Charlotte Mason – A WHOLE-BRAIN Education

I’ve started reading Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and if you haven’t read it, you should! I am really enjoying what she says about “the right brain” and modern schools just teaching to the left brain.

Here’s an excerpt to tempt you:

The right brain — the dreamer, the artificer, the artist — is lost in our school system and goes largely untaught. We might find a few art classes, a few shop classes, something called “creative writing,” and perhaps courses in music; but it’s unlikely that we would find courses in imagination, in visualization, in perceptual or spatial skills, in creativity as a separate subject, in intuition, in inventiveness.

Edwards says an educational system should include training in drawing skills because it is “an efficient, effective way to gain access to right-brain functions.” She goes on to  explain the right brain’s role in “imaging” and how imaging is used in drawing.

On of the marvelous capabilities of the right brain is imaging: seeing an imaginary picture with your mind’s eye. The brain is able to conjure an image and then “look” at it, “seeing” it as if it is “really there.” . . . To draw something, an artist looks at the object or person, “takes” a mental picture, holds the image in memory, then looks down at the paper to draw. Another look, another held image, further drawing, and so on.

Now, CM-educators, what does this remind you of? Well, it reminds me of Picture Study and also Nature Picture/Scene Painting (I can’t remember what it’s called – I can’t locate my copy of Hours in the Out-of-Doors – it’s part of nature study, where the children run off and “image” a scene in their mind, then come back and describe the scene to Mom).

So, it seems like the CM education is teaching or exercising both the right and left sides of our brains! Yet another reason we love a CM education!!!


Thrift Store Haul


Y’all! We just went to Unique Thrift and cleaned them out of electronic toys. Everett was getting a bit tired of the few that haven’t shorted out at home. Don’t forget that I was the mom (when Adele was a baby) who vowed we would have absolutely NO PLASTIC or BATTERY-OPERATED TOYS in my home, ever, for any reason. Now, that’s pretty much all Everett plays with, every day, all day. =) Good times in being flexible, right?

Our Very First “Wednesday in the Woods”

Our nature club turnout was a little smaller than we expected due to a parasite we all seem to have gotten from a co-op birthday party at a splash park. Said parasite seems to be transmitted through water and is not killed by bleach. I won’t go into the effects of this parasite other than to say it’s an extreme tummy bug – we’ll leave it at that. All persons pictured had mostly recovered — we certainly had some empathy for the ones still suffering at home. =(IMG_2980


We are still pondering what could have left this shiny stuff behind . . .


One of many toads we played with:IMG_2983

Perhaps the most interesting plant life we encountered:


Adele chose it for her nature notebook painting:


Then we found its friend in another part of the woods – still green.

IMG_2988Here’s a better shot of its leaves:


IMG_2985  IMG_2990 For my nature notebook painting, I also chose something red. But mine was fuzzy instead of smooth and shiny.  Can you spot it on the table in the photo above? IMG_2998

I found it extremely challenging to convey the cone-shaped three-dimentionality of this thing (flower?). I am still learning, obviously.

Here’s a picture of the painting-in-progress and the specimen:


Here are a few items we’ll be sending to CA for our nature pal exchange. Can you identify any of our specimens?


Miscelany & Summer Nature Study

Testing the limits of the hammock swing.  IMG_0597


Adele is a very devoted mother to baby Jane. Even nursing while reading chapter books.IMG_2705 IMG_2718 IMG_2695

Adele’s obsession with paper shoes continues . . . IMG_2719

Another mani/pedi mother-daughter retreat. IMG_2723 IMG_2725

Here are some nature study pics we took in May


I sprayed down our front steps for the first time this Spring, which sent plenty of salt residue from winter ice treatments down onto the driveway. I believe this is called pooling, where butterflies are attracted to the minerals. This beautiful butterfly was hanging out on our driveway off and on for hours!


IMG_2527   IMG_2538 IMG_2537 IMG_2536

We were so blessed to host our friends the M family from CA in May. IMG_2564


We enjoyed some brief fellowship with our friends the B family in April (who we knew from CT, but they now live in AZ). What a lovely blessing it is to be reunited with friends even though we now live far apart!



Our visit from the E family


Remember how I had the In a Large Room Retreat all because my friend Cristina was coming from California? Well, I got so excited posting all about the retreat that I forgot to share the pictures of their visit. I’m posting this picture again because it’s the only shot I got with Cristina in it.  IMG_2760

I really like the E family. I just thank the Lord for any and every opportunity to fellowship with them. It was so wonderful to have them here for a few days this summer. And our kids got along great. Their youngest S is almost the same age as Eleanor and their middle child A is almost the same age as Adele.  IMG_2759 IMG_2758 IMG_2757 IMG_2766 IMG_2743