Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival!

Ordinarily, at least the last several many times (as a little boy in my neighborhood said about how much candy he wanted), this has been hosted at Fisher Academy. They have been pretty busy there recently so I get to guest host. I meant to get this up a week ago, but with all the excitement, followed by depression, of sending our youngest and now graduated son back to the U.S. I kind of dropped the ball. This is the story of my life, this ball-dropping. Charlotte Mason would gravely shake her head at me.

So what is a CM blog carnival? It’s where you all share your own (or somebody else’s) posts on Charlotte Mason topics and we all share in the CM community, encouraging one another and sharing good ideas, practical tips, useful resources, insights, thoughts, questions, etc.

One of my favourite resources for additional CM information and inspiration is the Parents’ Reviews (personally have owned two for the last 15 years, and at home curate a third). And one of the most delicious parts of the Parents’ Reviews is the notes and queries, or the letter-bag section, where PNEU parents write to ask for advice, encourage others, and share. Here are a few samples
How do I make this child stop dawdling when it’s time to get dressed?- I should be very grateful for some hints how to teach a girl of ten to be quick over such things as dressing and undressing, preparing for a walk, &c. If I try to “hurry her up” it seems to make her slower. I know from conversation with other young mothers that my difficulty is a very common one, and we feel sure that your advice in the pages of the Parents’ Review would be helpful to many. My little girl is an only child, and . . ., she is constantly with me, and . . . This dawdling over dressing, &c., is an almost daily difficulty, and yet she is not by any means of a heavy, lethargic nature. She is remarkably light and active in mind and body. Is it wise to offer little rewards for quickness? The natural punishment for not being ready for a walk would be to be left at home; but, then, one grudges their missing the fresh air.

From the same volume: We are going stir-crazy because of the rain!- Can anyone suggest an indoor game or toy for wet weather which would combine exercise with amusement, to supply in a measure the loss of the out-of-doors walk? Something of the kind is wanted for a solitary child. She has a swing and rocking-horse, but they do not quite meet the need.

From the same volume, a loose schedule for the mother of four and her nurse: Might I suggest to the distracted mother the following time table which I have successfully tried for nine months, and which may prove of some little service, as we are similarly situated, we also having four children and one nurse. Breakfast, 7.30; Prayers, 8. After that the children go into the garden, if fine, or into the nursery, while I go into the kitchen and arrange the day’s meals. At nine o’clock the two older ones come down to have lessons, and I teach till eleven. During this time the baby sleeps, and nurse tidies her night nursery. At eleven they have their lunch, dress and go out for two hours. I then practice, or write, or paint. At one o’clock I dine with the three eldest children, and then go to the nursery while nurse gets her dinner downstairs. I feel very strongly that a nurse’s nerves need this rest, and absence from her charges. She generally comes up again about half-past two, when I dress and go out, often to pay calls, but more often with the elder children for country walks. At five we have the nursery tea, and at half-past five begin to undress the baby. As the nurse finishes bathing each child I give them their supper, and see each one into bed. At seven o’clock my husband returns, and I am at liberty to be with him. I often sew after the children’s dinner, and also in the evenings. Since I work with system I have never felt hurried or overdone, and I trust that my experience may be of some little service to mater.–TIME TABLE.

From another volume: What do I do with this BOY? I have read with much interest your capital magazine the Parents’ Review, and I am sure you or your readers will give me kindly help in my perplexity. I have four children — two boys and two girls — Sylvia, nine; Ernest, eight; Vera, four; and Paul, three years of age. The girls I understand and can manage, but my eldest boy is a hopeless puzzle to me. First, I must tell you that I worship my children, I would die for them, I never spare myself for them, and I am perhaps morbidly anxious and nervous about their happiness and well-being; but I never had brothers, I know nothing of boys, I cannot find out how to amuse them. Ernest is a nervous, highly-sensitive child, with a delicate digestion, but muscularly strong. We live in London, and his one idea is to be out of doors all day, rushing about in the air, playing with any boy he meets, cllimbing the trees in the square, tearing his clothes, losing his handkerchiefs, gloves, &c. Indoors he is miserable. At Christmas I bought him ten shillings’ worth of toys, all the kinds he wanted; he never played with one of them. Before a week was over he had lost or traded away to his schoolfellows for sweets all the implements of his fret-saw work, he smashed his engine to see what was inside, and sold the other toys to buy cakes. I offer to play with him, but he hates sitting still; he will listen for a long while if he is read to, but then fidgets away and is out of doors “just to feel the air,” as he says. He teases the little ones, worries the nurse, and is selfish and quarrelsome with his gentle, elder sisters, who gives up everything to him. I talk to him gently, and he looks at me with his great solemn eyes, and appears to drink in every word. Then he flings his arms round my neck, and says, “I’m going to be less selfish, mother, truly I am,” and off he runs and forgets it all in ten minutes. He is full of fun and mischief, and has a loving affectionate heart, which he hides under a rough voice and manner; but oh! he is so hard to train. He seems to have no tastes; he likes tops, and marbles, and running wild. What am I to do with him? His father is a busy man and says it’s a woman’s place to look after children, and if Ernest is tiresome he must be punished. But I can’t help feeling it is mostly high spirits and thoughtlessness which make Ernest so trying. Is he not too young — eight years — to go to a boarding school? If I could be shown some way of keeping him home amused and happy. — F.L.B. [We invite answers to a letter in which the facts are evidently somewhat disguised with a view of publication. — ED.]
Here is an answer to the question about what to do to amuse a child indoors on rainy days: Miss Austen’s nephew tells us how his Aunt Jane could keep up cup and ball, was it 200 times? This may offer a hint for “Primrose’s” little girl, who should try to beat the record of yesterday’s doings. But better far is battledore and shuttlecock; perhaps there is not game which gives better exercise to the muscles, or tends more to cause chest expansion. The child need not be lonely, as grown-ups play with as much pleasure as children; anyway a record of each day’s feats in the way of “keeping up” would give spirit to the play. If the child learns to play from hand to hand, a battledore in each hand, the exercise is simply perfect, as the muscles of both sides are equally exercised.

Battledore and shuttlecock was usually played with two people- each has a small racket and the shuttlecock is something like the birdy in today’s badminton.

Update the language, and they sound precisely like today’s parents asking questions on a CM related FB page, don’t they?

Your turn- what CM post would you like to share with us? (Note: the linky tool has a glitch: you get to where it asks you to choose a photo, and then you get an error message, so you assume you need to try again or pick another one, but actually it’s already posted. Please doublecheck before resubmitting the photo link).

Posted in Charlotte Mason, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Responses

Egypt, 1958

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Free Speech


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Capitulation is Annihilation

The false Equivilance of comparing left and right– requires ignoring the open violence of the left, which is supported, sometimes tacitly, often openly, by key public faces of the left rather than by an occasional nutcase in the comments section of some blog.

He seems to be embarrassed by the recent incidents where a single, unarmed individual from the right interrupted a play.  I see nothing to apologize for.  The left has been no platforming people for years, shutting down speech with threats of violence and acts of violence- for which they seldom are arrested.  The left pushed punch a nazi, and and anybody they disagree with then becomes a nazi.  I see no reason why I should care that some of them are on the receiving end of much milder treatment.

We have ample evidence that ‘tolerance’ and acceptance were never the goals. Complete capitulation – forcing Christian bakers to bake cakes for gay weddings, attempting to shut down a pizzaria for merely voicing an opinion (when asked by a vicious yellow journalists looking to make trouble) that the left doesn’t hold, insisting that islamaphobia is more dangerous than islamic terrorism-  this does not bode well for civilization in the west.
When Gabbie Gifford was shot by a crazy leftist (yes, he was left), the media spent weeks and weeks blaming the right, and specifically Sarah Palin for using a common American colloquialism, ignoring it when it turned out there was no connection between the shooter and any GOP rhetoric.   When a Bernie supporter went to a Congressional baseball practice, asking first if they were GOP or Democrats and then unloaded, attempting mass murder, the media… blamed Sarah Palin and trotted out the Gabbie Gifford story.  The left largely responds with grotesque inhumanity.  I can’t even believe the stuff I’m seeing on Twitter- people wishing for death, gloating over the injuries, wishing death and destruction on more people- all on the basis of their politics not being extreme left.  The FBI gets in on the act and pretends we have no idea why James Hodgkinson shot up a group of GOP congressmen at a baseball field.   There have been thirty credible threats and actual acts of violence against GOP congressmen since May.  I see no reason to accept this.

It’s time to stop treating insanity as though it is a legitimate and respectable position.

“A few months ago, at Grandma M’s traditionalist dojo, a karate classmate—let’s call her “Xir-Says”—threw a tantrum over the politics of language. Xir-Says demanded to be referred to as “Xir-Says-San.”

Her sensei tried to explain that San is an honorific reserved for students who’d proved themselves worthy by demonstrating certain skills, that it was presumptuous for Xir-Says to make such a demand since she hadn’t earned it by demonstrating high-level expertise, and that students who hadn’t passed the San benchmark, like her, could be called either “Miss” or “Mister.” She didn’t care. Xir-Says insisted that being called “Miss,” or anybody being called “Miss” or “Mister,” was discriminatory and insulting to “intersex” and “gender non-binary people.”

This was absurd, political posturing. Xir-Says’s sex is female, and she doesn’t say otherwise. But the sensei relented, fearful of the potential backlash that might ensue—Facebook and Twitter shame-bombs, rebuke from a rash of Brooklynite neo-Marxian muckrakers—should he not obey Xir-Says’ demands. She is now called Xir-Says-San. Low-skill students needn’t any longer be referred to as “Miss” or “Mister.” A longstanding tradition was eroded by the gender identity demands of an impertinent brat.”

There is no part of your life, your thoughts, your private and public business they do not seek to scold, shame, and control.  Going along to get along has been a spectacular failure. It’s time for the next phase.Stop living under their rules, but make sure they are forced to abide by the rules they have attempted to impose on others.

“Genghis Khan recognized that warfare was not a sporting contest or a mere match between rivals; it was a total commitment of one people against another. Victory did not come to the one who played by the rules; it came to the one who made the rules and imposed them on his enemy.”
― Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

This is kind of funny, but also really sad. These are the active faces and voices of the left- with a superimposed narrative from a documentary on mental illness in adolescents. It fits.


Updated to add: Democrat party official in Nebraska refuses to resign after posting to social media that she thought watching Congressional reps crying over the Scalise shooting was funny. She doubled down further.

That was bad enough, but then there’s this guy, Nebraska Democrat Party official caught on tape saying ‘I’m glad that motherf**** [Scalise] got f***** shot, I wish he was f***** dead!’
Civility much?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We are the weapons of our own destruction

Americans are cooking less and eating fewer home-cooked meals.


Babies on ipads- it’s a really, really bad idea.  I know people don’t want to hear it, and they resent it when somebody says this stuff, but it’s so important.  Babies, children, all of us, are not designed for so much screen time.  Babies and young kids in particular still have developing brains, brains which develop best by interacting with real stuff in the real world.  Whatever else is going on with the screen time, what is *not* going on every minute the little one is messing with a screen is normal developmental activity.  We’re rearing kids with the attention span of gnats, and the inability to be alone with their own thoughts, among other things.


You’ve probably heard- the same organization that certified Count Chocula cereal as ‘heart-healthy’ has come out in frowning, glowering eyebrow level of disapproval over… coconut oil.  I like these two takes on it:

Step by step, logical refutation, with a bit of snark, because… chocolate sugar bombs as a breakfast food.

Hilarious, in a single paragraph.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Books on Manners for Littler People

In order of entertainment value:

What Do You Say, Dear? and What Do You Do, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin. I have seen somebody freak out over this one because one of the many silly scenarios is what do you do when Bad-Nosed Bill (a cowboy bandit) asks if you’d like him to shoot you, and there’s a cartoon drawing of a gun (and a cow-boy with a big nose, and a horse…). You say ‘No, thank-you,’ of course.

The Goops and How to Be Them and More Goops and How Not To Be Them (and any other of the Goops books) by Gelett Burgess (also free at Gutenberg)

The Goofus and Gallant series that used to be published in Highlights magazine (I just looked it up to see if there was an author, and Highlights redid some of it in a board book. )

Manners Can Be Fun and How To Behave and Why, by Munro Leaf.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

  • The Common Room on Facebook

  • Amazon: Buy our Kindle Books

  • Search Amazon

    Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

  • Brainy Fridays Recommends: