371 | Education is an Atmosphere (Sean Allen) | REPLAY

371 | Education is an Atmosphere (Sean Allen) | REPLAY

Show Notes:

What goes into your homeschool is as important as what surrounds it. Today’s episode focuses on how important it is to create an atmosphere of learning in your home. This atmosphere is made up of many things including organization, discipline, attitude and even decor. If you find that your homeschool just seems to be dragging along, let this episode serve as a call to stop and take a day (or a week!) to address the environmental factors that may be keeping you from creating the homeschool you’ve always wanted.

About Sean

Sean Allen is the founder of The Well Ordered Homeschool, husband to his beautiful bride Caroline and a proud father of eight. He has a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and is passionate about creating materials to assist parents in the incredibly challenging, yet surpassingly beautiful, work of schooling and training their children at home.


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Show Transcript:

Sean Allen Hello. Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Sean Allen and I am one of the many hosts here on the podcast. Since you're listening to this, I'm guessing you already know that homeschooling is both incredibly challenging and incredibly beautiful. Every week we're here doing a little guidance, some helpful counsel, and a whole lot of encouragement your way as you navigate this busy, yet blessed journey of educating your children at home. Now, even though the show is called Homeschool Solutions, it should come as no surprise to you that we do not have the answer to every homeschool related question. But if you come away with nothing else, our hope is that today's episode will point you to Jesus Christ and that you will seek His counsel as you train your children in the way they should go.

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Well, welcome again to the Homeschool Solutions Show. I am your host, Sean Allen, and happy to be with you today. The last time that I hosted the show we talked a little bit about the why behind your home school and that is such a critical issue as we talk about the day in and day out routine of schooling our children at home, as difficult as it is. We always have to be rooted in that why. And I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode if you haven't already. But for today, I want to move a step beyond the why behind our homeschooling and talk about the amazing opportunity that we have to create an atmosphere of education.

And many of you, when you hear me use that phrase, you will instantly think of the inimitable Charlotte Mason, and she is truly a remarkable woman. And that is perhaps one of her most famous quotes that education is an atmosphere, that it is a way of life, it's a discipline. I didn't put those in the correct order. I believe that she says it's an atmosphere, it's a discipline, it's a life. And today we're going to talk about the atmosphere side of that quote. And sometimes this is lost on us as, again, we go through the mundane aspects of daily education at home. We forget that we have an opportunity to create this atmosphere. And it is perhaps one of the greatest benefits and most remarkable opportunities that we have as homeschool parents is to create this atmosphere for our children. And we do this so that the things that they learn are memorable, that their time with us will be memorable, but also that the education that they are receiving will be more effective. And I think what we find is when we create these atmospheres or honestly, just the mere fact that your children are at home learning is going to give them a leg up on most everybody else.

There is something about the environment of home that I believe that is conducive to education, so you instantly have that advantage. But you can take that and go so much further with it. You can expand upon it, you can broaden it and you can really use it to good effect for your children. And atmosphere is so incredibly important because, again, it is, so to speak, that environment that you bring to bear upon your children's education. And so it has a lot to do with their surroundings. It has a lot to do with your attitude and your demeanor from day to day. And it has something to do with the curriculum that you choose. And I'm not going to get into the curriculum side of it today, but curriculum also has the capacity to create an atmosphere, if you will. And so if you've got something dry and dull and poorly designed, that's going to affect the atmosphere of your homeschool. If you've got something that's beautiful and vibrant and, you know, very thorough, obviously, again, that's going to have...it's going to have a positive effect on that atmosphere. But specifically, I want to refer to today or speak to the issue of their surroundings. And I want to spend the most time on your demeanor or on our attitude, if you will, on a day to day basis.

Let's just get the easy part out of the way, if you will. Both of these are difficult, but the easier one of the two would be the environment in which your children are learning. This does take a back seat to your attitude, but it is so incredibly important. It's not something that you want to pass by. And so just because you're schooling at home doesn't mean that you're set. And I remember my wife telling about her homeschooling experience and specifically her mother very early on...and this was in the early to mid eighties, so homeschooling was very fresh. Not that parents had been educating at home leading up to that time, but, you know, in the 1900s, there wasn't a whole lot of that going on leading up to the 60s and the 70s and the 80s. And if you were in the late 70s and the early 80s and you were homeschooling, you were just a handful of...there weren't a whole lot of people doing that back then, I guess I'll put it to you that way.

And so this was so new and so fresh, and it was such an uncharted territory that my mother-in-law really didn't know how to go about it. She didn't have the slightest idea how she might go about this. All that she had to draw upon was her experience in the public school. And so she remembered when she would sit there in the classroom and they had the desks all in orderly rows and they had a blackboard and they had a flag hanging off of the wall and they had all of these sorts of things, and so she thought to herself, Well, I'm naturally I'm going to create a smaller version of that in my home. And that's exactly what she did. And so she set up two or three desks and she had put up her blackboard on the wall and she had the flag and they said the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the day, and there's nothing wrong with that, but then she went at that for a little while and she realized, you know what, I don't have to do it like this. I'm the teacher and I'm the counselor and I'm the principal and I'm the superintendent and I'm all of these things wrapped up into one and I can really decide how I want to run my school. And so she said, All right, let's get rid of these desks and let's get rid of this blackboard and let's go sit on the couch for a little while, or let's go do school at the table, or let's go do school...we could do school wherever we want, right? And that was instantly an atmosphere shift in her homeschool. And it affected the quality of the education that her children received. And my wife was one of the beneficiaries of that.

And it was...not only did it had the effect of improving her education, but it made it so very memorable. She'll never forget that. It changed the trajectory of her education. And again, she will never, ever forget that. Now, it's not the end-all be-all, but it can have such a dramatic effect on the lives of your children. And my wife and I can attest to the negative effect that improper environments can have on your children. And I'm not talking about the public school variety, I'm just talking about at home. And so for the last two years or so, we, you know, my wife and I, our lives have been in it a lot...there's been a lot of upheaval for lots of different reasons, but we'll just speak to the environment side of it. And so I woke up one day and felt very strongly that we needed to move out of the city. And I told Caroline about this and she thought, Have you lost your mind? And not that she liked living in the city, it was just our house was very large and spacious. And I think at the time we had six children, maybe seven. It was enough, but we needed the space and we had a very nice yard and we lived...some of our best friends lived directly behind us. We had excellent neighbors. It was a quiet street. It was really as far as living in the city goes, it was very ideal setup for us, and we felt blessed to be able to purchase that home. But I felt like, you know what? I think...again, I had this experience and I won't go into that, but I felt we've got to move. And that doesn't mean everybody's got to move out of the city, that just meant that we had to move out of the city.

And so we did this, you know, right...we decided to sell our home and we were making preparations to put it on the market and then the pandemic hit. And we thought, Oh, no, what are we going to do now? And of course, you remember in those very early days, it was just widespread panic. It was like the auto industry's going to crash and the housing market's going to crash and there's going to be this Great Depression. And nobody knew what was going to be the result of all of this. And so we thought, we're not going to be able to sell this house. And so there was this little window there where people were still just kind of playing the wait and see game and housing prices were still steady and we were pushing real hard to get that house sold. Well, hindsight being what it is, we maybe wanted to have waited a little longer and got more money out of it. At the time, we had no idea. We had no idea. We thought that the bottom was going to drop out, you know, in a week or two. So we've got to get this house sold. And we did. And we found a buyer, sold the house for a decent amount and had no place to go.

So just what our plan was is that we were going to move into a an RV, and that's what we did. We took again, there was nine of us, eight or nine of us. Again, I can't remember exactly. I think it was eight, nine of us. And we moved into an RV and we wanted to travel a little bit and we'd read about this online that we were going to see what this is like. And we wanted to all stay together. So we didn't want to take two vehicles which left out the possibility of us getting a a fifth wheel, which would have been, you know, a larger trailer and more space for us. So we had a bumper pool trailer and a large van, and we were all together all of the time. And it was cramped. And so my wife, bless her heart, she had to attempt to homeschool like that for, I don't know, six or seven months it was. And we parked out at my mother's house and we traveled as much as we could, but boy, that's hard. That was very, very difficult. And where do we put all of the books and where do we put all the paper and the crafts and the pins and the pencils and all of those sorts of things? And it was so hard. It was a wonderful experience and in many respects, but in others it was just...it was a drain.

And so right as we were about to get into this trailer, we found out that we were pregnant again. And so I won't go into the specifics about the size of our trailer and everything, but having a baby was going to make it impossible to stay in there for very long. So we said, Well, we've got to find a place to live. And we eventually did find a place out in the country, which was a remarkable blessing and that's another testimony for another day. And we found it at the 11th hour, you know, and it just on and on and on. But this property that we purchased has two houses on it. It's two acres out in the country. And there's an old like 124 year old farmhouse and then there's this little shop house on there. It's about 600 square feet. And the shop house is finished, the farmhouse was not. So we were going to have to do some work in there. And so now we're crammed into this...hey, look, 600 square feet is way better than what we were in in the RV. That was like, I want to say 200. I don't know what it was. It might not have been that much, but it was small. Now we're in 600 and so we're making it. But I think that this experience has taught us how important atmosphere is.

And part of the atmosphere of your homeschool includes your environment and part of your environment includes the accouterments of your house and the organizational methods and everything in its place and a place for everything and the decorations and the cleanliness and all of these sorts of things go into affecting the quality of your homeschool. It really does. It really does. So you being at home is a natural advantage, but now what are you going to do about your home? What are you going to do about that? And so I want to say this, too, is that if you find yourself in a situation where it's just a it's a whirlwind every day and nobody knows where their books are, nobody really knows where to put their stuff at the end of the day...I will put a plug in there for for public schooling. You know, we all had lockers and all of your books and things they go in the locker, right? Or you had your desk in primary school and all of your books and your pencils and your erasers, they're right there in the desk. Well, that's a good thing. It's such a simple thing, but that can go a long way towards saving your sanity is for everybody to have a place for everything. And so when they're done with their work, they put that stuff back where it goes. And then tomorrow, when it's time for them to go at it again, they know exactly where their math and their science and their history books are. That's part of the atmosphere of your homeschool. So it doesn't have to be in a desk, but it has to be somewhere and preferably it'd be out of the way, because not only are you educated in this house, you're living in this house, and you don't want to be stepping over these books or...and not only that, you spent a lot of money for them, right? And so you want to preserve the value of them and you want them to be usable tomorrow. And so I'm telling you all of this out of experience because that is a huge drain on the quality of your homeschool if you don't get that right. So education is an atmosphere. And so just for that sheer fact alone you may not have a place for everything is a serious drain on the quality of that atmosphere.

What about conflict? And conflict can come from all kinds of different places, but if you've got children who are at each other's throats or maybe your children are at your throat or you're at their throat, that is creating an atmosphere. And it's obviously going to affect the quality of your education. It's going to affect their attitude, it's going to affect your attitude. And much like I was speaking about in the last time that I hosted, that's going to bring you back to your why. And having your why, knowing what that is and being able to refer to it is a blessing. But I want to say that the more that you refer to it, probably the rougher time that you're having. The rougher go that you're having of this thing, I guess I would say, because if you're constantly having to face the why, like, Why am I doing this again? Why am I doing this again? What in the world made me ever decide to homeschool my children? If you're having to, you know, get down on your knees on a regular basis and remind yourself while you're doing this well, there's something wrong with the atmosphere of your homeschool. It's not conducive to that daily revivification of the reason why you did it in the first place. So what I'm saying is you want to get up and you want to face the day and you want to be excited about the prospects that reside within that day. And you might listen to that and say, you know what, that sounds good, but I mean, give me a break. This is real life. But I know people who are like this. and I know that you can be like this, too. You definitely can be like this.

And here's the crux of today's episode right here is that if you are stuck or if you are in a rut and you just can't seem to get out of it...and one very wise person said that a rut is a grave with both ends knocked out of it. I'm going to say that again, a rut is a grave with both ends knocked out of it, right? And you've got to beware of that. If you're in one of those and you just don't feel like you can get out of it let me remind you something and let me give you a little bit of permission, if I may. You are schooling at home. It is your home, the house wherein you educate your children is your own. You can stop and get this thing right whenever you want to or whenever you need to. Now, I know that there's this. There's this. You feel like you're on the hamster wheel, and once you get it spinning, you can't get off. But I'm here to tell you that you can. And that if you feel like you're in this rut, you probably should. Stop that thing as fast as you possibly can and get off and get this thing right. Now, you may be in the middle of the year when you do this. You know, we can't stop. Sean, I can't stop. I've got too much going on. And this person is going to fall behind and this one is already so far behind that's going to bring them even further behind and I've got so much to do and I cannot possibly stop now. But let me ask you a question. Would it be better for you to stop and get this rectified, these issues, the problems in the atmosphere of your homeschooling? Would it be better for you to take the time? Maybe it's going to be a week, maybe it takes you two weeks to do this, to, like, tidy up and organize and to establish a better setting, educational setting for your home school and to have some discussions with your spouse and to get your heart right and have some heart to hearts with your children and get that atmosphere right. Would it be better for you to take two weeks off and do that, or would it be better for you to go the rest of the year slugging this thing out and dragging you and your children across the finish line? If you make it at all. Which of these two things would it be better?

So there probably will come a time in all of our educational experiences at home wherein we need to do this. We've got to stop. We've got to take stock of who we are and where we are and why we're doing this and how our children are progressing and whatnot, and more specifically, how they're responding to the atmosphere of our homeschool and make a decision as to whether or not some serious correction needs to take place in our homeschool. And I just want to remind you again and give you permission, if you will allow me to, that you can do this. You can do that. You can stop. You can stop for a day or for a couple of days or for the rest of the week or for all of next week. Now, I'm not asking you that it's okay...like, go on vacation. I'm not telling you...I'm not saying that. I mean, there may be a time for that and that may be beneficial for you. What I'm saying is that you stop the book learning and you stop the various courses and classes that your children are engaged in for a period of time. And you say, Look, I've got to get my head around this thing and I'm going to make this right. And the way that you do that is you sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper and you list out all the roadblocks that are keeping you from realizing the vision that you have for your homeschool.

Right. So you have an end goal, you have an end destination, you have a vision in your heart of the kind of atmosphere that you could have in your homeschool and you've dreamed about it. You may have think that you've seen something close to what you want on Instagram. You may have heard a lady give just the most inspirational talk that you've ever heard on homeschooling and the way in which she has created this atmosphere in her home and you said to yourself, I want that for me. And you have that and now you can just throw that out on the paper and what does that look like? And then list out all of the roadblocks that are keeping you from getting there. And it could be something as simple as you know what, I just need some plastic tubs to organize this stuff. I need a new bookshelf. We need to move out of the basement and get up to the kitchen table, or we need to get away from the kitchen and we're going to move this operation down to the basement. I'm not telling you...I'm not here to tell you what's right or wrong in those two scenarios. But sometimes it's just a change of scenery for your homeschool would do you a world of good.

And granted, sometimes the issues are far deeper, but, you know,there's little roadblocks and then there's great big roadblocks. Well, get rid of as many as you can. And what you find is when you get rid of the small ones and, you know, there may be 15 roadblocks and you get rid of eight of the small to medium sized ones that require just time and money, and then you've got the deeper heart issues that you've got to tend to. And you will. You will tend to those. But now that you don't have the organizational or the, you know, just the constant mess, perhaps in your way dragging you down, now you have more energy to be able to tackle those issues, don't you? And that may be all that was missing, but you couldn't bring yourself to stop and tend to that. You feel like a failure. I can't stop. Nobody stops to tend to these things. Everybody else has got their homeschool together. I'm the only one that seems to be just stumbling along in my home education experience. It's just absolutely not the case. Homeschooling is terribly difficult and challenging endeavor that is going to require every bit of your mettle. And it really shouldn't be any other way, but we could do ourselves a favor in getting the atmosphere of our homeschool right, and the experience of seeing this thing through will be so much more enjoyable than it otherwise could be if you just refused to stop. And so part of the benefit of correcting the atmosphere is that it will do a world of good for the attitudes of your children. And oh, my goodness, that's half the battle right there. And if you're not having to fight your children tooth and nail every day just to get some assignments done. How glorious would that be? What a benefit that would be to your sanity.

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List out those roadblocks. Take two, three, five, ten days. What's it going to take? And really chip away at those things. Say, I'm not going to start this thing up again...now, this is obviously within reason, but we're not starting this up again until we get it right, all right. Now we've got it right and here we go. And you flip the switch and turn the machine on again and go to it. Obviously, this could be overdone. You're never going to be fully prepared, I will say that. And I hope that makes you feel better, too. You could prepare and prepare and prepare and never get anything done. There's always more preparation to be done, but get the major things out of the way. So you have those organizational issues and then you maybe you have some discipline issues that are keeping the atmosphere of your homeschool, or the proper atmosphere of your homeschool, at bay.

So you've got some discipline issues. And so that's one of the things that we've seen that's a great hindrance to our children's education is lack of discipline. And it starts from the top, doesn't it? So when you're getting so bogged down with busyness and work and all of the responsibilities that you have and you're going to bed late and you're getting up late, well guess who else is going to bed late and getting up late? Or if your children want...it won't take very long, if your children want to get up early and you're not ready to get up yet, well, they're more than happy to accommodate you staying in bed just a little while longer. And before you know it, you're getting up at 9:00, 10:00, 10:30 in the morning and the day is half spent. And look at all of that time that you could have use and it pushes everything back later in the day. It is terribly discouraging and it's another rut that you could get in. And so this stuff, all of the things that are keeping you in that rut, why do you live like that? Maybe you've decided that it's best for our family to live like that, we're night owls. But I'm not of the mind that that being a night...it's an either or sort of a thing. I really don't think...unless there's some kind of a work situation that perhaps your family is trying to accommodate with your husband or something of that nature, but I want to say it's pretty rare when it would be better for your family to be night owls, if you will. To be early birds is preferable by far. And it has such a good effect on your health, has such a good effect on your mentality, has such a good effect on your productivity.

And so this may be something else that is wrecking the atmosphere of your homeschool, because when you get up and you're flustered and you already feel that you've lost so much time and you're so discouraged, and that puts you in a bad mood, that it puts everybody else in a bad mood and it just spirals downward from there. So there might be something else that you want to consider, and you may need to have a family meeting about that. It's like, look, we need to talk about this. We do this every day and we're eating dinner at 8:00, 9:00 o'clock or 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 o'clock, and nobody wants to go to sleep and then nobody wants to wake up and we're falling behind. And, you know, you got to do yourself a favor. They're like, family, what can we do to turn this thing around? Right? And it's all right. It's not something that you...this vision that you have. It's not something that you need to keep bottled up, and it's yours and yours alone. You don't have to be jealous over that. You can share that with your spouse and share it with your children. Say, look, this is what I'm hoping for, this is what I look forward to, this is what I want to create, and this is why I want to create it, and I need your help. And you absolutely do. You absolutely do. Particularly if your children are older. You need them to buy into that. And you're gonna have to ask them.

You may even have to throw out some sorries there, ask for forgiveness...like, I failed in this respect and in this regard and I'm sorry, and I'm going to do better because I love you and I love the fact that I'm allowed to home...or I have the opportunity to homeschool you and I want to do good by you. And I'm not going to fail in this. I refuse to fail. And these are the things we need to do to make it better. And if your children are accustomed to that kind of...you know, they may be blown away by your vision, like, whoa, Mom, I don't know. Where did this come from? I had no idea, because we've been doing homeschool like this for the last three or four or five years. I haven't known anything different and this is what you've wanted all along? They might be totally flabbergasted by that, but it's okay. It's okay. Hopefully one or two or three of them may be inspired by that and say, Yeah, absolutely. And there's so many benefits that can come out of it for them, too. Like, hey, look, if you can get your school done by noon, you get the rest of the day, right? So there's a discipline aspect to that, is it? But that's never going to happen, sons and daughters, it's never going to happen if we don't get up on time. And what time that needs to be for you I could not say. I would say the earlier, the better. I mean, within reason. We're not talking about 5 a.m. homeschool here. But you know, there is a time at which it's ideal. It would be so beneficial, I think, for everyone involved. So that also plays into that atmosphere doesn't it?

And when you tend to the environment and you tend to the discipline suddenly the attitudes change instantaneously. They begin to improve almost instantly. And so you may still have some heart work to do and you still have a lot of praying to do and you still have a lot of instruction to give as to why we're living our lives like this, but when you change the routines and you change the structure and the atmosphere improves and suddenly you find that the attitudes are just brightening overnight. And you thought, I thought this was an unclimbable mountain. But no, it was just everyone being bogged down and getting discouraged by the way things are. And that's why if you're like this, if you know what I'm talking about, you need to stop. You need to shut that machine down right now. You need to go talk to someone. You need to get some...you need to get alone, get a piece of paper, you need to get this down on paper because you'll forget it. Line out that vision. It could be a sentence. It could be two sentences. No more than a paragraph. Line it out. What's it look like? What is this atmosphere of education that you want to create for your children and why do you want to create it? And then what are the things that are standing in the way of you achieving that vision? It's worth it. It's worth it.

Now, look, you can go the rest of your homeschool days and you can just stumble along. You can absolutely do that. And a lot of people do it and they make it to the end. But they're bruised and they're battered and they're beaten, and here's the most tragic thing about it is that a lot of their children aren't all that interested in homeschooling their children, right? So you're not perpetuating the vision. You made it through, and that's a blessing and praise God for that, but your children will not perpetuate that vision in their home. And that's a sad thing. That's a sad thing. So you have the opportunity to do this so much better. And let me tell you what the end result of it will be if you really do it in earnest is that your children will turn around at the conclusion of their homeschool experience, they will look at you and they will call you blessed. What does that mean? What does that mean? That means that they will want to cup your face in their hands and tell you thank you with tears in their eyes. That means that they will want to kiss your feet. It means that they will want to bless your name. It means that they will not be able to find the way in which they can properly express their gratitude for the way in which you educated them in their formidable years. And one day it will click with them and they'll look back and they'll think, My mother or my father or whoever was involved in their education, they'll look back and they'll bless God for that sacrifice that you made and the effort that you made to stop and to turn this thing around.

And it's okay that you've had rough days. It's okay that you've messed some stuff up. That's not really what's important. What's important is that the vision that you have, that God himself has placed in your heart for this beautiful atmosphere of education that you can create in your home. What's important is that that does not down. That it does not die. You have to ensure that that survives, and not just survives but that it thrives and that it is accomplished. You may not be able to achieve everything that you see or that you feel, but as long as you're reaching for that, your children will be blessed. And they will be blessed in such a way that they cannot deny that the God of heaven was working in and through you for the welfare of their souls and oh, yes their education was so greatly improved by that as well. But we know that that is not the primary objective. But verily it is to reach their souls. And so it's all right. This is a perfect time for you just to stop and to think and to dream and to consider what must it be for you and for your home to realize this vision that you have burning within you. And if you don't have something burning within you, then all you have to do is turn to the one who commissioned you to this work and ask him and he'll place a fire there, he'll light a fire in your heart.

And so it can become so very easy to forget that your homeschool is more than a school. It is an atmosphere and certainly there is learning going on there, but the education is not complete until it reaches the mind and the body and the heart, until it reaches the soul of your child. And you can fill their heads with lots of stuff and they can remember it or not tomorrow, but the things that they will never forget are when that environment of learning that you have created sinks deep into their soul. And there's so much that goes into that and it has so much to do with your attitude and it has so much to do with their surroundings and it has so much to do with whether or not they can find their books tomorrow. It has so much to do with whether or not you have a plan for them or they get the sense that you know where they're going or what they're doing. Or that you know perhaps so little about what's going on, that they're able to exploit that and to take your homeschool in directions that you would otherwise not allow it to be taken, right? And so if you're in charge of setting this vision and then ensuring that it's realized, you know, that does something to your children when they know that you're in charge. They need to feel that in their soul. I'm not talking about, you know, slamming your fist down on the table and like, look here, I'm in charge. It's not that kind of charge. I mean, again, it's like you have this...you are enveloped by this vision that you have, and they know that because there is this enthusiasm and there's this hope and there's this joy that you exude that just kind of reverberates from you throughout the day.

And if you're listening to this and you're thinking, good night, what are we talking about here? I mean, this is just...I thought we were just educating our children. And if that's how you feel, I just ask you to reconsider that. Ask you to reconsider that because there's other places you could send your children and they can just learn stuff, learn things and they may learn lots of wonderful things and things that are very useful to them in the furthering of their career. They're probably not going to receive anything that can even begin to compare with what you can pass on to them. And this wonderfully pure, inspirational, holy and pervasive atmosphere of education that I believe Charlotte Mason was talking about. And I hope that this episode has just served as a reminder to you that it's there, it's there for you and it's yours for the taking. You just have to decide that you want this bad enough and then go for it. Because you can, you're free to do it. And you can start today.

The last thing that I want to leave you with is...I said that I wasn't going to speak much about curriculum because that could be another five episodes in and of itself and I'm probably not the best qualified to give those talks, by the way. But nevertheless, something that we offer at The Well Ordered Homeschool is a series of studies on the character of the holidays. And we're coming up on the holiday season and it's a wonderful time to gather your children around and to talk to them about Thanksgiving and to talk to them about Christmas, talk to them about Easter, talk to them about the 4th of July. We're talking about the four major U.S. holidays that we recognize every year. And there's so much history and so much beauty to be unearthed in these holidays. And we generally tend to just let them pass by. And there's so much hustle bustle, there's gift giving, there's activities. But, you know, in the evenings when it's just you and your family, if you are actually at home and just not too busy, it's the perfect time to sit down and to read through these stories. And as I mentioned, we came out with these Character Of studies and we released one for Christmas last year, we released one for Easter earlier this year, and now we have one for Thanksgiving that's coming out. And we're actually offering all three in a bundle as well. But it's just a series of studies and we've taken 12 individuals from each holiday. There's a devotion that is written up on the character quality that they exhibit. And so we look at Mary, for instance, we look at Herod, obviously this would be a negative character quality. We look at Judas, we look at Pilot, we look at Peter, we look at Joseph, we look at all of these individuals and we ask ourselves the question, what character quality did they exhibit and what can we learn from their lives? And so it's about a 65 to 70 page study. And we invite you to take a look on TheWellOrderedHomeschool.com. Also included, there's a hymn for your family to sing, there are suggested reading, there are activities, there's a poem, and there's beautiful artwork that's included in every study and also a series of display cards that you can hang up around your home during the holiday season. And so we encourage you to take a look. We designed this, you know, a lot of the things that we design, we make it because we would love to have it and we would love to use it. And we also love to be able to offer it to you. So thank you for being with me today and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

Thank you for joining us this week on the Homeschool Solutions Show. You can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom. Don't forget to check out my friends at Medi-Share because you deserve health care you can trust. To learn more about Medi-Share and why over 400,000 Christians have made the switch, go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/Medi-Share. That's GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/Medi-Share. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast. And while you're there, leave us a review. Tell us what you love about the show. This will help other homeschooling parents like you get connected to our community. And finally, tag us on Instagram @homeschooling.mom to let us know what you thought of today's episode. Have you joined us at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the Homeschooling events of the year offering outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops covering today's top parenting and homeschooling topic, and the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the US. Find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com. I'll be there. I hope to see you there too.

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