Tag Archives: Tuesdays with Charlotte

Karen Andreola – Moments with Mother Culture Blog

Since we are reading a book written by Karen Andreola, I thought I would share the link to her blog:



Assignment 3: Review – Pocketful of Pinecones

The reading for Assignment 3 really struck a chord with me, and I think it was best summed up in the last couple of sentences on page 11:

“Perhaps I’m just suffering the nervous symptoms of a novice. Nonetheless, as I conclude this page of my diary I will pray to be less anxious about obstacles in our path.”

We are in the process of concluding our first year of homeschooling and when I look back on this journey, I remember feeling very anxious and nervous.  Unlike Carol, I had a big plan and was firm that we were going to stick to it.  However, as the year progressed, I learned to let go and not be so intense.  Now, we have our school time in the morning and the afternoons are left for walking to the local dock and playing on the beach.  In our play, we inevitably stumble across something interesting: a bird feather, a new flower, a ghost shrimp.  It is thrilling to see my child make that discovery on their own, in lieu of being force fed what I think they will be interested in learning.

When we first began these nature walks, it seemed to take all of us a little time to unwind from the house and all it’s cares and truly open our eyes to the nature around us.  It took time and it takes time and THAT is the single most important thing I have learned and am still learning.  Giving my time to my children.  Letting them lead.  Being available but not overbearing.  Listening.  Really listening.  Not just, “uh-huh,uh-huh” while I’m doing 10 other things.

With that being said, I appreciate the following quote from page 8:

“I don’t want to be the kind of person who is content with having good intentions, or who is too afraid to carry them out.  Rather, I am determined to set aside the time to do what I have purposed to do and not be distracted.”

Carol’s journal this week reflects her purpose, but also shows her flexibility.  She knows when not to push her son about showing his drawing, but continues to take both her children out into nature and have them draw.

What did you think about this week’s reading?  Have you enjoyed reading Carol’s nature study journey?

May God Bless You on your walk!



Assignment 2: Review – Pocketful of Pinecones

Did you get the opportunity to read?  If not, take a moment and catch up.  The reading is very easy.

In this lesson, as Mrs. Andreola pointed out in the introduction, she laid out how to begin a nature study.  Carol provided each of her children  with a composition book, a clipboard, colored pencils and paper and very simple instructions “…keep a record of whatever bit of nature they found, drawing and writing a little something about what they observed…”

And she gave them the most important gift she could give them: her attention.  Right when she was ready to begin her canning, the children asked her to come outside and see what they discovered.  Instead of brushing off their request, she stopped what she was doing and took the time to listen to them.  Above everything else she did, I think that was the single most important thing Carol could do to encourage her children: participate.

So often, I get busy with my “to do list”.  This was good encouragement to me to stop, listen and encourage.

What did you like about the reading this week?  Did you learn anything new?

God Bless you on your walk!

Assignment 1: Review – Pocketful of Pinecones

Did you read the Introduction?  What did you think?

I really liked the way Karen Andreola explains her goal for the book:

“The pages of Pocketful of Pinecones go further. They are meant to give the reader a larger look at the lifestyle of learning.”


“…the autumn section explains, step by step, how to construct a Nature Notebook and suggests ways to overcome certain obstacles that may arise.”

Like a great recipe laying out the process of making a dish, we need to learn the pieces of the process.  Then, we can experiment: change up the spices, add a little more of this and maybe a little less of that, and make it our own.  I look forward to reading Mrs. Andreola’s recipe for Nature Study and Nature Notebooks, so I can make it my own.

Recently, we have embarked on Nature Study for my child’s kindergarten year.  I have had to relearn a lot of what came natural to me in my youth.  Lay on the grass and stare at the sky.  Lean on my elbows and observe the ants moving in the grass.  Breathe deeply.  Most of these things, my children have taught me again.  And I help them, by asking them to describe the colors of the leaves and comparing the birds tweets, twitters and calls.

It has been a sweet time of reminiscing for me, too.  The smell of fresh cut grass (we live in the south and I heard my first lawn mower last week!), reminds me of playing in Grandma’s yard on a summer’s evening while the adults sat around us talking and laughing.  The birds returning reminds me of my Granny and how she would stand at her back door and tweet and sing back to them.

I look forward to learning the steps of Nature Study and comparing notes with, Carol, the main character, as she begins her first Nature Study with her children and teaches them how to maintain a Nature Notebook.

Finally, I appreciate Karen Andreola’s call to participate in “Mother Culture”:

“In as little as fifteen minutes a day, a mother can strengthen her spirit, expand her mind, exercise her creativity, or ponder ideas that will help her in her arduous task as home maker/home teacher.”

Challenge: begin spending fifteen minutes a day expanding, creating and pondering.  Keep a journal of what you’re doing and when we’re done with the book, see if it has helped strengthen your spirit.

Leave comments below about what you learned from the Introduction.

This coming Tuesday I will post our next reading assignment.

May God Bless you on your walk!


Homeschool Mom Lessons

Which items speaks to you? For me it was 2) Engage.

In general...

When our family began the homeschool journey in 2007, I knew very little other than it was my responsibility as a homeschooling mom to be the primary teacher of character, academics, emotional intelligence, and cognitive skills to my children. Fortunately only one child began official schooling at a time, but when I had three kids in three different grades, all of my relaxed ways needed to change and I needed to build a visual of goals, standards, and what I’ve learned so that I could build on previous skill and knowledge. So 8 years ago I was pregnant with little guy #3, on bed-rest with partial placenta previa. My amazing, full-of-life intelligent child was not going to get sent off to school, because I was going to make sure that my oldest son’s potential was reached at home. My goodness, I have no teaching degree… what have I done?


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Assignment 1: Reading – Pocketful of Pinecones

Let’s go slow shall we.  We’ve got all the time in the world and I’m not in a hurry.  Are you?  We start now and we finish when we’re done.  Every other thing I do is busy, busy, busy.  When I read, I want to take it in and absorb it.  That’s not easy to do with 10-15 pages assigned each week.  So, I suggest we keep the reading to just a couple of pages and keep ourselves from feeling rushed.

With that thought, let’s begin our reading with the Introduction, pages ix – xi.

I hope you enjoy it and learn something in the process.

May God Bless You on your walk!

Beginning Anew

Last summer our Tuesdays fizzled out as the summer heat became too overbearing. However, I didn’t want to miss out on a book study of this sweet book. I love “Pocketful of Pinecones” and would like to reintroduce it. This time it will be an online group focus.

So, if you are interested in reading “Pocketful of Pinecones” or want to read it again, please join in the discussion here. I will plan on posting on  till I make it to the end of the book. Hopefully, you will join in on the discussion.

I look forward to sharing this book with you here.