Our family homeschools somewhat according to the Charlotte Mason method (we don’t follow her schedule exactly). We use living, engaging books and short daily lessons. One of the things I love most about Charlotte Mason’s method is her emphasis on “Mother Culture”.
The gist of Mother Culture is that we as mothers cannot properly teach and inspire our children if we are not learning and being inspired ourselves. Self-education is critical to our ability to feel true happiness in this calling as homeschool mamas.
If you are not taking time each day to do the things that make yourself come alive, you are missing out on an important part of yourself.
“There is no sadder sight in life than a mother, who has so used herself up in her children’s childhood, that she has nothing to give them in their youth.”
Read more about Mother Culture here.
Miss Mason recommended reading three books at a time: a difficult book, a moderate book and a novel.
“The wisest woman I ever knew — the best wife, the best mother, the best mistress, the best friend — told me once, when I asked her how, with her weak health and many calls upon her time, she managed to read so much, “I always keep three books going — a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel, and I always take up the one I feel fit for!”
Charlotte Mason recommends setting aside 30 minutes per day to read and choosing whatever of the three books calls to you.
If you have a lot of brain power that day, dive into something heavy. If you just need to recharge, go for the novel. If you find you’re in a busy season and you’re reaching for the novel much more often than the “stiff book”, you are not alone.
I certainly read more novels than deep philosophical works and I’m sure that’s true for most people.
The point is to choose high quality books so that everything you choose to read is inspiring and worth reading. No twaddle; even the novels are worthy of spending time in because they inspire you and fill you up.
Mother Culture does not only apply to homeschool moms! Any mother, no matter your circumstances, would greatly benefit from using this method of exploring books and learning from them.
How I fit in time for reading.
I think I am asked this question more than any other. How do I find time to read? The answer is: I make time. I get up early and reading is part of my morning routine. I rarely watch tv or movies.
I choose to spend that time reading.
I always have 3-5 books going at once. Harder reading (difficult topic/more brain power required) happens in the early morning and I take some time in the afternoon and evening for lighter reading.
Plus I’ve always got an audiobook, or two, in the works (I listen while I clean and work in the yard, etc.) and read alouds with my kiddos.
I have followed this plan for a long time, having two to three (or more) books going at once.
I am excited to share with you today my plan for the summer:
These are books that are considered difficult, either because the language is hard or the topic is difficult. Either way, they require more brain power to digest the content.
These are the books I read first thing in the morning, with my pencil and journal close by.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
1776 by David McCullough
I define this books as not as dense, but still full of information. I might want to take notes, but they are not as heavy as the “stiff books”.
I am excited to cross these books off my To-Be-Read list. Many of them have been there for quite a long time. And while I have this plan in place, I generally read 8-10 books per month so I still have room for some spontaneous reading as well.
Happy summer and happy reading! Be sure to check back on the last day of each month when I share my What I’ve Been Reading post. I’ll be sure to share what I think of each of these books as I finish them.
What are you reading plans this summer?