"....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!

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