Tag Archives: homeschooling

How Church Involvement Can Help with College Prep

This isn’t an essay about how to stay Christian in college. These are just a couple of thoughts I’ve had today while looking back over our family’s history and realizing that some basic church activities can help prepare a young adult for the academic end of college. Even just learning to sit still and pay attention to a pastoral message trains a child in a great academic skill for any incoming Freshman.


Our children usually attended the main adult service every week in addition to various youth activities. During the service, everyone in our family had a small spiral notebook and we all took notes throughout the pastor’s sermon. After church, we’d sometimes review our notes to see if we got different things from the message, but mainly our notebooks were just for our own use. A record of our spiritual growth and teachings we’d received.

By getting into the habit of taking written notes when someone was imparting information, our children were in the habit and well-experienced at notetaking by the time they began their college studies. They knew what things to write down, they knew how to identify key points, and they knew to record their own thoughts and feelings while listening.

As someone who returned to college later in life, I can attest to the fact that notetaking is a lost skill for most college and university students. Even in my Master’s program, it was only about half the students in our cohort who took notes regularly. Developing the habit of taking notes from oral presentations (ie: pastor’s sermons) will prepare your child for the important skill of notetaking in the classroom.

Bible Study

Learning to read and study the Bible in depth can help to prepare young college students for reading their textbooks and other academic literature. As they reached their teens, my children attended adult Bible studies with me. If you decide to include your teen in your Bible study, be sure to ask the study leader if teens are allowed so you don’t have any rude surprises when you show up with your teen. I know this one from experience.

I found that most teen and youth Bible studies were dumbed down (twaddle) to the point where my children, who had great interest in studying the Bible, just found it boring and pointless. Our church at the time offered a co-ed Precept study group which allowed teens, so that’s the one we attended. Not only was it good experience for studying, it also provided a classroom-style instruction time which was helpful for preparing for that first quarter of college.

My children had never been in a classroom setting before starting higher education, but I believe their time in unofficial school-style settings like Bible studies and church services (lectures) helped prepare them for success in that area. There was an adjustment period, but it only lasted for a brief time.

If your family attends church and your children are college-bound, don’t miss out on these simple opportunities to further prepare your children for college.



An Ode to Miss Charlotte Mason

I found this recently while browsing through an older notebook of mine.  Thought I’d share it with you all.  Not my greatest writing, but definitely heartfelt.

charlotte masonAn Ode to Miss Charlotte M. Mason

Charlotte. may I call you Charlotte?
is it appropriate
to be so familiar
with someone so profound?

you are not my friend
you are my hero
my mentor
my inspiration

your voice continues, even now, to speak
for the children’s sake
for the future’s sake
for Heaven’s sake


Charlotte Mason eMagazine – Late February 2016

charlotte mason portrait (2)The following are excerpts from the latest issue of the Charlotte Mason eMagazine. Be sure to visit the magazine’s website and sign up for email notifications so you’ll never miss an issue! Subscribe here:

A Charlotte Mason Education in High School

“I ran across this wonderful quote recently while rereading Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s For the Children’s Sake: ‘Also, it would be wrong not to equip our children with ‘passports’ to our society. Th…”

A Field Trip ~ Exploring Nature With Children

“Firstly, I apologise for the misleading nature of the title of the post! If you are following along with Exploring Nature With Children, you will know that this week is field trip week. We are quit…”

Nature Study On Periscope With Leah Boden

 “I am really excited to let you know about a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Charlotte Mason method of nature study. My lovely friend Leah will be doing a live periscope event tomorrow…”

Keeping a Nature Journal

“Nature journaling is an immensely rewarding pursuit for both parent and child. In Charlotte Mason’s own words: Consider, too, what an unequaled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for …”

The Beauty Of Earth And Heavens

The Beauty Of Earth And Heavens – Posted on February 20, 2016 by raisinglittleshoots – “They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heave…”

University of Derby: Children in Touch With Nature Do Better on Tests

University of Derby: Children in Touch With Nature Do Better on Tests Derby Telegraph – February 26, 2016 | By Zena Hawley | In the News “CHILDREN who are in touch with nature achieve better results…”

A Twaddle-Free Education

51BlGAcUHnLA Twaddle-free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s Timeless Educational Ideas

Author: Deborah Taylor-Hough
Released: April 23rd, 2015
Paperback: 148 pages
ISBN-10: 0692431284
ISBN-13: 978-0692431283
Publisher: Simple Pleasures Press
List Price: $11.99  Reduced! $6.99

To order your copy of A Twaddle-Free Education via Amazon.com, simply click on the book cover’s image or click here.


Are you disappointed with dumbed-down reading material (“twaddle”) written for children? Do you wish for your children to feast their hearts and minds on noble ideas, fine art, and great literature? Are you hoping your children gain an appreciation of nature and a deep understanding of natural sciences? Most importantly, do you want your children to develop a lifetime love of learning? If you answered “yes,” you may discover a Charlotte Mason-inspired twaddle-free education is just what you’ve been looking for.

Charlotte Mason was British educator from the last century whose ideas are currently experiencing a renewal among home schools and private schools throughout the world.  This book is one mother’s experiences and thoughts on applying a Charlotte Mason-style education in a modern American home school setting.


In the mid-1990’s, Deborah Taylor-Hough set up one of the first Charlotte Mason homeschooling websites and edited The Charlotte Mason Monthly newsletter. Debi currently edits The Charlotte Mason eMagazine and blogs at CharlotteMasonHome.com


  • My Introduction to Charlotte Mason
  • Charlotte Mason in a Nutshell
  • Narration Tips
  • Natural Nature Learning
  • Homeschooling with a Rock Bottom Budget (excerpt)
  • Scheduling a Charlotte Mason-style Homeschooling Day
  • Twaddle-Free Literature by Grade Level
  • Frugal Family Field Trips
  • Twaddle-Free Holidays
  • Interview with the Author
  • Are All Homeschooling Methods Created Equal?

… and more!


  • “This was my first Charlotte Mason read and I found it so practical and refreshing. It’s filled with simple explanations and ideas of how to implement a CM approach to your homeschool. I will definitely include this on my list of recommended resources for moms interested in exploring CM homeschooling.” – Mama Rhody
  • “I am enjoying this book. My child is a little older so this is more for younger children. Wish I had started homeschooling earlier!” – Victoria M.
  • “I just started homeschooling last year. Out of all the styles out there Charlotte Mason’s methods looked like the best fit for my family. I have spent quite a bit of time reading over The Original Homeschool Series books, and this book is a lot easier to read and is full of great ideas. Thank you so much Deborah.” – Erin
  • “When I began my journey into homeschooling, I researched many methods, but kept coming back to Charlotte Mason’s ideas. They really resonate with me and my personal beliefs and are a good fit for our family school. The writing style of this book is easy to read, and there are many references to Charlotte’s extensive writings. I always appreciate reading about other homeschooling moms’ experiences; it helps me to stay on track and keep a long term perspective. I look forward to finishing this book, and will definitely recommend it to others who are curious about The CM method and how to implement it in their own family schools.” – Gina E.

A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s Timeless Educational Ideas by Deborah Taylor-Hough is available in both paperback and Kindle ebook formats.

If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app at Amazon to use to read Kindle books on your personal computer, tablet, or smart phone.  If you purchase a paperback edition of the book from Amazon, you’ll be eligible for a free Kindle version, as well. 2-for-1!

My Interview on Home School Heartbeat this week

10670066_10152697238513419_6832217406198274019_nMy interview about studying Shakespeare with children is on the Home School Heartbeat radio show this week (and also on their website if you don’t receive their radio show in your area).

Listen to the program or read the transcripts here:  http://www.hslda.org/docs/hshb/121/hshbwk1.asp

And for anyone new to this blog who came here following the interview, welcome!  I’m so glad you’re here.  You can view my blog posts about studying Shakespeare here:

NOTE: Stop by and “Like” Charlotte Mason Home Education on Facebook:-)

Other Articles of Interest:

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