I am the mother of two little boys, and the wife of an organic farmer/literature teacher/aspiring writer. I was homeschooled for the first three years, attended public school until high school graduation then went to a private Christian college where I majored in studio art. I've always loved books and when I moved home after college I caught my mom's enthusiasm for out-of-print children's literature. A few years of collecting later we opened Living Books Library. My aim in life is to spread beauty; teaching others about Charlotte Mason, writing the Picture Study Portfolios, putting lovely books into the hands of eager readers, and seeing the world through my sons' eyes, all help bring me closer to this goal.
My own education began when I was born into a family who loved and valued books, and books have been my greatest teachers. Twenty years later, I married and along came six children. Our decision to homeschool was based on my husband and my desire to give our children a deeper experience with learning, but we never guessed how much learning we were to begin ourselves, especially after we discovered the educational method of an English educator named Charlotte Mason. Today four of those children are married and homeschooling my seven grandchildren, and I am still in the thick of it with two boys who are at home. Ten years ago, my oldest daughter, Emily, and I blithely ventured into the private lending library world to be able to share our large out-of-print book collection with other homeschool families and increase the use of living books and our opportunities to share what we were learning about Charlotte Mason. Understanding who Mason was, and slowly over the years, how her method works, has made education a truly delectable experience for us and the increasingly growing circle of other families who have joined us in this adventure of living out her ideas. We founded Living Books Library in 2006 and you can read my weekly blogs at LivingBooksLibrary.com.
I began homeschooling when my oldest child started kindergarten. I had a toddler at the time, and one on the way, but for those simple years it was just my little boy and I at the school table. Things became more complicated three years later, when a string of my siblings began homeschooling with us, all of them older than my kids, all of them damaged learners, and several with learning disabilities as well. Homeschooling all of these children (up to 7 at one time,) was like a trial by fire, and because of their various issues, I realized quickly that the only way to homeschool them successfully was by embracing Charlotte Mason's philosophy and methods. Sometimes that meant venturing into areas that the CM community seemed to be avoiding, like high school science done in a "living" way, and adhering to a weekly schedule. Both of which I talk about extensively on my blog SabbathMoodHomeschool.com.