S7 E14 | Add in the Routines of Morning Time and Tea Time to Enrich Your Homeschool (Julie Ross) | REPLAY

S7 E14 | Add in the Routines of Morning Time and Tea Time to Enrich Your Homeschool (Julie Ross) | REPLAY

Show Notes:

Julie discusses the practices of morning time and tea time! She dives into why they are important to include in your homeschool and resources to make these times a pleasure for you and your children.

About Julie

Julie H. Ross believes that every child needs a feast of living ideas to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. As a former school teacher, curriculum coordinator, and assistant director of a homeschool academy, Julie has worked with hundreds of students and parents over the past 20 years. She has also been homeschooling her own five children for over a decade. Julie developed the Charlotte Mason curriculum, A Gentle Feast, to provide parents with the tools and resources needed to provide a rich and abundant educational feast full of books, beauty, and Biblical truth. Julie lives in South Carolina. When she’s not busy homeschooling, reading children’s books, hiking, or writing curriculum, you can find her taking a nap.


For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan

Opal Wheeler's Composer Studies

Poetry Tea Time

Paper sloyd for primary grades


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Show Transcript:

Julie Ross Welcome to The Charlotte Mason Show, a podcast dedicated to discussing Miss. Mason's philosophy, principles, and methods. I'm your host, Julie Ross, and it is my hope that each episode will leave you inspired and offer practical wisdom on how to provide this rich living education in your modern homeschool. So pull up a chair. I'm glad you're here.

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So what morning time is, obviously the name of it, it's when we gather together in the morning, but it doesn't have to be that way. But it's basically a time where we gather all together as a family. And what I do is we do our Bible lesson during that time and we pray together. And then we do what I call a beauty loop, which I explain a little bit where we look at some of the beautiful subjects that are included in a Charlotte Mason education. And then tea time is the afternoon, so it's like the other, bookend of our day is where we end our day with. And again, that doesn't have to be in the afternoon either. But that's just how it works for us at this stage of life that we're in.

And during that time, everybody comes back together. We share snacks, it could be milk and cookies if your family doesn't like tea. It's just I really like the pretty china set I have, so I like having tea time and my little girls think it's very fancy. So we call it tea time, but it can just be milk and cookies. It could be snack, it could be popcorn and popsicles and juice, whatever your family likes. And in that time, we end the day on a positive note by all gathering back together and doing something that we all enjoy doing. And so having those two bookends in our day really provides structure and routine. It helps me with all the craziness that's going on in our house, most of the time, to have those two really soul-nourishing practices for me as well as, I hope, for my children.

And you don't have to have morning time or tea time to give your children a Charlotte Mason education. If you read her volumes there's nothing about either one of those practices in there. But she does talk a lot about these various subjects and about having a family-centered home education. And so these are practices that have really helped me accomplish that goal, but they may not be so for you. So one of the things that I'm really passionate about is not boxing people in and saying, "you must do this and you must do it the certain way, and if not, you're not doing things properly." I've worked with hundreds of homeschool families and the one thing I know for sure is there is no one size fits all, cookie-cutter approach to home-educating children. And you have to do what works best for your family. So that's kind of my soapbox.

So I wanted to start today's talk with that, that I'm just showing you what works well with my family and hopefully you'll be able to glean something from that. But if you can't or if that's something that you're like, "I don't really think that works for us" and that's great too. Hopefully, they'll be something in here, some nugget that you'll be able to take away from tonight. So morning time. So I start morning time – I really like it. To me, it's like a liturgy. It's a starting of a practice that is calming, that's nourishing to our souls, that starts our day with the Holy Spirit guiding and directing us. Charlotte Mason talks a lot in her volumes about the power of the Holy Spirit and education, and talks about the teacher being in tune with that spirit as she guides and leads her students. And so for me, I know I need to start that day with my own quiet time, but then also having this morning time where we can all come together and study God's Word together just really sets my heart and my mind in the right direction.

Charlotte Mason says there's three instruments that we have available for us are tools for education of our children. And those are atmosphere, discipline, and life. So the atmosphere is the environment of your home. The educational environment that you're providing. And I think morning time and tea time really fit into this philosophy of atmosphere. And I wanted to read to you out of For The Children Sake, I'll be quoting from this quite a bit tonight. And in here where she talks about the atmosphere of environment, she says this "flourishes in the invigorating atmosphere of sharing truly worthwhile interests with people, who like him, as a person. His own ideas and choices count. There's an atmosphere of hope and sure expectations. We respect the child's ability to achieve a proper or task or skill. There is not the atmosphere of fear or failure. There is an atmosphere of friendship, creativity, and the security produced when human conduct is contained within the boundaries of God's laws for us."

Particularly, I want to note in here where she talks about the atmosphere of friendship, creativity, and security. I really feel like morning time allows, if you have a big family or even if it's just you and one child, to create that atmosphere of friendship. That we're mutually looking at these ideas together, it sparks creativity as your child or children are filled with these beautiful ideas, these beautiful pictures, this classical music. Their creativity is inspired as well. And she also talks about that the atmosphere where a child is known, that they are respected as a person, that their ideas matter, that they're cared for, that they're loved. And I can't think of anything more beautiful than getting able to sit down with your family every day and share these beautiful concepts and these beautiful experiences together. And so I really feel like morning time and then the afternoon tea time really fits in well with Charlotte Mason's idea of providing this living atmosphere.

The second instrument of education that she says we have at our disposal is the discipline of habit. And in this book on the part where she's talking about education as a discipline, she says that "routines form habits. Take the area of human relationships. Routines do not make the relationship, but they are the frame upon which we can hang our experiences. Some families do not have a routine of eating meals together anymore. Any time goes for snacking, people rush to about a thousand activities, any one of which could be good. But what is the sum total? Without the priority of a framework, nothing much happens. Few conversations, little time of togetherness. A family decides to write a book together whenever there is time. This invariably becomes no time. It is essential to have these basic routines." And I found that before I started this practice of morning time and tea time, a lot of these things that I included in those I really wanted to include in my children's education. I really wanted to be intentional. But then the day would just go, and sometimes the day would go like a train running down a cliff and we wouldn't get to them. We want to get to these lovely books. We wouldn't to get to these beautiful pictures and hymns and stories. And that just left me really discouraged, because I knew that was what I really wanted for our family.

And so having these routines for me means that they happen. Having these routines every day, these bookends to our day, make sure, helps me make sure that these things get covered in our schooling. Also, another important thing to note is, and she says this in here, is that "children loves, children love routines. It frees their attention for the activity at hand. Later on, other routines help the children along." And I've seen this in my experience as an educator, working with hundreds of children. Children love routines. It helps them to know what's coming and helps them know what's expected. It helps them build that habit of attention, which Charlotte Mason talks so often about, because they're not worried what comes next and what's going to go on. They can really focus. This is what we do. We wake up, we do – you know, some people do breakfast chores, whatever else you do. But when I sit down here with my family, this is what's coming. And it helps them focus and kick that kind of anxiety over what's going to happen next off their plate. Children thrive in routines, but I really feel like moms do too. As long as routines don't become a noose, that kind of keeps us tied in and we feel like we can't break free. And we're so structured with our time and our routine that we can't allow flexibility. But at the same time, that routine helps us to know what to expect, helps us to order our days, and I think is really soul-giving for us moms as well.

You know, there's a lot of talk lately about what's called decision fatigue and just the fatigue that we have in our society of having to constantly make so many decisions. And when you have these routines built into your day, it eliminates a lot of those decisions. It eliminates a lot of that mental effort to decide what are we doing this morning? What comes next? What comes after this? What are we going to at the end of the day? Because those routines are in place. So I really feel like that helps mom as well. So that's Charlotte Mason second tool, that discipline of habit. Morning time and afternoon tea time. Building those routines and discipline of habits for us.

And the third tool that she says is part of education is that education is a life. And here she's talking about presenting living ideas. And I love this. And this is where a lot of the terminology that I use in A Gentle Feast comes from. And Volume Six of a Philosophy of Education Charlotte Mason writes, "education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin. And God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. Whether by word of mouth, written page, scripture word, musical symphony. But we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food." And that's where I came up with the term A Gentle Feast comes from.

We're giving our children these living ideas every day throughout the whole feast. But one of the ways that we can start that, is in this morning time. And here she talks about that the ideas are conveyed, word of mouth. So here we have our children praying. We have the most powerful word, the Word of God, that we're using in our morning time. Recitation is included in morning times, so children are sharing their ideas with their other siblings by reciting the poems that they have for that term. They're sharing them through the written page. So we're reading quality living books to our children during morning time and tea time. We're using them through the Scripture, and then through musical symphony. So all of these things are living ideas, and I found it's really easy and delightful to do them all during that morning time.

She also says in here, when she's talking about this living education that we're giving, "do not forget that the reading of the Bible will put the child in direct contact with the person of God himself. The brief, pithy statement or narration of Scripture is often worth ten sermons. Let the words themselves sink in. Don't chew up ideas yourself and then hand over the half-digested food to the child. Let them have direct access to the source. We don't have to chart exactly what a child has learned from any of these sources to make it worthwhile using them. This is a different way of thinking about learning. Our job is to give the best nourishment regularly. The child takes what is appropriate for him at a time. A good example is when we enjoy a book together as a family. The nine-year-old enjoys reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. He extracts nourishment for his mind and spirit. The 14-year-old is also fed but extracts something different. The parents enjoy it and yet another way."

So here I really feel like the morning time practice and afternoon practice of reading to multiple age children at one time come in. That we're laying out this feast and that the children will assimilate what they need. Different children at different ages will get what they need. It's not our job to take it, digest it, and then spit it back out to them. That we can give it in its pure form. We can give the words as they are, and that children will take what they need from that. And I've really seen that this year my family, we've been reading The Pilgrim's Progress. It's not in the A Gentle Feast curriculum, I just wanted to read it. So we add that onto the morning time and I'm reading the unabridged version, which is quite daunting for me to read. I stumble over the words quite a bit, but even so, you know, my 13-year-old is getting a lot out of it and she's able to understand a lot of the metaphors. But even months later, my seven-year-old can tell you the story and tell you about Christian and Hopeful. And because she's getting what she needs out of it and my older students are getting what they need as well. And that's the beauty of a Charlotte Mason education and providing this feast for our children.

So that's kind of some of the why of why I do morning time and tea time. For me, it's a way to best fit the needs of my family and give them that education, which is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life that Charlotte Mason talks about. Now, just, you know, morning time doesn't have to be in the morning. If you have like a whole bunch of little babies, your morning time might be in the afternoon when everybody else goes down for a nap and you can concentrate with your school-age children for morning time. Your afternoon tea time might not be an afternoon. It might be after dinner time. It might be dessert that you all have together and they can share these things. It might be something you do on the weekends. There's a lot of flexibility of when you have these. But for me, having these two chunks that I know are coming in our day and kind of bookends for our day, like I said before, it's really helpful. And you could take pieces of here and there and mix and match them whatever works for your family again, but I've really found that they've been helpful for us.

Today's episode is brought to you by A Gentle Feast. A Gentle Feast is a complete curriculum for grades one through 12 that is family centered. Inspired by Ms. Mason's programs and philosophy and is rooted in books, beauty, and biblical truth. You can find out how smooth and easy days are closer than you think at agentlefeast.com.

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So, I just wanted to kind of talk about what I do during morning time and tea time and share some of my favorite resources with you. So for morning time, every day we start out with prayer and our Bible story and our memory verse, and all of those are included if you're using the new Gentle Feast has the morning time packet. So that might be something that could be helpful for you. But of course, you don't need that you can plan your own morning time and find your own resources as well.

But, in here are the plans for the kind of thing I'm talking about. So we start with the Bible time. We do that every day, and then we do what I call a beauty loop. So these certain beautiful subjects and we do them as a loop. What that means is it's not like every Monday we do this or every Tuesday we do this. What it means is this, we do them in this order. And if we miss one, because that happens a lot, then we'll just jump right in and go to the next one the next day. So some of the things we do in our beauty loop are picture study. So here's the – we're learning about Benjamin West. So here's the painting that we're doing this week, and I just go through the morning time plans. I have the pictures all hyperlinked and I just print them all out on cardstock at the beginning of the term so that we have them all. And one of the things I do is once we've learned a picture, or some of the other things that are in the beauty loop, I put them in the binder. So I totally just made this up. It's just so simple, but I just made this pretty cover and this is our book of beautiful things. And in this I put all the Bible memory verses that we've learned and all the pictures that we've learned for the year and all the, we've learned a lot. It's a lot of pictures this year, but that one's upside down, and all the poems that the kids have learned for recitation.

And I just leave this on the coffee table and now if someone's bored, I just see them often. Just picking this up and looking through it and practicing their verses, looking at the pictures, reading back through the poems. Sometimes I take these out in morning time and we might review them, but I don't really have a systematic way of doing that. I just kind of like to leave it out and if they want to look through it again, they can. So the first one is picture study, so we do one artist per term, so three artists a year. The second thing that we do during our beauty loops is to be another day. So I just do two things a day, the Bible time and one of the beautiful loop things, and then we're all ready to go into other things. So really 30 minutes tops is all I spend on morning time. Maybe not even that some days.

The next thing is composer studies. Right now we're learning about Handel. So I'm reading the kids – I read them a little bit of this biography. Oprah Wheeler has a whole set of books on different composers, which are excellent for just kind of telling the story of the life of the composer. And then we play a piece of his music and we listen to it. So that's what we do for composer study. That's easy.

The next thing we do is hymn study, and this book is my favorite for hymn study is called Then Sings My Soul. And it has the story behind 150 different hymns. It's also organized, it tells you – it's organized chronologically. So it starts at the beginning around 1000 and goes up to the present. So you can kind of see, okay, so we're learning about this time period in history. What hymns can we incorporate? Jesus Loves Little Children, and it kind of gives you the lyrics, which is good. So you can share this book, but it also gives you the story behind the hymn, which I like. So we first start learning a new hymn, I read them the story behind it. And then we'll read through the words together, kind of talk about, you know, what they think some of them mean and practice them, and then we'll start using music. And in the morning time packet, I link YouTube videos that have the hymns with them.

I also got a cheap hymnal at Goodwill, which is also good for if you have multiple children to share. So everyone has a turn with the lyrics, the lyrics that I use for A Gentle Feast are in the morning time packet too, but you just want to use hymn study, you can get a hymnal or this book and some YouTube videos and just start learning some hymns.

And I just love just the deep theological truths that are in these songs and implanting them in my kid's hearts at a young age. I had a mom come up to me who used my morning time plans for Holy Week and she was just so thankful for them. She said she had a 16-year-old daughter whose just been having a hard time and some different things going on at their church. And she just really saw her daughter grow from doing morning time during Holy Week. And they were at Wal-Mart and she heard her daughter hymning – humming along to one of the hymns that she had learned. And just what that meant to her to know that her daughter was learning these things and putting them in her heart, which is really sweet. And so I really have seen the value of learning these songs and these hymns. Even if you go to a church where you don't sing or learn these songs, we've learned ones that we don't ever sing at our church. But it's just been really neat to learn some of the truths that are contained in them and learn some of the stories behind the music.

The other thing we do for the beauty loop is a poet study, and we learn about one poet a term. And on that day I just read their poems. So that's very simple. The other day we do poetry recitation. So each child, depending on their age level, has a different poem and they recite it for everybody else on that day. And Charlotte Mason talks a lot about recitation and just the importance of speaking clearly and articulating well and the skill that that's teaching. The focus really isn't on memorizing the poem, but oftentimes that happens. My kids have memorized all the poems that they've had for recitation this year. If you do use the Gentle Feast morning packet, I do include poems in there for grades one through 12, some suggestions, and by having that packet you could kind of go up or down depending on your kid's ages.

So this is the poem that my first grader and my third grader are both they're both in form one, they're both reciting The Goops, which is the hilarious poem. I read it. It's super cute. And my older child, I'm trying to remember what she's doing. I think it's Daffodils by Wadsworth. I think she's still doing that one. So they do this for a couple of weeks and by and by, just by reciting, it kind of goes into their memory as well. And my kids really like memorizing them. So that's part of the fun for them, of learning to recite it.

And then the last thing that we do, this is the last thing. Yes, okay, the last thing that we do is a fables day. So on that day, I'll read a fables book to my younger kids. My older kids have their own fable books that they're reading. But you could just pick one that you read to everybody. Like I said, we read Pilgrim's Progress with everybody so that'd be one that would be good for your entire family if not everyone has read that one yet. In the Gentle Feast morning time packet, I do include several different levels of fables as well. So four different levels of fables you can have different kids reading different ones or you can just pick one that's kind of in the middle and read it to everybody. But what I do, what I'm doing this year is I read it on the Fables day. I read the fables to my little ones, and then my older ones are sitting at the table, but they're reading their own book. They're able to tune everyone else out, I guess. But so we're reading Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans. And these are kind of these heroic stories of people from America's past. And we read one of those during that fables time. I read that to my little ones. We've already read Aesop's Fables, is a great one, or we read American Tall Tales this year as well. So there's lots of rich fables that feed the little one's imaginations to use during this time.

And then with my older kids, they read biographies during this time. So my older daughter just finished Abigail Adams Witness to Revolution. So during that fables loop, that's what she would do during that morning time. She would read her own book. And so that's morning time. Oh, one more thing I have on my back – my morning time basket are these adult coloring books. I love these. These really help my kids. They love to color these and I only allow them to color them during morning time. And then sometimes like if we're doing a composer study or I'm listening to them recite, I'll color in them as well, cause I really like the color. So that's my morning time basket.

All right, let's talk about tea time. So once again, I said it doesn't have to be tea. It could be milk and cookies or popcorn and juice or whatever. If you want to be healthy, it could be like fruit and stuff. But my kids love afternoon tea time because they get treats. So we usually do cookies, popsicles, ice cream, muffins, those kind of yummy things. And it's just a really fun day, a really fun way to end our day.

So sometimes, I don't know about you, but sometimes our days go a little sour and I just like to end on a good note. And so having afternoon tea just kind of helps us all come back together and end with something that's usually really fun. And so in the A Gentle Feast parent packet, I give you some ideas for what to do during this afternoon time, but it can be very, very flexible. Really what other things you feel like you need to cover that would be good for everyone in your family to do you can do during this tea time. So one of the big ones that we do is poetry tea time. Julie at Brave Writer came up with that concept of poetry tea time. If you go to poetryteatime.com she's a ton of resources, but it's so simple. Basically, all it is is you have a collection of poetry books and you can get those from the library. I get mine from yard sales and goodwill. And so now I have a basket that's bursting at the seams of poetry books and everyone just takes some time, read through the books, pick a poem that they want to read. They might have one from earlier in the week from – excuse me, from what they've been studying. And everyone just goes around and they read the poem and we talk about them and we eat. So that's a super fun way to end our day.

So here's some of my favorite poetry books. All right, this one is for the younger crowd. Leaves from a Garden of Verses. Robert Louis Stevenson, a Garden of Verses, Is an amazing collection of poetry for young children. But I really like this one because of the pretty, pretty illustrations. So my younger ones usually pick a poem from this book because they just love the pictures in it. So that's Leaves From a Child's Garden of Verses.

All right, the other poem book we really love is Best Loved Poems, 100 poets. And this is one that usually my teenagers will pick a poem out of. So Emily Dickinson, Keats, those kind of poems – poets are in here, so they like those. And then my third grader loves funny poems. So it doesn't have to be, you know, classic poets here. This can be funny, funny things if they love that and they want to join in, that's super fun. So two of my favorite poets for young children that are super funny, the first one is Jack Polaski. Anything by him is absolutely hilarious. This one's called Something Big Has Been Here. You could see this is my sticker for when I teach public school. My kids in public school, they always love Jack Polaski. When I would read them aloud to the kids, they thought they were so funny. So Jack Polaski. And then the other one, which I'm sure you know, if you grew up in the eighties, is Shel Silverstein. He was my favorite poet when I was in third grade and fourth grade. And so it's been really funny to have my third-grade daughter also enjoy his poetry as well. So whatever kind of poet, poetry your family likes within a basket that's poetry tea time.

Or the other thing that we do during afternoon tea time is our read alouds. So I try to do read alouds like at bedtime. And that didn't work too well because everyone's tired. I'm tired or fighting because she's touching me and she has my blanket. And so doing read alouds when everyone's eating snacks is much more enjoyable. So for my little ones during afternoon tea time, I read aloud to them three days a week usually. And right now we're reading The Penderwicks which is a super fun book. If you've never read this, it's the story of four sisters and I have four girls, so they really love it and it's sweet and humorous. And it's this summer tale of fun and mischief that my kids love. So I read aloud to my little ones. And then on that same day, I will do a read aloud with my older ones. And we're reading Shakespeare together. So this is in afternoon tea time's a great way to fit in Shakespeare if that's been something that you've been wanting to do as part of your Charlotte Mason day with all of your kids or just your older kids. I do it, with just my older two. So we do that on the days that we're having afternoon tea and we're reading together.

The other thing that we do during afternoon tea time is drawing. So let me show you some of my favorite drawing books. So this is a different day. We don't do all this every day. Just so you know, right? So just like morning time, we have that loop where we're doing different subjects on any day during the afternoon tea time we just do one of the things I'm mentioning. So we might do poetry. We might do a read aloud. We might do drawing. So we do different ones.

All right. So for the little kids, I love these, my kids love these how-to-draw books. So these are the Osborne ones which are super fun. And then for the little, little kids, there's Things Girls Love and Things Boys Love. So very, very simple drawing and those, and then there's a whole series of these how to draw animals, how to draw plants, how to draw planes, which are really fun too.

Then for my older kids, the book that I love for them for drawing is the Law's Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. So one of the benefits of having a drawing time in your day is it really does scaffold nature study. So when you're doing nature studying, your kids are collecting things and keeping a nature journal. Having these drawing lessons will really help them feel more confident and putting things in their nature journal. So in this, he really goes in-depth to a lot of artistic techniques with shading, watercolors, lines, and forms. So here's how to draw a bird, but they're these are great for an older child.

Another book I love for drawing that is part of that nature study, is called Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman. And this book talks a lot about nature study. But she also has really great illustrations in here that the kids can copy. And learn about drawing different things out in nature as well. So that is the drawing day.

And then another thing we do during our afternoon tea time on another day is handicrafts. So I love that Charlotte Mason includes this in her education. Again, that education is a life and we're teaching our kids skills not just knowledge, but skills that they need for life and encourage them to make beautiful things. And so handicrafts really does that. There's two things. I think just two, yeah. That, I wanted to show you what we do for handicrafts. The first one is something called paper sloyd, which I had never heard of before until I started studying Charlotte Mason. But anyway, paper sloyd was making things out of paper, useful things. So it's slightly different than, like, origami. There would be envelopes or little baskets, things that you could use out of paper, but it really tied in with primary mathematics because they're measuring. They have to be very accurate, precise, they're learning fractions. And so this would be a great hand – And here's some of the examples.

So this is a great handicraft to do with your younger ones during that afternoon tea time portion. It really does help with their math skills as well. And this is a free book, I'll put this in the comments. This is a free book in the public domain that I just printed off and stuck in a binder. So it gives you all the directions. And then, I usually do buy this pretty scrap of paper from Hobby Lobby. You may have some of this leftover if you're a big scrapbooker back in the day. I used to be a scrapbooker, but I don't have any of it leftover, I don't know what happened. So I just go to Hobby Lobby. They have great sales and get this kind of scrap of paper that we use for our paper sloyd, but also handicrafts for the younger children. Charlotte Mason talked about a lot of practical skills gardening, cooking, cleaning. Those are all things that you could do in the afternoon as well.

And then another thing my little ones love to do are these embroidery loops. They're learning those beginning embroidery skills and it's a fun thing to do in the afternoon together. And my older kids, I don't have them sit and do handicrafts with us anymore. My older teenagers have their own interests and things that they like to do. They're both really into photography and that's not really something that you can sit and do at the table eating cookies so they kind of do that on their own time. But in the younger years, I think it's really good to all sit down and have that handicraft time that you can teach them these skills. Even if you don't know them, you can YouTube them and learn the skills together.

And then the very last thing that we do during this tea time is nature study. So being able to sit down at the end of our day and do some kind of nature study has been helpful. That doesn't mean we don't go and do our nature walks, because we still do that. But this is kind of like our concentrated nature study time. And out of that, I read from the Handbook of Nature Study, which I'm sure most of you have. This is one of the books that I've used for a very long time, and it was totally worth having, you know how much I spend on Amazon for it. Many, many years ago, but it has come in so handy. And so I can read them from this with the nature topic that we're learning about.

If you have the Gentle Feast parent packet, I scheduled lessons from this book and from a book called Exploring Nature with Children. And in this book she gives different nature topics, but she gives the readings from this as well. So she'll say, okay, this week you're studying moss, and she gives some explanation and some further stories about it. But then she also tells you what pages in here to read. So that's something that we could do all around the table together. And then when we do go out for our nature walk, then they have those kind of things that they're looking for already in their mind.

So in our afternoon tea time, we have a poetry time, we have our read alouds, we have our handicrafts, we do drawing, and we do nature study. And so in the Gentle Feast packets, those are just kind of laid out very briefly because I really feel like it's important for you to kind of find a flow and a fit for what works well for your family during that time. But having that time every day, we just end our day on a really good and positive note and just enjoy learning together has been really beneficial.

Hey, thanks for listening to today's episode. If you'd like to know more about the Charlotte Mason style of education, check out A Gentle Feast.com and click on the Learn More button for a free four-day introduction course. If you'd like the show notes for today's episode, you can find those at Homeschooling.mom and click on The Charlotte Mason Show. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast. And while you're there, could you leave us a quick review? This will help other homeschooling parents, like you, get connected to our community. And finally tag us on Instagram @HomeschoolingDotMom and let us know what you thought of today's episode.

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