March started off with the inaugural gathering of the Hampton Roads Charlotte Mason Reading Group on March 1st. Charlotte Mason was a brilliant British educator who established a unique philosophy of education. Her writings and method provide a blueprint for our homeschool. While her philosophy is experiencing an amazing revival, and her six volumes are due to be reprinted soon, CM homeschoolers are still in the minority among homeschoolers. Far from monolithic, homeschooling styles in our area range from the Abeka text-book types, to co-op outsourcers, fans of big-box literature or unit study curricula, the “proudly” secular, the classical conversations crew, and those brave eclectic moms who pull from all of them.
Anyway, a small group of us that are members of a local CM facebook group decided it was time to add some “In-Real-Life” fellowship to the mix. After a while, typing and texting gets old, and doesn’t really address the loneliness that moms sometimes experience when homeschooling. We found a wonderful reading schedule (thank you Charlotte Mason Soiree) and plunged right in. It was wonderful to gather with other CM moms and talk about inspiring quotes, and those challenging passages, and the joys of seeing the fruit of her method in our children. I’m really looking forward to next month!
The Young Musicians of Virginia journeyed to Winston-Salem, NC for the Spring Trip this year. Mr. Garner is in his second year as a chaperone and he and The Daughter both had a fantastic time. The YMCA camp where they stayed offered great high adventure opportunities (see photos). A tour through the historic town of Old Salem was charming and educational and tasty – everyone enjoyed the Sugar Cake at the Moravian bakery! It was also gratifying, after so much hard work and rehearsal, to entertain large appreciative audiences at all of their performance venues.
The Daughter and I finally opened up our embroidery sampler kits that we had received for Christmas. Yes, well, we’ve been busy! We both decided that we find embroidery relaxing. It’s fun watching the images form under the needle, we just need to remember to fit it in.
Bellissima is in the final weeks of preparing our concert music for “All Creation Sings.” As we begin to polish, it is more and more satisfying. I love going to rehearsal each week.
March in Coastal Virginia is lovely. The yellow jasmine blooms for a week or so on one side of the house. Then a week or so later, the yellow lady banks rose blooms for two weeks or so on the other side of the house. We live in an older neighborhood so everyone has iris. Ours was planted decades ago, and it smells like grape soda. The red camellia has bloomed for three solid months, so when they called for snow mid-march(yep!), I went out and gathered the last few beautiful blossoms.
The Daughter and I are well into the second half of our Winter Term. We will finish right before Holy Week, so I am busy going through her books and pondering exam questions.
Garner Goings On is now on Instagram! The Daughter has avoided the typical social media outlets, but wanted to start an Instagram account to share with her friends, so we set one up too. It’s been fun to have a visual medium to work with.
Reading List: I finally finished The Long Roll, by Mary Johnston. I highly recommend it. I also read The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes, Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination, by Vigen Gurogian, A Woman of Strength and Purpose by Cynthia Tobias and, of course, Home Education, by Charlotte Mason. Now that we are in Lent, I’m enjoying the weekly readings in Between Midnight and Dawn, compiled by Sarah Arthur.