Have you all jumped on the scholé train? Scholé is from ancient Greek meaning school and leisure. It apparently hit a resurgence with the book Leisure the Basis of Culture by Josef Piper, but I know it from the homeschool blogosphere. Primarily from Scholé Sisters blog and podcast. Forgive me, I’m new to this whole podcast thing and still working through back episodes.
This article from Mystie over at Simply Convivial really explains scholé well. In short, the way we envision education now is vastly different from long ago when this word was first used. From what I have gathered the point of scholé is to focus on learning through seeking truth, goodness and beauty. Now that is what my dreams of education look like.
Scholé is leisure but not what most of us Americans view as leisure. It is taking the time to truly enjoy, absorb and meditate on a subject through careful reading and study. Focusing on truth, beauty and goodness while broadening our horizons and educating our selves in our topic of interest.
I am praying and working on implementing this in our homeschool, but also for myself. Charlotte Mason says,
“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would have the courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents. The mother would then be able to hold herself in “wise passiveness and would not fret her children by continual interference even of hand or eye – she would let them be.”
We mothers ought to also be participating and growing in this education process. Here in the homeschooling world we call it mother culture. So I am working on developing my own mother culture through reading, art, music and nature. Scholé is part of my mother culture that I see as fluid process. It will ebb and flow, and change over time. Hopefully growing deeper and stronger over time.
It has been so long since I really enjoyed reading for myself. I used to devour fiction books like my oldest daughter, but since having kids it has been on the back burner. When I married and had children, bible studies and spiritual encouragement books were my thin. Though they were hit and miss in regularity. I never have been much one for non-fiction or educational reading because I didn’t really consider it. Fiction, definitely. Spiritual encouragement, sure. I’m working on learning exactly what my passions are through some sampling of books but I definitely want to include more non-fiction and educational texts. I want scholé! I cannot afford, nor would I have the time to return to school right now, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop learning and growing.
So I have made a goal every month this year to read 1 nonfiction/educational book, 1 fiction book, and 1 spiritual book or bible study. Its only February and I’m already behind, but hey its a goal and I’m still developing the skill. Got to stretch those reading muscles!
This past January and first half of February I read my 3 books. Here’s a peak at my mother culture this past 6 weeks with a quick review.
January Mother Culture
- Scholé Choice
Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects That Matter Most by Pam Barnhill
This book was so good! It was a great resource and encouragement for me regarding morning times. I love her short concise method of explaining each category to consider and the snippets of other families around the nation. I marked many pages, took notes, and commonplaced (can that be a verb?) much of what I read for later perusal. The first portion I decided to implement was more memorization and focusing on the 3 Rs of morning time. Ritual, reading and recitation. Since finishing the book have we done morning time every day? Nope. However our morning/afternoon times have been better because I let go of the Instagram perfect expectation and focused on building our relationships and love of learning. Excited to see how the Lord will use this in our family over the next several years!
2. Spiritual Choice
Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything by Jennifer Rothschild
This is a lovely study on love. I haven’t read Hosea in many years and it has been a delightful review and focus on God’s love in a different way than most study it. I don’t have the DVD’s so I’m just doing the bible/book portion, but I’m really enjoying digging into God’s word. I love these LifeWay studies and this is helping me to find connections as I continue my Facebook groups virtual bible study.
3. Fiction Choice
I did not like this book and do not recommend it. Now the storyline is really good and most of the prose is wonderful. However, over all I didn’t like it and struggled to finish. At some point in the book it felt like the author stopped speaking in the same tone and started using her thesaurus just to “beef” up the vocabulary. I am not one who is afraid of big books or big words, but this felt forced and unnatural making it awkward to read. I also did not appreciate the way she described birth. As a mama who has had 5 kids and loves a good birth story, it felt false and unreal. Finally, and the clincher for my non-recommendation the themes were a little to PG-13 for me. It wasn’t super implicit, but I felt dirty reading it and that is no good! So because of this I do not recommend the book.
I would love your fiction suggestions because I am way out of the game. Though I may have to let children/juvenile fiction count as my book each month as I am still working on pre-reading many good books for my oldest. I cannot keep with her desire to read every book on the planet!
Also, you will probably see many education books in my scholé choice because I’m homeschooling all these kiddos and want to learn more about education process. My views have greatly changed since sitting in those lecture halls at Purdue and studying elementary education.
I am also interested in gardening, herbal remedies, essential oils, nature/science, and history. I am someone who likes a good rotation so who knows what trend that category will follow through out the year.
Do you have any great reads I need to check out for me as a mama? Do you implement scholé in your homeschool or for yourself? What are you studying?