One of my favorite bit’s of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy is that she calls on mothers to keep learning and growing, and not stagnate and lose themselves in the role of the mother.
My mother culture routine:
- I use Mason’s suggestion of a three book rotation: a “stiff” or academic book, an interesting, but not super challenging, non-fiction book, and a novel. I read every day while Kai is napping for at least a half-hour, and shoot for an entire hour if she cooperates. I try to pick from a wide variety of things, and I’ve banned “advice” type books from the rotation. If I want to read something about how to homeschool or raise kids, I add it in as a fourth book, so these type of “how to” books don’t crowd out the actual culture growth. I also try and alternate classical novels with modern ones, so I don’t get stuck in just one perspective.
- Pulling from Waldorf philosophy, I always try to have some kind of handwork or craft project going on. Many of these thing I could think of as chores, like sewing clothing for Kai, or learning how to change my own sparkplugs, but I’ve shifted my mindset to see them as part of life long learning. I didn’t know how to sew a year ago, and now I can make pretty decent clothing. Part of this is continuing to choose new things to learn. Nest on my list is scientific illustration (for nature journals and such) and making wooden figures (like Ostheimer people).
- I also keep a half bullet journal/half common place book to reflect on the books and handwork I’ve done. I feel like reflecting is almost as important as doing, and by writing it down I move through this process more concretely.
My first three books for September are:
- Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
- Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford
- The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
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