I’m still recovering from this year’s convention. Wow! I enjoyed my time working at Beautiful Feet Books’ booth and all of the lectures I managed to attend. I only made it to five sessions this year and three of those were from Rea Berg the founder of Beautiful Feet Books. I absolutely loved every lecture and learned more than I have been able to contemplate yet. My favorite conference from her was…well I do not remember the title exactly but it was something like “Charlotte Mason meats Plato”. I left her talks feeling encouraged and emboldened for the year ahead. Last year I attended a few classical based sessions and just felt like I was some sort of homeschooling slacker-mom and my kids would barely qualify to enter adulthood. I felt defeated and beaten in soul last year. Today, after soaking in the wisdom of the sessions I attended I am at peace with the direction our little homeschool is headed.
The other two lectures I attended were joint discussions from Dr. Jay Wile and Diana Waring. The first was a delightful sharing of wisdom on what they wished they had known about homeschooling. Their second topic was about dealing with homeschooling pressures and just slowing down. I definitely got all caught up in trying to do too much in our homeschool this past year. Fortunately, I did realize my mistake and loosened the reigns a bit. We even abandoned some curriculum! The biggest change for me was letting go of my dependence on an “expert’s book” and choosing the path myself (with many hours spent in prayer) our homeschool will walk. I’m excited to begin out new schooling year! Sadly, I missed hearing Dr. Kathy Koch this year…always next time.
In all five lectures I encountered one unifying theme. Humility. Rea, Dr. Wile, and Mrs. Waring (who retired from conventions this year!!!) all emphasized the importance of humility in the teaching parent with her students/children. I’ve always been quick to apologize to my kids when I sin…especially when I lose my temper. Learning is impossible when we are all frustrated and angry. I want our learning environment to be organic…living. A humble mother is serving and nurturing and I hope to deeply live out the concept of “mother culture” this year. I have piles of good books we are going to study this year…a collection of both old and new books. We are going to keep the breeze of the centuries flowing…God’s communion with humanity is ongoing and I am going to bring (and join with) my children into that great conversation.
During the few hours I had available for shopping I met three of my lovely readers! I just want you to know how exciting it was for me to meet you and your families! I hope you had a fabulous time at the convention and that your upcoming school year is fantastic! I also felt just a wee bit shy…Knowing that I would be working this year at the convention I researched every vendor on the list this year so that I would know exactly what I needed to purchase. I ordered our core subjects from Christian Light Education and Cover Story for Oldest. I spent the rest of my shopping time looking for gifts for my crew. I found a bunny for Littlest, a hand crocheted owl purse for Sparkles and Lego pieces for Oldest and Middle Boy. Oldest also got a new program for making stop-motion movies and everyone got a book to read about the science behind Batman’s technology.
My absolute favorite part of the convention this year was meeting Rea Berg, her son Josh and the rest of the team at Beautiful Feet Books. I had the great privilege of meeting Rea and personally telling her how deeply grateful I am for her influence not just in our homeschool but also within our family. I will forever be grateful for her mentorship. Working for her company was a gift to me. Every morning I prayed to be a blessing and source of comfort to every family who stopped at the Beautiful Feet Books’ booth. I’ve had many jobs over the years and this was the first time I ever loved what I was doing. I’m still exhausted from the weekend but I loved every moment that I worked with the team.
Just as last year I traveled with Mrs. Cuddle-me and stayed at the Passionist Nuns Monastery in Erlanger. Traveling with my friend is always an adventure to remember. Staying at the monastery and visiting with my deeply loved and Passionist family is always so very cherished.
I’m also very excited to tell you that Oldest and I will be sharing our work with Beautiful Feet Books’ Medieval History Advanced Intermediate and Junior High Guide. I’ll be sharing with you how we approach the guide and books and any activities we may add. Oldest already wants to add a Medieval feast and make an illuminated manuscript page. After looking over the guide together this weekend we are ready to get this study started! This week we will finish the Ancient History guide and dive right into Medieval history next week.