"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Commitment to Keeping

Hi everyone,

In my last post I mentioned how, in our early days of implementing the CM philosophy, we did just about everything we could to completely immerse ourselves in it. And we did.
 Oh, how wonderful and exciting those days were: children eager and willing to learn; a mom who was ecstatic about the living books that her children were devouring.
And, early on, I realized that her principles weren't just for "school"; they were a lifestyle. 

Then, some time later....life happened. In other words, we got busier..and busier, and, well..you know. Things got dropped by the wayside.Life began, once again, to go by at break-neck speed and things got dropped by the wayside. 
 And one of the things that got dropped was the wonderful concept of keeping, or as some call it, having a commonplace book.  I had kept a quote book for years, but over the past couple of years, it had sadly been collecting dust on the top shelf of my baker's rack.

I consider myself the queen of sticky notes, and you would think that jotting things down in a notebook would come easy for me. Not so. I started using the excuse that I didn't have time to jot down what I gleaned from reading. But back up a bit...I didn't take time to read much, either. I decided that reading (other than my morning devotional) could wait til my 5 younger children had grown and flown. *gasp*

But then, December rolled around, and I began reading Brandy's awesome series. (Did I mention that this was an awesome series?) That was all it took to encourage me to get back to notebooking again.  

My dear friend, Silvia, was a big encouragement to me to get back to it, too.

But you can't notebook without reading, right? And I don't have time to read! There are clothes to wash, dishes to do, goats to milk and feed, eggs to gather, and list goes on forever. I don't have time to read!  Wrong. With encouragement from some of the ladies at the AO Forum, I am making time for myself each afternoon, for rest and relaxation which usually translates into reading. And whenever I am reading, I have my commonplace book and a pen close at hand to write down what I want to remember.

I was so excited to get back into keeping, I went out and bought my oldest 3 children commonplace books to keep their quotes in, too. I wanted my excitement to be contagious. And it was! They are following my lead.... although they maybe not quite as eager as I am to write down the things that jump out at them, they are still jotting down quotes here and there during their readings. It's a start, right?  I want keeping to become a habit -  a permanent one. I don't want it dropped for lack of time, or  some other excuse. I want it integrated into our home - into our lives.

Besides our commonplace books, we are also doing more nature journaling and sketching. We don't do the Book of Centuries: we use a century wall chart, which we are getting back to, as well. 

And by the way, keeping is an integral part of the CM philosophy. By the way, Miss Mason encouraged and required it of her students. 

We also started a bird list, documenting all the bird species we see. And when spring arrives, and plants comes back to life,  we will begin a plant list, too.  (Jeanne had an excellent article about keeping bird and plants lists.)

But back to the lovely art of keeping... what is the benefit and value of writing things down, such as quotes?

There is an excellent article here that explains it much better than I could.  
And another here.

Since last month, I have been enjoying writing in my commonplace book. Then Celeste announces a Keeping Company link-up at her blog. The first one is this week.   How wonderful!  :)  Once a month, other moms will visit Celeste and share what they and their children have been doing in their notebooks. I am hoping this will provide some accountability for me and that sharing what we are doing will be an encouragement to other families.

I also plan to share (on this blog) what we are doing in our commonplace books, nature journals, etc.

So join us as we delve back into some of the CM principles that we have, regretfully,  neglected. It's going to be a wonderful journey-again.  :)

"Keep a commonplace book for passages that strike you particularly." 
PNEU Program, 1922

Happy homeschooling!

Sharing this post with Celeste


  1. Hi Lisa, I don't know if I mentioned it already, but I always enjoy reading your blog. You are a wonderful mother and you're so great at homeschooling. I'm also glad you're taking some time out for yourself to read again. I love to read. I think it's a great way to unwind. Blessings to you... :)

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words, Dee.
    Yes, reading is a wonderful way to unwind. And I don't unwind, I could literally come unwound. ;)
    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a lovely day! :)

  3. Oh the ups and downs of homeschooling (and life)... Yes, it happens but we do are best! Thanks for sharing this because I think we have all been there! Or are there! Especially with a farm... I just tell myself at least the life lessons are constantly being learned.

    1. Right, JES...I can be confident in the fact that my children are always learning - whether it's academic or life lessons.
      Thanks for stopping by and have a super day! :)

  4. That time in the afternoons, I call it my "Mother Culture" time. I still enjoy that time even though my homeschooling days are over. Taking a little time for ourselves is very important.:-) Academic and life learning ~ I agree, they are always learning.
    Blessings to you,

    1. Yes, Anne, the "mother culture" phrase has re-surfaced recently, although I have read that some AO moms believe it to be anti-CM, which I disagree with. We all need some down time, no matter what season in life we are in. :)
      Have a blessed day, my friend.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kendra. The excitement is a nice thing to feel again after such a long absence of it. :)

  6. A great rationale for keeping. Looking forward to your future sharing. Here from Celeste's

    1. Thank you, Dawn. I am looking forward to reading yours - others' posts, too. All these ladies have been such a wonderful encouragement to me! :)


  7. Hi Lisa, I really enjoy reading other mother's journeys with this. Motivation for me (in reading & keeping) has been twofold - I need to do this and my children need to see me doing it.

    1. Two very good reasons, Carol, and they are my reasons, as well. :)

  8. I love reading your thoughts here, Lisa. Isn't it funny how from one perspective, we're too busy to read/Keep, but from the other perspective, we're too busy *not* to? Because all of us need some slow-down-and-savor moments, some learning-to-live self-education. No matter how chaotic our daily life is! Congratulations on recommitting! I foresee many joys to come. :)

    1. You said it well, Celeste. We all need some down time; it was just hard for me to see that. I come from a long, illustrious of line of women who are on the go, working from sun-up til sun-down, and the only time you *can* sit down is to eat. :)
      I am working hard on changing that for me.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

  9. "They are following my lead.... " Lisa, this is so true. So enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  10. Hi Lisa! Thanks for visiting; it is nice to back here in blogland after my time away. :)
    I sure appreciate you sharing your CM tips here. While we don't necessarily follow a CM style in all our subjects, we do certainly embrace the ideas and love sharing quotes with one another and keeping them in a book each year. Happy learning, my friend! xo Lisa

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. So glad you have a quote book; I suspected you were fellow writer. ;)
      Hope you are having a super Wednesday!


Thanks so much for stopping by. I love to hear from my readers, and your thoughts are welcome. And I try my best to respond to each and every comment. :)