more information.  They are the expertise in this subject.  However, I will say, this IS the difference to go from school at home and to homeschooling.  Its a life style of learning and offering simple but a buffet of knowledge for the children.

This household is about to embark our Charlotte Mason journey.  Its exciting!  Its also a huge step in developing not only our homeschool life but our lifestyle, period.  It is guiding us towards the direction of this journey I have always envisioned for us.

Come join us!

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Dear Sonja,

Dear  Sonya Shafer,

You made me cry tonight. You made me cry tears of sadness AND tears of joy.

I have always had a love for learning.  I have always wanted and loved children.  Once upon a time I was told I would never have children of my own so, I went and completed a degree in Early Childhood Development. Thankfully, I WAS blessed with children and I homeschool them.

Or so I thought that’s what we have been doing, homeschooling for the last 11 years.  I realize now that we were just plowing through, just learning facts and just checking off boxes.   We’ve read classics and read alouds.  We have tried to learn art and a foreign language.  Something has always been off.

This weekend I attended AFHE Conference 2018 for the 11thtime.  This year was different in many ways.  My husband went with me for the first time.  My oldest son, 14, also attended for the first time.  I am now a mother of 4.  I attended all of your Simply Charlotte Mason workshops.  I mean this year is so different from years that I spent the whole conference in the exhibit hall shopping and socializing.

I came home tonight after the conference was over.  I cried as I went over my notes, the simplycm website and the simply cm ebooks. Tears of sadness of the last 11 years that I can not get back for my children.  Tears of sadness over the fights with my oldest over his schoolwork. Tears of sadness over the stressful days full of lists to be completed.  Tears of sadness over all the crazy calls to my husband while he’s at work because I was at my wits end.  But then, my sadness turned to joy.  Tears of joy because it doesn’t have to be the same any more.  Tears of joy because now, the way I’ve always known homeschool days were suppose to be, are about to be.  Tears of joy because I commit to the next 11 years being different than the last 11 years.

The next 11 years of homeschooling is going to be the way I always thought it was suppose to be. They are going to be what I envisioned but couldn’t grasp.  They are going to be filled with Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, a Foreign Language, nature walks, copy work completed the correct way, Living Books and GOOD habits!  Will there be obstacles, challenges and struggles ahead? YES!  But also new way of thinking!

I can not wait to start our new year with new goals and new method of living not just schooling.  We will take it slowly, simply and one thing at a time.  I’m excited and I needed to tell you.  Thank you for being at the AFHE Convention.  I already know you have forever changed my life and my whole family’s life.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Stephanie Sackrider

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Aiden and Alyssa

Just a few seconds with two youngest kids…

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Dance with me

Dance with me!

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Alyssa Update: 7-5-18

My morning was better than yours! 😜 Alyssa has an eye doctor appointment today. We are praying for great progress. I don’t know that we’ll get a weight today but I think she is around 8lbs now…

update: one eye has improved very well, the other is ok but needs a follow up in 6 weeks. (dale via fb)

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Happy 9th Birthday, Aiden!

Happy 9th Birthday, Aiden! Next year is double digits!


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Surprise Visit

Look who came to visit Alyssa.  My cousin, Darin, his wife, Karen, and their youngest, Allie.  It was so nice to catch up.  Sure wish we lived closer. Love you guys!

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Can Not Believe It

Can not believe we have 4 children now!!  But so loving it.  They all adore each other.

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Sneaking a Kiss

Benefits of being home…  sneaking into see Daddy while he works in his office.

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