Be Home

I’m Sonya Shafer with Simply Charlotte Mason,
and I just have to say that I’m going to miss seeing you in person. I was really looking forward to getting together
with you at homeschool conventions this spring. Now that many of them are canceled, we will
have to wait for those hugs and pictures and fun. But it’s good to know that we can still keep
in touch online. In fact, we are working with some online convention
plans right now. So stay tuned; we will keep you informed as
details are finalized. Now, I know a lot of you were planning to
attend my workshop sessions. One workshop in particular is where we often
get to connect, and that’s Laying Down the Rails: The Power of Good Habits in Your Home
School. That session was scheduled at many of the
events where I was going to be speaking. It’s an important topic anytime, but I think
it’s especially relevant now when you probably have even more time available to work on good
habits. So we are pleased to give you a chance to
attend that workshop anyway. You can watch a video recording of Laying
Down the Rails free on our website through the end of this month. Just go to, and you’ll
be able to stream that popular workshop and watch it as many times as you want through
March 31. And you will find other little surprises and
great ideas on that page, as well, to help you walk through the days ahead as a family. Many of us have the advantage of being used
to spending our days at home. So you might be simply going about your usual
routines. But with outside activities canceled, you
might also find that you have some extra time. What a gift! We have been given the gift of time. I find it ironic that the last workshop I
was able to present live at an event before everything shut down was one called “When
More Is Less: A Call to Simplicity.” You can listen to that workshop on the Be
Home page too. In it, we talk about our desire to live well,
not just live busy. Well, now we have that opportunity. For many of us, the pace of life has slowed
way down. That decision has pretty much been made for
us, and we can choose to embrace it with both arms. You can use this extra time to do those wonderfully
enriching practices that you never seem to get around to when your schedule is full. Do picture study and music study and nature
study and handicrafts and family read-alouds. You have the time now. Enjoy it. But I also encourage you to look beyond your
own family and to reach out to your neighbors and friends and help them weather this storm. Think about how you can strengthen or initiate
those relationships. Some of your non-homeschooling friends and
neighbors have been caught by surprise. They’re not used to doing school at home,
and they might be feeling overwhelmed right now. This is an opportunity to reach out, to encourage
and reassure, and maybe even introduce some of Charlotte’s methods—whatever you can
do to help them make the most of this time in their families too. You will find some resources and ideas on
that Be Home page to help you with that too. Now, I understand that sometimes students
listen to this podcast. So I want to take a minute and share an idea
for my younger listeners. You, my young friends, are living during a
significant event in history. And you are beginning to understand how people
who live through historical events have different emotions and feelings. That’s why we love to use “living books” for
history readings. Living books make a moment in history come
alive because they describe it in such a way that you can see in your imagination what
was happening and you can sympathize with the feelings that the people had during those
moments and events. Well, you have a golden opportunity before
you. You could create your own living book about
these significant historical days that we’re living in right now. You are living history right now. I encourage you to write down or record your
thoughts and experiences during these days to come. Years from now, it could be your descriptions
and narratives that make this moment in history come alive for a child who is learning about
it in his history class. You have an opportunity to chronicle what
life was like for someone your age during this historical event. Just as Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her
experiences in The Long Winter, and as you read her story you feel as if you were there,
so you can write about this long spring and make it come alive to future students. You could write or audio-record a narrative
of each day as it happens, or you could simply jot down notes and journal entries as the
days go by and then later use those notes to write a longer narrative. It’s up to you. But I think this is an exciting opportunity
for you to create a living history account, just like the books you love best from your
own history studies. Record your feelings, your family’s experiences,
what you see and hear, what you eat and don’t eat; what you have and what you miss; write
down your questions and the discussions you have as a family during these weeks. I think your firsthand account will make a
great living history book! And to all of you, I want to let you know
that we are looking forward. We are still planning to have the Charlotte
Mason Together Retreat the end of July. We’re hoping that by the end of the summer
these difficulties will be done and we can all gather together to be refreshed. So with that hope in mind, we have extended
cancellations right up to the day before the retreat begins, July 22. You can cancel the day before the retreat
and still get a full refund. And, similarly, the Atlanta Evergreen Resort
will allow cancellations up to 24 hours before your scheduled stay. Many airlines are making accommodations when
you book, as well, so check with them. We encourage you to look forward too. Go ahead and register for the retreat. You can make plans now to join us with complete
peace of mind and no risk. I think it’s going to be a huge celebration
of being together again! In the meantime, we’re praying for you. Will you pray for us? Let’s rest in the truth that our Heavenly
Father knows everything about all of this; that He is stronger than any virus or anything
else that comes our way; and that He loves His children dearly. He will do what is best. Let’s hold tightly to His hand and watch His
story for our families unfold during the weeks to come. We can trust Him. Thanks for joining me. I’ll see you next time.

Comments 18

  • Please take care of yourself Sonya. We have so much to learn from you. ?

  • Thank you so much! What a gift!

  • Aww.. Thank you so much! Very kind of you

  • More time for families to be together — what a gift!! Thank you for the encouragement, and for sharing with everyone Laying Down the Rails. I hope others get as much from it as our family has over the years. God bless!

  • Thank you!

  • My kids were quite intrigued by the prospect of writing their own accounts of our family during this time of quarantine and isolation! My eldest daughter, especially, who loves Laura Ingalls Wilder as much as I do. ? Thank you so much for addressing and challenging our CM students!

  • Best Quote: Live well, rather than live busy.

  • I'm thinking of doing this as an adult.

  • Thank you Sonya and team! Thanks for the encouragement and the classes much appreciated! What a gift all of you are!!
    Amen we can trust our good good Father!!

  • You are such an encouragement- thank you, Sonya!

  • Thank you so much for this video and your words of encouragement, Sonya. You are such a blessing to my life! Also, I am hopeful that I will still be able to see you in July at the Arizona state convention. ?

  • I enjoyed this video and was so tickled to hear the free streaming…laying down the rails…I watched it and I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity…def watching again before my time up..with notes..thank you Sonya I enjoy your videos and they truly inspire me so much ! Thank you ?

  • Thank you for this message. I am going to show my 6 year old this video and see what happens. ?

  • Thank you so much. ? This really made my day.

  • I absolutely love the idea of writing narratives of what is happening right now.

  • Thank you! We are transitioning to CM education and there's much I don't know. These are very helpful gifts. God bless you and keep you and prosper you!

  • Could you make a video for"new homeschoolers during corona" that we could forward to those families, with tips and stress-free routine?

  • I don't do homeschooling, but I love Charlotte Mason philosophy (the approach to arts, the living books, the contact with nature…) and I love hearing you talking.
    That's why I enjoy your videos. ?
    Take care. Greetings from Spain.

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