Books about the Oregon Trail and Pioneers

These books about the Oregon Trail and early pioneers were recommended by someone I know who particularly enjoyed studying this time period with her children.  Although she wasn’t specifically homeschooling according to Charlotte Mason’s principles, she did have a high regard for the literary value of good books.

I can’t personally vouch for these specific titles, but if I were starting a study now on the Oregon Trail, I would definitely begin here for ideas.  Also keep in mind you don’t have to read ALL of these books.  Pick a couple that interest you or your kiddos.  My friend who recommends these titles spent a complete school year on nothing else but the Oregon Trail.  They made an entire year’s worth of interdisciplinary studies around this one topic.  Your mileage may vary.  :)


Younger Elementary:

Older Elementary:

Junior/Senior High School:


“I resolve to read for fun with my children every day.”

One year–a long, long time ago–my New Year’s resolution was to get into the habit of reading aloud to my kiddos every evening from a “just for fun” book.

That was a resolution I kept for many, many years to come. And one of the best habits we ever built into our family.

I highly recommend it!  :)

For suggestions on books to read aloud with your family, check out this list of Twaddle-Free Literature by grade level:


Happy New Year, Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Parents!

Dear Readers …

This week I had lunch with a friend from high school who I’ve gotten back in touch with the past couple of years. She’s a really great mom and values education for her son above most everything else right now (he’s a high school Junior). As we talked, it was interesting to see how much she equated “education” with official transcripts, grades, and test results. Continue reading

The New Charlotte Mason e-Magazine

Timeless Ideas for a Twaddle-Free Education™

watercolour-pencils-nature-studies-02I recently began publishing a weekly online magazine, The Charlotte Mason e-Magazine, which will feature a collection of carefully selected content and articles from around the internet from a variety of respected Charlotte Mason and other educational resources. Continue reading

Twaddle-Free Holiday Suggestions

518dsz23psl__sl500_aa240_At the latest Western Washington Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers meeting, we discussed ideas for celebrating twaddle-free holidays. We began by defining twaddle as dumbed down literature or “child-friendly” activities with little depth or substance. Continue reading

This Week on Facebook – December 5th, 2014

In case you missed any postings, here are some of the past week’s highlights from the Charlotte Mason Home Education Facebook page:

Attention Western Washington CM Homeschoolers
Our next official meeting is this Saturday afternoon! (Dec 6th)

We’ll be chatting about Twaddle-Free Holiday ideas. Should be a fun discussion. Hope you can make it! Continue reading

Advent Bible Study Guide

I think I’ve shared this in years past with a variety of people online, but I don’t think I’ve shared it here on this blog before.

It’s an inductive Advent Bible study guide written by my former Precept Bible Study leader when I lived in Olympia, WA several years ago.  She wrote it to use with her grandkids, and now shares an updated version of it each year for free online.  Eleanor’s the best.  :-) Continue reading

Guest Article: Nature Gifts and Holiday Ideas

by Toni Albert
Guest Contributor

For me, the holiday season begins with a long, leisurely walk. Leisurely but not inattentive. I am paying close attention to anything that catches my eye (or nose) because of its shape, color, texture, fragrance, or interest. It’s a gathering expedition. Continue reading

Educational Gift Ideas: Science & Nature Study

The grandparents always loved to buy educational toys, games, and supplies for my kiddos.  I think it made the grandparents feel like they were helping to participate in homeschooling the grandkids by giving them educational gifts.  If you have relatives who needs some gift giving ideas, send them here. Continue reading

This Week on Facebook – November 21st 2014

facebookDue to Facebook’s tendency to filter posts from appearing, I’ve begun posting weekly updates of highlights from my week’s Facebook posts so you can see what you may have missed from the Charlotte Mason & Home Education Facebook page.


This Week on Facebook:

When our kiddos were young, every Thanksgiving they would each memorize a poem and then recite it at the Thanksgiving table between dinner and dessert. Great way to impress the Grandmas. Continue reading