21 November 2015

Mother Culture ® ~ My Way

Mother Culture [1] is a term used by many Charlotte Mason appreciators, yet I'll back up a bit for any unfamiliar with that term; Brandy of After Thoughts blogs about the term, Mother Culture, more succinctly than I could; and Karen Andreola writes about Mother Culture ®  in her book, A Charlotte Mason Companion , on her blog,  Moments with Mother Culture ® or Homeschool World in Mother Culture, and on Mother Culture and You.

For me Mother Culture ®,  has become mothercraft - a space where I,  a mother,  am purposefully displaying towards the children my life long desire of working towards crafting myself - with God's instruction, guidance, and help -  into becoming more as a believer in Christ and as a mother/wife/woman/sister/friend/student.  Some of my mothercraft time involves handcrafts, things that are quietly restful and restorative,  along with areas of self education that are challenging and require focused effort on my part. 

Mothercraft is an aspect of our family's home educating life style that I mull over at regular intervals - especially during the summer holidays, and how to put it in to effect for the year ahead .... and then keep it in balance.
Self educating, nurturing hobbies, or pursuing delight led interests I may have is not the area of life I want to be over focusing my time and energy - and dollars - into to the detriment of our family's greater good.  For me mothercraft has to compliment what Dn and I are continually working towards: A Christ centered family that is also enjoying, as much as we can, our journey through the growing up years with the children - and quietly working towards (trying to ;) ) preparing each one of us for the time when the children are wanting/needing to live life as adults away from dad and mum. 

Before I roughly outline the approach to mothercraft I've taken over the years while home educating the children,  I want to add that I'm gaining a delight led education in many of the subject areas the children are learning in also. During my own schooling years History was a 'put 'em to sleep' boring subject - not so, it's all to do with how it's presented; story format or a dry, boring, set of fact and figures to memorise and regurgitate for exams later.
Another bonus of educating  my children at home has gifted me with the opportunity to go right back and start reading through lists of wonderful books !, including many unabridged classics I'd never been exposed to - books from pre-school level right through to where we are now; finishing off reading through works written during the Early Modern Times (1600-1850) and starting to read through literature from Modern Times (1850 to present).

The list beneath is just an indication of some of the things I've focused on during mothercraft time:

Younger Years
While the children we're young I purposely chose the areas of mothercraft to develop that would compliment the age and stage of the children.
  • Focus on more in-depth studies in the scriptures (bible)
  • Time spent expanding my culinary skills; cooking and baking from a wide range of cookbooks and dvds.
  • Sip reading books of poetry.  LOVE poetry.
  • Developed a love for fine quality picture books.
  • Painting 'with' the children..... 
  • Tried to flower garden. That was a flop!  Flower gardening and me are definitely not a love match  :D
  • Personal growth and education.  I chose to read through many books on biblical based womanhood (as a wife) and parenting, and, home educating to up-skill myself.     The French/Haitian proverb Little by little the bird builds it's nest is one of my favourite, and I certainly get to live it out in my life; A huge amount of sip reading went on during those early years - little bits of reading would be scattered out over the weeks so that I could get through a much-wanted-to-read book.
  • A handcraft I can pick up, and lay aside when necessary.  Right from the little years I've been slowly knitting up a few fancy squares each winter to eventually make a knitted patchwork blanket ... we'll get there little by little.
Middle Years
  • Continued with more in-depth studies in the scriptures (bible)
  • Expanded my computer skills.
  • Started a blog and learnt how to create notebooking/craft pages for the children to use.
  • Cooking.  Continued to expand my culinary skills.
  • Still read, and listened to talks, on biblical based womanhood, parenting, and,  home educating.
  • Completed the next few stages of an extramural study (with my little by little mindset).
  • Worked on refreshing myself in the area of math.
  • Listening or reading through classic literature.
  • Started using my rusty drawing skills again.
Much of my mothercraft time, during the middle years, now involved Daisy - she'd see some of what I was doing and join in too. Osmosis is such a powerful thing!

Teen Years
  • Continue with more in-depth studies of the scriptures (bible).
  • Read, and listened to talks, on biblical based womanhood, parenting, and, home educating.
  • Cardmaking, & art.
  • Upskill in sewing.
  • Gardening (That's tending my teeny tiny vegetable gardening. I enjoy it very much!)
  • Cooking.  Continuing to expand my culinary skills
  • Continue to work on up-skilling myself with higher level education.
  • Go through a refresher course in French.
  • Continue to expand my computer based skills with online courses.
  • Listening or reading through classic literature.
  • Put my rusty hairdressing (dressing long hair) skills back into practice.
  • Working with Dn to upskill ourselves in our hobby farming project.
  • Work towards completing the remainder of my extramural study.

And etc... 
Mothercraft for me is a life long journey.
Wondering what Mother Culture ®, or mothercraft looks like for you? 

[1] Mother Culture ®  is now a registered U.S trademark

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